Republished: An Update on DRM

This content was originally posted on in April 2006

As many know, Digital Rights Management, or as many now call it Digital Restrictions Management is continually being forced upon us. It was in the news recently that the Blu-ray format was going to have a large capacity to restrict users rights, similarly HD-DVD will have much the same, if slightly less features. Now the Movie companies have said that most of the features will go unused most of the time, however you should keep in mind that your Blu-ray/HD-DVD player will regularly update its licensing rules, so the Disk you paid nearly £30 for may play now, but in a weeks time, even, you may find that your license to watch this is revoked for seemingly no reason.

Furthermore a functionality that is available on both Blu-Ray and HD-DVD is to downsample the quality of your movie to DVD quality if the TV connected to your player does not contain the appropriate DRM chip. What this basically means is that in the future all you people who have already purchased a High Definition TV, will need to buy a new one to benefit from it. Once again the media companies say that this will go unused. My question is whay have these functionalities if you are not going to implement them??
The rules can change at any time and without warning, and don't think you will be able to get a refund because your player has refused to play your disk, you won't. There are far too many restrictions on both HD-DVD and Bluray to even list even a small portion of them. The above are just two of the worst (In My Opinion), but it is worth noting that in this article even Bill Gates seems to be opposed to the restrictiveness of Blu-Ray (Scroll to the bottom of the article). Windows Vista is set to be one of the most DRM-encumbered pieces of software released to date, bringing with it I might add many of the problems with Blu-Ray, and yet Bill Gates thinks that the Blu-Ray DRM is very anti-consumer.

Remember the only people that are inconvenienced by DRM are the legal consumers. Pirates have the technology, sophistication and time to crack whatever DRM is thrown at them. The only person it makes life difficult for is you. In fact it is this that is leading to increased Piracy, people take the easiest method, its part of human nature. And if its easier to watch a Pirated movie than a legitimate one then people will. Especially as the days of pirated music being crackly and fuzzy are long gone.
Protect your rights! Do not let the media companies give you less for more, you bought that DVD/CD its your right to play it on whatever device you want!! Do not buy DRM Encumbered CDs, and boycott Blu-Ray and HD-DVD. At the rate internet speeds are icnreasing everything will soon be streamed to you anyway and Blu-Ray and HD-DVD will be obsolete!

16:16 13/04/2006