DRM stands for Incompatibility

Ben Laurie finds that the disc shipped by Amazon does not conform to the audio CD standard. Why? Because the music publisher, EMI, is trying to prevent copying by shipping a disc that doesn’t quite behave like an audio CD, so that, for example, perfectly compliant audio CD players in computers aren’t able to read them.

This should not come as a surprise. In general, DRM is about restricting what you can do with your music. You can only play it on your ipod. You can only play it on your stereo, not on your computer. You can only play it in your car. You can only play it as your cell phone ring tone. You can only play it on your computer, but *not* as your cell phone ring tone.

DRM is about incompatibility. Depending on the specific DRM scheme, you hit the compatibility barrier sooner or later. But it’s there, lurking, waiting for you to do something that isn’t exactly part of the media company’s plan.







One response to “DRM stands for Incompatibility”

  1. […] said before how much I dislike DRM for consumer products like music, in particular how DRM = incompatibility. (It’s great to see that this seems to be changing with the Apple/EMI deal.) Certainly, where […]

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