I’ve been wanting to blog about the Kindle, Amazon’s new eBook reader. Not because of its UI annoyances that got Scoble so upset, or the outrageous fees associated with using it to view free web content, but rather because of its nasty DRM that won’t let you share books in the way you can share a regular book (e.g. I am done with the book, so I will give it to you so you can read it).
Don’t buy a Kindle.
Now today I read about a hard drive by Western Digital that hooks up to the internet so you can view/share your files anywhere… EXCEPT any audio or video files, lest you anger the RIAA/MPAA. The list of file types it won’t serve is insane:
AAC, AIF, AIFC, AIFF, AMF, ASF, ASX, AVI, CDA, DVI, DIVX, FAR, IT, ITZ, KAR, MDZ, MOV, MP1, MP2, MP3, MP4, MPA, MPE, MPEG, MPG, MPGA, MPV2, OGG, OKT, PTM, QT, QT1, VOB, VOC, WM, WMA, WMV
Don’t buy a Western Digital ‘My Book World Edition’.
The only way to stop more DRM’d garbage like this from being made in the first place is to not buy it when it gets produced.
Oh and of course, also don’t buy DRM’d audio tracks; if you’re going to buy music downloads (rather than say ripping CDs you bought so as to get higher quality; FLAC is very nice :), do it in a non-DRM’d format, like MP3.
Update August 15, 2008: Here’s a game author who gets it; regarding ‘piracy‘, “I’ve read enough otherwise honest people complain about DRM to see that its probably hurting more than it help’s. I had planned on using the same system for Kudos 2, but I’ve changed my mind on that. I have also removed it from Democracy 2 today. I now use no DRM at all.” [emphasis in original :]
Update October 22, 2008: An article, “25 Arguments for the Elimination of Copy Protection” which is mostly examples. I love the ending conclusion:
Copy protection by its very definition makes the products it’s applied to worse. Almost all of it is basically disrespectful to paying customers; almost none of it truly prevents pirates from doing what they will. Can we all agree there’s something profoundly wrong with technology that punishes honest people more than it does thieves?
Update Jan 6, 2009: Wow. Apple just decided to kill their iTunes DRM.
Update Jan 31, 2010: “It’s simple: Every time DRM has ever touched anything, it has screwed things up. I know of no exceptions.” — Tim Bray (via Twitter)