DRM protection has been a bone of contention between content owners and anti-DRM activists. The latter party’s contentions seem to be becoming quite popular with content providers, with many music download services, including the august iTunes, opting for DRM-free music. However, DRM hasn’t been eliminated as a lot of downloadable content, including streaming/downloadable videos and streaming music, is still fettered by DRM protection.
The Copyright Office is currently deliberating upon allowing fresh exemptions to its rules that forbid DRM cracking – enshrined in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Steven Metalitz, a DC-based lawyer, who represents Big Content – a collective term for DRM-loving individual content owners and their organizations like MPAA and RIAA, reckons users should not be allowed to crack DRM protection even if an online store shuts down its authentication servers.
“We reject the view that copyright owners and their licensees are required to provide consumers with perpetual access to creative works. No other product or service providers are held to such lofty standards. No one expects computers or other electronics devices to work properly in perpetuity, and there is no reason that any particular mode of distributing copyrighted works should be required to do so,” he wrote in a missive addressed to the Copyright Office’s top legal advisor.
It is quite unrealistic to expect online stores to perpetually maintain their DRM servers. But it is ludicrous to assume that shutting down of an authentication server or the whole online store is reason enough for the user to surrender his ownership rights.
Image Credit: DRM Converter