ETech day 3: Cory Doctorow
All complex eco-systems have parasites. Email, for example. We could fix this in various ways – tolls, rigorous identity checking, etc. But you would also break much of the value of email. Hollywood wants to control digital devices that use or even just touch video by requiring permission to release such a device. DVD players work like this today, but CDs don't, which is why you can convert CD data to ringtones, MP3s, remixed CDs, etc, but do nothing with DVDs except watch it in a player. Trusted Computing would extend the DVD model to all aspects of computing. But in practice, someone always leaks the keys or figures out how to crack the system, and that renders the whole system useless. It happened with DVDs and it would happen with any other rights management system.
And the trouble is that DRM doesn't stop infringement; it doesn't even reduce it. It's a 100% failure system. Parasite elimination never works, but the erroneous conclusion drawn by people like Hollywood is that they just haven't tried hard enough and if only the laws were more draconian, the encryption was more rigorous, the problem would be solved. But simplifying the eco-system never works. There will always be parasites.