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Bill Gates on DRM

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memenode's picture
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Joined: 2004-07-12

Ok here's a yet another thread on Gates. It's because of that conference he had with bloggers why interesting stories about it pop up. Bloggers are usually outspoken and they blog stuff, hence questions they ask and answers they get can be really interesting.

Here's the link: http://www.techcrunch.com/2006/12/14/bill-gates-on-the-future-of-drm/

Bill Gates is apparently not satisfied with the current state of DRM mainly because it breaks fair use (he didn't specifically say it, but he pretty much implied it). From his point of view DRM is a tool for enforcing copyrights by means of technology and that's what it has to do, but not restrict fair use rights (like copying it personally to your computer and other devices etc.).

But that's kind of self defeating isn't it? If they make DRM to allow things that should be allowed per fair use they pretty much make it allow for unauthorized copying. I mean, how does a particular DRM technology know whether making a copy is making a copy for personal use onto a personal medium/device or a friends medium/device?

I think they'll never find the real solution and Bill Gates, if he is honest in saying that DRM today isn't as it should be, should eventually abandon the whole thing. If he is not honest than him saying that DRM as it is is bad is just a smokescreen whereas his company's bottom line pretty much doesn't care what happens to fair use rights.

It'll be interesting to see which path does the industry at large chooses, erase fair use and establish basically total control, or abandon DRM because it can't properly enforce copyrights AND fair use rights at the same time.

We've already seen enough evidence of how much they really care about fair use though, which is why we have a DRM problem..

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