MPAA Says: “DRM Exists To Annoy Honest Customers”

We saw this astonishing quote from Dan Glickman of the MPAA over at the Beeb, when asked about the effectiveness of DRM:

No, it is not correct to assume that one clever hack dooms all use of DRM. Content owners use DRMs because it provides casual, honest users with guidelines for using and consuming content based on the usage rights that were acquired. Without the use of DRMs, honest consumers would have no guidelines and might eventually come to totally disregard copyright and therefore become a pirate, resulting in great harm to content creators.

Isn’t that just the reaction you’d expect from an MPAA bigwig? DRM isn’t there to stop criminals, because it can’t; it’s there because, without DRM, honest consumers wouldn’t have “guidelines” on how to properly (read: prohibitively) enjoy their legally owned product. In other words, this is a clear admission by the MPAA that DRM’s only purpose is to annoy honest customers. Great!

There’s some other interesting Q&A’s about film industry rationale, ranging from region-encoding to simultaneous DVD/cinema release. And Lavinia Carey of the British Video Association cites this astonishing statistic: ” UK research shows that, on average, downloaders are film fans who view the same number of legitimate films (cinema, rented and bought DVDs) as the average active DVD consumer (24). On top of that, they also consume illegitimately acquired movies. ”


Edit Your Comment

  1. Brian Gee says:

    Keeping honest users honest is like keeping tall users tall. (I think that may be a Cory Doctorow quote, but I don’t recall). Honest users aren’t the problem.

    The “guidelines for … usage rights acquired” is a bunch of BS. Apple’s iTunes store has already demonstrated, multiple times, that the rights you acquired can change at any time. That surely will confuse the honest users, since something they might have done yesterday isn’t allowed anymore today.

    As a Mac and Linux user I’m already running into DRM problems. I tried clicking on a VH1 “Best of the 80’s” (or whatever they call it now) preview/advertisement/videos and the site told me I couldn’t view the ad because they don’t have a DRM player for the Mac. Its apparently more important to set these guidelines (that people who don’t pay the Microsoft Tax aren’t allowed to view advertisment material) than to advertise.

    Would a paying advertiser agree to that?

  2. RedSeven says:

    As a British downloader I’d point out that I still go to the cinema more than most people I know. I only download the films which I expect to suck. I mean do I really want to pay £6 to go see some Vin Diesel piece of sh*t that I’m probably gonna walk out of anyway?

  3. drsmith says:

    My dad had it right when he said, “Locks only keep honest people honest.” That was many years ago, but it’s been proven time and again that there isn’t a lock that dishonest person can’t bypass given enough time and skill.

    Today it’s more about software than physical locks, but it still holds true.