Ed Felton has a guest blogger who hasn’t wasted much time shaking things up. In Rethinking DRM Dystopia David Robinson points out that so far ‘the market’ (by which he seems to mean the actions of a Very Large Company with a dominant position in one market and a cunning plan to leverage itself into domination into a related one) blunts the effects of DRM in the downloadable music sector. Maybe, he muses, capitalism will correct for the worst excess of DRM as a more general matter?
I confess I’m not persuaded much by this argument since I don’t think this example would be generalizable without the existence of the Very Large Company backed by a huge pot of money. I think the iTunes etc. sector is an currently a DRM anomaly, and the fights over anti-consumer hardware HDTV and ‘trusted computing’ are more the usual case.
But it’s an interesting essay, and definitely food for thought.