Rick Falkvinge, founder of the Swedish and first Pirate Party, stops by TorrentFreak to offers his opinions on digital rights management. As you can probably guess, he thinks DRM should go the way of the dodo. Falkvinge starts by saying that after the European Greens’ adoption of his party's position on DRM, he has been getting a lot of questions about why DRM should be banned. He lays out his first point with the following:
"First of all, DRM is a type of fraud that robs citizens of their lawful rights. The copyright monopoly is chock full of exceptions that allow copying in many circumstances; DRM takes no notice of this whatsoever but establishes and enforces a superset of restrictions that goes well above and beyond those of the law.
Therefore, to begin with, a ban on DRM can be seen as a form of consumer protection."
Next he points out that even when Parliament writes laws to deal with copyright corporations find ways to enforce their own set of rules. DRM is a tool to do just that.
"Second, it doesn’t matter if Parliament writes laws — which is its job — if corporations can rewrite those laws at their own leisure with the help of technology. It is also Parliament’s job to make sure that writing laws remains Parliament’s job, and in particular, that it doesn’t bend over to the wishes of a special interest."
He closes by comparing lead and freon to DRM:
"DRM poisons the free flow, analysis, remix, and usage of information. It requires a very specific set of conditions to operate, conditions that won’t exist five or ten years into the future. (Have you tried playing a five-year-old DRM-defective game?) It poisons the information ecosystem.
As the free exchange of TICKs — Tools, Ideas, Culture, and Knowledge — is essential to the industries, citizens and social life of the next generation, I fully support banning a practice that outright poisons the ecosystem where this exchange needs to thrive.
The Greens supported banning freon in their early days and banning lead recently, despite both substances being good engineering, good business, and attractive end-user products. This is the way it should be, and this is why I support banning DRM. There are other concerns that take precedence in lawmaking than short-term profits."
You can read the rest here. It's an interesting column, even if you disagree with it.