DRM Mania Is Silly

This weekend I broke open the shrinkwrap on a Shirley Template movie for my 5 year old daughter.

She was subjected to an a commercial telling here that stealing movies was like stealing cars. No way to fast forward the thing either.

It was a freaking Shriley Temple movie. Nobody in this demographic could steal a movie if their life depended on it.

I read with fascination this article from noDRM.com where someone has released a shareware music drm remover.

I can only begin to imagine the chaos this thing is going to set off. And, let’s admit it – the technology ain’t that hard so if they miss it, someone else will come in their place.

And all this money, and time, and effort, and creative power is going to be spent. Thousands of hours of meeting time will be held. I predict a million plus in consultant money alone.

All for what?

The pirates will still pirate and the normal people will still buy.

And the shoplifters will still shoplift.

And the murderers will still murder.

I’ve yet to meet a pirate who would have purchased something completely because it was too hard to copy. They get they’re thrill from copying – not from the content. Met a “pirate” once with 400 gigs of mp3 files. Asked him how much he listened to. He told me he didn’t have time to listen to music.

So what does this means to Podcasting?

I understand the need to put something in there that prevents the casual copy. Some people will feel they have to do that. Fine. I don’t care.

Let Microsoft or Apple handle that for you.

Spend your time producing the kind of content that is so compelling, so exciting, so powerful, that your audience would never think of copying the thing. Get that thrill that only comes from watching people line up to buy.

Get over the fact that some people will copy it anyway – no matter what drm you have in place. Realize that only the tinyest of a small percentage of that group would have paid for it if they couldn’t have got it for free. Write off that tiny percentage point the same way you wipe off anything else.

And then enjoy Shirley Temple with your daughter without having to explain to her that yes, honey, this is the right movie.

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