Digital Rights Management (DRM), EVIL? Or just misdirected?
So how did it come to pass that I was actually totting DMR as a possible solution to a social problem?
Yesterday at an Access to Justice Technology Bill of Rights(ATJ-TBOR) meeting for the resource bank sub committee we were discussing possible ways to address concerns related to balancing openness of the courts with the privacy concerns of the court users. In many cases DRM is a possible solution to some problems of mass distribution in the information age. Peter Winn, after a presentation at University of Washington on Unintended Consequences of the Information Age entitled Privacy: Reconciling Reality, mentioned to me that traditionally the availability of court records may have been open to the public but this does not mean they were available to everyone on mass. The distribution these records were limited by the difficulty to copy and distribute the documents meaning that before photo copiers only one or two people might ever see an open court record. By contrast currently Choice Point can make virtually all records available to everyone. This drastic change in how prolific court records are becoming
DRM could duplicate the difficulty of redistribution in the digital world. Maybe DRM needs a new name for this use DPE the Digital Privacy Enabler…