A lot of people in the tech industry have long compared DRM to an Orwellian, big-brother setup. That’s precisely what makes this story so ironic. To be fair, it’s practically an industry-wide practice: although Apple recently started offering its music DRM-free, the iPhone is still a platform that Apple keeps strict control over; Microsoft’s music store is DRM-laden and has even stranded customers. Oh, and Apple’s latest iTunes version supposedly did nothing but prevent functionality with the Palm Pre.
I like it when things like this happen, though, because it gets DRM purchasers riled up, and I like to think that there’s going to be a point at which people stop buying music and videos that won’t play until they can phone home and make sure you have permission to view them. Sure, piracy is a problem, but it’s not my problem. Now that I’m able to buy DRM-free music, I have no problem spending $1 on a good song. Now that TV stations have gotten with the program and begun to offer their content online, it would be pointless for me to try to download torrents of them. I like to think that people are starting to wise up: give us DRM-free content, or give us nothing.