Feeds

Lessig blesses DRM

It's open source DRM, so it's good. Huh?

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

If you arrive for work today and discover a grisly pool of brain tissue and bone fragments where a colleague used to sit, we may have the explanation right here.

For in a move that risks causing Scanners-style head explosions across the land, Professor Lawrence Lessig has endorsed DRM.

Not just any old digital rights management, but Sun's open source DRM initiative, the Open Media Commons.

"In a world where DRM has become ubiquitous, we need to ensure that the ecology for creativity is bolstered, not stifled, by technology,". says Lessig - or somebody purporting to be Lessig.

"We applaud Sun's efforts to rally the community around the development of open-source, royalty-free DRM standards that support 'fair use' and that don't block the development of Creative Commons ideals," says Lessig.

Debian coder and software freedom campaigner Benjamin Mako Hill finds this strange. "Lessig's position seems to be that DRM is bad and should not exist. But in a world where it does exist, he thinks that not-quite-so-bad DRM is better than the alternatives. Is that the sort of message we want to be sending?," he writes.

"The fact that the software is 'open source' is hardly good enough if the purpose of the software is to take away users freedom - in precisely the way that DRM does."

Presumably, Lessig's position is that the development process has sanctified the evil. But others may take the view that a noose is a noose is a noose. As Mako points out, Lessig sits on the board of the Electronic Frontier Foundation - which has already come out against Sun's OMC - and the Free Software Foundation. Whose position on software freedom should be clear enough .

Lessig thinking

"Hmm. Why won't this song play?" - Professor Lawrence Lessig

Maybe it's all a terrible mix up. Or maybe ... maybe it's a really bad dream!

We'll certainly be exploring this issue tomorrow with both Sun Microsystems and the Great Man (one of these parties is speaking to us - while the other is sulking at us - and you can guess which one is which) tomorrow.

But given the health risks this news poses, we felt it best to warn you without delay. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
BBC: We're going to slip CODING into kids' TV
Pureed-carrot-in-ice cream C++ surprise
TROLL SLAYER Google grabs $1.3 MEEELLION in patent counter-suit
Chocolate Factory hits back at firm for suing customers
Twitter: La la la, we have not heard of any NUDE JLaw, Upton SELFIES
If there are any on our site it is not our fault as we are not a PUBLISHER
Facebook, Google and Instagram 'worse than drugs' says Miley Cyrus
Italian boffins agree with popette's theory that haters are the real wrecking balls
Sit tight, fanbois. Apple's '$400' wearable release slips into early 2015
Sources: time to put in plenty of clock-watching for' iWatch
Facebook to let stalkers unearth buried posts with mobe search
Prepare to HAUNT your pal's back catalogue
Ex-IBM CEO John Akers dies at 79
An era disrupted by the advent of the PC
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.