Feeds

Lessig blesses DRM

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

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

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. ®

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
MI6 oversight report on Lee Rigby murder: US web giants offer 'safe haven for TERRORISM'
PM urged to 'prioritise issue' after Facebook hindsight find
Assange™ slumps back on Ecuador's sofa after detention appeal binned
Swedish court rules there's 'great risk' WikiLeaker will dodge prosecution
You think the CLOUD's insecure? It's BETTER than UK.GOV's DATA CENTRES
We don't even know where some of them ARE – Maude
NSA mass spying reform KILLED by US Senators
Democrats needed just TWO more votes to keep alive bill reining in some surveillance
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Go beyond APM with real-time IT operations analytics
How IT operations teams can harness the wealth of wire data already flowing through their environment for real-time operational intelligence.
The total economic impact of Druva inSync
Examining the ROI enterprises may realize by implementing inSync, as they look to improve backup and recovery of endpoint data in a cost-effective manner.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.