I recently signed an online petition at the UK government website putting my name down for a ban on DRM. The government has kindly put up a response.
I have my own response to this:
‘We believe that they should be able to continue to protect their content in this way.’
This implies that they OWN the content, whereas it is my view that the purpose of copyright/patent/etc law was for the government to grant temporary monopolies to content creators to encourage the creation process, and that after the duration of the temporary monopoly expired the work returned ‘back to the people’.
Surely the only logical purpose to encourage content creation is to enrich society.
Surely society benefits by the content ultimately being owned by the people as a whole.
While I accept the logic that content creators should get to benefit in the short-term as a reward for creating the content, I believe it to be counter productive to forget that content should ultimately belong to all of society.
Labelling the content as being owned by the creators allows this point to be forgotten all to easily.
Another important aspect of DRM is that if we the people can not make copies freely, then we can not leverage our ownership of it once the copyright expires – DRM essentially becomes a means for content creators to extend copyright terms indefinitely.
Any reasonable law governing DRM should very clearly put an obligation onto copyright creators (protecting their work with DRM) to provide an unprotected copy for public use upon the expiration of the copyright term.