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The Future of DRM

Implementing a working DRM system is incredibly difficult. It requires that every piece of hardware and software between the digital representation of the media and the output device support DRM. Even in this case, there is nothing stopping someone putting a camera in front of the screen, or a microphone near the speaker. Doing this with sufficiently high quality equipment can produce a result indistinguishable (by a human, anyway) from the original. In the Internet age, it just takes one person to make a copy, and then it’s available to everyone.

Meanwhile, DRM systems impose significant constraints on their users. As the systems become more advanced, these constraints become greater and the illegal version (which doesn’t come with DRM) becomes more and more attractive.

I find it difficult to imagine a situation in which DRM has any positive benefits for the content creators, the technical innovators, or society as a whole in the long term.

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