Speaking of DRM, let’s look at what ten years of it have done so far. I’ve been reading the Intellectual Property & Social Justice blog this morning and they have a summary of an EFF white paper on the subject. The IP-SJ blurb does a great job of giving some “in a nutshell” descriptions both of what DRM is, as well as what is wrong with it, especially for libraries and educators and anyone who has an obligation to provide content to all the public. I’ve excerpted the list of negative effects DRM has had for libraries, in the developed world where the EFF states “it has been in wide deployment for a decade with no benefit to artists and with substantial cost to the public and to due process, free speech and other civil society fundamentals.”
- The success of the information society depends on digital content being accessible. Digital content must not locked up behind technical barriers.
- Libraries must not be prevented by DRM from availing themselves of their lawful rights under national copyright law and must be able to extend their services to the digital environment.
- Long term preservation and archiving, essential to preserving cultural identities, maintaining diversity of peoples, languages and cultures and in shaping the future, must not be jeopardized by DRM.