Escaping to alternative media ecosystems

Google play and DRM

@tdobson asked me on twitter what I thought of the above problem with Google Play/Marketplace.

This tally’s with a post I was going to write about how DRM only hurts people doing the right thing and how a generation are feeling the pain of moving out of media ecosystems. Theres a excellent letter on Framerate highlighting this exact problem, (clipped below, hoping it won’t get taken down but just in case you can hear it here about 10mins in).

So what do I mean? (just incase you don’t know)

Imagine you’ve bought into music from Microsoft’s playsforsure a long time ago and then recently you got rid of your Zune (because MPeg3 players are so over girlfriend…) in favor of a iPhone? It might be possible to move your music over but with some difficulty. But imagine if you swap audio for video?

You’ve gotten rid of your DVD collection and replaced it with downloads from the Apple itunes store because your so cool and everything just works. Then you buy a new TV without a Apple TV and it supports this thing called DLNA. You start wondering maybe theres more to media than Apple’s dream. Of course you can swap Apple for Google, Microsoft, etc…

Anyway the point is, piracy wins here. Currently the only way to effortlessly switch between ecosystems is to either buy physical products or pirate them (I challenge people to find a 3rd option without buying the same content more that once). Once again not condoning this but there is a problem here and no one seems to want to fix it! Mainly because forcing you to follow one route is so much easier and they can make money that way too.

So whats this got to do with a rooted phone? Well its the assumption that if you have root, that you will subvert the DRM and make a mockery of there ecosystem. I get it, Google, Apple and others said to right holders they will protect the content in there flawless systems and they will do all they can to honor that but what a house of cards this agreement was made on.

Change needs to come from both sides, the content makers and the content consumers. This is why I love and support Creative Commons.

This is our culture not theres and we don’t just want it back we demand it back! Whos with me?

Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser.