March 23, 2006 · Lessig
Sun has made recent announcements about their openDRM project. In my view, they’ve made some commitments that are important for any DRM project. E.g., as I’ve seen it described, it would be implemented to allow individuals to assert “fair use,” and unlock DRM’d content, with a tag to trace misuse. And they’ve described a platform upon which authors keep the freedom to turn the DRM off, and more the content from the secured platform.
These are good things. But some confuse praise for better DRM with praise for DRM. So let me be as clear as possible here (though saying the same thing I’ve always said): We should be building a DRM-free world. We should have laws that encouraged a DRM-free world. We should demonstrate practices that make compelling a DRM-free world. All of that should, I thought, be clear. But just as one can hate the Sonny Bono Act, but think, if there’s a Sonny Bono Act, there should also be a Public Domain Enhancement Act, so too can one hate DRM, but think that if there’s DRM, it should be at least as Sun is saying it should be.