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Friday, 18 June 2004
EFF employee/activist and science-fiction author Cory Doctorow gave a talk at Microsoft Research about why he thinks Bill & Co. should quit building digital rights management into their software. He manages to tie together cryptography, the invention of radio, e-books, Flowbees, the way AT&T used to own every phone in the country, player pianos, Apple iTunes, Ringo, the Luther Bible, DVD region encoding, and cellphone ringtones as he explains why DRM will never work and can only inhibit innovation and incredible business opportunities.

If you’ve rolled your eyes at me during my DVD region encoding rant (or my iPods-are-evil rant), GO READ THIS DAMMIT. It’s also required reading for geeks and artists of all flavors.

(By the way, on the subject of ringtones, if you’ve chosen a cellphone that requires you to pay for ringtones, you’re on crack. One of the greatest things about my Treo 600 pda/phone is that any old MIDI file can be a ringtone. Didja know that the Web harbors free MIDI versions of just about any tune you can think of? My phone alerts me to the end of a meditation sitting with a sparkly little rendition of “Within You, Without You.” A nice little shot of George that always does me right.)
posted to /tech at 9:18am :: 4 responses

Hatchjaw had this to say (06/18/2004 10:53:54):
whoa man ... long read .. perfect for a friday at werk.....
XOM had this to say (06/18/2004 20:12:59):
On crack? Think again. Yo momma paid for a ringtone. Eric Clapton's "Layla" lets me know there's a call waiting. Worth the entire $1.00.
Spike had this to say (06/21/2004 22:36:59):
You wrote:

"if you've chosen a cellphone that requires you to pay for ringtones, you're on crack"

My take on this is, if you *paid money* for your phone, you're on crack.

What annoys me about my phone is the fact it not only doesn't use MIDI for ringtones, but it has no "standard" ring at all. Just goofy asian-pop versions of classical music. Godawful. It's why I use only the "barking dog" or silent/bzzzz mode.
ignatz ratskywatsky had this to say (07/08/2004 11:03:03):
I'm not too techhy, but I am interested in this issue. And I found that it was clear, persuasive (though he's preaching to the choir here anyway) and funny.
I sincerely hope the good folks at Microsoft/Apple will listen.

But then, I believe in the Easter Bunny.


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