About DRM

Standard

I cancelled today Google All-Access and use now for streaming Subsonic. So I have my computer at home serving the music and it is really easy to set up. With that I am also moving back to buying music. Less DRM and afaik I support the artists better. One of my favorite musicians, Farin Urlaub1 said once that Spotify is like a punch in a musicians face. So I bought some stuff I found through All-Access and stopped using it now for a couple of days. I expect to spend less music overall but the musicians I like will get more money. Discoverability might be a problem but I guess I’ll find new music by different means. And the children will have to live with the fact that new stuff might be rolling in more rarely but lately they listen to some of their favorites all the time anyways and don’t care about the stuff I got only through All-Access.

The two things I am still thinking about is reading via Safari Books Online, the kindle reading app, because I actually don’t use my reader anymore2 and Netflix. Safari Books Online is an awesome ressource for my job. But I do not use it that much because I have other stuff to do that I wonder if it wouldn’t be cheaper in the end to buy the books I am interested in as e-books. 40€ per month are a lot of money. But it is so convenient and when I need to read up on something the search is great and the quality is usually better than some tutorial/explanation on a website. So yes, I am not sure about it.

The Kindle is mainly about convenience. The ability to sync and easily send ebooks via mail is great. And they have tons of english-language ebooks and all the others have DRM, too. And I don’t want to move back to paper books for a lot of things. The chance that I am reading a book is lower than I read an ebook because I have the ebook always with me and it works in the dark as well. And since there are no stores that have a similar number of books like Amazon and are completely DRM-free it doesn’t matter a lot if I use a kindle or not. The pure teachings of being DRM-free would mean that I have to return to paper books and get ebooks only from stores like DriveThruFiction or authors like Cory Doctorow who sell all their books DRM-free. But a lot of non-fiction books are not available this way.

Netflix and Amazon Prime Video are hard. I do not use it that much because I somehow spend my time more listening to podcasts, using social media and reading books  but my family does. It is similar in convenience as pirating stuff without the legal risk but with a smaller but still big selection. And when i buy a DVD or Blu-Ray it is aldo DRMed. The evil thing about Netflix is that it puts DRM into browsers which means that we have now a blackbox in software that has to deal quite often with the evil parts of the internet. I like this blackbox since it allows me to watch Netflix and Amazon Prime on my Linux-computers3 but at the same time it brings up the security problem. I find the fight of the EFF very good but I don’t see the alternative. Essentially it would also mean that fewer people want to use free and open source operating systems like GNU/Linux4 because many want to watch Netflix on their computers. I already thought that I won’t use Netflix anymo://re on my computers but only on my phone but I am not sure. The only correct thing to do would be able to give up Netflix etc. And in the end it hurts the wrong because it is not Netflix but big media. And stopping the consumption of their stuff for entertainment is kind of hard. I am not willing to take up the fight to convert my family and explain my kids why they won’t be able to watch their favorite animated series from time to time.

It is not easy in this day and age to not be subject to DRM. I just read an article about farmers jailbreaking their tractors. Seriously.

Originally this should have been a micro post that I quit Google All-Access and started using Subsonic. Now it is a long waily waily about DRM. What is your opinion about DRM? Do you care? Do you try to move away from it? If yes, are you succesful? If you don’t care, why don’t you care? Please leave a comment beneath the blog post.

 


  1. If you aren’t German and do not know him, listen to some of his music. He has two bands: Die Ärzte (since the 80s) and the Farin Urlaub Racing Team. Both are a bit different but fantastic. And I expect that every German-speaking reader of this blog knows him and Die Ärzte.

  2. the phone is more convenient and people somehow break theirs and I borrow them mine and they just use it far more than I do. But I’d still like to have a Paperwhite.

  3. but unfortunately not *BSD-computers

  4. see what I did there?

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