Monday, October 16, 2006

Gaming, Hollywood and DRM

Can Hollywood benefit from using less "restrictive" DRM models?

According to the paper "Consumers, Fans, and Control: What the Games Industry
can teach Hollywood about DRM" by Landau et al from Sun Research, which will be presented in two weeks at the 6th ACM workshop on DRM, the answer is probably yes.

The paper claims that Hollywood's current DRM models might be too "restrictive", in the sense that they only allow viewing a film, rather than actively editing or changing it. The authors then postulate that Hollywood can benefit from applying more "flexible" DRM models to their content, which would enable users to make edits and changes, in a similar way MMORPG gamers can change, edit and contribute to different popular online gaming environments ("Second Life", for example).

This idea sounds reasonable, right? the users will be happy since they will be able to edit and change the content as they wish, and the studios will profit more by selling many editable copies. Well, not quite... with a DRM system in place, Hollywood can still have a saying on what changes it approves and what changes it does not. While this might be OK with some users, others would not like such constrainsts. What about buying an editable version of a film, changing it and then releasing it anonymously? will that be possible with a DRM system in place? I doubt it... And these are just a couple of examples illustrating why there should not be any DRM systen in place to begin with.


No comments: