UK study: DRM pushes people to piracy

DRM making us all into pirates
DRM making us all into pirates

An interesting new study by a Cambridge professor has found that DRM does the opposite of its actual job and pushes people to piracy rather than preventing it.

The study is years in the making, with law professor Patricia Akester interviewing a variety of people from all aspects of society.

Interestingly, it was individuals from the Royal National Institute of Blind People that presented an interesting case for the scrapping of DRM, with Head of Accessibility Richard Orme stating that blind people had a right to duplicate things like e-books "to create accessible copies of works".

In this instance, it would be ripping the e-books and feeding them through spoken word software for those with limited or no sight.

DRM argument

Other people interviewed included university professors who are apparently entitled under UK law to create DVDs of compilation clips but are not legally allowed to bypass DRM on DVDs. So, those who want to stick to the law have to make their compilations from VHS tapes.

The study by Patricia Akester is titled 'Technological accommodation of conflicts between freedom of expression and DRM: the first empirical assessment.'

It's a heavy read, but what it does show is the confusion DRM gives out to those who want to copy digital pieces of work for legitimate means, and shows somewhat unsurprisingly that DRM continues to make pretty much every one of us into pirates.

Via Ars Technica

Marc Chacksfield

Marc Chacksfield is the Editor In Chief, at DC Thomson. He started out life as a movie writer for numerous (now defunct) magazines and soon found himself online - editing a gaggle of gadget sites, including TechRadar, Digital Camera World and Tom's Guide UK. At Shortlist you'll find him mostly writing about movies and tech, so no change there then.