DRM techniques battling for your computer

The small world of technical solutions to protect the copyrights starts seeing the same issues as the software industry observed fifteen years ago when trying solutions for software copy protection.

For example, we start seeing cases where two DRM solutions (Digital Rights Management) cannot live simultaneously on the same computer. This wasn’t enough that you couldn’t use the CD you just bought in any of the usual ways you’d like, now buying one CD may mean that you cannot use another. This is the kind of horror story that starts popping up like in the recent article from CDR-info which deals with the software conflicts between the technical offering of SunComm and StarForce (two providers of DRM techniques for companies willing to protect their audio CDs).

I guess that, like before, the industry will soon realize that this approach is putting more constraints on the legitimate user than real roadblocks against the hackers, pirates and casual crooks. But, we will see a number of customers bumping onto technical incompatibilities of all kinds, before the music and video industry starts seeing that this is actually limiting the sales growth.