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    DRM Doomed

    INFO THEORY: The Register has an interesting interview with Jim Griffin, the former director of Geffen's technology group.

    The Register: You're so certain that DRM will not succeed, but the temptations for the industry are so great - one-time party CDs - that surely it's too tempting for them not to try?

    Jim Griffin: Theoretically what you're saying makes some seductive logic. But it's obvious that not only should it not happen, it's not going to happen.

    The flow of information once digitized, this anarchy of art and knowledge and creativity, can't be controlled. We've designed our societies around the anarchy. For example, we've been emphatic about the notion that we can't control speech. We may send out the secret police and have all manner of efforts of control; but basically we don't believe in it.

    So we're left with two paths here. Will we try and end the anarchy of art, or will we try and monetize it? Art and knowledge and creativity are fascinating to us because they make our lives better when they're not controlled. And we've monetized it successfully throughout history.

    My favorite quote from the interview:

    We have to start with the a priori notion that we must democratize access to art and knowledge. That's a baseline notion of a civilized society. We have libraries that will get you any movie, and any song, and any book; and price or money should not stop you hearing those songs. Museums go even further, with the idea that great art should be able to travel, to come to you, and feel free.

    The RIAA vs. civilized society. What a fascinating way of framing the 'piracy' debate!

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