Latest Attempt at Video DRM

Ed Felten links to what seems to me to be a whole lot of non-sense. As Ed points out in his own remarks, consumers have largely solved their time and space shifting needs by just ripping DVDs or taking advantage of the increasing number of streaming options.

This new encryption scheme, called DECE, smacks of a certain amount of desperation. While the NYT’s article is light on technical details, I think their supposition about a fatal mismatch between what the industry wants to ossify into DECE and what consumers will ultimately want is fair. I don’t think streaming is the sum total of the story, though.

Regardless, yet more DRM, even sophisticated versions that use remote attestation to try to drive interoperability across devices, won’t escape the fatal flaws of past attempts. It also has nothing to do with meeting consumer needs, this is just another blatant attempt to deal with the ongoing Internet Threat (as James Boyle calls it) by shoring up the rights, privileges and business models with which the studios are already familiar. If they were concerned about the future of viewership, they’d be innovating like the Netflixes and Boxees of the world, not flogging yet another DOA crypto scheme.

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