The dangers of DRM

Remember Peter Gutmann and his intense campaign against DRM in Windows Vista?

Windows Vista includes an extensive reworking of core OS elements in order to provide content protection for so-called “premium content”. This incurs costs in terms of system performance, technical problems and associated support overhead, and hardware and software cost. These issues affect not only users of Vista, but the entire PC industry. Windows Vista Content Protection looks at the problems involved in trying to retrofit content protection/DRM to the historically open PC architecture.

Funny, but despite Gutmann’s widely reported scaremongering I am not aware of a single incident where content protection in Vista (or its successor, Windows 7) ever shut out a legitimate user.

On the other hand, there’s this, which occurred in July 2012:

Apple said late Thursday that it has resolved a glitch that was causing some apps downloaded from its online store to crash upon launch.

Essentially, the software that is designed to ensure purchased applications are unlocked for the users was instead rendering them unusable.

“We had a temporary issue that began yesterday with a server that generated DRM code for some apps being downloaded,” Apple said in a statement to AllThingsD. Apple said it affected only a small number of users.

Heh. Indeed.

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