An essay for the Consumer Electronics Association’s blog in which I pick up the conversation kicked up by Emily White’s “I never owned any music to begin with” post on an NPR blog—and question the wisdom of replacing media you own with DRMed bitstreams you can, in theory, access at any time, anywhere and on any device.
A TiVo’s “HDMI not permitted” error and a Blu-ray player’s blank green screen were just the latest demonstration of the futility and cost of DRM, and in this case the owner of an older Samsung TV is stuck with having to swap out sets of component video cables every time he wants to switch between the TiVo and the Blu-ray. The column also revisits a recent topic of my CEA writing, using a remote-control app on your phone or tablet instead of the standard, button-strewn remote.
A chance conversation with a CNNMoney.com editor at CES about the lack of follow-through in tech reviews led to this long-term evaluation of the Kindle Fire tablet, based on another six months of on-and-off testing.
This week’s post on the Consumer Electronics Association’s blog unpacks an angle missing from much traditional-media coverage of the Justice Department’s antitrust lawsuit against Apple and major publishers: how publishers’ short-sighted insistence on DRM helped create this Amazon near-monopoly that they decry.