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Digital Rights Management
I am surprised this hasn't been brought up in discussion before. If you're unfamiliar with Digital Rights Management (DRM), here's a brief - and feel free to correct me if I'm wrong or just off track a little.

It is basically a technology that squeezes a user's rights with media - music, movies, etc. You have limited rights to what you can do with the media, or maybe even none at all depending how it is employed. DRM is built into hardware such as a processor, or can be used within software. It is inevitable that DRM will be used in Windows PC's, and now that Apple is going Intel for their CPU's, I am damned sure they will feature DRM too. And Apple especially has good reason to do so, with their tie ins with various media industries.

At the heart of DRM is the controversy - privacy issues, user rights, potential for exploits, remote control of the computer (hardware or software) upon DRM violation...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_Rights_Management#Introduction

DRM controls are sometimes proposed to be enforced through so-called trusted computing. However, civil libertarians maintain that trusted computing creates the prospect of a computer system which cannot be trusted by its owner, but rather its behavior can be remotely manipulated at any time, regardless of the legal merits of such manipulation. Most opponents have little faith that the courts or legislatures will be able to limit such manipulation to only that which is legally permitted.

Several laws relating to DRM have been proposed or already enacted in various jurisdictions (State, Federal, non-US). Some of them will require all computer systems to have mechanisms controlling the use of digital media. (See Professor Edward Felten's freedom-to-tinker Web site for information and pointers to the current debate on these matters).
My Thoughts 
I don't feel this technology can be trusted. I also don't agree with how it affects user rights of the media (licenses in most cases actually) they own.

The big problem for me is... for me, Windows is THE gaming platform. For me, Mac OS X is my preferred platform for music production. Mac OS X is also a platform with a reputation for creative industries, and since I wanted to go to school for graphic design, and hopefully get a G5 and a career down the road...

Well, since DRM will be introduced in both platforms, and that I refuse to support DRM - I also refuse to support any company employing DRM. This means I essentially have no preferred latform of choice for the things I love doing - music, gaming and design. While Linux is an option OS wise for those who do not support DRM (as far as I know, Linux does not have any DRM technologies, and most likely won't but who knows) -- Linux is not an option for me for music production, design or gaming. It has not come into it's own for either of these things well enough to be considered a viable choice. For general computing, programming, development and serving it is a good choice.

So, as bitter as I sound, it is nonetheless how I feel, and it is frustrating, and it is depressing. It isn't just about computers, it's about rights, privacy, trust and about what I, the user, want - to be able to do what I love or need to do, on a computer.

I guess I'll go take up landscaping. 
 
1) I don't think this discussion has anything to do with games, maps, mapping or mappers. Does this belong here?

2) If you decide to not support any company that supports DRM, you can't be using a Microsoft (WMA) or Apple (iTunes) OS. Whilst using Linux or a *BSD you will be missing out on lots of things. The truth is, content providers will not be providing digital content (video, music, etc) without DRM protection. So either you find a content provider with less DRM intrusion and live with it or you give up the idea of purchasing a big part of digital media content online. 
Hmmm 
If you decide to not support any company that supports DRM, you can't be using a Microsoft (WMA) or Apple (iTunes) OS

Although I totally agree with you here, if you are going to say I also refuse to support any company employing DRM you've certainly got to be prepared to drop microsoft.


I certainly don't agree with point 1) especially from the point of consistency.
I mean it's certainly as relevant to gaming, mapping as the following discussion threads, wouldn't you say?

Food
Music
Film
Harware
Bees
Bees III gold
Should shambler be banned .................
etc
etc
etc 
Media 
I really don't care about purchasing media. I don't purchase any media online anyway, and I'm not big on MP3's. The issue for me is no available platform left to support, no available platform that I prefer using for specific roles -- UNLESS I give in and accept DRM. I don't want to. 
Hmmm, I Am The Nameless One 
strange .. 
You May Have No Choice In The End 
I was reading something about this the other day, and how it was going to be integrated with hardware, CPU's(intel)etc,I don't understand all this but it seems it will have an impact of software, including games in the area of piracy, which in turn will effect legit users.

UNLESS I give in and accept DRM
you sought of already have. Whether you use it or not, Windows uses DRM, Windows Media Player, and you are supporting a company that uses, integrates DRM with it's products.
Which is already contrary to your statement,
I also refuse to support any company employing DRM 
Yeah Well 
I really mean on the system, hardware level. I don't work/buy with any online media to care that WMP has DRM tech, or iTunes for that matter. DRM for the system is what worries me most - where it is most damaging.

I enjoy the speculation/hope that DRM will cave into itself once people are educated enough and refuse to support it. But I don't know how likely this is. Most computing n00bs will be conned into the "security advantages for you!" marketing, or won't care as long as they can use MS Word or play MP3's or browse online. 
 
"I enjoy the speculation/hope that DRM will cave into itself once people are educated enough and refuse to support it."

That is however, only wishful thinking. The unwashed masses couldn't care less. 
Hmm... 
As consumers of digital content, we are screwed. Corporations hold all the cards.

As creators of digital content, I think we have a little more hope. First of all, there's a lot of file formats that are not under the control of the big money, such as mod/s3m/xm/it, png, ogg, game assets for id software games, etc. Some of these are pretty popular among people who release a lot of free content online, like mappers, coders, etc.

Second, DRM is intended to empower content owners at the expense of content consumers, so it seems likely that even on evil Longhorn using evil proprietary image or music editing software, you would have the choice of what DRM features to enable on your final product, including having no DRM features. 
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