ZDNet’s David Berlind has started to compile a Del.icio.us list of examples of ‘DRM train wrecks’, i.e. situations where the use of DRM has a distasteful corollary for consumers unaware of what they’re getting themselves into.
“Most people don’t realize how much they’re giving up when they consciously or sub-consciously use solutions that depend on [DRM]. I get a lot of email that accuses me of being a Chicken Little that overblows the situation by saying the sky is falling. Well, the sky is falling and if those folks want to live in denial, that’s their problem.”
Some of the examples are more straightforward cases of sloppily designed DRM implementations leading to security problems, such as the Sony Rootkit case; examples of ‘DRM switcheroo’ (what I’ve previously called feature deletion or external control on this blog) also abound.
Real-life anecdotes of users who have lost all their (legally acquired) music due to DRM errors or licensing changes – as I discussed in ‘Consumers’ reactions to DRM‘ – are perhaps one of the best ways of driving the message home to consumers (for example the examples discussed here).
The ‘DRM train wreck’ tag is a great initiative. I guess in time it would be good if DRM’d content acquired a stigma from consumers’ point of view, clearly seen as undesirable and worse than second-best, a format to avoid.