An odd thing has been happening in the entertainment industries insistence that piracy is a problem is that DRM has been a problem for their customers. DRM by design is broken for legitimate customers – it only serves to restrict what they can do both legally and illegally with products they’ve bought, whilst so called pirates continue to enjoy media unrestricted in one form or another. To get around this, companies have been tying “real” features to the DRM, and using it as a carrot to lure you into buying restricted products.
One of the most fundamental mistakes in assessing this new world brought about by the internet and what it means for distribution and business (or more accurately, the business of distribution) is to assume that piracy – file sharing, illegal or otherwise – is a problem. To assume piracy is a problem is to assume that inefficiency is good, that inefficiency is needed and that to maintain it for the sake of maintaining certain sources of income and jobs is the right thing to do.