Poll: Has DRM ever been a real problem for you?

Poll: Has DRM ever been a real problem for you?
Image credits: Image by Flickr user Todd Binger
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(4 votes)
Has DRM ever prevented you from doing what you wanted with a piece of digital media you own?
Yes. I'll tell you all about it in the comments.
76.4% (68 votes)
No.
23.6% (21 votes)

Digital rights management has a long history of not quite working, failing to stop piracy, and sometimes punishing legitimate users (and owners) of digital media.

But has it ever stopped you from doing anything you wanted to do with a song, an e-book, a video? Does DRM really infringe on the average person's right to fair use of copyrighted material?

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13 Comments

Tikirocks's picture

Because I have a computer that only runs Ubuntu. I am restricted by the view of content that I can see. DRM requires code that is not given to open source programs and therefore does not run it. I bought series and movies on Amazon only available by DRM that I can't download, I that is money that I lost because they can return that content. I have a Kobo ereader that can't use DRM content and again restricting the content that I either want to pay or paided already.

Spayder25's picture

Some years ago, I've been forced to be hackish to watch a DVD on my PC, and from time to time to use my old Samsung PMP (YP-T9).

Nushio-too-lazy-to-login's picture

I can't watch Netflix on Linux because although Silverlight / Moonlight is available, the stupid Microsoft DRM thing isn't.

Oh, then there's the Nintendo Wii. I bought a bunch of Virtual Console games, my Wii kinda died, and I can't transfer / re-download the games I legally purchased.

bascha's picture
Open Source Evangelist

Yes, yes, and yes. Music downloads that didn't transfer from one machine to another, book downloads that got locked up when I switched devices, and a massive harddrive wipeout that toasted a TON of stuff--having to find and re-acquire everything is pain enough, without having to go several rounds with whatever service it is to convince them that, yes, you have rights to that content. And most places--well, let's just say there's a reason I quickly stopped using the iTunes store...

tkepley's picture
Open Minded

Yes, absolutely. When Star Wars was first released on DVD, it would not play in region free players. I see this as a form of DRM, though not like other schemes. So therefore I was unable to play the movie in Linux, which was my only DVD player at the time (poor college student!).

Netflix in Linux...

Several videogames have refused to play without an internet connection. Dumb stuff.

Saddest part is that each of these can be circumvented by illegally obtaining the content. Why should the barrier for purchasing be so significantly higher than the barrier for pirating?

Rui Seabra's picture

I'm a Radiohead fan. Guess which album I don't have? (Hail to the Thief was released in drm disc ; those are not CDs).

CajunTechie's picture
Community Member

I voted 'no' in this poll even though I have run into a few DRM headaches in the past. The reason I voted no is because I look at DRM a little differently than some people.

When I come across a content provider that protects their content via DRM, I automatically view that provider as someone who 1) is an adversary and 2) who doesn't value my business very much. So, instead of going through hoops to use the content (some people even specifically have virtual environment set up JUST to use protected content!), I simply choose not to do business with that provider. If they don't value my business, then they don't deserve it in the first place.

Linux Solutions Consultant and Software Developer
Advanced Data Concepts, Inc
Ph: (918) 533-9699

mths's picture

Running linux I cannot watch all media online. I has also stopped me from buying music or video at some occasions. Does the 'this content is not available in your region' that some websites sometimes display count? That has bothered me sometimes.

JBstrikesagain's picture
Open Enthusiast

I'd be more surprised if people said DRM had *never* prevented them from doing something they wanted.

My sister had all her music in iTunes on a Mac. This was before they started selling non-DRM music. She wanted to move that music from one system to another but had already exhausted the number of machines that could be authenticated to her iTunes account. I forget the details, but she ended up burning it all to mp3 CDs and reimporting it. This is transcoding and reduces the quality, and also is obviously a pain in the butt.

Ruth's picture

I assume that people who say they've never had a DRM problem don't know what it is.

Jozen's picture

I agree w ”Anthony”, I also avoid DRM like the plague, out of principle... Its often easy to get around, but thats not the point. If it doesnt survive in a FOSS environment, I dont need it.

Stephan Sokolow's picture

I voted "no" for partly the same reason as Anthony Papillion. DRM has never gotten in my way because my tastes are such that I've almost never encountered DRM and, in the few cases I have, I've just not given that company my business.

Mikelo's picture

My dad's whole music library on his computer was bought before non-DRM music was offered. He got a new computer and transferred his music and was never able to listen to it again.

I have a few songs like that, too. After they stopped working, I just stopped anything having to do with legal music downloads and went exclusively to open licensed music.