Monday, May 09, 2005

Felton's view from DMP world

Ed Felton has a wonderful post on his blog about the "View from DMP World", DMP being the Digital Media Project.

"The "6th General Assembly of the Digital Media Project" recently released a set of documents "providing an Interoperable DRM Platform". I've written before about the self-contradictory nature of their goal (A Perfectly Compatible Form of Incompatibility). Now we get to see how they plan to achieve the goal. And I have to say, the documents are a real piece of work. I could blog for a month just dissecting them; but I won't subject you to that. Instead, just a small sample or two.

The documents describe a world unlike the one we actually live in. They do this, mostly, by redefining words that we all understand, creating improved versions that are distinguished typographically by capitalization. (There is a whole document devoted to definitions.) When you enter DMP-World, you give up your rights; they are replaced by Rights. And unlike ordinary rights, which you may possess simply by virtue of being a human being, Rights have to be Granted to you, and they can be Withdrawn by a Creator. In DMP-World, you can't buy devices; all you can get are Devices. You don't whistle a tune; you execute Functions on Governed Content. The goal of all of this is to achieve Trust: "a state where Users, Devices, or Content Data enable Users to execute Functions on Governed Content"."

It must be bad if it gets someone as calm and rational as Ed Felton so worked up.

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