Digital bits vs. Physical bits

A lot is said in the world of DRM arguments, and I’ve posted my thoughts on it in the past (I’m generally against the way DRM is applied much of the time, but I do understand the business case for DRM).

The Hacking Netflix blog (great reading) posted this article today that talked about the process to reset your DRM store in Windows, and how it may affect your previously licensed stuff.  It talks about the need to backup your existing DRM content:

There is a procedure to backup and restore your media licenses, but when’s the last time you thought to backup that movie you downloaded? Why is the burden on the consumer to do this?

Woah, there.  Why is the burden on the consumer to do this?  I’d argue that it’s for the same reason the burden is on you to back up physical media you bought.  You can’t go to Wal-Mart/Target/<insert your favorite store here> tell them you lost a copy of a movie, and expect them to give you a new copy.

(Yeah, yeah, I’m not going to espouse on the legal ramifications or legality of people backing up their own physical media).






One response to “Digital bits vs. Physical bits”

  1. pck Avatar

    Note: Rumor has it that Apple has previously said the only reason they do not provide a re-download functionality is they originally didn’t know the bandwidth requirements and intentionally didn’t provide it when they first started and have since found it would be too high of a burden. That doesn’t really fly for me, but that’s the rumor… On another type of media, both Sony’s E-Reader and the Kindle e-book download services currently allow re-downloading of “lost” media at no extra charges, so the concepts that those entities that are going to already be paying to keep the media safe should allow re-downloads rather than encouraging the purchasing of more and more hardware by everyone to keep their own digital bits quadrupally safe.