Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Gadgets as Tyrants

Interesting op-ed in the nytimes today on gadget incompatibility and the consumer electronics industry's attempts to limit consumer freedom - how you use technology, your ability to copy and distribute content, and how consumers find ways around ever-tightening restrictions.

thoughts? opinions? what does 'digital freedom' mean to you? have you found ways around a device or technologies intended use?


tina said...

corporations like apple make money when consumers use their pre bundled software- ipod with itunes. i just got an ipod (i had an iriver before that was playing MP3 files and WMA files) and ive had to convert my music library to all MP3 files so that the ipod can play music.

the only hope seems to be freeware programs are released in an effort to solve the incompatability issues (the use of codecs, etc).

Elena said...

When I first got my video iPod I wanted to download videos from YouTube onto my iPod and I couldn't figure out how to do it ... and now Google Video has an option (for some videos) to download it so that its compatible with iTunes and the iPod :)

Joel said...

Although I can see that the companies want to restrict the ease of making copies for profit's sake, there will always be people who will find a way to break the "perfect" encryption scheme. There is a point at which I can see morals also coming into play.

Justin said...

There have been interesting developments in "digital freedom" recently online. Companies such as Amazon, Limewire, Myspace, eMusic, and Yahoo Music are pushing for digital download services without Digital Rights Management. The most innovative idea I found, according to an article in Billboard, was that Myspace is "working with SnoCap to launch a music download service that would let musicians sell music directly from their profiles and that of their fans." Providing such a service would certainly catch the attention of larger corporations such as Apple's iTunes that currently rely on DRM to provide digital downloads.