Okay, so those of you who’ve been around for a long time know that I am totally absolutely for fair use of music and other content. Fair use means that I can listen to a CD on my iPod, especially since I legally purchased the CD. Fair use means that if you want to print one of my comics, you can go ahead and do that, then use it to decorate your cube or cheer up a friend.
Fair use also means not having to put up with corporate bullshit in order to use the content I legally purchased. I use the iTunes Music Store because it’s got really easy to use fair use content I can buy legally. (ArtistShare was equally easy to use and fair, so I had no qualms about purchasing Rick Moranis’s album through them – and I’ll keep half an eye on their other projects as well.
Sony, on the other hand, well, I’ve always felt they were full of bullshit. Their digital rights management (DRM – copy protection) policies have been whacko from the beginning. Had I not purged my archives about two years ago I’d link to how much bullshit now, but I’m not up to spelunking through my zipped archives tonight, what with NaNoWriMo being my major concern.
Speaking of which, what is so important that it dragged me away from my 600-word manuscript, you ask? I answer: a bizzare tale of DRM gone wrong, proving exactly how much bullshit Sony, as a consumer, is willing to put you through and how much everyone else, including the digital rights management companies themselves, are willing to circumvent those functions to keep you from going crazy.
The article itself is a little long (though if I keep babbling it’ll look short in comparison) but make sure you keep reading until you get to the phrase “If you think that this cannot get any dumber, you would be wrong” because the punchline of the whole article comes a mere three lines later.