Hixie's Natural Log

2007-06-01 07:40 UTC The Ties that Bind

So Apple started selling music without DRM the other day. I immediately bought some music. Carey commented that she had bought a lot of music on iTunes in the past and never really understood DRM, so wasn't worried about it.

Later that evening, we were at my flat, where there is no Internet. She wanted to play her music on my Mac Mini, which is basically my entertainment system. She made her MacBook join my wireless network, grabbed the remote and fired up Front Row on the Mini, and (after I fixed the firewall settings) tried playing a song she wanted to listen to.

A concise lesson in why DRM is not a "consumer enablement" technology ensued.

I really don't understand why DRM is legal, let alone why it's legally enforceable in many countries. Right now I think it's mostly just the geeks who understand why DRM is fundamentally stupid, but I hope that as more users get exposed to technology and try to do obvious things like transferring their media from one device to another, they'll come to demand their fair use rights, and the law will swing back from backing the modern organised crime rings (like the MPAA) to backing the ordinary citizen. Question copyright.

Everyone should make sure to learn about fair(y) use.

For the recent long weekend, Carey and I went to Monterey to see the aquarium. We joined and visited the fishies four times that weekend.

Some of the exhibits were more art-like than I expected: For example, the one with two jellyfish swimming in the pure blue water.

We also went down Scenic Highway 1, which has some scenic parts, and where petroleum is even more expensive than in less remote areas.

Before we left we stayed at Carey's, where Max decided to bring me a live bird! What a darling cat. He's so cute.

In other news, I met the TAG for lunch today. It was an interesting experience. I still don't really understand what they're doing. At one point I asked about one of their documents and pointed out that for most specs things have to be defined in terms of document models, not the actual byte streams coming over the wire. For example, for HTML you have to define what happens when an author creates a table element using the DOM APIs and then moves a p element into it — what does that represent. There's no source byte stream, it's all scripted. The members of the TAG seemed to think that was a little more complicated than they wanted to deal with. That was sort of strange to me, since I somewhat consider that to be the only interesting case (in the HTML5 spec, the byte stream, if any, is converted to a DOM before any of the things that they were talking about are examined). Oh well.

June is going to be an interesting month. The HTML working group is supposed to publish something (I suggest the spec); Apple is going to announce their latest stuff, which I'll probably buy; Pixar are releasing Ratatouille (Holy Pixar Day is June 29th); Wilhelm will be in from out of town so we can play World of Warcraft (the board game).

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