Ever since Napster made us (well, not me, of course!) all into casual pirates, entertainment and technology companies have been wrestling between locking down digital media and keeping it as freely copyable as possible. Now, with many people toting around multiple devices – phones, MP3 players, laptops, desktops, work machines, etc., not to mention the “traditional” devices like stereos and TVs – the need to move your media between each devices freely is felt more painfully than ever.
That ability to watch “my media” anywhere at anytime has yet to be fully realized for the mass-market. If you’re a geeky enough person with some spare hardware, bandwidth, and media rippers, you can do extremely well – but that’s a far cry from the ease of pushing the Power button on your TV, inserting a movie into your DVD players, or touching play on your iPhone.
Erica Naone at the Technology Review recently asked me about these issues in relation to a story on Libox. In addition to the part she quoted, I replied with the following:
The core issue is that the easier it is to sync media, the easier it is to share media, and the easier it is to pirate media. That said, with DRM encoded into the media, the point becomes somewhat moot…