Monday, January 09, 2006

Technology is amoral

Doc Searls rails again this morning about Digital Rights Management. This attitude, which appears to set up DRM as his biggest bete noir, gets in the way of useful discussion, though.

DRM is technology, it's neither good nor evil. Those attributes come from its use.

One of the better uses of DRM could be within the realm of user-centric Identity Management. After all, this movement is all about personal control of identity attributes. That is, people are in search of ways to not only control who gets initial access to reading those attributes but also what they do with that data after reading it. DRM is a technology which promises to deliver that benefit, if only those who most passionately support user-centric IdM would realize it.

I want DRM controls so I can decide what happens with my identity. If others use DRM technology in ways I don't like, I'll say so and vote with my wallet. That's why it's called a "free" market - I'm free to choose the providers and producers I wish to support.

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