DRM Helmets: An Idea Whose Time Has Come

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Gordon Mohr

Gordon Mohr
Jun. 07, 2002 07:28 PM

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The proposed CBDTPA law could require billions of individual "digital media devices" -- every TV, stereo, speaker, PC, walkman, hard drive, monitor, and scanner -- to carry enforcement circuitry -- but there are only 300 million people in the country. Mathematically astute readers will note that's less than 600 million each of eyes and ears.

Further, a single economical helmet can cover four of these analog holes at once!

I humbly suggest the most cost-effective and reliable solution to the copyright industries' troubles will be Digital Rights Management (DRM) helmets, bolted onto each dutiful consumer at the neck. When these helmets sense watermarked audio or video within earshot/eyeshot, they check their local license manager and instantly "fog up" if payment has not been delivered.

This will especially teach people not to listen to unauthorized copies of music while driving.

By fastening suitably-small DRM helmets onto children at an appropriately-early age, the citizenry's consumptive habits can be "arrested" (along with cranial volume) at a revenue-maximizing developmental stage. I'd guess this is around age 13, but I'm open to the latest research. Give and take is what policymaking is all about.

So step up to the plate, senators, lobbyists, and titans of industry. Write this into the next rev of the CBDTPA. We can call it the SNEHNEA: "See No Evil, Hear No Evil Act". Why try to haphazardly plug billions of analog holes, when you can just cap the problem at its far fewer human endpoints? (The end-to-end design principle is your friend!)

If we can put a man on the moon, then surely we can cage every American's mind.

[Intellectual Property Disclosure: The "DRM Helmet" and the "Cranial Arrest Adolescent DRM Helmet" may be covered by patents granted or applied for by Gordon Mohr. Licensing will be available on unreasonable and discriminatory terms.]

Gordon Mohr is Chief Technologist for the Internet Archive's Web Archive and the founder of Bitzi, a free, cooperative, universal media catalog. Gordon's personal page is at http://xavvy.com.