Jeremy Smith's blog

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DRM?… Meh…

I've been a big fan of 37signals. I like their products. I like their Getting Real mindset. I've been pushing for ITS to move to Basecamp for project management (don't get me started on the system we currently use — it is the absolute epitome of Getting work done despite the enterprise ← read that post; it's a good one). But I am often confused by their blasé stance on DRM. For example, this comparison review of the Amazon Kindle — Amazon Kindle vs. Sony Reader:

All of the purchased content from Amazon is "protected" by DRM. This is really no different from any of the other major readers. [ed. note — my current "major reader" is a "browser."] I’m not bothered by it.

I actually went back and looked through a lot of their blog archives searching for a dissenting opinion on DRM. Secretly, I believed their apathetic stance on DRM was somehow related to the Jeff Bezos investment — i.e. I would find contrasting opinions on DRM from pre-Bezos-investment blog posts. But I couldn't find anything inconsistent with their current DRM-really-isn't-that-big-a-deal stance.

Maybe it's just because I am usually in 80-90% agreement with most of what they say, and I'm brain-shocked that on this fairly major point I am in such passionate disagreement with them.

I'm still secretly holding out this has something to do with Bezos. Something along the lines of the following being spoken or written in an email at some point. "Fellas… Fellas, I'm against DRM, too. Look at the music store — it's DRM-free. We just had to have DRM on the eBooks stuff to get the publishers to work with us. Trust me. Trust me. We'll work to get rid of the DRM. Just… ya know… if you want— kinda play it down if you're mentioning the Kindle or anything… Cool? kthxbai."


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    I think BaseCamp would be an interesting addition for the entire campus community.