Everything I see I can download

Don't let me see or hear it.

DRM is an important word in the world of technology. It is the control of content long after it has been distributed. Many files are distributed in DRM formats. What this means is that they can only read by applications controlled by the content proprietor. This doesn't even work in theory because the computer is designed to read everything. What these application do is tell the computer not to show the user what it just read.

Now that we have the internet, it is impossible to distribute anything without giving the user the option to copy. You may create a video that you don't want users to copy, but you still want them to watch the video. This should sound stupid but that's exactly what DRM does. It let's you see it but won't let you really see it.

Unfortunately for people writing DRM software, the user still has access to the content. I remember getting some DVDs in Egypt and not being able to play them on the DVD player, because they were regionally blocked. I owned the disc but couldn't play it. But it ran fine on my PC, so the solution was to make a copy from the PC and then burn it into a new DVD. Just like that it worked.

Now every year there is a new DRM that feels impossible to circumvent, but it doesn't take very long before someone finds a primitive method to beat it. Even in the days of cassette tapes, there were measures taken to prevent people from copying. On the top part of the cassette tape, (video or audio), there was a small gap. If this gap was empty, your tape player wouldn't allow you to record. Of course you could take a piece of paper, fold it nicely and fill the gap and you are on your way.

Recordable cassette tape

Recordable Cassette — unbroken seal on top.

When you browse an online gallery, some website owners try very hard to make it impossible for you to copy their images. They disable the mouse right click button, they use clever tricks to hide the content, they waste developer time building stuff that can easily be dismantled:

Sometimes I just want to right click on a link and open in a new tab, but it wouldn't let me. This mostly happens on websites that get very low traffic but the owners are very protective of their work. They don't want anyone to copy it. Usually when I see this, I copy all their content and save it on my hard drive... just because I can.

If you can't copy an image, simply press the PrintScreen key on your keyboard and you can paste it on your favorite image editor and crop the unwanted section.

Maybe one day music DRM will be impossible to break. It will detect when you run another application that tries to download it, it will detect when any recording application is recording, it will detect if there is a wired external device trying to siphon the music out of it. But no matter what it does, it still has to let you hear the sound. A good old cassette tape recorder will pick up the sound just fine.

No matter how clever DRM gets there will be a way to circumvent it. The battle will never end. If you have content that you don't want anyone under any circumstances to copy, do yourself a favor and destroy it before anyone sees it.


There are no comments added yet.

Let's hear your thoughts

For my eyes only