Sunday, December 30, 2007

 

You Can't Rent Bits

I've been thinking about how iTunes is now looking at providing movie rentals. And really, you can only "rent" a movie if you've got some sort of DRM that means you don't truly control your device -- because otherwise you can copy the bits to some other location and see it again.

Of course, that's one of the challenges of distributing data electronically. Most movies and television shows you only watch once. Others, you may watch many times. And really -- no matter how much space you have, video takes up a lot of room -- and there are many things I wouldn't worry about keeping if I knew that I could easily get them again later. It's why I like Netflix, even though I've been watching fewer DVDs from them as my life has been busier lately.

So the challenge is -- from a business standpoint, yes, I really want to "rent" video. But as someone who does not like DRM -- I'm well aware that it's really impossible to do that digitally if you want to control your device.

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