Avatar, DRM and Karma

December 20, 2009

“Karma is a bitch” as they say.

This week DRM prevented pre-screenings of James Cameron’s latest movie “Avatar” from taking place in Germany.

It took them a day to figure out the problem. When you read the comments from the German news site heise (heise.de covers topics like Slashdot) you’ll find a lot of people expressing their schadenfreude. While I feel sorry for James Cameron the director I feel not sorry for the businessperson James Cameron. DRM simply sucks. If you make evil deals with the copyright/content protection industry (allow your movies to be distributed with DRM – in all it’s flavours, this includes the incredibly stupid region code system on DVDs) you are collaborating with what I would consider the ultimate enemy of creativity. Yes, Karma is a bitch.

If this is the future of cinema I am now seriously thinking of boycotting DRMed digital cinema altogether. I might not go and watch Avatar now and I might not go and watch any movie that is digitally projected and uses DRM technology.

And yes, I too can feel schadenfreude here. Quite a lot actually. DRM is simply a tool to screw the customer. But it’s good to see that it also keeps screwing those who use it. Karma is a real bitch. And so is DRM.

And while corrupted politicians are busy working on a secret deal to implement ACTA (basically a carte blanche for the copyright industry and the MAFIAA) Pirate Parties all over the world are forming and gaining more and more mainstream attention. 2% of Germans voted for the Pirate Party at the last general election. Let it be 20% next time. Or more.

You can’t sell art and bring joy to people when you are just milking the cash cow and screwing your customers.

I really do love the bitch that Karma is.

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