Dan Gillmor on copyright and DRM

Dan is a great journalist that covers technology for the San Jose Mercury News. He recently answered some questions sent by Slashdot readers. Here’s what he had to say about copyright:

The copyright arena is another worrisome area for innovation (and free speech and research, as /. folks know well). Hollywood is asserting the right to decide what IT innovation will be allowed to enter the marketplace. Jack Valenti told me outright recently that Hollywood was going to do something about peer to peer (translation: control it). It’s disappointing to see so many technology companies jumping into bed with the entertainment cartel instead of fighting for customers’ rights.

He also elaborates on previous comments he’s made about Apple’s DRM strategy:

I don’t think Apple has an anti-DRM strategy, though, even if I wish they’d go for it. I do think Apple has a generally pro-customer stance, which is a heck of a lot better than some other companies out there. Perhaps the company is looking for some balance in a situation where the sides are turning the issue into a binary question, i.e., total control or total anarchy. Example of balance: Apple doesn’t enable iPod users to copy to other disks (not directly), but it hasn’t done anything as far as I know to stop the third parties who make it easy to do so.

Apple can’t afford to have an anti-DRM strategy, but my question is simply whether they can afford to not have a DRM strategy at all. Presumably Apple will adopt IPMP (“iPimp”?), but IPMP just specifies an interface to DRM technologies rather than the technologies themselves. Link