Off Topic: Whoa- This Is Worse For The Record Industry Than Pirating Ever Could Be

As my readers know, I’m not the biggest fan of consumer DRM. I hate being treated like a criminal when I’m not, and I don’t believe anyone has the right to control more of my systems than I do. Something about my security being compromised to provide better security for some corporate entity whose products I may or may not purchase just bugs me. A while back I posted how the Barenaked Ladies distribute their content without DRM. Not for free, but once you buy it you’re free to use it as you wish. I like that. Now, thanks to TechCrunch, we learn that Madonna is leaving the record labels and working with Live Nation to distribute content directly. Nine Inch Nails, Radiohead, and a few others are also jumping the record label ship. Yahoo! Music stated they won’t distribute music with DRM. With MySpace and other social networking sites for promotion, low-cost digital distribution of content either directly to consumers or through online stores, and general frustration and anger with record company pricing, practices, and treatment of artists, it’s hard to see how the companies will survive. It won’t be an immediate death- years if not decades, but now that some of the biggest names in the business are running into independence the writing is clearly on the wall. And the record companies can take their damn DRM with them. Now it’s time to get cracking on the MPAA… Share:

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On Trust

I was reading a post over at Layer8 and it got me thinking about trust. Shrdlu attended a talk by Larry Ponemon where he took away this little tidbit: The trust given to an organization depends not only on how well it protects information, but also on how transparent it is. A long time ago I spent some time thinking about trust and digital relationships. I broke it down into three components: Intent, Capability, and Communications: Intent: How an organization (or person) intends to act within a relationship. This is their true intent, not necessarily what they communicate as their intent. For example, we collect credit card data solely to perform online transactions, and will protect it from unauthorized disclosure. Capability: Does an organization have the capability to meet its intent? For example, does it collect card numbers and only use them for transactions, but use security which could not stop a targeted attack? Communications: Does an organization effectively and accurately communicate its intentions and capabilities? If any of these factors fails, so does trust. Let’s look at some examples in the security world. Some vendors, I don’t even need to bother naming them, make outlandish claims about the security of their products that do not reflect reality. Then, when breaches occur, they spin the facts rather than admitting to an honest mistake. Result? No one trusts those vendors anymore. I remember our home town bank as a kid. We’d walk in and it was all marble and stone, with a huge walk-in vault surrounded by guards at the far end. Placing the vault where customers can see it doesn’t improve security, but it clearly communications of a capability to protect your money. These days, no one cares. Why? The world changed and with the FDIC and electronic banking we are far less concerned about a bad guy with a mask stealing our money. Heck, they could steal the entire bank, foundation and all, and we still wouldn’t be out a dime. Breach disclosure is another example of trust. If a company loses my personal information and clearly communicates how it was protected, how it was lost, and a reasonable plan for preventing a recurrence, I am not very likely to leave them. If, on the other hand, they attempt to cover it up, shift blame, or clearly lie about their intent or capability to protect my information, I am far more likely to switch to another provider. A privacy example? Years ago I cancelled my Amazon account after they changed their privacy policy and started sharing my data. The policy in effect when I signed up stated my information would be kept private. They then summarily changed it without my permission. They clearly either lied about, or changed, their intent, and lost me as a customer. It took me 5 years before I bought from them again. It’s very simple: trust is built on what you intend to do, your ability to do it, and your ability to communicate both. Share:

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