DRM for Real World Objects

Imagine if real world objects, like paintings, photographs, digital cameras, etc had DRM.

I just got a new camera and I’ve been having fun taking pictures of my daughter. But every time I take a picture, I’m probably violating somebody’s copyright or design patent, or whatever.

The painting in the dining room, the tv screen in the background, the chair from the famous design house. All of these things are covered by some sort of right of control by the creator.

So, can you imagine if my camera, spotting a painting in the frame could query the painting to determine if it was legal to photograph. The painting’s DRM would say “No, All Rights Reserved!” and the shutter on the camera would refuse to fire.

Perhaps with a friendly “PC MOVE CAMERA” (that’s an obscure film joke btw).

You might think this is far fetched, but let me point out two things:

1. The technology to achieve this is either here today, or not far off. The biggest obstacle is co-ordination among the technology companies.

2. The technology companies are hard at work implementing this at the behest of the media companies.

There are already proposals to make video cameras stop recording if they detect copyrighted content. So, just as you start to capture the first steps of your child, you’d better hope it’s not in front of the television.

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