The Tyranny of Convenience by Tim Wu (New York Times)
An extremely deep and insightful essay on what convenience is doing to us and how “things” that are meant to liberate us via the convenience they provide also serve to enslave us with that convenience… so much so that:
… it is about minimizing the mental resources, the mental exertion, required to choose among the options that express ourselves… It would be perverse to embrace inconvenience as a general rule. But when we let convenience decide everything, we surrender too much.
I have long argued that, in the context of Free Software, as long as we keep valuing convenience only, we will never seek to value the freedom that free software provides us. And in a way, this essay puts that exact thought into a much larger and useful context.
In the midst of everything we have to say about DRM-locked music, I thought services that allow you to purchase DRM-free music should be highlighted. One way to sensitise people against DRM is to help them access services that can provide them what they need without the defects of DRM. One such service in India is the SaReGaMa Music Store.
The Defective by Design initiative was formed almost 10 years back to raise awareness about DRM and how it harms users. It has evolved into a movement that encourages users to reject DRM instead of just making them aware of its existence, abuses and dangers.
July 9th, 2017 is going to be celebrated as the International Day against DRM and on this occasion I’d like to highlight my personal view on why the fight against DRM is difficult and why DRM-enabled platforms have been growing and becoming more mainstream.
However, it doesn’t mean that its not possible to choose a world without DRM. And I have some suggestions on how to get started, should you choose to.