Gadgets as tyrants

Interesting article on the New York Times which talks about the emerging trends in gadgets today in that they focus predominantly on limiting users’ choice and flexibility. If you look at DVDs for example, they are more difficult to copy than videos. New media like HD-DVD or Blu-Ray make it even harder for users to do what they want with media they have purchased. I think the most poignant argument was made by a kid:

Even children are bothered by the increasing restrictions. One electronics show attendee told me his 12-year-old recently asked him, “Why do I have to buy my favorite game five times?” Because the company that made the game wants to profit from each device the user plays it on: Wii, Xbox, PlayStation, Game Boy or phone.

The main issue here is that asking the Hollywood’s permission to add a feature to a gadget stifles innovation and takes away liberties from users who have paid for the media they are using. Is this a trend that will grow? Time will tell…

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