The AP wants to apply DRM to the news. It won’t work.

A Teletype Smile
Image by wwward0 via Flickr

I first heard about this on NPR, and it boggled my mind as to how the AP could ever think this would work. Techdirt, of course, has a nice write-up of the issue and the problems:

DRM has failed in almost every instance it’s been tried. Not only does it fail to actually prevent copying, it tends to piss off legitimate users and limit value rather than enhance it. And yet… people keep trying. But, honestly, I can’t think of anything as pointless as the latest move from the Associated Press which appears to be an attempt to DRM the news. That’s not what they call it, but that’s what it sounds like

via Associated Press Tries To DRM The News | Techdirt.

I get the frustration on the AP’s part. The world is changing, and they haven’t figured out to prevent that. They can try for legal changes, try DRM, or adapt. Adapting is hardest, but the only way to succeed long term.

Honestly, legal changes are the next best thing in terms of buying time to adapt. DRM-like approaches tend to frustrate and annoy even legitimate users. If your product is valuable, someone will go around your limitations. If they don’t – you’re dead, because the market just decided your product isn’t worth it.

How to adapt, though, is not clear.