Saturday, September 23, 2006

FairPlay: coming to a classroom near you? - The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW):

The #1 request, though, completely floored me: DRM. In fact, it is so in-demand that it has apparently been the deal-breaker for the majority of universities that had been approached about iTunes U and refused. That revelation literally left me speechless. It's one thing to realize that not everyone is as rabidly anti-DRM as I am, but DRM in the classroom flies in the face of not only my general IP position, but everything I like to believe about academic freedom. I've heard of cases, of course, where universities have claimed faculty-developed course materials as work-for-hire and property of the university, but that's never been the case at any university I've been associated with and I've generally understood that those were fringe cases. The idea that a significant number of universities would refuse to participate in iTunes U because of a lack of DRM is just...staggering.

Of course, that doesn't mean that FairPlay or any other DRM will find its way into iTunes U. But if Apple is dedicated to the project and the one of the biggest stumbling blocks seems to be DRM, well, you do the math.

And the worst part? If FairPlay does show up it won't be Apple's fault, or even the RIAA's. The universities will have done it to themselves.

4:18 PM