Microsoft's "Information Rights"

by Volker Weber

Dan Gillmor:

This "Information Rights Management" scheme in the latest Microsoft Office will have some value for paranoid corporate types. For the rest of us it's an absolute disaster, and we should resist.

This is digital restrictions management (DRM), and Microsoft is using it to accomplish two goals. The first is to continue down the path it has followed so ardently in recent years, taking away customers' control of what they've purchased and keeping it in the hands of the companies selling it.

The other, plain-as-day purpose is to shut out competing operating systems and products. Soon you'll be getting mail you can only open with Office and the latest version of Windows. It's a classic monopolist's tactic, and it's worked before.


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