run counter to what your common sense tells you but, a new paper out of Duke and Rice University says that ditching DRM
could actually reduce piracy
. The study, which relied on analytical modeling, showed that while copy protection made illegally sharing content more difficult it had a significantly negative impact on legal users. In fact, the researchers say, "only the legal users pay the price and suffer from the restrictions [of DRM]." Many consumers simply choose to pirate music and movies because doing simple things, like backing up a media collection, is difficult with DRMed content. Even the most effective DRM
is eventually broken
, and fails to deter those already determined to steal. Meanwhile, abandoning these restrictions could increase competition and drive down prices (as well as remove a serious inconvenience), encouraging more people to legitimately purchase content. You can check out the November-December issue of Marketing Science
for more details.