AAC files and the arcane don't have much in common on the surface. After some digging, however, PBS' Idea Channel has found that magic is an uncannily good analogy for digital music rights and explaining the thorny ethical issues that come with them. Both music and spells stem from grassroots cultures that give away their content for free, but (at least until an anti-magic clampdown at eBay) have since become businesses. That nature poses a key ethical question: when we're used to a free experience and can copy songs or spells as much as we like, what does it take to keep us as honest customers? As show host Mike Rugnetta suggests, it's a matter of personal responsibility -- if we want more of either, we have to think of the commerce as showing support for future work. You can catch Mike's clever train of thought after the break, and ponder what constitutes DRM for a potion while you're at it.
PBS draws link between digital music ethics and magic spells, somehow makes it look simple (video)
Jon Fingas|@jonfingas|September 28, 2012 10:32 PM