I did a test this morning to check out how well the video recording gear we have would work for recording a presentation tomorrow. The gear works great - it records directly to DVD so I can just walk away with a nice shiny disk after the presentation is over.
But that's not what this post is about. This DVD, that I made, containing no DRM and no copyright, triggers the evil DRM software that's baked into the operating system that I use. I had the DVD program running in the background, and went to take a screenshot of something else - and was rewarded with a warning dialog:
"Screen grabs are unavailable during DVD playback. Please quit DVD Player first."
Great. I wasn't trying to take a screengrab of a DVD. Of MY DVD. It was paused, behind a bunch of windows. I was trying to grab a portion of a browser window. But, irony of ironies, I was able to capture this:
That's me in the DVD. But because the MPAA makes software companies bend over to protect their content by baking DRM into the apps that ship with my computer, I'm prevented from doing legitimate things with my own content. Thankfully, there are ways around it (Jing was more than happy to capture a screenshot - I'm sure the MPAA attack dogs will be closing that hole ASAP).
DRM is nothing but a pain in the ass. It doesn't stop anyone from copying anything if they really want to, but it does get in the way of legitimate use of content. I'm not pissed at Apple for putting this screengrab block in the OS - I'm quite sure they did it to prevent having endless series of lawsuits by the MPAA legal beagles, and/or to abide by some licensing terms.
The MPAA can bite me, though. They have no right to compel anyone to cripple the programs I use to interact with the content I create.