Amen, the link is everything! DRM s*cks because it is incompatible with linking!

From | Michael Boyle's weblog | Robert Scoble has posted:


Maybe it's the difference between PageMaker/Quark/Indesign that enabled the Zine world and Blogger/Movable Type/etc. in the blogging world. Both kinds of software have enabled loads of "amateur" creativity, in the case of page layout software going back years and years. But there are many more bloggers than zine makers, because since you can't "link" in print, the barrier has always been much higher to becoming a content creator in that environment, even though the software did make it more accessible than it was previously. Blogging, and writing on the web in general, can funnel all of that creativity and enable a whole lot more as well, since linking allows a different kind of creativity that doesn't always require as awesome a commitment to creating all content in pretty much of a vacuum. The web lives off the link: the recombination, the re-contextualization, and the re-conceptualization provided by linking are its lifeblood. The constant flow of creativity on the web, which is theoretically and practically unlimited, comes because the link itself brings with it an energy that engages many more people than would be engaged in a non-linking medium.

If other types of content were more freely "linkable" in their own context - whether through sampling or other techniques - then perhaps they could enjoy the same explosion of creativity that harnessed the growth of the WWW. Unfortunately, the "money players" are doing everything they can to stop that from ever happening. And Microsoft is clearly in league with them.

Hard DRM and the kind of explosion in creativity and "content creation" that Scoble is applauding are fundamentally incompatible. All of the wonderful alternative means of expression are possible, but limited as long as you can’t do in those environments what you can do – easily - on the web. I think that for Microsoft to have any place whatsoever in that world of creativity and - beyond providing the basic software like Windows and such - it would have to turn 180° from its current position that non-DRM = theft. And until it does, there’s no point even considering Microsoft as a player among the companies and individuals that are helping all of this amazing creativity grow and flourish.