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What If We Put DRM on Chairs?

Graphic designer Thibault Brevet created a conceptual art project exploring our use of digital rights management. In the video embedded above, you can see what would happen if we attached DRM technology to chairs.

We have already applied this concept to digital books. Some librarians have been frustrated with how HarperCollins uses DRM on library eBooks, limiting the number of times a book can be checked out. Here’s more about the video:

The DRM Chair has only a limited number of use before it self-destructs. The number of use was set to 8, so everyone could sit down and enjoy a single time the chair. A small sensor detects when someone sits and decrements a counter. Every time someone sits up, the chair knocks a number of time to signal how many uses are left. When reaching zero, the self-destruct system is turned on and the structural joints of the chair are melted.

Angry about HarperCollins lending policies, some librarians launched a boycott HarperCollins movement that still continues.

An editorial at the Library Journal looked at these policies last year:

as of October 4, only eight licensed titles (seven are Agatha Christie novels) at New York Public Library (NYPL) had hit HarperCollins’s loan cap introduced in February 2011. NYPL plans to relicense them, and HarperCollins offers a discount on second copies.

(Via Edward Champion)

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