Location based DRM: just a bad dream?

October 21, 2010

Last night, I went to see Sting in Frankfurt. He’s currently on tour with the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra, and it was a great concert.

As usual, audio and video recording was forbidden, and just as usual everyone ignored it, taking pictures and videos with their mobiles.

Although I cannot see why exactly people do this, spending time with their devices instead of listening, I have a feeling that certain rights owners must be freaking out about this, but it would go too far to forbid mobile phones at concerts.

So I started wondering if at some point we’ll see some kind of location based DRM? Granted, not all devices have geolocation information, but for one thing coverage is getting greater (especially for devices which can shoot good videos), and there’s also some near-range communication technology that could be exploited (like Wifi, Bluetooth, RFID). Doesn’t have to be based on GPS.

Maybe this is far-fetched, but looking at the effort that is put into preventing people from digitizing what their eyes can see and their ears can see, it doesn’t seem completely out of range.