Teruten’s braindead DRM

Yesterday, Japanese DRM manufacturer Teruten announced that, in May of this year, it will start offering a DRM service aimed at protecting online content. Personal blogs will be able to use Teruten’s “WebShell” DRM for free; for company websites the cost will be 500 Yen per page per month. (!)

The Teruten website’s frontpage links to a test page where you can see the DRM in action. According to the instructions, you have to install an ActiveX control, after which you can view the page, but not view its source, copy or save images, nor print. Or at least, that’s how it’s supposed to work — in Internet Explorer. If you view the page in Firefox, you get a dialog screen saying “ActiveX loading is failed” and that’s it. Opera gives a more unexpected result: it does render the page completely, and ignores the ActiveX control’s crippling commands. I was able to save the page’s images and print without any problem…

My advice for Japanese companies and bloggers who are afraid their website content will be “stolen” if they don’t “protect” it: don’t have a website.

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  1. Firefox needs to do what Opera does – or else Opera might gain market share! :)

    » matt on March 28th, 2007 at 11:38

  2. Safari and Webkit also showed me the end page without problem.
    I wonder if there might be a Javascript bug/weakness with Gecko browsers, but I’m not good enough with Javascript by far to know for sure.
    You can see all the JS code by viewing the source on the frame and follow the links.

    The stupid thing is, they’ll probably manage to sell that ‘thing’, especially in Japan where the mentality among decision makers is very much IE-only (although my stats for Japanese audience have 10~14% non-IE browsers).

    » Philippe on March 28th, 2007 at 22:06

  3. I second your advice. The word “public” is in the word “publish”. If you are affraid of what the public will do, stay at home and don’t talk to anyone. Right? :)

    » Boris on April 25th, 2007 at 13:41