I know that from time to time I post about Digital Rights Management and how it effects the music business and us as consumers, but someome like Cory Doctorow who has been at the forefront of the issue is a good person to listen to when trying to understand this complicated issue. It involves creativity, copyright, intellectual property, manufacturing and distribution, legislation, an understanding of the history of not only the market but the manipulation of it and of course, how big money makes money and does everything to keep making big money.

Cory is a science fiction writer, an activist and a blogger with a large scope of knowledge. He publishes his books traditionally and also gives them away online. He blogs for the widely read Boing Boing. He spent time working for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a group interested in the rights of users. He is very involved in the Creative Commons movement. Like many of this modern age, he lives in many places, wears many hats and seems to be able to see a little further up on the horizon.

In 2004 he gave a talk at Microsoft about DRM called “DRM and MSFT: A Product No Customer Wants”. The transcript has been a well read article for the last 2 years and now Microsoft has released the video of the talk and a few questions after. Ironically you’ll need Windows Media Player to watch it, but therein lies the problem of turning a big ship; it takes a while. The video is a little over an hour, but it gives you a sense of Cory, how he sees the DRM issue and a thumbnail history of how the music industry has been fighting new formats since the piano roll. It’s a must see for anyone interested in the subject and a good way to begin your understanding of this complex issue if you’re new to it. If you don’t have the time for the video, you can always read the transcript.