In warfare the technologies for defense are always being surpassed by those for offense. This race is as old as shield and spear, mail and arrow, fortification and cannon. In the 1930s the French built the Maginot Line, an impressive series of pillboxes, obstacles, and guns, designed to thwart the German Army. The French spent tremendous amounts of money on the Line, and it served as the core of the French defensive plan. Unfortunately for the French, the Germans had developed an entirely new method of waging mechanized warfare, and in 1940 they sliced over and through the Maginot Line in short order. The French had relied on a static defensive system, which gave the Germans the ability to control the initiative of battle, mass forces in ways the French couldn’t, and bypass the most difficult defenses. It’s starting to look like the DRM technologies employed by Apple, Microsoft, and others may be like the Maginot Line. Not only are some of the pillboxes being abandoned altogether as music labels ditch DRM, but now there’s a new application that makes stripping DRM easy for even non-geeks to use. The app is was created by a San Francisco startup called doubleTwist, which has VC backing from Index Ventures (who also funded Betfair, last.fm, and Skype). The company has also introduced a companion social networking app called “Twist Me!” that allows users to share the DRM-stripped files with their friends. Is it my imagination, or is that a flight of Stukas overhead?

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