So, Steve entered the blogosphere today (as pointed out earlier by Cole and Bill) with an amazing surgical strike against DRM. It appears as though the Fruit Company only grudgingly went along with the bare minimum DRM in order to placate the music cartel into playing with them online.

In the very logical, concise statement, Steve lays his cards on the table. He's all in. DRM is lame, and is nothing more than a tool for struggling monopolies to attempt to maintain the status quo in a changing marketplace (my words, not his. I'm paraphrasing).

If he wins this hand, DRM as we know it is over. We can stop bending over and grabbing our ankles for the Big Labels. And we can continue legally buying music (and other media) online without having to worry (or even think about) the number of our own computers which have been authorized to play the files we bought.

If he loses this hand, we sink into a dark age, where the cartel is able to call the shots and we have no rights over the media we buy. Actually, we won't be able to actually buy media anymore. We'll be limited to leasing temporary licenses granting revokable permission to temporarily play a piece of media, subject to limitations and sanctions. Things like the Analog Hole will be plugged. We'll be locked out of our own media, from network, through the computer, and into our ears. Everything will be controlled by The Big Labels. DRM Rootkits will multiply, legally. We will hand control over our computers and media players to the cartel.

I know which player I'm rooting for. The stakes for this game are much higher than a simple game of Texas Holdem.