Digital Rights Management

The hard disk I just bought had a film on it.  I bought the disk because it was cheap and the film itself is of no interest at all to me, but I did find two interesting things about it.

  1. The film can only be watched on a total of three PCs or media players. Ever.
  2. The activation code expires in September 2011.

If I had bought this product for the film, I would be extremely disapointed in it. The restrictions they have placed on it mean that I could watch it on my destktop PC, laptop, and portable video player, and then could never activate it again. Bought a new PC? Tough. Not only that, but I won’t be able to watch the film on any device that I buy after September 2011.

Film industry, you’re not doing a very good job of convincing us that this DRM is not evil!

I am going to make sure that I keep a copy of this film around, and my recipt. I’m going to be demanding a refund in 2011.

Hymns old and, err, older.

I often complain about the music in my church. Let me explain why.

The church I attend has an ageing congregation. It also has a choir made up of 15 or so people. It is a very serious choir. They take all their music seriously, sing it perfectly, and have robes and everything. Unfortunately most of the hymns that they sing were written in the 18th or 19th century. Very occasionally they sing something modern, by which they mean written after 1900.

Now, there are some very powerful hymns written in the last few centuries, the best of which are still sung in churches around the world today. Most of the hymns sung in our church, though, are at best obscure and at worst have no consistent tune, are completely unpredictable and are impossible to sing without being taught the tune and practicing extensively.  I get the impression that the music is selected to allow the choir to show off their technical competency. In contrast, modern church music (And I include anything written since 1970 in this group!) is normally easy to learn, easy to remember, and (to me anyway) much more meaningful during worship.

But this brings me to an important question.

What is the purpose of church music?

Continue reading “Hymns old and, err, older.”