Month: November 2007

Can VRM fix DRM?

So I’m answering an inquiry from a student doing a paper on DRM. While doing that, I’m wondering if VRM is the cure for DRM. Meaning, it does away with the need by replacing one-way coercion with two-way relationship. Or maybe three-way if a trust assurance party is also involved. Need to think about that.

From my reply:

The idea is to equip customers with tools of both independence and engagement. That is, independence from sellers and better ways of engaging with sellers.

For copyrighted works, could involve agreements made on an individual basis — ones that could involve actual relationships between copyright holders and their customers. For example, if I buy an open (non-DRM’d) copy of an album by Mike Marshall (my favorite mandolin player), it might involve letting him know who I am, the fact that I like his work, a commitment not to duplicate it beyond fair uses, and the option to do any number of things, including re-distributing it for pay that would get us both a slice of the take. The options are wide open. What matters is that there would means for a real reslationship based on mutual interest, trust and control.

What think ya’ll?

Bibliography:

  • http://craphound.com/hpdrm.txt
  • http://craphound.com/msftdrm.txt
  • http://www.boingboing.net/2004/12/29/cory-responds-to-wir.html
  • http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2007/sep/04/lightspeed
  • http://copyfight.corante.com/archives/004454.html
  • http://www.spectrum.ieee.org/jun06/3673
  • http://online.wsj.com/public/article/SB115047057428882434-1V_FEK_CJelMfytdST8APRW7cZw_20060720.htmlh
  • ttp://www.engadget.com/2004/09/27/your-best-questions-for-wendy-seltzer-of-the-electronic/
  • http://www.openp2p.com/pub/a/p2p/2001/01/30/lessig.html

No time to make those links “blue” right now. Will get to it when I’m off the bus and have time later.

CRM gets personal

I just learned by the Ajatus Manifesto that sixty-five percent of all CRM systems fail. Ajatus blames companies rushing to implement CRM. I’m sure that’s true. But I also think it’s possible that CRM itself is flawed by the closed and silo’d nature of the “relationships” involved. As a customer I can only relate to company CRM systems on the companies’ terms. Not on ones that I provide as well — for the good of us both. In other words, the base problem is that the lack of customer independence as a base condition for the relationship in the first place.

But I see here that Ajatus itself is a new CRM system for individual humans. Specifically,

Ajatus is a revolutionary CRM that runs as a local Ajax web application on your own computer. It uses the CouchDb object database for data storage and enjoys a wide range of plug-in and replication possibilities. With Ajatus you can keep track of your

  • Notes
  • Contacts
  • Appointments
  • Hour reports

…and as Ajatus is very extensible…

So it’s personal. That’s interesting.

It ‘s also an open source project, which is cool. Here’s more from the prime author, Henri Bergius:

What makes Ajatus so special is the approach we’re taking with it. Having with OpenPsa found the traditional, hierarchical CRM approach unworkable we wanted to solve the problem in a different way:

  • Local, rich AJAX client everybody can run on their laptop or internet tablet
  • Replication to allow sharing data with partners, customers and the employer
  • Simple base data types (note, event, contact, …) that users can customize and extend
  • Possibility to build integration tools and plug-ins in almost any language (with CouchDb’s restful JSON interface)
  • Speed

To help us stay on the right path we even wrote an Ajatus Manifesto to guide ourselves.

Currently the software already runs and does pretty much all the basic things needed. Once we get it into state where we can dogfood it (in interoperation with the company OpenPsa) we will make the first release. Until then, stay tuned, check the Git repository and join the talk!

Perhaps Hernri would be interested in joining ours as well.

Meanwhile, thanks to Zak Greant for pointing out the Ajatus Manifesto.

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