Today in Connected Consumer

Want proof that DRM drives people mad? Check out Media Rights Technology, a Silicon Valley provider of “content management” services. In 2007, the company sent cease-and-desist letters to Microsoft, Adobe, RealNetworks and Apple, claiming that Vista, Flash, RealPlayer and iTunes were infringing MRT’s technology under the DMCA. Their alleged crime? Not using MRT’s anti-stream-ripper to protect Internet radio transmissions. Then this week, MRT subsidiary BlueBeat.com started selling Beatles downloads for 25 cents a track. When challenged by EMI, MRT founder Hank Risen claimed BlueBeat actually owns the copyright on the tracks it’s selling because he recorded them himself  using “psycho-acoustic simulation.” Yesterday, a judge issued a restraining order. Restraints might have been more appropriate.