Earlier this week Sun Microsystems unveiled an open source digital rights management system. Will it pick up steam or get crunched between proprietary rivals and that portion of the Web community that abhors copy protections?

CNet filed the story on the initiative, which Sun President Jonathan Schwartz announced Sunday at the Progress and Freedom Foundation’s Aspen Summit. Sun calls its initiative Dream, for DRM everywhere available. Schwartz sounded a populist note:

“Now it’s no longer simply about engaging a few corporate interests. The open-source community is all about engaging the planet … Dream DRM solution will bypass the InterTrust and ContentGuard and MPEG LA patents, so that when your child grows up they won’t have to pay a buck to watch a home movie.”

Great line, but is this open source or Sun’s attempt to build a coalition? Perhaps they’re the same thing but I wonder if DRM has the pull that drags open source efforts along. I just went on Technorati to see what were the hot searches. Pat Robertson’s remarks about Hugo Chavez were top of the charts. But discussion of the Ajax technologies were number three. Hard to imagine DRM getting that kind of buzz.

Tom Abate
‘Cause if you ain’t Mass Media, you’re Mini Media