In the real world, criminals do not do everything in a criminal manner. Whatever you or I think of their morals, they are just as capable as anyone else of gauging an enterprise from the standpoint of its cost-effectiveness.
Fair enough. But what’s one example of this criminal enterprising mentality?
Pirates rob bullion ships, they don’t rob grain ships.
Don’t they? Oh yes they do.
Pirates Hijack Aid Ship Off Somali Coast
NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) – Pirates hijacked a cargo ship delivering U.N. food aid to northeastern Somalia on Sunday – at least the second time in recent years that a vessel contracted to the United Nations has been hijacked off the country’s dangerous coast.
And they do it for economic reasons, just like those that Flint lays out – in a warzone such as Somalia where food supplies are limited, those controlling the food supply lines will be the ones with the most economic leverage. Grain becomes as attractive as gold.
It’s a pity. Flint’s central point is correct – that an expensive product of limited quality and usability, i.e. DRM, will mean people will inevitably be driven to find better quality and cheaper (to the point of being free) alternatives, and so DRM becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, crippling the product more and more with restrictions. But his message is let down by an insistence on a crappy real-world pirate analogy; rather than bandy about terrible metaphors (which is what the pro-DRM lobby are very fond of doing) he should just let the arguments sing for themselves.