After a couple frustrating weeks with computers, we have been talking about copy-protection. With the switch to DTV, Blu-ray, and DisplayPort, it is getting harder to avoid buying copy-controlled products. Avoiding Blu-ray is easy, but avoiding encrypted DisplayPort will be harder. Luke and Adam wanted to use the acronym FARCE, but we couldn’t settle on a definition. The word “crap” came to mind. This gave a convenient definition: Controlled Reading and Playing. I thought may have heard this term before. I found a few references to the acronym CRAP for DRM on ZDNet, but using a different definition: Content Restriction, Annulment, and Protection. (A good video explanation: A load of C.R.A.P. by ZDNet Executive Editor David Berlind.) Richard Stallman saw the article and suggested another definition: Cancellation, Restriction and Punishment. All of these definitions work. Please start using the acronym CRAP instead of the euphemism DRM.

P.S. For those less informed on the ethics of technology: DRM is an acronym for Digital Rights Management. It is used as a euphemism for copy-control. Some companies try to control the ethical–and legal–fair use of music, video, and text. A common method is encryption designed to only allow files to be accessed on approved devices. Good examples are Blu-ray disks and some PDF files. These encryption systems are superfluous and unethical. This is why the euphemism DRM commonly makes lists of technology terms to avoid: Some Confusing or Loaded Words and Phrases that are Worth Avoiding, and Tech Terms to Avoid. We settled on the term CRAP: Controlled Reading and Playing.