Re: DRM - Wont be getting my cash.
The fact you haven't lost anything to a fire yet should be considered good luck, not proof that it will never happen. But as I pointed out, it's not just fire. Animals, water, children, or just plain wear and tear will render the book useless, just like other forms of physical media.
Well, we don't have animals anymore, I'm not having any children, water might ruin a book, or the cover of an LP/CD but a quick wash in the dishwashing basin will soon fix any problems up.
As for not losing things to a fire being good luck. Losing things to a fire is a case of bad luck, and we do what we can to mitigate against that risk. In my neighbourhood, house fires are not very common, we've had bush fires more frequently and even then, a good distance away from the residential area.
The only event that caused significant loss of property in recent times would be the late-2008 storms that hit Brisbane. In such an event, I'd expect CD, DVD and LP media to survive reasonably well unless they copped a direct hit from debris.
You could do that, but more salient to my point, it's not free. You have to pay for the replacement of the item, not just go and download a new copy using your existing license.
Only if your bandwidth is free. I don't know what the system is where you are, but here in Australia, the last "free" ISP I heard of (monetised through advertising) went bust.
I have about 5GB of music these days (Ogg/Vorbis codec), it'd take a while to download all that again. Besides, you really think they'd hold onto that information free of charge? Not likely, no, it'll more likely be "We'll maintain your catalogue for you for $X/month": fail to pay that fee and your collection evaporates with the DRM license.
That's merely a technical problem, and one that's been generally solved by associating DRM with an account as opposed to a single machine. So unless you lose access to all of your accounts, the probability of losing access to the content is slim to nil.
So we have to have an account now to listen to some music we legally purchased a personal copy of? An account that is going to cost someone fees to keep active?
Well, as someone else pointed out, handing Stuart Longland Jr. your VHS, vinyl, or DOS-formatted floppy collection is probably less than useful. Either the format is such that they can no longer play it, or it's been superseded by a newer version. That old comedy album from 1965 might not have been reprinted in CD form because, well, no one liked it, so barring sentimental value, it's unlikely to have much value to whoever you passed it on to.
This is very subjective of course as to whether someone later will be interested. The fact is, I can pass them on if I so choose, or I can sell them now if I want to to someone who does find them of value. You cannot do this with digital music downloads at present.
Superceded formats are a big issue, and so far CDs and vinyl have stood the test of time, particularly vinyl. My floppy collection has already largely gone and I wouldn't expect VHS to survive very long either.
Turntables are still manufactured, sure some point out some are rather cheap and nasty, but this can be overcome. There are still places in the world that build and sell gramophones. Not many in the first world I might add, but places like Cambodia apparently still make them.
Nothing technically stops you from making a back-up of that media onto something contemporary either, which is what I've done. My records get "ripped" onto "lossless" masters (FLAC or CD), and a copy of that gets encoded as Ogg/Vorbis for general listening. The original media is then safely stored. I could pass these lossless copies along with the originals to the next party: so long as I then ensure my "copies" of the backups are destroyed or transferred to that one person, all is fine (technically). Legally they call that piracy: a point I disagree with.
The problem arises when you hand someone a copy of one of the backups without giving them the original: that is then piracy.
The problem is worse for DRM. A big reason why is due to DRM-makers desire for closed-source black boxes. Soon as they stop maintaining the black box, ensuring it can be used with contemporary equipment, it stops working and the files in that format become useless. This will happen much sooner for software than it will for hardware.
Additionally, your are incorrectly blaming DRM for what is really a licensing issue, something that is wholly separate though often conflated. If the EULA allows unlimited copying for personal use, or is amended to allow you to transfer ownership to another person, then it's no different than your collection of the 1970s greatest hits on vinyl. But that is something you, as a purchaser of the items, need to consider when laying out your cash.
The licensing issue is what bought about DRM, and both are fundamentally flawed.
In the above case, I discuss backing up older physical media onto contemporary media. DRM audio is circumvented easily due to the fact that we cannot listen to a digital signal, it must be ultimately be converted to analogue sound pressure waves that our analogue eardrums can detect.
Typically this is done using a moving coil attached to a diaphragm in a static magnetic field: a second close-proximity coil turns this device into a transformer, with the new secondary winding's terminals reproducing the copyrighted work. The same methods are used in hearing aids to allow the hard of hearing to use a telephone. The audio quality of this method would be "good enough" for many.
Video is harder, but not impossible.
So DRM as a solution to the piracy problem does not work. It just unnecessarily complicates the task of me, as a content consumer, enjoying the content that I legally purchased licenses for.
The sooner we stop assuming that DRM is some new invention designed to screw customers out of money and realize it's just a new application of existing limitations, the better we can manage our expectation and push for change or dumping of ineffective or poorly-executed DRM, and maybe start on the real issue, the EULA.
Actually, the sooner we realise DRM is the fraud that it is, the better.