You only have the rights to this chair for eight uses. The second your butt leaves the chair on the eighth time, it will deteriorate without pause. And you paid for it.
Does that make sense? The DRM Chair is the physical manifestation of Digital Rights Management (DRM) that companies employ to dictate how you use their digital products.
Les Sugus created the chair. It’s a team of art and design students and alumni from Switzerland who entered into the The Deconstruction competition. The Deconstruction promotes taking apart different elements of our world and putting them back together to make something “awesomer-er.” In Les Sugus’ case, they rethought a chair in the light of Digital Rights Management.
It is capable of keeping track of how many people sit in it, and clicks audibly to how many “uses” it has left. After the eighth butt, however, the chair’s makes a sound reminiscent to film winding up at the end of a roll and the joints slowly start melting. Yes, melting. After a little smoking, the chair completely falls apart.
It’s an appropriate translation of online policies, especially after this morning’s announcement from the White House supporting the legalization of unlocking phones. Recently the Library of Congress — which has the authority to rule on what must adhere to and what can be exempt from following the Digital Millennium Copyright Act — ordered that it is illegal to unlock any smartphone or tablet purchased after Jan. 1. The White House responded to a petition for the opposite, which got over 100,000 signature, saying that it agrees unlocking devices should be legal and hopes to spur conversation to that end.