Digital Culture Legal Issues

DRM Frustration at Opera Mobile

Or maybe just Opera in general.

I own a Samsung Blackjack, and it probably comes as no surprise to anyone that Internet Explorer on it sucks. Just a horrible browser. Enter Opera Mobile, a really great little browser for mobile devices. I downloaded the trial version and gave it a month…good interface, fast, let me do everything I wanted.

So I decide I want to purchase this piece of software. It will make my life much easier, and is worth the $24.

I got to the Buy Opera page, tell them I want to buy a copy of Mobile for Smartphones, and it asks me for some info…including my “Device ID” which is evidently their method of DRM. By using a code specific to the phone, they can control whether or not I share the program by making it impossible for me to do so.

Ok, whatever. I can still move my install to another phone if I want by calling them, not perfect but I’ll deal. So how do I get the Device ID? By going to the “menu” function on the browser, on the phone.

Which doesn’t work, because the trial has expired, and all I get is an error message when I try to run it.

So…I can’t buy the software I want to use, because I tried the software to determine I wanted to use it.

Somehow, this seems appropriate again:


By griffey

Jason Griffey is the Director of Strategic Initiatives at NISO, where he works to identify new areas of the information ecosystem where standards expertise is useful and needed. Prior to joining NISO in 2019, Jason ran his own technology consulting company for libraries, has been both an Affiliate at metaLAB and a Fellow and Affiliate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, and was an academic librarian in roles ranging from reference and instruction to Head of IT at the University of TN at Chattanooga.

Jason has written extensively on technology and libraries, including multiple books and a series of full-periodical issues on technology topics, most recently AI & Machine Learning in Libraries and Library Spaces and Smart Buildings: Technology, Metrics, and Iterative Design from 2018. His newest book, co-authored with Jeffery Pomerantz, will be published by MIT Press in 2024.

He has spoken internationally on topics such as artificial intelligence & machine learning, the future of technology and libraries, decentralization and the Blockchain, privacy, copyright, and intellectual property. A full list of his publications and presentations can be found on his CV.
He is one of eight winners of the Knight Foundation News Challenge for Libraries for the Measure the Future project (, an open hardware project designed to provide actionable use metrics for library spaces. He is also the creator and director of The LibraryBox Project (, an open source portable digital file distribution system.

Jason can be stalked obsessively online, and spends his free time with his daughter Eliza, reading, obsessing over gadgets, and preparing for the inevitable zombie uprising.

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