Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
Digital rights management(DRM), is a method of controlling digital files, such as by preventing media from playing on any device besides the purchasing device. Its use is lobbied for by organizations such as the Motion Picture Association of America(MPAA), as it would make it more difficult to pirate media, which they claim cuts into their profits. However, DRM is usually disliked by consumers, as it makes it difficult to use their purchased media. For example, if they buy a new computer, there's no guarantee their DRM-covered media will be usable on the new computer. Thus, Hat Guy is threatening to crush the pro-DRM organizations (namely Sony, Microsoft, the Motion Picture Association of America(MPAA), the Recording Industry Association of America(RIAA), and Apple) with a moving wall of ice if they don't stop trying to dictate when, where, and how media can be played (via DRM).
The title text refers readers to Lawrence Lessig's book 'Free Culture'.
- [Hat Guy is standing on an advancing glacier]
- Hat Guy: Dear Sony, Microsoft, the MPAA, the RIAA, and Apple: Let's make a deal. You stop trying to tell me where, when, and how I play my movies and music, and I won't crush your homes under my inexorably advancing wall of ice.
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And cue global warming...
Semicolon here (talk) 14:50, 27 August 2012 (UTC)
i might sound daft here, but is the wall of ice explained in any way? it feels like the humour here derives from it, and i'm not sure what to make of it. the explanation focusing on the details of the antipiracy laws and regulations feels a tad superfluous while i feel it doesn't really add anything that explains the joke. again, i'm a romanian, so my grasp of the english language (and the american culture) is below par, so this might be a silly question. feel free to remove my comment here if that's the case. 220.127.116.11 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
- The idea is that a glacier is impossible to stop if it starts moving simply because it is so massive. This can be compared to the demands of people for DRM-free content, which is equally unstoppable no matter how many politicians the DRM companies bribe. 18.104.22.168 05:00, 9 March 2014 (UTC)
I agree; I think the "ice-wall" is a metaphor for the mass of the consumers. The companies are trying to go against the flow, and it's either bend or break. It's an ice-wall/glacier,, because there are few things in the world more powerful and unstoppable as a glacier. A glacier is also very slow, so it's also saying that although he might not be able to crush them immediately, he will eventually, and they'd better not forget it (no saying how far away he's starting from, either. 22.214.171.124 01:50, 12 May 2016 (UTC)
First thing that came to my mind: ICE == Intrusion Countermeasures Electronics, e.g. in Burning Chrome (by William Gibson); see . IIRC, the book describes ICE as walls closing in on the protagonist's avatar in the virtual (cyber) world. --126.96.36.199 09:36, 31 January 2015 (UTC)
This may be a stretch but I associated this with "Now is the winter of our discontent" from Richard III. Discontent can both be applied to the general dislike and therefore discontent on the users, but also discontent in terms on the dis, meaning negativity and content relating to the digital content. The wall of ice represents the approaching Winter which will continue until the end of the discontent. --Igwarrender (talk) 15:53, 5 November 2015 (UTC)
This could also be a joke that the ice wall isn't actually stoppable by him, or is it?188.8.131.52
Game of Thrones / ASoIaF ice wall, anyone? 184.108.40.206 17:36, 10 August 2017 (UTC)