Self-Destructing Chair Awesomely Deconstructs DRM

March 4, 2013 | Andy Cush

What if physical objects were subjected to the same arbitrary usage limits that certain distributors have forced upon perfectly legal, paid-for digital media? That’s the question posed by the DRM Chair (that’s digital rights management to you), a piece of furniture that falls apart in majestic fashion after its internal counter has detected eight uses.

The magic of the piece is in the very real, seemingly permanent way in which the chair falls apart. Rather than breaking at seams that are designed to be easy to reassemble, DRM Chair literally melts at the joints after the eight use, dripping and smoking until it collapses in a heap on the floor. Watch eight effortlessly stylish French people demonstrate in the video above.

My only critique of this otherwise perfect commentary on the state of online commerce is timeliness. Apple gave up encoding DRM in music four years ago, and Amazon has leading the charge, offering up liberated digital media files since 2008. It’s true that certain media types like video games and movies are still under the stranglehold of rights management, but the DRM Chair would have hit a lot harder in the middle of the last decade.