Some of this argument seems to be skirting around the differences between encoding a message and encrypting it, and that's not quite as simple as it sounds, because the jargon can be confusing. "Codes and ciphers" covers two different sorts of cryptography, which is the area that provokes the complaints, but "code" doesn't have to be cryptography, and that has a distinct definition.
So, first the cryptography, the secret writing: codes deal with words and phrases, units of language. There were codes for business use for sending telegrams, which could put a whole phrase into a short string of letters, but anybody could buy a copy of the codebook. But "goods not according to contract specification" counted as one telegraphic word. And nobody would be reading it casually. Ciphers deal with arbitrary units, such as letters of the alphabet, usually single letters, sometimes pairs. The idea of a code still has a place, you might have a codename for a particular person, because looking for the known real name might help break a cipher but most stuff now is ciphers.
But Morse code (and a few others) isn't really anything to do with cryptography. And neither is ASCII or Unicode, they're all much the same thing, shifting a representation of words to another medium, taking alphabetical symbols and putting them in a mode machinery can handle. We talk about codecs with audio and video, and it's the part of the definitions that's the root. But DRM drags back in the secret writing part. And some things get messy.
Those old telegraphic codes, allowing the efficient sending of messages that can't be read by all and sundry, that shouldn't be a problem. They were allowing them during the World War because the censors and other monitors had the codebooks (and there was an interesting series of orders for tobacco sent from various English ports to a company in the Netherlands, which got noticed).
There's a history here, and there's nothing really new here. We use barcodes, but they're just another sort of partnumber, and for some things collectors will use the old telegraphic codewords, but what worries people is the secrecy aspect. What do they have to hide? And those video codecs, it's all too common that a software update with a new codec will break something else.
If you want something that works, is secrecy that good an idea?