DRM Fallout

Here is some more DRM (digital rights management) news. A survey was taken by the BBC before Steve Jobs’ surprising article last week where he called for a reasonable end to DRM for digital music.

The survey actually predates Jobs’ announcement by more than a month and found that 62% of music company executives believe that dropping DRM would help the uptake of digital music sales. I certainly agree with this. I don’t currently buy (much) music on-line as I feel like it is a waste of money. Why would I want to buy DRM’d music online and limit the use of my music? If I buy a CD, I can put it on my iPod, my iRiver, my Linux machine, my Mac machine and my Windows machine. I can also drop the music that I have ripped onto a CD in MP3 format or onto a USB drive and play it on my car stereo.

Buying crippled or limited music online is a horrible mistake.

It came out this week that EMI would be willing to entertain the idea of making their music available without DRM. They have already done trial releases of some of their music digitally without DRM. I like this because my favorite artist is signed with them, Christopher Parkening.

A quote from a USA Today article says, “EMI wouldn’t have to worry about pirates, because anyone who wants to pirate music is already doing it. The paying customer is a different breed.” That would be true for all the labels. Pirates are already doing what they do. Making music easier to own will not make pirating worse, it will only endear the consumer to the label that provides the music in a usable digital format.

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