Thursday, May 8, 2008
That's incredibily gutsy but incredibly shortsighted since Apple's iTunes, walmart.com and even the Zune Marketplace offers parts of their catalogs of songs without DRM. The entire catalog of songs available for download at amazon.com is completely free of DRM.
The movement towards the end of DRM isn't about enabling piracy, it's about consumer choice. Selling downloaded songs without DRM allows anybody to use any online music store with any portable music player. People can buy songs from amazon.com for use with their iPods.
Mr. Hughes claims that DRM is required for services that offer songs using a monthly subscription model. Selling music through a monthly subscription is an idea that has fallen flat on it's face. Customers of Napster, Rhapsody and the Zune Marketplace largely buy downloaded music outright with very few to pay a monthly subscription fee. This is most likely due to the DRM restrictions placed on subscription music.
Consumers are choosing to buy music without DRM and even the recording companies themselves are giving in to consumer demand. It's just the RIAA that is holding on to the draconian vision that they can tell consumers where and when and on what devices can play music. Copy protected CD's died a quick death it's time for DRM on downloaded music to follow suit. It's the consumer who are buying downloaded songs and yes even buying CD's which pay the salaries of anybody working for the RIAA. It's consumers who are in charge not the RIAA.
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