Sweet DRMs, Baby

It sure looks as if digital-rights management (DRM) coding will die without a friend in the music business.   First Steve Jobs blames the music industry for the restrictions iTunes places on purchased music, and calls for a DRM-free marketplace.  Now this

Almost two-thirds of music industry executives think removing digital locks from downloadable music would make more people buy the tracks, finds a survey.

The Jupiter Research study looked at attitudes to Digital Rights Management (DRM) systems in Europe music firms.

Many of those responding said current DRM systems were “not fit for purpose” and got in the way of what consumers wanted to do.

And yet, the article goes on to say:  

Despite this few respondents said DRM would disappear in the near future.

What are they saying? Is DRM a kind of vampire?   The biggest retailer doesn’t want it.  The producers don’t want it.  Obviously the consumers don’t want it.  So let’s round up the villagers and storm the castle.  

Among all those questioned, 70% believed that the future of downloadable music lay in making tracks play on as many different players as possible. But 40% believed it would take concerted government or consumer action to bring this about.

Despite these feelings, said (report co-author Mark) Mulligan, record labels are committed to using DRM because their digital music strategies revolve around these technologies.

“Despite everything that has been happening the record labels are not about to drop DRM,” said Mr Mulligan. “Even though all they are doing is making themselves look even less compelling by using it.”

“Concerted government or consumer action,” eh?   Well consumer action is already happening in the form of music piracy, which is still going strong among younger music fans.  What more do you want them to do?  As for government action, which government? Music is borderless.  These music execs have far more power to enforce some kind of anti-DRM, interoperability mandate than a national government.  They just need to get their act together.

2 thoughts on “Sweet DRMs, Baby

  1. A reason for hopelessness (bad language). As long as people keep buying this crap, nothing changes. If iPoders aren’t going to give up their iPods, what leverage do they have? Also, try explaining DRM to any average person who just wants an mp3 player. It could just by my failing, but I don’t think I did well in my attempt (my mom bought an mp3 player about a month ago).

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