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May 05, 2007

Why DRM Will Continue On- Forbes

Written 5/5/07 on my PDA  (so formatting and links are crude) but reformated on 5/10/07.]

This quote below from a Forbes article on DRM sums up why the music industry still doesn't get it:

No intellectual property business is going to cross the digital divide without figuring out how to protect its content and to ensure that transactions are associated with the acquisition of content, Nash said. The music industry simply has to solve the content security problem or risk the obsolescence of its business model.

What's wrong with this statement. A couple of things.

  1. We must protect our content or we won't enter the digital marketplace- how do you expect to share your content with the world and have total control over how its used? Those two views are in contradiction. Yes, allow people to purchase your digital content but don't dictate how I use it after I've 'purchased' it. If we can't use/consume the content outside of the draconian rules and limits you've setup, then don't share your content. Perfect control contradicts the idea of sharing or selling content.
  2. The content security problem (which I just  addressed above- it's not a problem, the rules of the game have changed and made perfect control over your content impossible) means explicitly that that your business model isn't at risk of obsolesce, it's already dead in its current form. DRM doesn't work so yes, you do need a different business model.

Read the rest of the article here, (I'm writing this from my mobile so no good link formatting on this post). The other great (by which I mean incorrect and ridiculous) analogy is that without DRM, the entire world would come to resemble a college dorm where downloading and 'cloning' of music would run rampant. The research doesn't show that (Forrester's and others have done the analysis- can't link to it right now) but it's the big, bad stereotype of music piracy that the music industry likes to perpetuate.

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