Shouldn't Sandisk Be Eager To See The End Of DRM?

from the sansa dept

You’d think the company running second, behind Apple, in the market for digital music players, would have the most to gain from the abandonment of DRM. After all, despite what Steve Jobs says, the iTunes DRM does serve to lock consumers in to buying iPods. So it’s a little disappointing to read Sandisk’s own open letter on DRM (via Engadget), in which CEO Eli Harari seems mainly interested in sucking up to the music industry. In it he calls out Jobs for being confrontational, and says that while consumers deserve fair use, there also needs to be mechanisms to ensure the rights of musicians and content owners. This stance might be understandable if DRM actually worked, but it doesn’t. It deprives music listeners of their choices without bringing any benefit to music labels or the musicians on their roster. At the end of the letter, he does suggest that walled gardens are a bad idea, but it doesn’t sound particularly convincing, after what came before it.

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Comments on “Shouldn't Sandisk Be Eager To See The End Of DRM?”

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UniBoy says:

Apple's competitors want licensing

Apple spent millions to develop the iTunes Store (from which they make no profit) and the iTunes Jukebox software (which they give away). Apple does this so that it can offer users’ the best experience and sell more iPods.

SanDisk and others are hoping for licensing that will allow them to produce players that work with iTunes. Thus forcing Apple’s expenditures in this area to become a subsidy to their competitors. There is NO FairPlay without iTunes. These companies have failed to build decent software and websites to support their players, so now they want to demand that Apple give them theirs.

Tyshaun says:

The paradox...

Most people on this site appear to be anti DRM, but almost all of the comments above pan SanDisk. SanDisk, it appears, is the biggest MP3 player that doesn’t have built in DRM, isn’t that a good thing? It’s obvious that the letters are just a business tactic and shouldn’t be interpreted as any real backing of DRM (or else their players would be loaded with it).

Seems to me the best thing that SanDisk can do is bank on the continued proliferation of people who decide to illegally circumvent DRM. That erodes the market share and name recognition of iPod and Zune. So, we are actually supporting companis that take SanDisks position of “kissing up” by distributing unlicensed content of software. They are banking on more and more people turning away from DRM and making their products more appealing and in that sense SanDisk will do everything in its power to reinforce DRM. weird!

Jesse Pintado (user link) says:

DRM is a joke…any kid can turn a song with DRM into an mp3. Labels need to lower prices of albums/songs and sell direct to consumers. The middle man is slowly dying; this is good because frankly, when I went to Tower Records, all they had was top-40 mainstream garbage for the masses. Brick and Mortar is dead, and so should be the middleman’s cut of the pie.

Also, The RIAA’s efforts against file sharing are soon going to be a thing of the past with all of these new softwares that offer encrypted exchanges. Look at GigaTribe for instance ( ), their free software lets users exchange entire folders of albums in a few easy clicks, and not even the ISPs will be able to spot what’s being exchanged.

The music model is changing rapidly, and consumers and small/medium artists are going to be the winners.

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