How The Recording Industry's Obsession On DRM Made Apple So Powerful

from the unintended-consequences... dept

Oh how we all love those unintended consequences that come back to bite those who only think one level deep. It's no secret that, lately, the recording industry is pissed off at Apple for not raising prices on iTunes songs (something we still think the recording industry has no say over -- if they want to raise wholesale prices, then they should go ahead). They've even gone so far as to threaten to pull their songs from iTunes, something it's unlikely many of them will do. However, Copyfight points to a piece by Tim Lee which notes that it's the recording industry's own obsession with copy protection technology that made Apple so powerful. Apple has tremendous lock-in with iTunes, in large part because they gave in to recording industry demands to use copy protection technology. That means that customers are unlikely to go elsewhere and the only ones who really suffer if a label pulls out of iTunes is that label. So, instead, Lee suggests the recording industry should negotiate a new deal that demands that Apple removes all copy protection as it would free people up to leave Apple and buy elsewhere -- taking away much of Apple's power position. Of course, the established recording industry will never go for it (nor would Apple) as they've come to believe the mantra that copy protection is necessary that they're blind to any possible business model that doesn't use it, or to the ways in which copy protection does more harm than good to their business. It's amazing that it's becoming clear to just about everyone outside of the entertainment industry how damaging copy protection is from a business model standpoint -- but the industry continues to insist it's the only way to go.

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  1. identicon
    Boo, 11 Oct 2005 @ 7:25am

    Re: DRM is not just about your damn mp3's...

    "find it, crack it, dump it and nuke any server that tries to cram it down your throat."

    Getting very sick of one sided arguements about drm. This place is becoming less of a discsussion forum and more like a bunch of people whining about having to pay for music. I have two points on the subject:

    1. The record industry is afraid to take a leap and explore a new drm-less business model which would probably work out better for everyone, including them. Independant artists will probably force the revolution eventually, and the corporations will evolve or go bust.
    2. That doesnt give you the right to steal the music, so follow your own conscience on whether you want to steal - but don't keep whining that record companies dont have the right ot make you pay for music they published at great expense.

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