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
    Branden, 10 Oct 2005 @ 4:11pm

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

    Digital Rights Management is not the same the Role Based Access to those files like Medical, Criminal, credit and bank files. The idea of digital rights management would mean that just because I can access the data, the data owner or protector can control how I use it. I have got news if they can see it, the data no amount of DRM is going to prevent someone from blabbing your credit score, criminal record or past medical history to the masses. Just because you can't forward and e-mail or copy/paste doesn't mean that it can't be transcribed and retransmitted.

    Besides that, they aren't discussing that aspect of DRM, they are discussing the implication of DRM on audio and visual media. Not all Role based access or rights management is bad, however if you purchased a song or a CD for that matter shouldn't you have the right to use it on the play back that music on the medium of your choice, I mean how is the fact that you want to listen to something on your computer hurting the artisits or for that matter the record companies. I am just suggesting that when we spend money on something, we should get the right to make a back-up copy so we don't have to buy it again, or we should have the right to view or listen to at our leisure?

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