Say That Again

by Carlo Longino

Breaking Down The Problems Of DRM For Everyday Users

from the it-won't-work dept

We've discussed the pitfalls of DRM and copy protection many times, generally from the angle of the problems it creates for businesses, and how it does nothing to stop piracy, but just creates hassles for users and ultimately harms content companies by holding down sales. Many of these issues are easily lost on a lot of consumers, who tend to not really care, as long as their stuff works. However, the mainstream media is starting to pay closer attention to these issues, and the New York Times today uses the launch of the Microsoft Zune to explain to the average person what DRM means to them: that music they've bought from one service that works with one device may not work if they get a different brand of device. This sort of lock-in ultimately holds back the market by distorting competition: if users can't switch brands of music players without losing access to music they've purchased, they're much less likely to switch. This is why iTunes as a loss leader works for Apple -- every song a user buys from the iTunes Music Store is another reason for them not to switch away from the iPod. This really isn't good for anybody other than Apple. It certainly doesn't do anything to help users, and it does little for record labels, either. Their continued insistence on using pointless, ineffective copy protection and DRM continues to shoot themselves in the foot by holding back the market. Perhaps as more members of the general public understand how copy protection impacts them, they'll begin voting with their wallets and affecting some change.

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread

  1. identicon
    dudude, 19 Apr 2009 @ 8:49pm

    As the music in iTunes is encrypted with DRM, you cannot directly put it on any non-Apple MP3 player. The easiest way is:

    1. Insert a CD-R or CD-RW disc into your CD-ROM drive.
    2. Burn your playlist to make an audio CD.
    3. After the audio CD is successfully burned, insert the disc into your CD-ROM drive again. Then you can use iTunes to import the music tracks on the burned disc as MP3 files.

    Or you can get some software to help you. I use TuneClone M4P Converter ( ) to do this. Though not free, it is very well worth a try. It generates a virtual CD drive to help to remove DRM from iTunes.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Use markdown for basic formatting. HTML is no longer supported.
  Save me a cookie
Follow Techdirt
Techdirt Gear
Show Now: Takedown
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads


Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.