by Mike Masnick
Mon, Jan 14th 2008 1:38pm
It was quite predictable that as the recording industry finally realized that DRM was a bad idea that it would move on to digital watermarking. The idea sounds appealing. It doesn't have the feature that people hate about DRM: preventing you from doing what you want with the music you've purchased -- but it does have a number of other downsides. First, it tends to degrade the quality of the audio. Second, it's often relatively easy to remove the watermark, making it effectively useless. Third, if watermarks are used to link a specific file to a specific user (which the industry insists it isn't doing... yet), it suddenly becomes a huge liability just to have those music files. Imagine if you lose your iPod full of watermarked tracks, and all of those tracks find their way onto file sharing sites? Even more importantly, the whole concept of watermarking is counterproductive to what music files should be about. If the industry were smart and understood the basic economics of what was happening, they'd want people to be sharing music. They should want people to be their biggest (free!) promoters of music. They should want people to be spreading the music of their musicians as a way to get the word out. The whole concept of watermarking goes against that very idea. It's more backwards thinking from an industry that is more focused on protecting an old way of doing business, rather than recognizing the opportunities of a new way of doing business.
If you liked this post, you may also be interested in...
- United Airlines Requires You To Install Special Brand Of DRM To Watch Movies On Flights
- UK High Court Goes Even Further In Emphasizing That You Cannot Rip Your Own CDs
- JPEG Looking To Add DRM To Images... Supposedly To Protect Images From Gov't Surveillance
- Top RIAA Exec: There's No More Music In Africa And The Middle East Because They Need Stronger Copyright
- Court Realizes That Maybe It Can't Order Cloudflare To Proactively Block Any New Grooveshark From Ever Appearing