RIAA, MPAA In Denial About The Death Of DRM

from the good-luck-with-that dept

As a bunch of you are submitting, at a panel discussion down in LA, an RIAA representative claimed not only was DRM not dead, but that it was making a comeback. However, the statements show a fundamental misunderstanding of what's happening in the marketplace. RIAA technology guy David Hughes made this statement:
"I made a list of the 22 ways to sell music, and 20 of them still require DRM."
Well, David, I just made a list of 22 ways to sell transportation mechanisms, and 20 of them still require a buggy whip -- but it doesn't mean anyone will buy them. Then, even worse was the statement from the MPAA's Fritz Attaway:
"We need DRM to show our customers the limits of the license they have entered into with us."
Well, there's your problem Fritz. The second you focus on how to limit your customers, you've lost them. No one wants to be limited these days. They want to be able to do what they want and they will reward those who allow them to do so. Treating your customers as people to be limited (i.e., people who you offer less value to) pretty much guarantees that they'll go elsewhere.

Filed Under: david hughes, denial, drm, fritz attaway, mpaa, riaa
Companies: mpaa, riaa


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  1. identicon
    Maura Corbett, 8 May 2008 @ 2:52pm

    RIAA and MPAA Now Appearing at Digital Hollywood as Monty Python's The Black Knight

    Yet again, we are left scratching our heads at the big content companies. Much like the Black Knight’s protestations to King Arthur that “none shall pass!” in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, the RIAA seems to believe that despite having no arms and no legs, digital rights management (DRM) is supposedly poised for a comeback. Equally disturbing were comments by the Motion Picture Association of America’s (MPAA) Fritz Attaway that the MPAA intends to wield DRM as a weapon to threaten consumers about their lack of rights.

    In a panel discussion at the Digital Hollywood conference, the content world established that it still lives in a completely different world than its customers. While the rest of the marketplace continues to successfully move towards business models for the digital age, David Hughes, who according to CNET heads up RIAA’s technology unit, effectively ridiculed the progress that international music labels – and RIAA member companies – EMI, Sony BMG and the Universal Music Group, and major retailers Amazon.com and Wal-Mart have made by readily making DRM-free music available to consumers. The MPAA seemed more concerned with limiting its customers’ rights than actually doing business with them.

    Meanwhile, back on earth, the rest of us have already figured out that digital freedoms equal digital profitability. Giving consumers what they want – digital music – the way they want it – without burdensome DRM (digital rights management) software that locks them up – pays dividends to all stakeholders in the digital world – including the content industry.

    The Digital Freedom Campaign is compelled to remind these big content companies that consumers have also rights in the digital age, and those rights include the ability to enjoy the content they legally purchase. Content and consumer rights are not a zero sum game.

    DRM has suffered far more than a flesh wound, and we’ve all crossed the bridge into the digital age. Hey content companies – wake up!

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