Discussion: DRM or no DRMAugust 7, 2006
Above: Pre-DRM primitive contraption
After posting today’s news about Yahoo! selling digital music with no DRM (Digital Rights Management), I thought that it was interesting to start a discussion here. So, if you are a regular visitor or just dropping in for the first time, please have your saying by posting a comment. First look in the Ah! The News! section and look at the latest on Yahoo!’s initiative and arguments. Then, please, do take the floor and tell us what you think: is DRM a requirement that is holding back the industry, is it a needed evil or is it the only thing that protects artists, publishers and distributors from not being ripped-off?
Just to help you, here are the most common arguments on both sides:
Yes to DRM crowd:
Music takes a lot of money to produce, record and bring to the public. If music files are not copy-protected, then musicians will not get paid for their work and they won’t be able to keep recording. On the other hand, when you purchase a recording you are not purchasing the copyright (the right to make copies). Nobody prevents you from doing that. If you want you can try to buy the copyright of a leading pop-star new single and you’ll see how much it costs! It’s your choice (as a consumer) to buy a copy and decline to buy the right to make copies of the copy you bought. It’s the artist’s (and publisher’s) right to look for ways to prevent less honest people than yourself to abuse the system that has been bringing new music to you over the years. That is DRM.
No to DRM crowd:
The industry has thrived on no-DRM based media. The vinyl was not copy-protected. Yet from Pink Floyd to the Beatles, from Rolling Stones to Bob Dylan, all were acts discovered, developed and successful beyond believe using an “opened platform”. Later the CD was also not copy-protected for the most part of the time it made millions of dollars for everyone in the industry, including artists. People want to know what more can they do with the music they buy. No music lover woke up this morning to the thought of what less can he/she do with his music collection. The industry has shot itself on the foot with DRM. It’s not reasonable to sell music (or any other product) and still retain or track how and when people use it. Look at the printing industry for once: Dan Brown never gave a damn if you leveled your coffee table with his “Da Vinci Code”!
Before you watch this YouTube video (and we recommend you do!), please let us say we are not endorsing one opinion or the other. At Cyberextazy we operate digital music sites from many clients and most of them work with DRM technology. However we have serviced clients that have licences from record companies to sell non-DRM tracks. So, we only want to stir the discussion here. We want to know what you think.