No DRM or Digital Rights Management On this topic, TechCrunch is right on the money.  The music industry is not looking far enough down the road to see the big picture about DRM and its impact on their reduced sales.

Artists as well are too wrapped up in the ability of their work to be easily copied.  I understand this concern, and share it as well.  After all, who want’s their hard work and creativity stolen?

But that belies the deeper desires of the consumer of both the artist and the recording industry.  Their customer is not their enemy, the customer does not want to steal the work, or see either entity getting shortchanged for their work.  What the customer wants is to be able to enjoy the music – its that simple.

In addition, giving the consumer the ability to move the music from device to device or onto CD offering DRM-free music removes the criticism, the negativity that is created by DRM.  Wouldn’t a given artist rather have their fans (customers) raving about their latest release than complaining that they can’t get it onto their Rio, Zune, iPod, or other device simply because it is offered on a different format, or that the DRM mechanism failed,  or worse, that the support departments of whatever online service can’t solve the DRM issue?

DRM was a great idea – but there are too many variables that need to be accommodated for it to work.  Instead, companies should sell the music tracks DRM-free.  Offer cheap versions for cell-phones that are encoded at lower bitrates, so the user can store more in less space.  Sell the lossless versions as a “Premium” where the user can burn to CD, or re-encode for any device they own at their preference.  Moreover, offer the music in a non-proprietary format that every player in the world can work with (MP3), that way, the music is available to everyone who wants it, and the players can compete on features & usability rather than what labels or online stores it works with.

Via: TechCrunchThe Inevitable Death of DRM

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