The DRM saga continues

From Steve Jobs Manifesto:

The third alternative is to abolish DRMs entirely. Imagine a world where every online store sells DRM-free music encoded in open licensable formats. In such a world, any player can play music purchased from any store, and any store can sell music which is playable on all players. This is clearly the best alternative for consumers, and Apple would embrace it in a heartbeat. If the big four music companies would license Apple their music without the requirement that it be protected with a DRM, we would switch to selling only DRM-free music on our iTunes store. Every iPod ever made will play this DRM-free music.

As a wishful expression, it is nice.

Content producers reaction so far go from Warner’s total rejecton of Jobs’proposal to EMI  mild promise to give some consideration to its merits.

There is still a missing issue in the debate and that is to find a business model that works (i.e. makes enough money) for everybody, including authors, producers and  marketers of content.

Think about the book publishing industry. With the arrival of scanners and high quality printers available to almost everyone there is no problem to copy entire books. Why people is not doing that with the same enthusiasm they are sharing music? As Levitt and Dubner put it in their Freakonomics the question is not why people cheat, a more appropriate question is why people do not.

In the case of digital content there is no hope to achieve a technological magic bullet, all the schemes, no matter how convoluted they become, will fail because at some point, the user needs to access the content at full resolution and preferably over different devices.

Maybe the effort should be put in finding the extra incentive for people to willingly pay for content or the right price for it i such a way that sharing content is not worth the effort.

One Response to The DRM saga continues

  1. Pingback: Tipping Point reached on DRM-free music content « CyptoBlog

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