Thursday, March 22, 2007

Dumb and Rather Moronic

That's my view of DRM.

This guy was trying to play by the DRM rules and got burned. (Btw, Rhino used to be a great company, but then Warner Bros. bought them and it practically changed within a week.) Steve Jobs famously said DRM should go away.

I've always preferred to have the actual album if I like a song, primarily for the convenience of being always able to play it right now, because when I get a craving for a song it must be satiated or I drive those around me nuts by humming the two or three bars stuck in my head over and over. Rainman would be moved to tell me to shut the hell up. My family members are saints in this regard, as they only go that far once a week.

The other reason is I like reading the credits. I get a bang out of knowing who did what, if there were any guest musicians I know, who wrote the songs, and the goofy stuff in the thanks area.

Finally, I want the artist to get some green, of course.

That aside, I will not purchase music that has DRM on it. Period. If you buy the song, you OWN a copy, as far as I am concerned. Copyright law agrees with me, btw.

Imagine if you bought a famous painting, and later you decided to move to another house. You try to hang the great painting on the wall, but not only will it not go on the wall, the canvas has suddenly gone blank. That's essentially what DRM does to music. It's stupid.

Yes, there is going to be some piracy. Yes, people in love will still make "mix tapes" for their significant others - though it may take the form of a burned CD, or a set of MP3s on a flash drive (how romantic!).

For the most part, though, people will pony up a reasonable purchase price for a product, particularly music, because they want to have a good-sounding version, and if they like the artist, they want him or her to be able to continue to follow their muse.

I like what Ricki Lee Jones has done on her current release. She actually includes high resolution, DRM-free MP3's of all the songs on the album. How cool is that? There're many reasons why she's known as the Duchess of Cool.

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