Monday, August 3, 2009

Standards organizations don't set standards (RIAA and DRM)

The RIAA is everyone's favorite whipping boy, so I'm sure that I wasn't the only one who smirked at Kim LaCapria's Inquisitr piece:

Chief spokesdude for the RIAA Jonathan Lamesauce Lamy has stated DRM is dead, but not before pissing off all the people who have legitimately downloaded music since you could legally do so.

LaCapria then goes on to note:

Despite all the imaginary pros of someone placing artificial restrictions on content owned by consumers, shockingly, big players like Amazon and iTunes began to reject and/or discontinue the practice. DRM effectively worked against legal music sales and created piracy where none may have existed.

It seems that even the most vocal proponents of the practice are finally accepting what is rather than what they’d like there to be and realizing that DRM in the end impacted what they hold most dear: sales.

Not only sales, but also word-of-mouth, as I can easily prove via my personal library. If you look at the first page of my library, you'll see a lot of scrobbles from the Röyksopp and Midnight Juggernauts albums that I recently purchased, but you won't see a lot of scrobbles from the Sarah McLachlan album that I recently purchased. Why not? Because the CD had a copy-protection scheme that I never bothered to master, so I never downloaded the songs to my computer.

Which, in present-day terms (even for me) means that I hardly ever listen to Sarah McLachlan.

Oh well, they got their money, so they should be happy, right?

P.S. It turns out that I was lucky in my McLachlan experiences - some people couldn't even play the CD on their CD players.

P.P.S. Ironically, I discovered the "Bloom" album via (Steven Hodson had played the Junior Boys "Fumbling Towards Ecstasy" mix). Too bad that those who follow my scrobbles probably won't be able to do likewise.
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