I thought I had it all figured out. "Copy protection," I would say, meaning DRM of course, "is bad news, because it is impossible to make music playable without exposing the data to people who want to copy it. Plus, it twists our notions of ownership: I _bought_ a CD, not a license to play some audio files."
In other words, the economic equation doesn't make sense. Why spend millions if not billions of dollars trying to prevent the un-preventable? But I was wrong. Sort of.
This post set me straight. It's not the unrecoupable R&D investment that makes DRM a bad idea (from a media company's point of view). It's that adding DRM to a track makes it instantly less valuable than the same track without DRM.
In other words, a track that a consumer can play or save anywhere (ipod, phone, pc, car stereo, backup cd, mixtape, email, etc) is worth more than a track that can only be played on a specific device. And it costs less (because distributed free). How can you ever hope to compete with that?
By Chris Snyder on February 24, 2006 at 3:49pm