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RIAA: DRM’s dead, right?

Posted at 20 July 2009 16:33 CEST by Jared Newman

Realizing what everyone else knew years ago, the RIAA appears to understand that digital rights management is fading away.

“DRM is dead, isn’t it?” said Jonathan Lamy, the Recording Industry Association of America’s chief spokesman, in an upcoming SC Magazine article. It’s not clear whether his tone was meant to be rhetorical, but CrunchGear reports that Lamy goes on to mention iTunes’ DRM-free tracks in the article.

The mere suggestion that building copy protection into music tracks is obsolete represents a change of course for the RIAA. As TorrentFreak points out, the music industry trade group has previously defended DRM as serving “all sorts of pro-consumer purposes,” and last year insisted that the technology was due for a comeback.

But with iTunes abandoning DRM in its music downloads, and other companies advertising DRM-free downloads as a selling point, consumers have won out (or they’re just oblivious to those aforementioned pro-consumer benefits). Perhaps the RIAA is coming around to this logic; it’ll be interesting to see the full context of Lamy’s remarks. Even if the RIAA is no longer keen on DRM, I don’t expect the group to abandon its role as copyright enforcer.

If Lamy is being straightforward, it’s pleasing news, but not surprising that the RIAA is so behind the times. The idea that Big Music can put the file sharing genie back in the bottle has been disputed countless times, and yet lawsuits continue. Instead of putting all its efforts into finding new ways for labels to monetize, the trade group remains fixed on sticking to old ones. The RIAA may be on pace to realizing its mistakes in a few years, but by then it will be too late, if it isn’t already.

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There are 4 comments

Chuckwagon
CD Freaks Member
Posted on: 21 Jul 09 00:01
    I don't know if DRM is dead, but it sure is a useless and costly pile of carp.
    Zod
    MyCE Resident
    Posted on: 21 Jul 09 02:29
      DRM is a waste of money. You end up punishing the people that actually pay for your product. The guy that bought the cd and wants to make mp3's, or the guy that wants play to his blurays in his htpc that isn't compliant with bluray protection. People who aren't paying for it, can go on the internet and download DRM free stuff for free. Not only that, but they spend so much money on DRM that pass it down to the people that pay for the products. Its like a double whammy against people who pay. Prices are higher to pay for the DRM, and you can't make you're own backups, or transport the material to another medium. So your pay more for a restricted copy.
      Chuckwagon
      CD Freaks Member
      Posted on: 21 Jul 09 06:38
        Amen to that. I can't understand why companies don't see this. I can't remember in the past several years not seeing cracked copies of any of the popular games or music or movies that were protected by DRM. Those companies wasted their money, since the DRM was defeated and copies were made available to anyone who wanted them. The only cases of DRM working that I'm aware of are from people who bought legit copies and then got screwed by the DRM. So not only did the DRM cost those companies wasted money, but it also cost them customer good will. It seems that would be a double whammy and that companies would see that in the long run DRM loses money for them. Oh well, never can tell when the suits are involved I guess.
        paulw2
        MyCE Senior Member
        Posted on: 21 Jul 09 08:58
          Now we need Itunes to have DRM free movies and TV programs.. Wonder what the MPAA would say about that ??

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