Thursday, December 27, 2007

End of Music DRM in Sight

Warner has now dumped DRM and made its entire catalog available DRM free on Amazon. Smart move, Edgar. See the very cutting edge Red Herring report:
"Give it four more days and we can finally say that 'DRM is so 2007,'" said Michael Goodman, an analyst with Yankee Group. "Music history will document the transformation from DRMed music to DRM-free music as occurring in 2007. I can't imagine anybody doing a DRM deal in 2008."
The article goes on to state:
The deal further marks the death knell for digital rights management, or DRM, a controversial technology that restricts the usage of music purchased online. New York City-based WMG and Sony BMG were the last two of the Big Four labels to hold out on DRM-free downloads.

So - that leaves only SONY BMG (who brought us the "rootkit" DRM disaster) as the last of the big four holdouts so doggedly represented by the RIAA and the CRIA.

And it suggests yet again the necessity of asking why any government would now consider providing protection for DRM, rather than from it. Maybe the best thing now would be strike a Canadian balance and just forget it. DRM's time as a legislative issue appears to have already come and gone.



  1. Walmart just closed their DRM laden music site as well. When Walmart says something doesn't sell, people should listen.

  2. Here is the critical problem: DRM is being applied to both content and devices. It is the DRM on the devices, not the DRM on the content, that is the source of most of the problems. It may be that the move away from DRM on music content is part of the misdirection campaign of the recording industry.

    First, they have the tools under Canadian law to sue P2P filesharers (if only they provide a tiny bit of evidence). They don't sue, and many in the public and many politicians believe this is because there are problems in Canadian law.

    Second, they continue to lobby for legal protection for technical measures applied to devices, while claiming the "market should decide" and distract people by removing TPMs applied to content. The reality is that even if not a single piece of content had DRM on it, but all our devices did, it would be identical to the situation if all our content had DRM on it.

    Content being DRM-free is only relevant if people use this lack of being tied to specific devices to choose devices which are themselves DRM-free.

    P.S. If the idea of TPMs being applied to both content and devices is not yet familiar, please read the information surrounding our Petition to protect Information Technology property rights, especially the article in the December issue of the Open Source Business Resource.