Wired has a good blog post up about ebooks and how DRM has stymied adoption, "The why of that has many faces, but DRM plays its part. Taking a historically commonplace form of expression, freely portable in its traditional format, and turning it into an ephemeral, hardware-specific, proprietary service?"
There has been some recent chatter on the internet about the possibility of Apple introducing a subscription based service. Steve Jobs may have just put that speculation to rest:
"Never say never, but customers don't seem to be interested in it," Jobs told Reuters in an interview after Apple reported blow-out quarterly results. "The subscription model has failed so far."
This was reported on CNN.
"MPAA Chairman and CEO Dan Glickman told an industry gathering that the industry "wholeheartedly supports legitimate copying." (since when? Ed) So reports StreamingMedia today in a nice wrap up of recent DRM related news.
Glickman was addressing a conference on the topic of DRM. He does support DRM, of course, but would really like the ever elusive interoperable type - the type that would allow user's right to copy content they have legally acquired but somehow prevent sharing.
The Inquirer has an article up about Vista and DRM. The piece drives pretty hard on this single point : Vista is all about DRM and DRM is bad for the user.
As we have been saying for years now, DRM infections have no positives for the user, there is literally no good that you get from them. Everything they do is negative under each and every scenario. While the content mafiaa gets positively orgasmic over the money they will rake in while you twist, the whole industry tanks.
"There are some ideas that are broken, but attractive enough to some people that they are doomed to be tried again and again. DRM is one of them."
Mark Shuttleworth (of Ubuntu Fame) writes on his personal blog recently about the futility of DRM specifically focusing on video. It is a well written piece that should be mandatory for anyone working in the content industry.
The WSJ's "Real Time" column this week is about last week's Apple/EMI announcement (you know, the one about dropping DRM).
Jason Fry observes, "First and most obviously, a major label is finally treating its customers like customers, instead of regarding them as likely shoplifters who should be given as few rights as possible."
Boing Boing reports that Microsoft is talking about dropping DRM from some songs sold in the Zune Market Place. The interesting part of the story (we all new MS would follow the leader WRT EMI tracks) is that a Zune spokesperson seems to suggest that MS might drop DRM from more than just the EMI catalog. We'll wait and see what happens.
Buried in the press coverage from Monday's announcement about EMI and Apple dropping DRM from EMI tracks in the iTMS was this quote from Steve Jobs:
"Video is pretty different from music right now because the video industry does not distribute 90 percent of their content DRM free. Never has. So I think they are in a pretty different situation and I wouldn't hold it to a parallel at all."
About 3 weeks ago, we launched the Open Letter to Steve Jobs. Since then over six thousand people have signed on. Steve Jobs hasn't taken any action since his February 7 rant on DRM. As promised, we'll be sending him the open letter with our signatures and jesters hat on Monday.
Hold that hat....
EMarketer.com has a post that says Insight Research expects spending on DRM this year to be $1 Billion and increase to $9 Billion in 2012.
From the Insight Research report:
"DRM evolved to serve corporations to deal with information piracy, peer-to-peer file sharing, and various regulatory requirements," noted Robert Rosenberg of Insight. "DRM did not arise to meet the needs of end users, and in fact, it may be said to have evolved to spite the end user.
This from Gizmo Cafe: An EU Commissioner for Consumer Protection, Meglena Kuneva, slammed Apple for it's DRM. She said, "Do you find it reasonable that a CD will play in all players, but an iTunes song will only plan on an iPod? It doesn’t to me. Something must change.".
Universal France is testing DRM free music sales: Universal has begun testing the viability of DRM-free downloads, albeit in a very limited release of an album by French singer-songwriter Emilie Simon.
While the test is limited, it is hopeful to see another of the big for looking at DRM free digital downloads.
As part of last October's Day Against DRM, folks from FreeCulture Harvard, Free Culture Boston and the MIT Media Lab, held an event they dubbed iRony to help people install RockBox on iPods. This short video explains the problems with DRM and iPods, the benefits of RockBox, and talks a bit about the event.
The RIAA has announced that they plan to sue more students by sending letters to 13 colleges and universities. They plan to send the schools lists of IP addresses and want the schools to turn over the names of the students and pass the notice of intent to sue on to the students. All this before a suit or subpoena has been filed.
Just read this over on the Washington Post Blogs
Reps. Rich Boucher (D-Va.) and John Dolittle (R-Calif.) introduced what they call the "Freedom and Innovation Revitalizing U.S. Entrepreneurship" (or FAIR USE) Act they say will make it easier for digital media consumers to use the content they buy.
ArsTechnica has an article about Apple and the DRM conundrum. The suggestion is that Apple would never sell both DRMd and DRM free music side by side on the iTMS because of their commitment to a simple and uniform user experience.
Cory Doctorow had a great article in Salon today about Steve jobs tortured DRM position.
We couldn't have said any of this better ourselves. Here are some excerpts from Cory's piece.
I doubt Jobs' sincerity. I suspect he likes DRM because it creates an anti-competitive lock-in to Apple. I think he's trying to shift blame for the much-criticized DRM to the music industry, whose executives are twirling their mustaches and declaring DRM to be the only way forward for their industry.