Monday, January 23, 2006

BBC music panel on drm

A couple of weeks ago the BBC set up a digital music: ask the industry panel to answer the general public's questions about how the industry are dealing with digital technologies.

Nice to see lots of sensible if sometimes rather blunt questions about drm.

"DRM is used, we are told, to protect artists from copyright theft. Yet so far, no existing DRM scheme has been successful in keeping music from being pirated on P2P networks. Given this failure, why do record companies continue to push DRM schemes that do nothing to protect artists, and do everything to discourage consumers from buying their works?"

"This was the first year I specifically asked family & friends not to buy me any CDs for Christmas. Why? Because of the increase in CD DRM making it difficult to rip legally purchased music to my MP3 player. Hence I can safely say that I would not ever buy DRM protected music online, as it is too intangible/inflexible to be worth the money.

Why does the music industry not understand that it is alienating its customers by treating us like criminals?"

"Why do adverts for music download services such as Napster usually fail to explain what MP3 players they will work with? I have tried to use a couple of services only to find out at the end that they do not work with the iPod. A bit of honesty would be a step forward. Selling music in MP3 format so it works everywhere would be a giant leap for mankind."

"I have an iPod so must either use iTunes or rip from CD. But that's not going to be the case forever. My next player may be a different make. But if I buy from iTunes I can't transfer the music to a non AAC player, and I can't buy WMA as it won't play on my machine.

Are you trying to turn me into a criminal to get music? Or just rip me off blind to get it?"

The panel's responses are due tomorrow. Expect the usual rhetoric.

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