I like DRM
I do. As a concept, it works. Given the problems I’ve had with iPods (including the one I smashed – on purpose in anger) and iTunes, you might think I hate DRM. I don’t.
I hate hardware. It breaks, gets lost, is stolen, or becomes obsolete. Sure I like shiny new hardware, but that’s not the point.
DRM obsoletes the worry about buying into hardware platforms that suck while making it easier for all of us to buy new hardware (we don’t have to worry about losing our existing investments in software and content). DRM is a mechanism for individually licensing the limited, hardware-independent, private, non-commercial rights to media content. DRM means that your digital rights can live in the cloud, and the content can live anywhere…on the memory-rich devices you regularly access and as identity-specific IP media streams network accessible when you’re away from your primary hardware.
Copyright owners of course make a lot of money by reselling the catalog again and again. Fine, but I’d be willing to pay more upfront for a DRM schema that treats me as a customer, not a potential criminal.
DRM also opens up opportunities for things like an aftermarket for private, non-commercial rights. If I purchased some music and don’t want it any more, I should be able to resell my rights, perhaps auction style. I’d gladly pay an automatically withdrawn royalty from the transaction to the copyright owner, and all of my digital copies of the music would be disabled and/or deleted. Well, maybe major record labels would never go for it, but artists that rely on word-of-mouth marketing might find it an attractive model.