ParisLemon has a post today about how Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails is following along on the heels of Radiohead in the move away from music industry labels as the major providers of our music listening displeasure. With both bands making very large noises about how they are now in control of how their music will be made available to us the consumer changes are definitely coming.
On top of that is a post by Nat Torkington over at O’Reilly Radar where he points to a speech by Ian Rogers of Yahoo! Music who has basically come out and told the music industry that Yahoo! Music is no longer going to inconvenience their users with a crippled music delivery system that until now has been mandated by the music labels and their lapdogs the RIAA.
This movement that finally is gaining steam; albeit for the moment only within the music industry, is that acceptance that DRM (Digital Rights Management) is a fucked model and while treating the real consumers like criminals isn’t doing a damn thing to stem the flow of real criminal based piracy of digital goods.
Even though there are a lot of people out there who would suggest that this whole DRM thing could be buried for good with one simple step – iTunes stops supporting DRM crippled music sales. In my own opinion that is as about as like to happen as His Jobness porting OS/X to run on my PC base hardware. A nice dream but neither is likely to happen.
What could potentially provide the death knell for any DRM based system; whether it be music or video, would be Microsoft getting a backbone and stepping up to the plate saying enough of this DRM crap. Our customers and their ease of use of all our software is of prime importance and as such starting with the next hotfix releases we will be removing any and all code that supports any DRM models from Vista.
While this probably not happen until the consumer backlash is so large as to really threaten Microsoft’s core business the effects of removing DRM support in Vista would be immediate and felt right across the entire spectrum of our computer entertainment. For those companies that whine and cry about how this move would destroy their business especially gaming companies with their convoluted range of piracy inducing protection methods (just another form of DRM) I would point you to Stardock and their games of which none are crippled in any way.
Microsoft could probably have the greatest impact of any software company in our current climate of consumers being treated like criminals by totally rethinking their WGA methodology and inclusions of DRM on the base code level but that would take guts.
But it would still be a hellva hotfix to see at Windows Update … Remove DRM Hotfix ….
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