Monday, November 6, 2006

Big labels are f*cked, and DRM is dead

Got this article from the CEO of Jamendo who never thought DRM was a viable way to proceed in this industry. Actually, he walks the talk to the point of building the business model of his company in a way that does not require any DRM and that focuses entirely on the participants in the ecosystem of the music industry.

My humble opinion is that creating artificial scarcity has seldom been successful in economic history at least in the long run. The media & entertainment industry had better reinvent its model instead of trying to persuade everyone that piracy is the reason why people buy less CDs and to coerce people into paying the outrageous margins of an obsolete value chain that comprises many unnecessary intermediaries. The point of the matter is that we consumers demand:

  1. usability in the form of easy access to content through open technologies making it possible to transmit and reuse content in a fair way (managed within the framework defined by Creative Commons)

  2. convenience in the form of not having to toy around complicated rights management stuff whenever we want to simply listen to music. That means that we want to maintain at least the same degree of flexibility with digital content as we have with off-line stuff (e.g. if I can lend my collection of CDs to a friend, I don't see why that is so cumbersome to achieve with DRM protected material)

  3. seamless usage of content across our various devices because nobody understands why for example some protected CDs will not play in a car audio player...

for a reasonable price that compensates the artist and those adding value to the industry.

And as a matter of fact, the distinction between producers and consumers of musical content is fading away; this is the age of the prosumer in music too... Alvin Toffler was right in his analyses in the Third Wave and in Powershift.

== Go read the article in The Register

Few people know the music industry better than Peter Jenner. Pink Floyd's first manager. Jenner has also looked after T.Rex, The Clash, Ian Dury, Disposable Heroes and Billy Bragg - who he manages today. He's also secretary general of the International Music Managers Forum. And he doesn't pull his punches.

read more | digg story

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