June 25, 2005
Engadget has up an interesting editorial — “In Defense of DRM“.
An unpopular position, to be sure. Their point is that, were it not for DRM, we wouldn’t have options to buy individual tracks, nor would we see the current widespread growth of Internet radio.
If you can get past your visceral negative reaction, youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll quickly see that DRM has actually brought consumers more advancements than restrictions. In truth, the hatred of DRM is a product of its own success; without the added options which DRM brings to the table there would be little to rebel against.
Sorry, but these arguments seem like bullsh*t to me.
Music by the track was happening with or without DRM. To be sure, it had only started with independent artists, and DRM encouraged all of the labels to play.
If that hadn’t happened, however, I don’t think we really know what would have happened. I think it’s quite likely we’d have seen an even bigger exodus of disgruntled artists from the major labels, selling their own downloads without DRM.
Likewise, the record labels worked overtime trying to kill the early independent streaming audio stations. If that hadn’t have happened, who knows that those early pioneers wouldn’t be the online music powerhouses instead of the DRM’d to death Windows Media stations and their ilk?