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Hilary Rosen Inconvenienced by DRM

May 10, 2005

Wow — they’ve been around a whole day, and already The Huffington Press has put out the funniest post I’ve seen this month.

It turns out Hilary Rosen, former head of the RIAA, finds Apple’s Fairplay DRM inconvenient.

The problem is that the iPod only works with either songs that you buy from the on-line Apple iTunes store or songs that you rip from your own CD’s. But those other music sites have lots of music that you can’t get at the iTunes store. So, if you have an iPod, you are out of luck. If you are really a geek, you can figure out how to strip the songs you might have bought from another on-line store of all identifying information so that they will go into the iPod. But then you have also degraded the sound quality. How cruel.

Damn.

What a shame that the bloodsucking leeches music artist’s exploiters representatives are so worried about being disintermediated that they forced online music download technologies to use these byzantine rights management systems. Systems that are guaranteed to keep people from being able to legitimately use the music that they have legally purchased in the manner that they want to use it — such as how Hilary would like to use her purchases.

That definitely sucks.

In fact, that sucks nearly as bad as artists not making a dime from sites like iTunes Music Store. It seems that of the 65 cents or so that the record labels make off of each download (and use to, among other things, pay people like Hilary to make sure we’re all inconvenienced with DRM), some artists make all of a dime or so — while others aren’t nearly as lucky.

Still, my heart goes out to Hilary, and her plight. I do wish her the best, and hope that not too much of her karma decides to come home to roost at once.

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