updated 06:05 pm EDT, Wed July 26, 2006
DRM "hurts" customers
The hotly-debated topic of digital rights management (DRM) restrictions imposed upon consumers of digital works to guard against piracy continues to rage, as one columnist claims that only two types of DRM exist, and that Apple's FairPlay DRM hurts both customers and partners. "Apple sold a billion tracks in three years in spite of its DRM, not because of it," said InformationWeek columnist Cory Doctorow. "No Apple customer bought an iTune because of the DRM." The author cites previously-proposed restrictions by industry executives, such as characterizing skipping commercials on TV as theft, but allowing "a certain amount of bathroom activity."
"What's more, every track in the iTunes music store can be downloaded for free from P2P networks," Doctorow continued. "Apple proves that you can sell music without DRM all day long -- all adding DRM to Apple's music does is give Apple the ability to abuse its customers and its partners from the labels."