updated 02:15 pm EST, Fri December 15, 2006
Bill Gates on DRM
Microsoft's Bill Gates objects to digital rights management as it exists today, according to a report by Mike Arrington of TechCrunch on a recent bloggers' convention at the Microsoft campus. When asked his opinion about DRM, Gates freely said that the restrictions "cause too much pain for legitimate users," who frequently encounter arbitrary limits on devices and may not be aware of their usage rights. The executive suggests that people choose to buy and rip CDs instead and that options should exist for alternate business models, such as paying for unlimited access to a particular artist's songs.
Gates' statements have come as a surprise to some at the convention, as Microsoft's recently released Zune is linked to the DRM-restricted Zune Marketplace online store and applies protection to songs shared through the WiFi "squirting" feature, even when the source tracks are unrestricted.