How the Sony Scandal Has Hurt DRM
“Real Networks today announced the availability of a web-based version of its Rhapsody music service. Finally, there is a listen-on-demand authorized music service with deep major label catalog that Mac and Linux users can use. I expect Napster 2.0 and Yahoo! will feel competitive pressure to migrate to a cross-platform, browser-based solution, as well.
“What strikes me about this announcement is the implicit rejection of DRM that it represents. After all, while Real touts Rhapsody as primarily a ‘streaming’ music service, everyone knows that it is trivial to turn a ‘stream’ into a ‘download’ by using widely available software tools. Audio Hijack, for example, records Rhapsody streams without any problem on my OS X machine. And everyone knows that Linux users will have new ‘stream-ripping'” applications aimed at Rhapsody before you can say “DVD Jon.” So it seems clear that Rhapsody has managed to talk its major label licensors into allowing them to concentrate on attracting customers, rather than shackling them in a misguided attempt to restrict the music that is already available on P2P networks for free.
“That’s a good sign. We’ve been saying for years now that the music industry needs to pay more attention to fattening the carrot, and less to brandishing the stick.”
EFF Deep Links. Beginning of the End for Music DRM. Dec. 5, 2005.
CopyCense™: K. Matthew Dames on the intersection of business, law and technology. A business venture of Seso Digital LLC.