At the Music 2.0 conference held in Los Angeles recently, Yahoo Music chief executive Dave Goldberg summed up the prevailing industry sentiment. He also emphasized his opposition to DRM in his communication with shareholders and in his regular columns with periodicals. Other significant decision makers of the Information Technology industry have joined the chorus to unlock digital music. So, when the members of the industry themselves admit the failure of the DRM enterprise, its ineffectiveness is proved beyond doubt. A survey conducted among the music industry executives and members of information technology industry in 2007 shows that most of the respondents – a group comprised by employees of major and independent record labels, industry and special interest groups, digital stories, and services and technology providers – express similar views on the issue. The results are as follows:
“Among the executives surveyed, 62% agreed that dropping DRM would drive adoption of digital music and 54% said that DRM was overly restrictive. Presented with the statement “DRM is essential for online music,” 56% of respondents disagreed. Only 11% of those surveyed believe that DRM-free music would threaten revenues.” (Information Week, 2007)
The above results are as much a reflection of IT professionals’ ignorance of the business, legal and economic conditions of their industry.
In the final analysis, the lack of awareness among IT professionals – the ones who decide the technologies being applied – has brought about a situation where DRM’s days are numbered. The changes are already in the air. Leading the progress is EMI Records, which has been “experimenting with distributing unprotected digital music downloads and is reportedly reviewing its position on content protection technology for CDs”. Some analysts predict that the year 2007 would be the last of DRM days. James McQuivey sums up the situation succinctly thus: “There’s no evidence that a DRM-free world is more injurious than the one in which we already live. There’s no evidence it’s going to suddenly ignite a new firestorm of piracy and anarchy” (Information Week, 2007).
“European Music Execs Dissatisfied With DRM; Could 2007 be the year that one of the major music companies breaks ranks and gives up on DRM?(digital rights management). .” InformationWeek,. (Feb 14, 2007)
“In the beginning, there was rhythm.(music piracy control by using digital rights management technology). .” Personal Computer World. (Dec 5, 2006):
Compton, Jason. “Data Business – Lock up your data – DRM comes to the enterprise. Documents can be more of a security risk than the repositories they sit in. Jason Compton looks at how digital rights management can prevent sensitive data from wandering out of the workplace. ” Computing. (Nov 24, 2005): 44
O’Brien, Danny. “Stand up for your rights: overzealous copyright enforcement is changing the way we enjoy books, music and film. We risk losing some of our most basic freedoms. ” New Scientist. 183.2463 (Sept 4, 2004): 15(1).
Goodman, Michael. “ANALYST SPEAK: Why media owners will never make DRM work.(digital rights management). .” New Media Age., (June 14, 2007): 10.
deCarmo, Linden. “Media Alert – New digital rights technologies protect content creators’ interests, but what about users’ rights?” PC Magazine. (June 26, 2001): 80.