Saturday, January 19, 2008

How the music industry can regain control

If I were the music industry, this is how I'd regain control ...
Gordon's Tech: DRM, the new iPods and the unanticipated:

.... I'd be buying up used CDs and destroying them, while distributing new music by wire -- with full DRM support. Is anyone visiting used CD store looking for suspicious batch buyers?

What about the strategy of selling non-DRMd music on Amazon? Sure, it's good for beating up Apple, but I think it's really about destroying the CD. Buy up used CDs and destroy them, migrate consumers off CDs and onto the wire, then introduce robust watermarked identifiers so music can always be traced to the purchaser.

Not a bad strategy really, but it's sure to have unanticipated consequences. What will it mean when all thinks identify us? What will happen to the use and value of these identifiers? Will kidnappers force people to turn over their music collection? Will owners be able to 'repudiate' their data, so it becomes unplayable? How will all this data be mined?
I think it might work. (Originally on my tech blog, but in a post on the DRM technology of the newer iPods I slid over into opinion.)

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