Saturday, September 27, 2008

Walmart DRM: and consumers still don't care?

Another seller of DRMd music is making their music worthless ...
Slashdot: News for nerds, stuff that matters: "'So, you thought you did well to support the fledgling music industry by purchasing your tracks legally from the Wal-Mart store? Well, forget about moving these tracks to a new PC! Since they started selling DRM-free tracks last year, there's no money to be made in maintaining the DRM support systems, and in fact, support is being shut down. Make sure you circumvent the restrictions by burning the tracks to an old-fashioned CD before Wal-mart 'will no longer be able to assist with digital rights management issues for protected WMA files purchased from' Support ends October 9th.'"
This is at least the 3-4th time a DRMd music vendor has shutdown and taken their customer's music with them.

The interesting aspect is that consumers don't seem to worry about DRM at all.

Why is that? Here are my guesses:
  1. Tyranny of the mean: people just can't get their heads around this stuff.
  2. Just too complicated: people have to much complexity going on to even think about it.
  3. Bigger things to worry about: I'm about to lose my house. F*** my music.
  4. It's not that much money: Pocket change. Don't care.
  5. Only buy Apple, assume Apple is immortal. (See #1.)
  6. 21st century transience: Nothing is expected to endure. All is transient. Music is the same.
  7. Never buys music, steals it.
  8. Doesn't buys DRMd music, buys used CDs, rips music, resells 'em (legally equivalent to #7).
  9. Doesn't buy DRMd music, buys CDs, rip them, and keep them. (us)
  10. All of the above.
All of the above, of course, but 7-9 are important. People who like music either buy CDs and convert, or they steal it outright. I also think that younger consumers expect transience, they live in an ethereal world.

Every time some vendor turns off their DRMd music they make stealing music more respectable, and make buying music look foolish.

At this point I think music thieves occupy the moral high ground.

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