Saturday, May 19, 2007

Music is becoming DRM free, but what video?

Shelly Palmer asks this question in an opinion write up at Yahoo News.
Now that companies like Amazon and iTunes seem to be in a rush to abandon DRM on music, a lot of people are asking "what about movies?

Shelly writes up some interesting points, but ultimately boils the whole issue down to one of use. She says (and MAN am I paraphrasing here) is that because we listen to music with only partial focus (which I disagree with) and movies take our full attention, that the two formats will continue to be treated differently. Music files equal small and easy to transfer, movies equal big and harder to transfer.

I know she's just bringing up discussion points, but I really don't like it when DRM discussions are over simplified.

Because of simplistic "point boiling" I have a really hard time talking to actors about their work. Quite a few truly believe that 15 year olds downloading files are why there are fewer sales, and they keep calling that "piracy" (thats a whole other nuther post though). No one seems willing to consider that over charging for physical media (and there aren't a lot of options for getting this entertainment) might be one culprit. I would say that paying as much as $20 for a CD is probably what sparked the original Napster, and yet still, immediately following the creation of the original Napster we saw an increase in music sales (before Metallic started suing fans at least). No one seems to think that continual increases in entertainment costs (for the same level of entertainment "quality") might cause someone to consider alternative avenues for acquiring entertainment (both legal and illegal). Lastly I for one am completely fed up with being treated like a criminal for purchasing content, and because I know my way around a computer (you can't imagine the arguments I've had over file sharing, p2p is a distribution method not guaranteed theft, and saying otherwise is just trying to stifle technological advance).

It doesn't matter what the file is.
It doesn't matter how big the file is.
It doesn't matter what format the file is.

The movie industry is making the same mistake the music industry made. It will cost studios, productions, actors, and consumers a lot of money to realize that they are making the same mistakes the music industry made.

I think as soon as companies stop trying to lock consumers out of content (and consider something really smart like watermarking to find exactly WHO is spreading stuff), the sooner we all start making A LOT MORE MONEY!

Read Shelly's article here...
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