Jan 082008
Part of the Applied Anarchy Series - Previous in series         Next in series

I really need to move BusinessWeek a bit higher on my must read list, as I nearly missed this wonderful bit of news-

In a move that would mark the end of a digital music era, Sony BMG Music Entertainment is finalizing plans to sell songs without the copyright protection software that has long restricted the use of music downloaded from the Internet, BusinessWeek.com has learned. Sony BMG, a joint venture of Sony and Bertelsmann, will make at least part of its collection available without so-called digital rights management, or DRM, software some time in the first quarter, according to people familiar with the matter.

Sony BMG would become the last of the top four music labels to drop DRM, following Warner Music Group, which in late December said it would sell DRM-free songs through Amazon.com’s digital music store. EMI and Vivendi’s Universal Music Group announced their plans for DRM-free downloads earlier in 2007.

The impetus to lift copyright protection represents a sea change for the recording industry, which for the better part of a decade has used DRM to guard against what it considers illegal distribution and duplication of songs purchased online. In abandoning DRM on à la carte song purchases, the labels could create a raft of new, less restrictive ways of selling music over the Internet, such as through social networks like Facebook and News Corp.’s MySpace. Partnerships with retailers such as Amazon could also help the music industry take a swipe at Apple, which has come to dominate the legal download market through a one-size-fits-all pricing scheme record labels find restrictive.

The market worked fairly slowly, if inexorably, towards this point as a result of the music industries reliance on the crutch of government laws, but it reached it all the same, just as we knew it would. Despite full government support for restrictive licensing (near-infinite copyright extensions, thousands (millions?) of lawsuits by the RIAA against individuals and organizations alike, SWAT raids on P2P servers and government sponsored propaganda campaigns) the will of the consumer has finally won out. In a true free market this fight would likely have taken months rather than years, but its further proof that government solutions are no solutions at all. What the consumer wants the businesses will provide or the consumers will find it elsewhere. Why it takes so many millionaire MBAs so long to figure out what every teenager knows is beyond me, but at least we can chalk up another market for victory.

For those of you who think that government can never be defeated, that anarchists, agorists, and free marketeers are all howling in the wind, here’s the latest example that fascism cannot succeed in the long run. The corporations may be powerful, the government may have the guns, but the people have the numbers on their side. So crank up some tunes slip into your hot tubs, and enjoy the music folx. Because the next step is tearing down copyright in general and the DMCA in particular!

Part of the Applied Anarchy Series - Previous in series        Next in series

  3 Responses to “The Market Finally Takes Down DRM – Copyright Quivers In Boots”

  1. It was long overdue

  2. Welcome Shelly, and thanks for your support!

  3. Huzzah and hooray!

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