Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Just Give Consumers What They Want

Atlas Blogged points to a nice article on the future of DRM and old school media companies.

The music, movie and publishing industries do not deserve to survive if their only way to remain viable is to undermine copyright law and replace it with restrictive contracts backed by harsh penalties for breaking the inevitably flawed DRM they wrap around their products. Others will take their place, and I cannot see that this is a bad thing.
How many times do media companies have to spend millions of dollars on a DRM technology only to see it hacked in a matter of days before they simply give up?

It appears to me that it would be more productive to make money by providing users with what they want rather than forcing them to buy what you want.

Or to put it another way - consumers want digital music that they can use anywhere and anyway they want. On their computer, in their car, on their MP3 player, or on their home stereo. Find a revenue model that allows you to provide media in this fashion and you will blow the socks off Sony, Apple, Microsoft and all the rest of the companies that want to make consuming media difficult.

Not only will such a company become an immediate market leader, they will force all of the other companies to follow suit very quickly and you will see pirated content all but disappear.

Most consumers that I know don't find paying for content, they just don't like paying for content that is handicapped. As soon as traditional media companies understand this point, the tired game of copyright lawsuits will become a thing of the past.

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