DRM: Someone Check My Logic

Scoble has a post up suggesting that the RIAA is right and that we shouldn’t rip Cd’s.

1. Cause no one should copy Britney Spears, not to mention listen to her. The RIAA is doing us a service by making sure we don’t listen to her. Oh, and the RIAA is so brilliant that they brought us Britney in the first place (and now Hannah Montana) and that’s evidence enough that they are right and we should listen to them.
2. Because no one should be allowed to use music how they want. For instance, I hate using a CD player. Why? That requires me to get off the couch, find the darn CD and hope I put it away properly after that fun party, and then find the song I want instead of just opening iTunes from my couch and clicking on the right song. The RIAA is doing us a service by forcing us to get off the couch and get some exercise.
3. Bits have feelings too. Turning them from 0 to 1 hurts them.
4. They’ll force the kids to buy non-DRM music from the get go and not buy any CDs. Good for the environment! (My son, Patrick, says he only buys MP3’s or AAC’s without DRM now off of his online music stores).
5. This behavior will make sure people buy (or steal) music directly from bands. See how Radiohead did it. By doing that the price for music will go down thanks to fewer intermediaries. RIAA is just helping us get rid of them, which is good for everyone who loves music. See, they are on our side! I’m looking for a site that lets us do Vendor Relationship Management with bands. Doc Searls taught me about VRM. What is that? When we can get the company to do what WE want. Radiohead put the power of setting the price in OUR hands. Brilliant.
6. My son says that since they are making stealing music so dangerous (the kids are hearing the stories about parents getting sued for hundreds of thosuands of dollars) that they are getting paranoid about stealing music. So, what do they do instead? Have you heard of iPod trading? You will. Ahh, and we thought “sneaker net” was dead? Yeah, right. The RIAA brought it back.

On the plus side of this, I agree that music should NOT be copied to distribute. In other words, ripping music to a publicly accessible file sharing service or server is a no-no.

I mean it. We gotta remember that artist and records labels have to be compensated for all the work they do. And to ensure that they do, they have distribution networks set up – wether that is digital, CD, radio, etc.

So far so good.

I only buy CD’s. And I rip them for Personal Use. Let me emphasise that again- personal use.

And let be clear I have nothing against buying digital music off iTunes et al. The only problem is the DRM. Pure and simple.

DRM is the Black Death of the digital commodities industry today. When I buy a CD, I expect to be able to use the music across my home network, put it on my iPod and listen to it however I choose. The intrusion of DRM is nothing more than a source of frustration. So I buy CD’s to avoid the intrusion of DRM by iTunes and the like.

The limits of personal use are clearly defined. The barrier between personal use and piracy is just as clear.

So I propose the following: that the RIAA and the equivalent bodies in other countries trust the consumer.

Sounds radical. But think of this. Shouldn’t music and software companies be working together to find easier ways of identifying those who overstep the bounds of personal use? Instead of frustrating every Tom, Dick and Harry out there that want to enjoy the music, the pointy end of the stick should be firmly on those who overstep those clear bounds.

Amazon, eMusic – and to a lesser extent Apple- are trusting the consumer.

The RIAA just has to play catch up and face the music.