There seems to be nothing better than the content and smug feeling you get by saying “we told you so”. Well, we did, and it seems clear that the technical protection measure experiment may have finally crashed (henceforth DRM). Several sites report what every person even mildly clued-in to the music scene already knew, that EMI’s music has experienced noticeable gains with iTunes Plus service.
Common sense prevails (I’m sceptical about the argument from common sense, but please indulge me this time). Most people who love music want, at one point in their lives, to be able to reward those artists that make them feel good. This reward can take all sorts of shapes, from buying a CD to buying the lead guitarist a drink when they are at the bar after a gig, and patting them in the back and saying “well done mate”. DRM is not one of those natural and moral reward mechanisms. DRM sends a clear message to the fan, it says “we think you’re a thief, we only want your money, go away”. We want to do all sorts of things with the music, including sharing it with friends and family from time to time. DRM stops us from doing that.
I will continue to buy DRM-free music from iTunes, and if enough of us do, I think that other companies may follow.