The Madness of King Copyright


After inflicting 10 years of pain on everyone else, the recorded music industry has finally come around to the evils of DRM, with a report that most major labels will be making their tracks available on iTunes DRM free – but at an increased price.

So what seems to happen is:

* the music labels will produce a track of music, which they can sell for a price ($X);

* they will then go to more effort to make that product defective, and sell it for a lesser price ($x).  The more defective they make it, the cheaper $x will be; and

* the legislatures have passed laws preventing music owners from rectifying the defects that the sellers have made.

Does this strike anybody as at least a little bit insane?

2 Responses to “The Madness of King Copyright”


  1. 1 Matthew 9 March 2009 at 7:47 pm

    On the side of less insane, it looks like BigPond Music are offering DRM-free tracks exclusively now…

    Any thoughts?

  2. 2 brendanscott 9 March 2009 at 9:27 pm

    Carriers were beguiled in the 90s and early 00s into thinking they’d make a bucketload of $$$ by “adding value” to their basic service (ie the carriage of data). The proposed to do this by being, or joint venturing with, content providers to sell “content”. My impression is that none of these have been successful for any concerned – except copyright ideologues. For the ideologues, carriage providers, with their minds on those $$$ were neutralised as an effective opposition to the maximalisation of copyright. Carriage providers’ best interest is to have 0 copyright as this maximises the demand for carriage[*]. It is therefore in any carriage provider’s best interest to promote the sale of merchantable content.

    * There is one proviso here, being that it may be that copyright law may cause people to preference internet exchange due to its anonymity, rather than the exchange of a physical object. It would be much faster (and, incidentally, much cheaper – at about AU$4/GB) to burn a 1.5TB HDD and hand it to someone than to transmit it over the internet.


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