|Tuesday, June 20, 2006|
Interoperability and DRM Are Mutually Exclusive: The music industry’s insistence upon DRM is what put the ITMS in the position that Apple now enjoys; the record industry is decrying a lock-in advantage that they themselves handed to Apple. (Via Daring Fireball.)
This article is a good start, but it gives too much credit to the music industry. They are not just misguided about the impossibility of interoperable DRM. Anyone with a clue has understood this since the original interoperable DRM efforts collapsed circa 2000. Some music industry executives may still lack a clue, but they do not have much incentive to learn because the central issue for them is not interoperability, but control. Attacking Apple here (like the publishers attacking Google, or the telecoms attacking net neutrality) is misdirection covering up that issue. The major labels don't really care that one DRM system dominates the market, they only care that the system is not theirs to do as they please, for example in introducing variable per-track pricing (shades of the telecoms and net neutrality).
I rarely buy from iTMS because I dislike its tying down to particular machines and lower quality than what I get by buying CDs and ripping them at a custom AAC rate. Not to mention the pleasure of walking down to my locally-owned record store and browsing their well-chosen new arrivals (last month's purchases):