Well sort of. Microsoft is investing $500 million in DRM, hoping that by giving away the technology for free, they will make Windows Media audio and video the preferred formats, with both electronics and media companies, as well as consumers. MS worries about copy-protected CDs that won't play on PCs. But even electronics manufacturers and media companies apparently wonder whether MS has a real interest in DRM, or is just protecting the Windows monopoly. However, according to the article, Jupiter Research, "About 40 percent of 15- to 17-year-olds buying a CD in the last 12 months said downloading influenced their purchase; 28 percent had copied music from a friend." And it also mentions the paper published by some MS employees (see bIPlog post) saying, "DRM technology would likely fail because of consumer resistance to content protection and acceptance of file trading. The researchers concluded 'that a vendor will probably make more money by selling unprotected objects than protected objects'."
And the Internet Streaming Media Alliance (ISMA) just announced it is finishing the MPEG-4 standard for open review at the April convention of the National Broadcasters Association. This MPEG-4 standard will include DRM. The lack of DRM has been a problem for the adoption of previous MPEG standards, which are considered to be open standards, verses the Windows and Real media standards which are proprietary.
So is the moral quagmire for the digital rights manager whether to use a proprietary system or not, or just run with the market for downloading and make something people want enough to pay for that is simple to use and comprehensive in content, forgetting the DRM altogether? I guess you know what I would do.Posted by Mary Hodder at February 04, 2003 09:14 AM