Have a bo-peep at this article: iTunes goes DRM free
One of my pet peaves about downloadable music has always been DRM. Actually DRM is one of my all time most hated things along with Telstra, Sony, Audi drivers and Parisian street merchants. Now Apple has converted almost its entire catalogue to iTunes Plus, removing DRM and increasing the bit rate to 256kbps AAC, and giving variable pricing on the music. The last 2,000,000 or so songs will be done by the end of March.
I’ve always been solidly against paying for music with DRM, simply because you never really own it, and are tied in to one place to listen to it. No putting it on a thumb drive to plug into your TV, or playing it on a Zune or iRiver player. Nope, you were locked into iTunes (or whichever variant player you bought your music through), and that was it. Now at least Apple has convinced all the major music labels (even those proprietary bastards Sony) to sell DRM free. This means I will actually pay for music now.
Companies have always been worried that piracy causes them to lose money. Wrong! Putting a draconian form of protection on music is the cause. People won’t buy the music. What if the company goes bust? What if they change music players or software? I would never buy music that was protected, so that was my money they were never going to get. Why is it that downloadable music had copy protection, but CD’s never did? And while I’m on it, why do artists sell music anyway? Madonna in 2007 made only $10m off album sales, but over $120m off concert ticket sales. That’s the answer. Do what Radiohead and Nine Inch Nails have done: give your music away to promote the concerts. But wait, then the record labels lose their cut. Meh, so what? They take grannies to court and deserve their comeuppance.
So good on you Apple. I’m glad Jobs has finally put his money where his mouth is and followed through with his promise from last year.