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CE-Oh no he didn't! Part XXI : Gates tells consumers to ditch DRMed tunes, buy CDs

Cyrus Farivar
12.14.06
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For our latest episode of CE-Oh No He Didn't, we turn to a perennial favorite: Bill Gates. At a recent blogger event (read: junket) up in Redmond, Gates apparently told the audience that DRM has "huge problems" (despite the fact that his company is one of its biggest proponents). Bill's a smart guy and his belief in DRM's suckiness isn't all that shocking, but even we were taken aback when he suggested picking up a freshly wrapped compact disc instead of pointing your interests towards his own company's music store, or in his words: "People should just buy a CD and rip it. You are legal then." Say, doesn't the RIAA seem to disagree with Mr. Gates' assessment, given that it still views ripping CDs has being sorta, um, illegal? And doesn't Microsoft go out of its way to break precedent by ponying up cash on Zune sales to RIAA cartel commander Universal Music? We realize there's only so much dogfooding one can do before going off the deep end, and we don't necessarily expect Bill to agree with every decision Microsoft makes. But what gets us here is that this is such a subtle and tacit admission of defeat at the hands of the record industry. The man DOES carry a Zune, and the man does actually listen to music on it, but maybe he doesn't realize that Microsoft could have held the power to strike a blow in the RIAA's armor and change things for the better for consumers -- Zune carrying consumers, like even he.

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