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Digital Wrongs Management

Robert Palmer

I don't think anybody likes DRM. Customers certainly don't like it: they want to listen to music and watch video where and when they please. I don't think it's that popular with the content providers, either, because it's not a perfect solution. It might cut down on some piracy, but by no means eliminates it entirely.

DRM has come up recently in a few places, and companies have set up camps at two ends of the spectrum. is doing a booming business selling DRM-free music, sometimes for better prices than at the iTunes Store. On the other hand, we have NBC, who may or may not be partnering with Microsoft to create device software that (somehow) determines if a particular music or video file has been stolen.

As much as I'm sure that both Zune users would appreciate having access to NBC's video library, the problem remains of how exactly Microsoft would do that, aside from splashing giant watermarks across everything. My money's on unicorn tears.

How much more investment will there be in DRM before content providers realize it's an inefficient, ineffective way of deterring piracy? Sound off in comments.

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