First posted on Mark Is Cranky:
Ah…another year, another lame copy protection mechanism. Jokes are often made about the major record labels being multi-headed monsters but the more appropriate metaphor has got to be an animal with multiple feet. Let’s face it, the majors seem to delight in shooting themselves in the foot: over and over and over and over again.
Just this week, Sony BMG and EMI announced their new DRM scheme, including plans to roll the stuff out as fast as possible. Without going into the technical details (mostly because I don’t know them) the gist is that the CD’s may only be copied three times. Also, the copies may not be copied. How did they accomplish this? I don’t really care. Hey, they don’t really care about their customers, I don’t care about their pathetic machinations.
To quote the most infuriating bit of the article:
- “Executives at EMI and Sony BMG said the point was to rein in copying by the everyday music fan, not to stop determined bootleggers.”
Uhmm…hello Ms./Mr./Miss/Mrs. Executive! For how many years now have you managed to ignore the fact that people who download tend to purchase more music? For how many years have you convinced yourselves that downloading (as opposed to weak product offerings!) is killing your bottom line? How much money have you spent on these ridiculous technological “fixes”? Yes, ‘fixes’ in quotes because every copy protection scheme has been broken. That will never change. That’s right. You will never see a return on that ‘investment’ because it won’t work. It can’t.
In the meantime, you are further pissing off your customers while adding (and in all likelihood subtracting) nothing to your bottom line. NOTHING. Think about what I’m saying here. Think of the following scenario: I just paid good money for an iPod (I know, I know…you wish they didn’t exist. The same thought occurs to the rest of us about things like cancer, mosquitoes and Michael Bolton). Then, on a quick visit to the local CD store, the latest Foo Fighters disc makes its way into my hands. Now, at work my laptop’s CD player is usually busy with things like software installations, Encarta data, etc. So I figured that the iPod is perfect. I can keep working AND listen to the music that I love…that I just purchased with my own money. But your new scheme makes it difficult (but not impossible) to get those music files onto my lovely iPod.
I can’t make use of your product, but you’ve got my money!
Now, if you can just figure out how to get me to send in money with no product exchange. That’ll be the perfect solution. You’ll be rich and I’ll get nothing.
Just how many non-injured feet do you have left?
(For more reading on this brilliant business maneuver, read on.)