Two interesting articles from CNET News, one is an interview with the head of NARM, the US National Association of Recording Merchandisers about how retailers have to get with the programme of online music delivery. What is interesting is how her iPod showed her what digital music could be. Both Bob Leftsetz and Hillary Rosen have written about their iPod. What it points out is Apple is connected to their customers and provides a good experience. The majors and the RIAA don't see music fans and buyers as customers. For the majors, NARM are their customers. So when they start saying things have to change, they just might.
For all the record labels' complaints about online piracy, it's the traditional record stores that have borne the brunt of falling music sales. Even a retailing stalwart like Wherehouse has declared bankruptcy, while the likes of Tower Records is skating on the edge of insolvency.
But Pamela Horovitz, president of the National Association of Recording Merchandisers (NARM), sees light at the end of what has seemed to be an ever-lengthening tunnel. The next year, she says, just might be the one where offline retailers figure out their role in the digital world.
The other is about a bill to label crippled digital media as such.
WASHINGTON--Software, music and movies that employ copy-protection schemes must be prominently labeled with consumer warnings, according to a bill introduced in Congress this week.
The measure, sponsored by Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., would grant the Federal Trade Commission the power to establish labeling methods for technology that limits the ability of consumers to freely copy, distribute or back up digital content.
"While digital media companies are racing to develop technologies to combat piracy, some of these antipiracy measures could have the effect of restricting lawful, legitimate consumer uses as well as unlawful copying," Wyden said in a statement. "My bill says that if digital content is released in a form that prevents or limits reasonable consumer use, consumers have a right to be told in advance."