Friday, December 22, 2006

Down with DRM!

Increasingly, music lovers are becoming fed up with competing rights management schemes for digital players like iPod and Zune.

Fred Benenson spent a recent drizzly Saturday afternoon with friends in Manhattan wearing yellow hazmat suits. They were in front of the new Apple store on Fifth Avenue, distributing flyers and explaining to passersby why iTunes, Apple’s online music store, “sucks.” The target of their ire: a technology the recording and film industries call “Digital Rights Management.” DRM, as it’s known, is encoded onto downloadable digital content so that copyright owners can prevent piracy. But it also prevents people from transferring downloaded content as they might like. Since different companies use different DRM technologies, an iTunes-bought song can’t be moved to a Zune, Microsoft’s new answer to the iPod, or even e-mailed to a friend. Since the vast majority of online music is sold on iTunes, “Apple has a stranglehold,” says Benenson, 23, a graduate student at New York University’s interactive telecommunications program. “There are some musicians who I like who will only offer music on the iTunes store.”

Music: Fans Mad at Anti-Piracy DRM - Newsweek Entertainment -

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