Thank you kindly, EMI…

EMI set to drag majors into DRM-free future | The Register

Well, it was actually A&M that the Sex Pistols thanked in The Great Rock ‘n’ Roll Swindle, but that was the line that immediately came to my mind when I heard the as yet unconfirmed report that one of the major record companies is considering breaking ranks and abandoning the DRM silliness that makes buying music online more of a pain than it needs to be.

The problem with “securing” music files is that the security can break, rendering the downloaded files unusable, the process of transferring to mobile players can go wrong, and it all gets a bit messy. Now there are ways around this. People who are so inclined can use ever so slightly dodgy software to effectively remove the DRM and end up with music files that they can use any way they wish. I don’t do that sort of thing, but I’ve heard about it…

As with so many computer-related things[1], all this nonsense doesn’t stop people who actually want to make illegal copies, but just makes things awkward for honest people.

And that’s without getting into things like Sony’s ill-conceived attempts to copy-protect music CDs by installing rootkits on people’s computers…

So to see a major record company apparently realising that DRM is more trouble than it’s worth is a positive sign.

It will be interesting to see what happens, and what impact this has on rental-style services like Napster.

[1] Copy protection, product activation, and the idiotically named Windows Genuine Advantage, which is advantageous to nobody at all…

4 thoughts on “Thank you kindly, EMI…

  1. Pingback: No more DRM? | Losing it

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