More evidence that the music industry really doesn’t understand the people formerly known as “customers” (now largely considered by them to be filthy pirates).
The head of the RIAA’s technology unit believes there is a “movement” where people will no longer want to buy music but instead will opt to rent it.
Hughes believes that per-track purchases are going the way of the dodo in favor of these other models, and that’s why DRM will have a resurgence. “I think there is going to be a shift,” he said. “I think there will be a movement towards subscription services and they will eventually mean the return of DRM.” Hughes did acknowledge that users would rather live in a world where DRM stayed out of their way by saying that as long as they get to use files how they want, users don’t care about DRM.
Ok, don’t call this concept a “subscription service”! If I subscribe to a magazine, I get to keep all the copies I’ve received even after I cancel the subscription.
This is more analogous to renting an apartment where, when I stop paying, the building owner throws me out.
Of course, in the RIAA’s ideal world, the big recording companies would get paid every time a track was played. That probably won’t happen, so the “subscription” scam is the next best thing.
As to the part about users not caring about DRM, the RIAA is also way off base.
The problem with DRM is that users can’t use the files how they want, which is why they do care. And we’re miles away from the kind of magical solution solution envisioned by the Hughes that would create the perfect, unnoticeable DRM scheme. Others on the panel realize this. Digimarc Corp. director of business development Rajan Samtani pointed out that there are too many ways for the “kids” to get around DRM and that it’s time to “throw in the towel.”
The big problem with the people from the RIAA is that they spend too much time discussing these issues with each other and not nearly enough asking real users what they want from the product they’re paying for.