Welcome to The CITE -- a blog on Course materials, Innovation, and Technology in Education, created by Mark Nelson and now part of the Publications Department of the National Association of College Stores. CITE is a pun with multiple meanings - referring to cite as in citation, something people reference; site as in location, website, or place people go to; and sight as in foresight or looking ahead to what is coming. Comments, discussion, feedback and ideas are welcome.

Monday, November 26, 2007

End of music DRM?

There's an interesting story on Rafat Ali's blog recently about how UK retailers are demanding the end of DRM on music. Here's the clip, along with a link to the original blogpost which has links to some other interesting related stories:

UK Music Retailers To Labels: ‘Drop DRM By Christmas’
By Robert Andrews - Tue 20 Nov 2007 10:22 AM PST

The writing’s on the wall for music DRM - now even the folk who sell music (the UK’s Entertainment Retailers Association) are calling on the industry to drop the protection.
Director-general Kim Bayley said labels have been “quick to complain” that the holy grail of digital offsetting physical sales has not yet been met. But clumsy protection ”might have added to the slow take-up of legal digital services”, she told FT.com, observing “just 150 million tracks” have been sold digitally in the UK in the last three years. “Sadly, that amounts to an average of less than one £0.79 ($1.61) per download per head of population per year. At the moment, [DRM] just puts consumers off.”

The numbers might be skewed (not every member of the population was an analog music customer). But Bayley isn’t dawdling - the ERA, which represents nearly 200 retailers like HMV (LSE: HMV) and WH Smith, wants the industry to drop DRM before Christmas, so customers can add free and open tracks to the iPods they get under the tree this year.


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