I usually hate posting twice in one day but since I'm gone for a week after this I figured "What the heck?"
Plus, this topic is something that worries me greatly (and not for the reasons you might think). In an article entitled "RIAA: DRM not dead and likely will make a comeback" CNet's Greg Sandoval writes...
Last January, when Sony BMG became the last major recording company to sell DRM-free tracks at Amazon, plenty of observers considered the technology buried. Since then, a growing number of online stores have begun offering at least some open MP3s, including Walmart.com, Zune's Marketplace, Amazon, as well as iTunes.
Not so fast, said Hughes, who predicted that DRM would reemerge in a big way. "I think there is going to be a shift," he told the audience. "I think there will be a movement towards subscription services, and (that) will eventually mean the return of DRM."
Hughes also said that DRM must change so that the public sees it less as a sort of policeman that locks music a way. He would prefer a mode where consumers don't notice DRM at all. "People just want music when they want it," he said. "It's about access. If they get that then they don't care about DRM."
Here's the thing, DRM stays dead if people actually buy DRM-Free music. Regardless of what they say Record Companies are looking at one thing right now and that is "do sales go up once DRM is removed from Music?" If the answer is "Yes" you can pretty much say goodbye to DRM. If the answer is "No" you can expect it to make a comeback.
That's the thing, Record Companies don't like DRM either. But they need proof that their customers will act honestly towards them if they kill it off. That means music lovers actually paying for music.
If you are someone who still uses p2p networks ask yourself where that road eventually leads. The idea that everyone in the music industry is eventually going to "give in" and give music away as marketing is a pipe dream. No industry in the history of the world has ever decided to magnanimously surrender their primary revenue stream. I guarantee you the recording industry isn't going to be the first.
Given that fact the p2p road can only lead to one thing: even stricter DRM in the future. Regardless of what people think there is DRM out there that can't be cracked its just the kind that's more restrictive than anything that's come before. Think machine serial numbers intertwined into the actual music itself (I've seen the tech that could do it). No one, not even the recording industry, wants that.
But to avoid it more people need to start paying for their music to prove that customers will respond favorably when companies give them what they want. Customers demanded DRM be taken away and the companies have responded by doing just that. Don't those companies now deserve your business?