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The Customer Is Always Wrong: A User’s Guide to DRM in Online Music [2005-09-02]

Through Copyfight, I found an excellent article by Derek Slater entitled “The Customer Is Always Wrong: A User’s Guide to DRM in Online Music”. It manages to explain in very simple terms exactly why DRM hurts music fans. For example:

Imagine if Tower Records sold you a CD, but then, a few months later, knocked on your door and replaced the CD with one that you can’t play in your car. Would you still feel like you “owned” the CD? Not so much, eh?

But Apple reserves the right to change at any time what you can do with the music you purchase at the iTunes Music Store. For instance, in April 2004, Apple decided to modify the DRM so people could burn the same playlist only 7 times, down from 10. How much further will the service restrict your ability to make legal personal copies of your own music? Only Apple knows.

When will “the industry” finally understand that DRM only serves to annoy and alienate their own customers? I already boycott DRM’ed audio files and copy protected CDs — Hopefully informative pieces like this one will encourage more people to do the same.

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