TorrentFreak is reporting that Jonathan Lamy, chief spokesperson for the Recording Industry Association of America, declared that Digital Rights Management is “dead” in an interview for an upcoming article. The fact that the industry has basically given up on DRM in favor of unprotected music is not exactly a breaking story, but it’s a relief to see that even the organization most closely associated with anti-piracy efforts seems to be conceding that copy protection isn’t the way to go.
I persist in the idiosyncratic stance that I’m not morally opposed to the idea of copy protection–I just have gigantic issues with most of the implementations I’ve ever used. Even then, I think that copyright holders have the right to make decisions which I think are stupid and self-defeating. But as far as I know, nobody is maintaining that the gradual disappearance of DRM has put the music industry in a worse situation than it was in when most commercial music downloads were locked up.
Of course, DRM isn’t dead–it’s alive and well on the digital video front, where copy protection (albeit not particularly effective copy protection in many cases) is still standard, and an act as innocuous as ripping a DVD to your hard drive for personal use involves cracking DRM. Any guesses about whether we’ll ever see a truly DRM-free era?