mspoke, who is a regular commenter on this blog, yesterday posted this as a comment to my “going on holiday” post:

Nic,

How can you go away when EMI announce they will be offering DRM-free music from May. Maybe people will respond to this comment.

What I don’t get about the EMI announcement is that people will have to pay a premium (99p for DRM-free as opposed to 79p for DRM tracks) for DRM-free tracks. Talk about trying to confuse the consumer. It such a half-a**** effort in my opinion. What do others think?

Good call, and thanks for the comment.  Up here in the Alps I had missed the news, but this is a significant development in the online music industry as it grapples with copyright issues. 

I am posting it here so it gets the attention it deserves – about three quarters of you access this blog via a feed reader and I suspect don’t regularly read the comments.

I see it a little differently to mspoke though.  I think it is a positive step in the right direction for EMI to offer DRM free music, and giving the consumer an option to pay less for a track that they in effect don’t fully own doesn’t alter that.  In fact, we will now see for the first time what sort of value the market places on the extra benefit of having tracks DRM free.

That said, the devil is always in the detail with things like this and the way EMI present the options will be critical.

  • I agree with you, Nick – as you know we feel DRM can’t work long term as the game theory isn’t sustainable, and for a variety of other reasons – we blogged on these issues and the EMI decision here.

  • I agree with you, Nick – as you know we feel DRM can’t work long term as the game theory isn’t sustainable, and for a variety of other reasons – we blogged on these issues and the EMI decision here.