DIGITAL RIGHTS MANAGEMENT – AN OPEN DISCUSSION – Part 4
Owen concludes with:
DRM sucks! I hate the concept of locking away what I pay my hard earned money to buy, or the fact that my equipment must be more costly because someone, somewhere wants to steal what I paid for. I believe price is also a problem here as well. Why do CDs cost $20 to $25 these days? Why must I pay $120 for a season of a TV show that made lots of money already in broadcast? DRM is an evil addition that is needed because there are so many people who want to steal so much media, that we are left with no choice but to lock it up. Or are we?
I think the big media companies (and how DID they get so big?) need to get real and stop making thieves out of their customers. Lower prices and more tolerances for fair use will convert many a “thief” into a real, paying customer. New policies for returns would also be nice. If a CD, DVD, or software program sucks, I want to be able to return it, no questions ask. Sure, some will copy it, but they will find a way no matter what you do. Start treating customers with respect, give a good value for the dollar spent, and let me copy my music to my iPod or tape a show off TV without making me feel like a criminal, and I will buy more as well.
And wake up media companies: sales are down for many reasons, and theft is only a small percentage of that reason. Stop with the bull&%^$# about billion of losses, because you know as well as I that most of these people who share are not, and will never be, a real customer, so you have lost nothing from them. So stop inflating your problem to make it look worse. The economy sucks and people are out of work, and now as in the past, the first thing to go when money is tight are “extras.” Quite frankly, CDs, DVDs, and computer programs are extras. Sales are also down because we can sample the work now, and if you did not produce so much crap, people might buy more. The difference is now is we know before we buy, so we do not. I notice that the good, popular works sell just fine. Perhaps a look at one’s self is in order here.