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Yahoo Music Guy Says No To DRM

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Ian Rogers of Yahoo Music won’t let the company waste any more money on licensing deals that make listening to music inconvenient to users.

Yahoo Music Guy Says No To DRM
Yahoo Music Guy Says No To DRM

Rogers’ much-noted blog post regarding a short presentation he gave to some people in the music industry sounded a death knell to restrictive music licensing schemes. If someone wants their artists on Yahoo Music, it will have to be without DRM.

He cited eight years of lost opportunity since the music industry declared war on the original Napster. Despite numerous initiatives and millions of dollars spent on attracting people to heavily restricted content usage models, few bought in to those models.

"What did we spend? And what did we gain?" he asked. "We certainly didn’t gain mass user adoption or trust, two prerequisites to success on the Internet."

So now, when the labels come calling to him at Yahoo Music, they will hear a much different tune:

I’m here to tell you today that I for one am no longer going to fall into this trap. If the licensing labels offer their content to Yahoo! put more barriers in front of the users, I’m not interested. Do what you feel you need to do for your business, I’ll be polite, say thank you, and decline to sign. I won’t let Yahoo! invest any more money in consumer inconvenience.

In the end you get what you pay for. I won’t spend another dime paying engineers to build false control, making listening to music harder for music-lovers. I will put all of my energy into making it easier and making the experience better. I suggest you do the same.

In a very short span of time this year, we have seen Prince give away his latest CD in Great Britain and sell out show after show in London. Radiohead invited fans to pay what they like for their latest album. Trent Reznor announced his freedom from music labels, and it’s a virtual lock his next effort will be very fan-friendly.

Amazon and iTunes both sell music without DRM. Up and coming artists have found audiences through their complementary Internet efforts.

Rogers has it right. People want convenience, not confines, when it comes to music.

Yahoo Music Guy Says No To DRM
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