So the news is that Yahoo Music is selling a non-DRMed mp3 of a Jessica Simpson tune. This has led to some inetersting conversation on the Yahoo Music blog.
As you know, we’ve been publicly trying to convince record labels that they should be selling MP3s for a while now. Our position is simple: DRM doesn’t add any value for the artist, label (who are selling DRM-free music every day — the Compact Disc), or consumer, the only people it adds value to are the technology companies who are interested in locking consumers to a particular technology platform.
We’ve also been saying that DRM has a cost. It’s very expensive for companies like Yahoo! to implement. We’d much rather have our engineers building better personalization, recommendations, playlisting applications, community apps, etc, instead of complex provisioning systems which at the end of the day allow you to burn a CD and take the DRM back off, anyway! And on the consumer end there is certainly some discount built into that $0.99 download for the fact that you can burn a limited number of times, can’t play it on your Squeezebox, can’t DJ it with your DJ software, and can’t make a movie out of it with iMovie? I certainly hope so. Un-DRM’d content is implicitly more valuable to a consumer.
As my friend Jimbo says, “if you can make it come out of speakers, you can copy it.”
To turn this into self-promotion, let me remind you that all of my music (and some other stuff) is available as 256k mp3s with no DRM at Pepper Enterprises mp3 Store.