January 4, 2008

And Then There Were None

With the announcement that Sony BMG will cease distributing music on-line with digital rights management (DRM), there are no longer any major labels using such technology to curb on-line copyright infringement. (See OTCS links to "Digital Rights Management", below.)

Though Sony BMG is making the move to DRM on less-than-its-entire catalogue, this marks the end of an era in the way media companies distribute content on-line. Following an old addage, as goes the music business, so goes the others. OTCS can't help but predict that in the near future, other media outlets (e.g., broadcast networks, who only recently distribute video on-line) will be forced to cut-back on anti-copying measures.

What does this mean for iTunes? Or its now-and-future competitors? All OTCS can do is observe that whatever effects this has to on-line distribution businesses, the inevitable elimination of all DRM is only good for the consumer, and similarly, artists alike.

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