cyberspacial musings
bits about the real and virtual worlds

13 Oct

A DRM Free World

From XKCD … my thoughts exactly.  I have been goofing around with a Zune pass and, while I like the general idea of pulling in any sort of music that I want, it’s a little frustrating to know that it’ll disappear once the Zune pass expires.  (There are other frustrations with the Zune pass, but that’s for another post.) 

The interesting question here is one of collection — if everything is available online and you continue to pay a monthly fee to maintain it (assuming the media host doesn’t disappear), what is the value of a personal collection?  Why not just maintain your bits online forever?  That’s much of the thinking behind the Kindle — sure the format’s going to change, but as long as Amazon is around, I’m pretty sure that purchased Kindle content will always be available. 

So what we really do is invest in a company with our subscription services, not in the content itself.  My purchase of Kindle content is really an investment in Amazon.  The problem is that there’s no recurring revenue for the Kindle or books for Amazon, thus if sales drop, interest in supporting the content will likely go away also.  If they switched to some form of annuity where you got as many books as you liked for a subscription (like the Zune), that might better support the longevity of the content.  Hmmm … interesting …

One Response to “A DRM Free World”

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