Feb 18

Tim O'Reilly

Tim O'Reilly

WSJ Admits DRM a Problem

An interesting tidbit in this WSJ article about the new Sony ebook reader, an admission that Sony's missteps in online music can be traced to DRM: "For Sony, a lack of openness has been a stumbling block in the past. The company, which produces both electronics gear and entertainment content like movies and music, has long been haunted by concerns about piracy. These fears were the main reason that Sony was slow to get on the digital-music bandwagon, since such material is easy to copy and distribute. Apple, meanwhile, jumped into market with the iPod music player and left Sony in the dust....Sony's 'DRM implementation killed their own players and created an environment where Apple could flourish,' says Rob Enderle, a technology analyst with Enderle Group, a consulting firm in San Jose, California." It's nice to see so conservative an organ as the Wall Street Journal publicly chronicling how DRM can be bad for business.

tags:   | comments: 3   | Sphere It

Previous  |  Next

0 TrackBacks

TrackBack URL for this entry:

Comments: 3

  Jeff Carr [02.19.06 10:41 AM]

I blogged about this very topic, and made the point that DRM is related to how dogs and cats are handled differently at the vet. You control a dog by tightening your grip. With cats, you have to loosen your grip. Properly structured, DRM is a cat. Exerting too tight a grip almost always spells failure.

  Dave [02.19.06 07:38 PM]

You've posed this as a DRM versus non-DRM issue, yet the two examples of Apple and Sony are simply two different DRM implementations. Apple's DRM, Fairplay, is more user friendly, thus more tolerable to the general consumer.

  Tim O'Reilly [02.19.06 08:07 PM]

Dave -- that's exactly Jeff's point. A "loose grip" is much more palatable to the consumer. Strong DRM is a product killer. (But see my later post on this same subject and Cory Doctorow's reply. He's right of course, that in many ways, Apple's "loose DRM" is actually more pernicious for the customer, since it leads to real long-term lock in. But if you're a vendor, you like that :-)

Post A Comment:

 (please be patient, comments may take awhile to post)

Type the characters you see in the picture above.