So I am guessing that when State Jobs posted his open letter on digital rights management two months ago he was well on his way to getting exactly what he wanted. With Apple and EMI’s announcement of selling their entire catalogue on the iTunes Store without DRM it appears as though someone was listening. To say it out loud from the get go — DRM Free music is the right thing to do. I can’t tell you how happy I am to see at least one label getting it. I buy the stuff and I don’t need to be treated like a criminal from the start. I don’t steal music and I certainly don’t provide access to my hard drive for others to take my music. I posted my thoughts on it at the time so I won’t rehash it all.
Here’s the rub in my mind however … by charging a premium for the music I feel like they are saying something to the effect of, only those who can afford the right to purchase this will be treated like a law abiding citizen. In other words, if you can’t fork over an extra 30 cents then you aren’t to be trusted with our music. I understand the higher quality, but I don’t see that as a legitimate claim — data is data. Also it bothers just a bit to have to go back and pay an additional 30 cents for every song I already own to be unlocked. I guess the label figures that is enough of a sharing tax? I just don’t get this.
Another thought after the original post … I do recall reading that the labels had been putting pressure on Apple to raise their prices on singles. Was this the deal Steve was able to make — if I raise the price of a single can we sell higher quality, DRM Free music? If you look at it, from what I understand album prices are remaining the same. Just pure speculation.
How does this deal make the rest of you feel? Will you go back and repurchase your tracks to be DRM Free? Am I barking up the wrong tree on this one?