Chief spokesdude for the RIAA Jonathan Lamesauce Lamy has stated DRM is dead, but not before pissing off all the people who have legitimately downloaded music since you could legally do so.
Way way back two years ago, the RIAA was defending the practice as serving all sorts of unnamed consumer benefits. They couldn’t tell us any, but I’m sure they were there. Like the benefit of not being able to easily move your bought and paid for music from device to device or being treated like a thief when you get a new computer. That was pretty awesome, I’ll miss it.
Despite all the imaginary pros of someone placing artificial restrictions on content owned by consumers, shockingly, big players like Amazon and iTunes began to reject and/or discontinue the practice. DRM effectively worked against legal music sales and created piracy where none may have existed.
It seems that even the most vocal proponents of the practice are finally accepting what is rather than what they’d like there to be and realizing that DRM in the end impacted what they hold most dear: sales. But the fact that the music industry is so slow to accept the changing relationship of their product to technology at the pace at which technology develops doesn’t bode well for players like the RIAA. Until they realize they have to keep up with the changing market landscape and create distribution channels that offer real incentive to win consumer dollars, rather than just trying to thwart fans trying to listen to music because they don’t want to accept their revenue model has changed forever and it’s not coming back, steps like this will continue to be a drop in the bucket.