Thoughts on music
(fleft) Is an essay posted by Steve Jobs two days ago [link] proposing to do away with DRM protection in digital songs. It’s a brilliant, persuasive pamphlet and easily one of the most surprising recent turns in Intellectual Property’s (IP) unfolding evolution — and with IP soon becoming the only property that matters, we are talking about a civilization-defining process here.
Now of course Jobs’s letter is self-serving, as The Economist clearly explains, but is he right? Is a DRM-free world better? With thousands of pirated songs in my library I could hardly make for a devil’s advocate now but I still wonder. If we renounce technological solutions, how will we reward creators? Will policing and empathy be enough? (Don’t be so quick to answer, we will all be creators soon.)
A technological arms-race between pirates and anti-pirates was bound to end in senseless wastage, but that doesn’t mean new structures are not hardly needed — economical structures (based on trade) not political ones (based on force) — if IP will prove ultimately viable.
Let’s see what we can think of — the problem just got a whole more interesting.