DRM on Music

DRM….Digital Rights Management. Anyone who knows me or has read this blog knows how strongly I feel on issues of copyright. I parted ways with a big wire agency after many years of working for them as they tried to bully me into signing over my intellectual rights to my work. My income has since less than halved as a direct result.

As photographers, we take great pride in the quality of our work; not just the content, but the physical quality too. The image has to be presented in its best form. I’m sure musicians take equal pride in the quality of their recordings, and find it paramount that listeners enjoy it at a high level of quality. This leads me onto DRM.

Whilst I 100% back the music industry in their efforts to protect their copyright, for us, the members of the listening audience who are quite happy to pay for music, DRM gets rather annoying. As an example, I can play MP3 CDs in my car. However, if I buy an album on iTunes, I need to make an audio copy of this in iTunes, then re-import it and make another lossy MP3 copy of it. In effect, running the MP3 compression twice. If you try and listen to any complex piece of music which has been compressed twice, you can definitely hear the difference. As I’m sure musicians care about the quality of their music, surely they need to apply pressure on their recording labels and the distributors to get rid of this DRM?

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