stage4 Interviews Tim O'Reilly About DRM, iTMS, & More

Tim OiReilly of OiReilly & Associates fame has been interviewed by stage4, a UK-based art and technology ezine. In the interview, Mr. OiReilly talks about the evolution of distributing music online, pointing to Appleis iTunes Music Store as an example of a distribution method that he calls the "closest yet to a system that users feel is fair and usable." He goes on to say that once the iTMS or something similar makes it to the Windows platform, consumers will begin to "see a whole new ballgame."

Other topics of discussion in the rather lengthy interview include the state of the entertainment industry and its battle against consumers, a possible increase in pirate file servers and streaming radio stations, Mr. OiReillyis WWDC 2002 speech, what Microsoftis punishment should have been and how it could have affected the Internet and Microsoft itself, Macromedia Flash as a standard, and the future of OiReilly & Associates. From stage4:

We are going through a major paradigm shift in terms of the distribution of music and other digital content. What is your view on the future relevance of DRM technologies, Peer2Peer networks, and traditional media companies?

In the end, I think that DRM is a non-starter, at least as currently conceived. Itis baffling to me that the content industries donit look at the experience of the software industry in the 80is, when copy protection on software was widely tried, and just as widely rejected by consumers. As science fiction writer William Gibson said, "The future is here. Itis just not evenly distributed yet." The software industry was the first to face the issue that bits are easily copyable. It was also the first to try to create artificial boundaries to that copying. But because copy protection greatly inconvenienced customers, it slowed the adoption of any software that used it. Weire seeing exactly the same thing now with music, where copy protection schemes have caused consumers to reject the crippled offerings of the commercial online music services.

There is much more in the full article at stage4is Web site, and we recommend it as an interesting read.