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Yahoo! to Music Industry: DRM? Never Again


The VP of Product Development for Yahoo Music, Ian Rogers, fired another salvo at Digital Rights Management at last week’s Digital Music Forum West. Pitting the “convenience” that consumers desire against the “hubris” of record industry demands, Rogers politely told music execs to take their DRM and shove it : “I won’t spend another dime paying engineers to build false control, making listening to music harder for music-lovers… I suggest you do the same.”

Of course, this is nothing new for Yahoo – Rogers’ former boss David Goldberg exhorted music companies to drop DRM at the Music 2.0 conference last year. With big, currently label-free bands like Oasis and Nine Inch Nails considering online self-distribution of their new music, the pressure continues to build on major record labels to acknowledge their business model as irrevocably broken.

Speaking of which, Radiohead’s new album, In Rainbows, was officially made available for download today. The good news: it’s completely DRM-free. The bad: it’s encoded at a miserly 160kbps. Considering that Radiohead is renowned for their sonic sculpting, it’s a somewhat mystifying choice. Maybe they did want me to pay $80 for the deluxe CD set after all! Although I have to admit that it sounds just fine on my non-audiophile earbuds.