We all know the law of conservation of matter, in which it only changes forms. Well, apparently that rule applies to music DRM – just when we thought it was going away someone reminds us that it is still there … just in different form.
As the graphic above shows, some of the biggest sources of non-owned music – YouTube, Spotify, Rhapsody, etc – all have exclusive DRM that restricts use. Even on iTunes there is DRM wrapped around almost everything except music.
It is easy to say ‘well, Spotify and similar services HAVE to use DRM to protect their streams otherwise it would be an unlimited download free-for-all’. True … But it is a reminder that should you leave one service and come back after a few months, all of those ‘offline downloads’ will be useless and you’ll need to redownload again.
Also, YouTube has been shown to be a ‘guilty until proven innocent’ world where sometimes takedowns are done for spite, and other times Google simply removes content for no apparent reason.
Can you think of other places where DRM has sprung up now that our MP3 purchases are almost entirely DRM-free?