I wonder is somebody has read The Cluetrain Manifesto lately – not only will Sony support MP3 in their audio players, now it seems they also plan to get rid of copy protection on CDs.
They claim the reason is “an increase in awareness by music consumers”, but I’m sceptical. Think about it: if this was the case (i.e. copy protection helped to decrease illegal copying), wouldn’t they stick to their guns?
Maybe it’s a different reason:
- Sales figures going down generally
- Copy protection is expensive
- It’s unpopular (there’s nobody who’ll buy *because* a CD has copy protection, but there are many who won’t)
- It doesn’t work anyway – all it takes is *one* person in the world to rip it, and it’s available for everybody
So, probably NOT doing copy protection is just cheaper in the production process *and* it may generate the odd sale now and then.
So, now that we’ve found Cluetrain, why not try to develop net-savvy business models for music? The recent developments give me hope – let’s see what’s next.