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t3knomanser's Fustian Deposits

My Solution to DRM : Or, how I stopped worrying and learned to love filesharing

How Random Babbling Becomes Corporate Policy

run the fuck away

Mad science gone horribly, horribly wrong(or right).

My Solution to DRM : Or, how I stopped worrying and learned to love filesharing

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johnny cash
We all know DRM doesn't work, won't work, and can never work. First, there's no such thing as a secure system. It can and will be hacked. The only way to keep illegal copies from appearing is to not release the product in the first place.

That said, how can we guarantee that the content-producers are going to be reimbursed for thier product? My suggestion is multitiered.

The first step is the pre-production user contract. I'm a record company and I've just signed a famous pop star for a new album. Now, before I get them in a studio, or lock myself into giving them any money, I instead do this: I announce publicly that I've got this artist, want to make this album- but I won't unless I can get ten million users signed into a user-contract. The user contract stipulates this: the user is responsible for paying the company a fee with the understanding that the user is going to recieve the product- if the product is produced. If the production stipulations (# of users in contract, total income from user contracts, etc) are met. If not, the users get total refunds.

The second tier is normal distribution channels and online distribution. This works like normal, gleaning whatever profits they can from these modes.

Now, this terraces profit from albums, but it also guarantees said albums generating profit. If no one is willing to front cash for the album, it doesn't get made. If they are, and it stinks, well the company already made base profit anyway. But it also means that the company will have a much harder time drumming up funds for the next album.

Either way, for a single album, the initial profit- the user-contract income- is flat. That much is "a sure thing". However, if the album is very good, if the artist really takes off, then you're looking at second-tier profits from traditional distribution, merchandising, etc.

Everyone wins in this layout, without DRM.
  • Only problem that arises is the hesitation of most people to put money down for something they can't see or touch. The only time I would spend money on a cd that I hadn't heard the music from would be if it was an artist I had previously enjoyed.
    • Re:

      That's what pre-release copies are for. Release a few singles, and then say, "Hey, this artist is putting together an album, these songs plus eight more will be on it. Give us money, or it won't happen though."
  • Or as Scotty put it...the more they overcheck the plumbing, the easier it is to stop up the drain.

    eliazar }()+
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