I think this IM exchange pretty much says it all.
Friend: hey can you download a coldplay song for me?
Friend: i don’t want to install napster
Me: heh heh, such a lazy bastard.
Friend: http://www.napster.com/bestbuy_coldplay.html [promo entitling him to a “free” and legal download]
Friend: i bought the CD
Friend: and it’s a stupid gimmick for me to download it
Me: I thought it was a pretty smart gimmick 😛
Friend: Promo code:
Friend: not smart enoughMe: Unfortunately, I won't be able to directly download 'n' transfer to track to you...Friend: oh no?Me: 'cause it still will have DRM on it tied to my Napster installation.Friend: why?Friend: if it's a free songFriend: wouldn't it be ownable?Friend: otherwise, it's not freeMe: so what I'd have to do is download it, then play it, record the stream, save the new file, and send you the new file.Friend: then forget itMe: Dude, free is not free in today's music world. It's sad.Friend: this is stupidMe: Of course it's stupid.Me: but it's the same with iTunes.Me: you "buy" a song... you don't own it, no matter what the iPod fanboys gush.Friend: i'll get it from the p2p nets
* * *
Adding insulting to injury, my friend just informed me that he can't even play the CD he just purchased in his computer's CD-ROM drive, likely due to some (@*#&! copy-protection. Unsurprisingly, he's returning the CD to the store where he bought it.
May the recording industry not only die a painful death, but may it do so at an enhanced pace.