Ugh. I started reading about DRM and got myself all scared. I think it'll have to go on the list of Things Not to Think About along with... [shudder] No. I won't even think about them to list them.
But before I decide to ignore its existence, I'll note that there was a link
to a study that said that people greatly preferred flat pricing schemes even if it meant they'd be paying a ton more for stuff -- marginal costs, even tiny ones, drastically reduce utilization.
And that's why DRM is scary -- because now, suddenly, everything you do will have a marginal usage cost. They'll be able to charge you by the hour to listen to music, watch movies, read books...
The solution, if you care about satisfying your customers and, incidentally, making the most money, although the rationale as to why you make more money is kind of complicated and marketing wonks probably won't get it until everyone's suffered through another couple DivXes, is to charge a flat rate for bundled content.
That is, Sony, and Disney, and... whoever else (are Sony and Disney the same company yet?) could charge a flat entertainment tax which would give you unlimited rights to view anything in their library (with possible short-term exceptions for new content). Since the marginal cost of watching a movie would be zero again, the world wouldn't turn into a bleak wasteland where the clock was always ticking over your shoulder and driving you to an early grave from anxiety.
I hate The Clock.
Minor content providers would be relatively unaffected... they wouldn't be able to charge a tax, but they also wouldn't have to worry any more about copyright violators than they do now. Of course, they'll probably try to charge per-use and shoot themselves in the head.
And of course, you'd also end up paying more money that you don't pay now, since nowadays you don't
pay any such tax. Current Mood: pessimistic