Music and Copy Protection

by | Sep 3, 2005 | Special Features | 0 comments


Does it really sell more records if the music can’t be copied or can
the reverse really be the case? In the 1980’s there was so much music
coming out, it was impossible to try everything or to know which albums
were treasures and which were stinkers. Every album I purchased was
played and taped. The record went back on the shelf and we played only
the tapes. One of my friends would make tapes for me of music he
thought I would like. Each tape came with album names and artists
credits written on them. The more I listened, the more my collection of
albums grew because as I found music I liked I purchased more. Because
tapes wear out, I wanted my own copies of the music. My current
collection consists of over 1200 vinyl records and 800 CDs.

Keeping this in mind, I do understand there are people out there who
would not buy a single thing if they had a way to pirate it. However I
believe there are many more people like me that use borrowed music to
“try before we buy.” For the most part, the public never hears of bands
like Barclay James Harvest. The radio stations don’t care to play them
(I own over 12 albums from this band). I could go on about imported
music, but that was just one small example. As far as domestic music is
concerned, the Grateful Dead sold thousands of albums by allowing fans
to record their music live and pass it around. So my best guess is that
the normal consumer will buy something if they like it and that means
more record sales. The pirates will always find a way around the copy
protection (maybe Abobe should pay attention too). So the only thing
that copy protection truly does is make it a pain for the people who
are already trying to be honest. Apple has shown that most people will
do the right thing if you make it easy. The music industry needs to get
a life.

— Charles De Vore

Officer at Large 2005-2006, Portland Macintosh User Group
[Reprinted with permission from the group’s publication MOUSE TRACKS]

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