Universal Goes DRM-free for Digital Downloads; Google to Compete Directly w/ Its Own Advertisers?

by M. David Peterson

via a recent link sent to the Vibe* internal mailing list from Russ, it seems Universal is going all retro on us with plans to "test" the DRM-free digital media business. Interesting enough, as Russ points out,

... although not on iTunes strangely enough, could just be a case of catchup.

That or a political move in attempt to break the lock iTunes currently has on the digital market.

From the same BBC News article linked to above,


2007-08-10 06:09:11
It may take the press and the programmers a while to catch up. The 'softies are widely criticized for absorbing the markets of their customers with their own platform late in the market emergence (pioneers and arrows in their backs, etc.). As Google begins to do that, the model of money flowing across ecosystem niche boundaries, niche absorbtion and the relentless ownership society may be seen for what it is: normal.

Complexity as a competition barrier was once the way technical markets were protected. Some will say the monopoly laws should do that now but politicians are bought in bulk at warehouse lobby stores and that has been true for a very long time. The kicker is open standards, open source and simplification are the engines of the aggregation of market into ever larger server farm business systems (again, consumability).

The notiion that the web is created to be an open system (information wants to be free) isn't evil. It is as Toby said on the West Wing, evil's assistant that runs into the store get evil a pack of cigarettes. And so it goes.