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Bill Gates on The Future of DRM December 14, 2006

Posted by mark in : DRM, Music , trackback

Some notes from a Q&A session with Bill Gates, by Michael Arrington (TechCrunch). Unexpected, because Microsoft is generally considered to be a supporter of DRM.

Gates didn’t get into what could replace DRM, but he did give some reasonably candid insights suggesting that he thinks DRM is as lame as the rest of us.

Gates said that no one is satisfied with the current state of DRM, which “causes too much pain for legitmate buyers” while trying to distinguish between legal and illegal uses. He says no one has done it right, yet. There are “huge problems” with DRM, he says, and “we need more flexible models, such as the ability to “buy an artist out for life” (not sure what he means). He also criticized DRM schemes that try to install intelligence in each copy so that it is device specific.

His short term advice: “People should just buy a cd and rip it. You are legal then.”

…Though, of course, in the UK that isn’t legal (yet).


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