Repeat Record: Digital Rights Management

With the continued debate over digital rights management, a startup called Navio has risen "to help shift the balance of power back to the media companies," says an article in Business 2.0.

How? Imagine if you went to a music site to buy a single download for 99 cents, but instead you were offered the option to purchase the perpetual right to that song. With this right, you could download the song to your PC, your iPod, or your cell phone in whatever format was appropriate. And if you got a new computer, or if the digital-rights-management software protecting the file changed one day, you wouldn’t need to buy the song again. Your rights to the song would be stored online. Pay once, and it would be yours forever. If you lost it, you’d just download it again. Or you could share the song with a friend, or even resell it, depending on what rights you bought.

Jason Ball asks the question: how much should you charge for these rights? Meanwhile, Jeff Jarvis asks, why stop there?

Why not go a step further and offer future contracts on artists. For $30 I get the rights to every song or creative work that that artist produces over their career and I can use it unrestricted providing I don’t violate their copyright.


One response to “Repeat Record: Digital Rights Management

  1. Jeff has a good point- an upfront $30 is a great investment from the consumer point of view, but it’s an awful business model for the artist. Like any VC, the music industry (or any industry) loves recurring revenues. Month after month, year after year.

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