Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Amazon's new store

Check out the new service from from Amazon: AmazonMP3. It boasts of selling "play anywhere, DRM-free music downloads." If I were Apple I would worry, since the MP3 files Amazon is selling will work with iTunes and iPods. Amazon doesn't (yet) have music from every major label available (some haven't yet made peace with selling DRM-free) but they do have better prices than iTunes for many tracks (89 cents). And unlike iTunes downloads, you can do whatever you want with Amazon MP3s, like burn them onto CDs. So the copyright issues we discussed today aren't just a matter of how the government regulates media; they also figure into how the industry positions its products for sale. The music industry realizes that its customers want to copy their music, and one way it can survive its current crisis is by working with rather than against that fact. Preserving copyright in a strict sense might cost them too much business.

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