One thing that in a certain sense baffles me about many modern music streaming services is their use of Digital Rights Management (or DRM as it’s commonly referred to as). If someone wanted to download the music, the DRM could be circumnavigated. Furthermore, if you’re putting the tune(s) on the internet for anyone to be able to access whenever they want and share the link with their friends, why do we need proprietary restrictions on this media? Not even considering my pro-freedom bias, I don’t think I could keep a straight face trying to defend the practice.
This is why I started licensing my music under a Creative Commons license (CC BY 4.0). Ever since I started posting music back way back when on the now defunct Scratch Resources, I’ve been sharing my music online for the sheer love of music itself; I love making it and some people love listening to it, so it’s a win-win situation. I feel like it would be dishonest and disrespectful to my listeners to put the media files behind a ridiculous restriction based in proprietary software that I wouldn’t want to afflict upon myself. Furthermore, I want to convince people to share my music, and what better way to do that than sharing files back and forth? On another note, a argument that I suppose has been made for DRM is the idea that it will ensure that the artist profits from their music. To them, I say nay. If you’re putting your music on the internet, someone is going to find a way to get it whether or not it’s coated in DRM; that’s just the nature of the beast. My suggestion on the matter would fall along the lines of incentivising payment. Say perhaps that if someone purchases the album for x amount of dollars, they get additional bonus tracks that aren’t up for streaming. Alternatively, you can’t go wrong with merch; Some computers still have CD players, and I hear that vinyl is making a comeback.
So, in conclusion, what was my point with this article? I don’t know. I just wanted to get some of these thoughts on the subject matter off my chest, that’s all. :)