Bill GatesFound via BoingBoing: In an interview with some bloggers, Bill Gates expressed what might be considered a surprising opinion about DRM, considering the Zune and its issues with online stores.

Gates said that no one is satisfied with the current state of DRM, which “causes too much pain for legitimate 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.”

There you have it: the executive of the company that makes one of the most obnoxiously DRM-equipped music players on the market telling you not to buy DRM’ed music, rip CDs instead.

I wonder if “[buying] an artist out for life” might be related to the Street Performer Protocol mentioned in my previous blog entry, in which an artist would theoretically release his work into the public domain upon receiving a sufficient sum for it?


The TeleRead community values your civil and thoughtful comments. We use a cache, so expect a delay. Problems? E-mail