No one who follows on DRM news could have missed this: Report: RIP DRM, as Last Major Label Plans to Ditch Restrictions:
In a move certain to rock the distribution of digital music, Sony BMG is in the midst of finalizing plans to begin offering at least part of its downloadable music catalog DRM-free, according to BusinessWeek.com. This makes Sony BMG the last of the Big Four record labels to cave on digital rights management schemes designed to restrict the distribution of music via peer-to-peer networks.
I was asked more than once: What can prevail, if DRM cannot?
I do not know. What I do know is that:
People pay, and will always pay, in return for consuming content; this is true now and it is not likely to change. Any technology supporting this symbioses, which works, and which brings true value to all stakeholders, will prevail, no matter what shape future computing takes.
Encrypting media files in a way that prevents people from enjoying fair use scenarios is ineffective, to a large extent thanks to its being worse to users than the status-quo; while technology just can’t help out. When open platforms govern computing, there is no way to use technology to push undesired functionality down users throats. Either make computing platforms non-open, or get people’s buy-in.
People want content, and people are generally willing to pay for it. Now go and find supporting technologies that are not against anyone along this chain.