Bill Gates: Don’t Buy DRM Music

Uh, this is weird. Bill Gates gave an interview where he told people not to buy DRM music. Like the DRM music Microsoft sells in it’s Zune Marketplace. Um. Ok, Bill. We won’t:

    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.”

Or you could use eMusic. —MEGHANN MARCO

Bill Gates on the Future of DRM [Tech Crunch via BoingBoing]

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  1. Ben Popken says:

    What a dreamboat! He should’ve called his company Microhard.

  2. acambras says:

    Is Bill Gates stoned in that picture, or are those his bedroom eyes?

  3. acambras says:

    Oh, Ben! Ya just beat me to it!

  4. robbie says:

    Perhaps he is splitting hairs by criticizing DRM built into music vs. DRM applied by devices. He seems to be slamming M4P and AAC and encouraging users to rip content because it encourages use of the Zune, which applies its own protection to shared music regardless of source. Hmm? (In which format(s) does the Zune Marketplace deliver music?)

  5. LTS! says:

    Well, it’s entirely conceivable that Bill Gates does not like DRM. It doesn’t mean he doesn’t accept what that he needs to implement it in order to sell a product.

    You could argue that he should simply not put out the product but the market for digital music is huge right now and of course it fits into the Microsoft everywhere framework.

    Still, he’s right. Furthermore, beyond DRM, people are paying the same amount of money for reduced quality versions of the music they enjoy.

    Finally, I would expect that Bill the Pinup Stud is saying that once you buy the right to your favorite artists song you should be able to have it in any new format that it may come out on in the future. I’m not sure how that works.. but hey.

  6. Funklord says:

    robbie–I think you’re a little bit off, as Microsoft has their own Zune store which sells DRMed WMA files.

    But Gates is a very smart man. You’d have to be an idiot to “buy” (a better word is “license”) music that can be taken away from you at any point, that locks you to one device for portable play, that locks you to one particular operating system (Zune is Windows-only), and that’s poorer quality than what you get on a cd for roughly the same price.

    eMusic is a decent deal–you’re getting 192 kb/s mp3 files, not as good quality as on a cd, but then again, you’re paying 20 or 30 cents for them, and it makes a statement about supporting a business model of selling music without DRM (and puts more money in the pockets of musicians than the iTunes or Zune store, despite the lower price).

  7. RapperMC says:

    And thus, he admits defeat in the iPod-Zune war. Speaking of which, is that a Zune that he’s laying on in that picture? I haven’t seen one yet.

  8. Is Bill selling computers or Sweet Love?

  9. homerjay says:

    What he’s thinking:
    “You know you want to take me right here on this table, dude. Go ahead, shove that RAM right into my socket!”

    and so on….

  10. buthidae says:

    Don’t point out the Mac behind him! :P

    Bill looks really stoned/horny…