I was having a conversation with a friend of mine the other day and it’d be interesting to get others’ views on this and what, potentially, can be done to all the content that’s currently being uploaded to places like flickr and youtube. As digital online experiences move onto the desktop and become easier for people to use, more and more people will begin to upload more and more content because it’ll be easy to. Which of those 300 images you’ve just left to upload through Flickr’s uploadr you want to be public and which of them you want to stay private will become very important.
Tied into this is the whole subject of DRM. You Tube’s deal with Warner Music the other week made headlines because Warner Music has agreed to make all of its music videos available on You Tube. What escaped the headlines was an announcement from YouTube stating that they had developed a new technology that will automatically discover copyrighted music used in videos. Currently there are no details, but the company has said it will detect copyrighted music in use, keep track of royalties owed and allow rights holders to veto the use of their music if they so wish – a very big shift away from the YouTube model of 6-9 months ago which was “don’t ask/don’t tell”.
On the flip side of this is Microsoft’s new Zune player which, it was announced last week, will NOT play files wrapped in the company’s own WMV & WMA DRM technology!!! If that wasn’t enough of a sucker punch to have the thing bite the dust it was also disclosed that any content being uploaded to the little sucker will be wrapped in its own DRM!!! This is contrary to any artist wishing to use a Creative Commons license – and flies in the face of ‘DRM protecting the rights of artists’.
Another implication of DRM appeared with the update to iTunes the other week. Whilst it’s possible to download mp3s and burn them to disk you’re unable to do so with newly purchased movies…