Digital rights management is a steaming pile of dog doo that helps no one.
For example, the other day, I found a set of really interested recordings on iTunes. I was so excited that I seriously considering spending more that day than all my other iTunes purchases combined. But I decided not to for a number of reasons. First, iTunes are protected AAC files, so I cannot copy them to some devices that only play mp3s. Second, since I don’t have the original CDs, I have no way of obtaining a better encoding at a higher bitrate. So I have to pay about as much for the CDs for lower quality and fewer rights.
So the alternative should be to order the CDs, right? The problem is inertia. It takes time to order the CDs, and adding labels to mp3 tracks is a giant PITA. So I bought nothing. Everyone lost. (I did consider AllOfMp3, but their lack of ethics is even worse than the recording industry).
I know that DRM doesn’t matter when all you want is the latest track from the artist of the week. After all, that artist is going to be history in a couple of hours, so who cares that it is disposable. But there’s so much timeless music that I want to listen to for the rest of my life. As long as there’s DRM, I’m afraid I’m going to buy less.