The Vice President and General Manager of Yahoo Music, Ian Rodgers, gave a presentation to some members of the music industry last Friday at Digital Media Forum in LA. The bottom line for him? DRM is dead, and if the RIAA insists on using it, they'll be out a partner in Yahoo. Rodgers, who ran Winamp back when Napster first hit and initially proposed selling MP3s on that service only to get laughed out of the room, has been on the front lines of the online music business pretty much since the beginning. His talk is a fascinating, down-to-earth, and on-point dissection of why the RIAA is so, so wrong.
I'm here to tell you today that I for one am no longer going to fall into this trap. If the licensing labels offer their content to Yahoo! put more barriers in front of the users, I'm not interested. Do what you feel you need to do for your business, I'll be polite, say thank you, and decline to sign. I won't let Yahoo! invest any more money in consumer inconvenience. I will tell Yahoo! to give the money they were going to give me to build awesome media applications to Yahoo! Mail or Answers or some other deserving endeavor. I personally don't have any more time to give and can't bear to see any more money spent on pathetic attempts for control instead of building consumer value. Life's too short. I want to delight consumers, not bum them out.
Seriously, go read the entire thing. His entire presentation, slides included, is available on his blog, and it's a must-read for anyone interested in this mess that we call the online music marketplace. With people like Roberts in charge of one of the biggest music sites on the web and with Amazon selling MP3s, it's only a matter of time before the major-label holdouts give in and drop DRM. [Fistfulayen via BoingBoing]