The B Stands for Bonkers

John Scalzi on Sony BMG’s “DRM-free” experiment:

We’re pleased to announce we are the final major music corporation to release electronic tracks without that pesky DRM! All you have to do is leave your house, go to a selected retail outlet, buy a special card there, go back to your house, scratch off the back of the card to find a code, go to our special MusicPass Web site, enter said code, and download one the 37 titles we have available, from Celine Dion to the Backstreet Boys!

He gives it six months. I’d say three, but the sort of mind that could devise such a Rube Goldbergian scheme to sell non copy-protected music won’t suddenly become reality-based just because the scheme flops utterly.

Or, in the time it takes me to jump through all those hoops, I could just download all 37 of those albums off of Pirate Bay.

That is, the system is far too cumbersome to compete with free for the business of the hardcore infringer. And as for the honest citizen who just wants an MP3 and is willing to pay for it? The MusicPass rigamarole is still more of a pain in the neck than going to the store, buying a CD, and then ripping it to MP3 when you get home. (Oh, wait, that’s what rootkits are for.)

John, you want the last word?

Poor, stupid deluded Sony BMG.

UPDATE January 11: I may be eating some crow on this one. But if I do, oh boy will I be happy about it.