Wednesday, January 7, 2009

viva la Webolution

Just announced at MacWorld, Apple's iTunes will be offering DRM-free music files. I couldn't help myself; I had to post and get in on the collective blog-world hype. Now, we're all thinking "it's about time" but under this move is a radical consession by Mac, one of the few services that persisted in shying away from the Web revolution or Webolution, if you will.

At the core of the Webolution is the ideology that everything should be free, unrestricted, and immediate—a collective consciousness that grows each time a something gets made available on the internet. Now, you could argue iTunes isn't offering music for free, they're simply removing the DRM. But that's just naive. What are people going to do with DRM-free music? Well, anything they want—copy it, burn it, mix it, fix it, post it, host it, etc. (sounds like a daftpunk lyric, right?). That's an incredible power. The internet has opened up so many possibilites for creation; the ability to create almost everything online isn't far away. Google has been the major player in this respect, offering free cloud-based software ranging from mainstream apps like Googledocs to nitch apps like SketchUp, a computer aided design program (not to mention blogger, omg!). As creation becomes easier, however, value—in terms of money at least—has plumetted.

I'm still very optimistic, however. New technology always shakes things up a bit; that's nothing new. We need to learn how to adapt. Between the constant protests of recordlabels and the newsmedia's coverage of their own downfall, I just want to say "suck it up." No, traditional models won't stay the same, but the possibilities should outway the fear of change.

No comments: