Bill Gates, a room full of Macbooks, and DRM

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Michael Arrington from TechCrunch posted a report this morning chronically a recent convening of bloggers at Microsoft HQ.

One of the highlights of the event for him?

Seeing the look on Gates’ face when he walked into the room and every single one of us had a Mac open on the desk in front of us – Niall Kennedy had also set up a makeshift wifi network using an Airport

That’s classic.

Bill had a Q&A session with the bloggers for an hour or so, and discussed DRM in depth with them giving his opinion on the state of DRM and its future, and the way you should be purchasing music right now:

Gates said that no one is satisfied with the current state of DRM, which “causes too much pain for legitmate buyers” while trying to distinguish between legal and illegal uses. He says no one has done it right, yet. There are “huge problems” with DRM, he says, and “we need more flexible models, such as the ability to “buy an artist out for life” (not sure what he means). He also criticized DRM schemes that try to install intelligence in each copy so that it is device specific.

His short term advice: “People should just buy a cd and rip it. You are legal then.”

That last bit is a surprising statement from a guy that has TWO DRMed schemed music stores out there – the Play For Sure market, and the Zune store – but it is a welcomed statement.

More and more it seems that the Record companies are the only ones who think DRM is a good idea, and if Steve Jobs and Bill Gates had their way, we’d have a lot less restrictions (possibly none). I personally think the RIAA is a dying organization, and the record companies as they exist today will be dead and buried in 5 to 10 years…maybe then we can finally buy music the way we want.

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Kokou Adzo

Kokou Adzo is a stalwart in the tech journalism community, has been chronicling the ever-evolving world of Apple products and innovations for over a decade. As a Senior Author at Apple Gazette, Kokou combines a deep passion for technology with an innate ability to translate complex tech jargon into relatable insights for everyday users.

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