The Future of Reading (A Play in Six Acts) [dive into mark]
Libraries, though, have developed lending procedures for previous versions of e-books — like the tape in “Mission: Impossible,” they evaporate after the loan period — and Bezos says that he’s open to the idea of eventually doing that with the Kindle.
First go to the above link and read the whole piece. Afterwards you might wonder, as I do, how come that amazon seems to be getting such good reviews for the reader, when the attributes of the Kindle would create a bit of an outrage if applied to a music player. The Kindle is even more locked up than an iPod!
After talking about how music could be free via a universal subscription or music tax, let’s look at the above quoted idea. As I mentioned in Digital Media is not Stuff, the old form of lending does not apply, since the lender retains a copy on his harddrive. Applying the lending procedures libraries are developing for e-books, as quoted above, files lent to a friend would evaporate. If this was built into all music files artists and record labels generate, file-sharing would take on a completely different character. Suddenly a file shared just wets the appetite, because it evaporates in three days or a week. Sure some people will just go download another copy which will last a week, but many will simply want to buy/license the file so they don’t go to play a piece of music only to find that it has expired…
What bugs me the most about the Kindle is the same thing that sucks about the music-DRM currently available, and that is having the files tied to one machine or one brand. I think DRM should be tied to a person, possible using something like openID, and the person should be able to play the music file, or read the book, on any device associated with him or her. When the file is copied to a device that is not associated with that person, it changes to a “Lend”-file and evaporates after a specific period.
Somewhat similar, but totally different, this is why I love GrandCentral, which I mentioned here: the phone number is NOT associated with a particular landline or cellphone account. Any new or temporary phone number can be linked to the GC number.