For many of us, strict DRM makes it undesirable for us to download music/movies/TV off of paid download services. Steve Jobs recently acknowledged this issue in his open letter to the music industry.
However there’s another major issue that the music/film industry is overlooking: the desirability of the products themselves! As this guy pointed out, you can download a XviD HDTV encode of your favorite TV show off of a BitTorrent tracker for free, and it is of far higher quality than the one that you can buy on iTunes. It’s not much harder, either, unless you need to convert it to play on an iPod or other video device.
Whenever I miss a TV show, I will usually either download a copy off a torrent tracker or watch a copy recorded on my SageTV PVR. TV shows from these sources don’t have DRM, meaning that I can watch it on whatever device I want, and of course they are higher quality as well. I watch my TV with SageTV or my Zen Vision:M, two things that I could not do if I downloaded TV shows off iTunes. Even though downloading TV shows off BitTorrent is still a gray area, if I want to stay legal, I can still record TV shows off my PVR and stay completely legal.
And, of course, it’s the exact same thing for music. First of all there’s the issue with DRM, which everyone knows about. First of all there’s some music that you can’t download on paid download services. An example is how everyone got so excited when there were rumors that Apple would sell Beatles songs on iTunes. It’s ridiculous! And also you can download higher-quality rips off torrent sites than you can download off of iTunes. Most albums can be found in 320 Kbps or VBR MP3, and some can even be found in FLAC lossless format.
RIAA/MPAA, you’ve got a long way to go.