Tim Bray has a thoughtful posting on the art sales scene in the 21st century. First, he goes over what he believes can’t work (and I agree) — serious DRM, hardware solutions, arresting customers — then moves on to some possible systems that just might work, like subscribing to an artist’s work.
The artists seems to be the missing link in the copyright discussion. They seem to become shills for the industry (Metallica) or are strangely silent, maybe fearing corporate retribution. Let’s hope that 2006 brings enlightened artists who test the pure Internet distribution waters or have enough clout to demand to remain outside the DRM soup.
(For a longtail distribution idea for the (likely-soon-to-be-cancelled)TV show Arrested Development, check here.)