Hilary Rosen: Sock Puppet

We’re all talking about Hilary Rosen‘s apparent about face, apparently pro-customer, anti-DRM essay now (props to David Rothman for taking the high road on this). In an update to his Monday post, however, Ernie Miller notes that the RIAA and Hilary Rosen’s history is that of blanket opposition to MP3 players (and fair use) in general.

If the RIAA had its way, there wouldn’t be any portable MP3 players. The only portable players you would be able to buy would play only DRM restricted tunes.

Ernie then points to a post on GoldSounds that reminds us that it was the RIAA that insisted that Apple add DRM to its music store downloads. GoldSounds characterizes Rosen’s apparent preference for Microsoft’s DRM to Apple’s as follows:

What Rosen is asking, in essence, is that Apple allow the iPod to play songs encoded in Microsoft’s patent-encumbered, royalty-sapping and proprietary music format, wrapped in their patent-encumbered, royalty-sapping DRM format, so that iPod users can give their money to competitors instead of Apple.

And not only are they not buying Rosen’s argument, they see a subtle objective buried deep inside.

Read the GoldSounds story for the rich, logical, and touched-by-paranoia conclusion. For the record, I think a little paranoia is the responsible thing when dealing with Microsoft, the RIAA, MPAA, or any other mono/oligopolistic hegemony.

See also: proprietary: I do not think it means what you think it means and OligopolyWatch.