Some people at the RIAA think music DRM will make a comeback:
You know how all the record labels have been dropping their requirements for DRM on their music, opening up more and more venues for DRM-free music? Well, according to David Hughes, head of RIAA technology, that’s just a temporary condition. From now on, we’re going to increasingly rent our music with subscription services that will use DRM to take it away from us if we stop subscribing.
Hughes believes that per-track purchases are going the way of the dodo in favor of these other models, and that’s why DRM will have a resurgence. “I think there is going to be a shift,” he said. “I think there will be a movement towards subscription services and they will eventually mean the return of DRM.”
Hughes is almost certainly wrong on this. DRM restricts customers’ freedom, and they don’t like it, which is one reason why the RIAA had to get rid of it. (The other reason is to compete with Apple iTunes, which otherwise would dominate the paid download industry, to the detriment of the RIAA).