Bill Gates : DRM causes too much pain for legitmate buyers

In an honest analysis of the Digital Rights Management (DRM) sector, Bill Gates conceded that DRM is causing too much pain for legitimate users and that few are satisfied with the current state.

Microsoft's Whizz kid was very blunt and straight forward when he was quizzed for an hour by an assembly of bloggers from Techcrunch and GigaOM amongst others.

He was particularly critical about DRM schemes that try to outfox users - probably pointing at Sony's controversial root kit - and insisted on the necessity to devise more flexible models including the ability to buy an artist for life (subscribing to a musician's whole catalogue of songs).

Microsoft is at loggerheads with Apple in the media sector with its personal Multimedia player Zune fighting the iPod. Apple has been criticised for locking users into its own DRM-enabled format with its iTunes’ store; although the company's stance matches Bill Gate's point of view when it comes to the consumer; allow people to buy a CD, rip it and upload it to their players.

Although Gates did not delve deeper into what might make a better DRM model or indeed whether it would be replaced one day, he was keen on the idea of having it right with incentives and interoperability - a jibe at Sony and Apple's strategy.

Gates' comments come a few days after research group Forrester announced reported that Apple's iTunes song sales had been somewhat disappointing.