What’s Wrong

Let me illustrate one aspect of the problem with the current hysteria over DRM.

Tonight Pippa was telling me about Dreamgirls, which she saw with Jennifer and Mile over the break. She commented on the incident in which white artists cover [awkwardly] the Dreamgirls’ hit record, and I pointed out the SNL sketch in which the “Young Caucasians” cover Ray Charles’s “What’d I say” (“What Did I Say!?”in the Young Caucasians’ version). I pulled the laptop over to track it down on YouTube or Google video, or even for pay on the iTunes music store. NBC has successfully kept the sketch off the free channels, and hasn’t released it on iTunes.

I’m not supposing that Pippa and I had any kind of right to find that clip if we want to; I wonder, though, whether anyone profits from making us wait to see the sketch. Frankly, I’m not about to pursue that clip any further; I’d have bought it (or the show it appeared in) at a reasonable price if NBC offered it, and if it were available on one of the free services and I’d shown it to Pippa, when she enjoyed it, we might have made it a priority to buy the episode some other time. Because it’s not available, no one makes an easy dollar from Pippa and me. That just doesn’t make sense to me.

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