We’re living in a sharing economy, based on peer production. Although Apple and Microsoft tend to put DRM on their products, many other companies don’t believe this is the way to go.
Sharing has worked since the beginning of the Internet. It also worked for me. When I bought Reason version 1 and started the Raapie.nl website I created a lot of free tutorials and Reason sound-sets/ReFills. Creative Commons didn’t exist around that time (6 years ago). It gained a lot of success and respect. And it resulted in me becomming one of Reason’s sound designers. As most of you know, I am responsible for many of the new sounds of the Factory SoundBank which comes with Reason 3 – see Melodiefabriek/sound-design.
Propellerhead but also Ableton Live is very successful because of their active communities which started sharing files over the Internet. An RNS-file or ReFill is super simple to share online, same as for an Ableton-song which is zipped. Ableton and Propellerhead are using compressed formats, Ableton even allows you to use lossy-compressed files like MP3. Let’s face it: Steinberg was never able to create the same sort of success. And let’s face this also: because of the use of expensive propriety plugins, sharing is a lot more difficult to achieve. So sharing files with Reason is easier than with Live. Although I should admit that you’re still not able to share bits from ReFills. A much wanted feature!
Modern companies should focus on the sharing aspects of our modern economy. Make your file-formats open, let anyone remix your work and share it with others. Don’t use DRM, ever! And put some less restricted copyright on it (like Creative Commons for example). Being able to add a Creative Commons license to a song publiced with Reason or Ableton Live could be very useful.
Update: Sharing is the future. Sometimes people send me some files which I can edit. Most of the time I am using FTP-servers or AllPeers. I think this is the future; people will send files to specialized people who can then add parts, change some of the details etc. Some people create some cool stuff with Reason but get lost when mixing and mastering. The devil is in the details. Using an RNS-file is a nice format so I can simply change all sorts of sounds, mix-settings and apply mastering effects to it. It’s not important where we live, we don’t need to be in the same room, but we can still work together. Therefore: file-formats should be as open as possible. People will share more and create music by sending files over the Internet. Propellerhead Reason is a great tool for this way of working because you don’t need extra plugins; it’s all included. The only thing which can be tricky is not being able to share sounds which are included in ReFills. I know that Propellerhead is aware of this.