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Why DRM Everything? - by David Pakman, CEO, eMusic.com
Saturday, December 31 2005 @ 01:55 AM EST

Why DRM Everything?
A Sensible Approach to Satisfying Customers and Selling More Music in the Digital Age

by David Pakman
President & CEO, eMusic.com Inc.; Managing Director, Dimensional Associates, Inc.

Worldwide recorded music sales are down more than 25% over the last five years. The music industry believes the primary culprit is file-sharing and other forms of piracy. Let's leave the debate as to whether piracy is truly the cause of the music industry's troubles for another time. The responses to consumer-based digital piracy have been numerous (artist-sponsored education campaigns, TV commercials advising kids not to steal), aggressive (suing technology providers such as Diamond Rio, Napster and Grokster as well as more than 15,000 customers), and, at times, draconian (the recent Sony BMG rootkit fiasco).

In general, the music industry response seems to fall into three categories:
1) Educate, predominantly by using lawsuits to bring to parents' and kids' attention that file-sharing is stealing

2) Widely license their catalogs in only copy-protected, restricted digital formats

3) Lock down the CD, often preventing personal copying, thereby stopping the use of a Congressionally immunized activity

At the same time, consumers are now bombarded with more competition for their limited entertainment dollars and leisure time than ever before: cell phone minutes, text message fees, DVD purchases and rentals, portable and console video games, downloadable games, MTV request lines, several varieties of ringtones, Java games, digital music downloads, music video downloads, premium online radio, satellite radio, broadband ISP charges, etc. At a time when potential music-buyers have more entertainment choices and have demonstrated a reduced interest in purchasing recorded music, does it really make sense to take away functionality and limit a customer's ability to enjoy the music they purchase? Is it truly prudent, when piracy still abounds both aboveground and underground, to make the legally purchased product inferior to the pirated (and free) one?

I sympathize with the plight of recorded music companies. Dimensional Music Publishing owns or controls more than 15,000 music copyrights and derives revenue from their commercial exploitation. It is the right of a content owner to decide on what terms to sell its content. If record companies choose to lock down the CD and the digital download in an attempt to prevent piracy, this is their right. But two problems have arisen as a result of these decisions:

1) Record companies are using technology to limit what was otherwise a protected fair use of the music by the consumer: namely, to freely make personal non-commercial copies, and

2) Customers don't like it.

At this critical moment, the music industry needs to cultivate as many new customers as it can, not drive away potential ones by making the music inconvenient, restricted, or, even worse, invasive. But whatever the major labels continue to do, why do their tactics have to apply to the entire music catalog? Understandably, recorded music executives may be petrified by the free market forces that rule a capitalist economy, especially that it is one's customers that ultimately call the shots that shape any commercial marketplace.

More than 25,000 new CDs were released in 2005. How many of them have you heard about? Probably 20-30, if you're the average consumer, and maybe as many as 100 if you're a music aficionado. So the music industry funnel problem of trying to get exposure for both new releases and back catalog is still a challenge. To this end, the industry has experimented with pricing for many years, making back catalog titles available at lower price. The industry should also recognize that, like higher prices, limitations in functionality and music files sold that are incompatible with the most widely used playback devices are disincentives to buy, and should thus experiment with easing restrictions on some portions of their catalogs.

For example, it might be essential to "DRM" the newest Eminem download. But why must those titles that sell very poorly in both physical and digital retail also be restricted? If it were possible to demonstrate that non-DRM'ed music encourages more sales, wouldn't it make sense for the industry to offer portions of its catalog as unrestricted MP3 files? It seems like bad business to bind every category of customer and every category of product with the same sales offering. Consumers are very comfortable with different pricing for different value propositions. In short, the industry should become more customer-focused, dreaming up ways to increase sales of their catalogs by offering music products in a variety of formats and pricing.

Fortunately, we have the answer available to us. eMusic, the world's number two digital music retailer, selling more than 3.5M songs per month, sells a catalog of 1M songs from the world's largest 3,800 independent record labels. Independent labels see the world differently from the majors. They want to do everything possible to encourage consumption of their catalogs, and as a result, eMusic's entire catalog is available as unrestricted, no-DRM, high-fidelity MP3's. These files download without hassle, never expire, and play on every hardware and software digital music device ever created, including your iPod! (In other words, they are not inferior to the CDs you've been buying for years.) And when compared to a restricted buying experience, customers consume far more music from eMusic than from digital stores like iTunes. At iTunes, customers are averaging purchasing between one and three songs per month. At eMusic, the average customer purchases between nine and 31 songs per month. There are other differences between the services (eMusic is a subscription service where customers pre-pay for their downloads), but a major reason customers subscribe to eMusic is because the songs are not restricted in any way, and play everywhere.

The majors should abandon the idea of locking down their entire catalogs. They should experiment with selling their jazz, blues, classical, classic rock, comedy and more obscure titles -- the "long tail" -- in unrestricted formats. A good place to start might be the out-of-print titles and those portions of their catalogs which have sold ten or fewer times on iTunes. Clearly those titles have limited commercial appeal to iTunes customers. But why not determine if customers are willing to buy more digital music that has no restrictions, just as they're willing to buy more CDs when they are discounted? The independent record labels have already proven this by licensing their entire catalogs to eMusic and allowing their sale without unreasonable restrictions. We know that eMusic customers purchase more music on a per customer basis than customers at the other well-known digital music services. We also know that their selections run deeper and wider, and that eMusic customers purchase music that doesn't sell elsewhere. In this model, hard-to-find cult titles and deep back catalog in traditionally under-selling genres like blues, jazz, and classical are likely to experience much stronger sales than their current business.

The majors appear attached to a value proposition that actually takes benefit away from the very customers they must satisfy and one which the marketplace has already rejected. For the market to start growing again, the oligopoly has to make their products available for sale on more customer-friendly terms, like universally-compatible formats with fewer restrictions. The market will obviously prevail in the end; the question to pose is not if, but when. How much lost revenue will it take to prompt the oligopoly to act in the interests of consumers, which, in a market-driven economy, benefits all stakeholders, including their own shareholders, artists, and employees? Failure to act does not signal the end of the industry, it simply creates a redistribution of power among hundreds of smaller players that will inevitably join forces over time to consolidate and create tomorrow's oligopoly.

If the majors would undertake such a strategy, it would have the added benefit of actually selling consumers what they want: a product not inferior to the free pirated copy - and available in seconds with a click of the mouse.


  


Why DRM Everything? - by David Pakman, CEO, eMusic.com | 196 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
Corrections here...
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, December 31 2005 @ 02:00 AM EST
Corrections here, if required.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Off Topic Here
Authored by: DFJA on Saturday, December 31 2005 @ 02:07 AM EST
Please follow the instructions in Red to make links
clickable.

---
43 - for those who require slightly more than the answer to life, the universe
and everything

[ Reply to This | # ]

Another area is quality
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, December 31 2005 @ 02:24 AM EST
The current trend is playback of movies via mobile devices (read PSP).
Now what will happen? The users will learn to accept the small screens, the bad
quality, the cutoffs both in length and picture area.
This is done to movies created for playback on a 20 meter wide screen now played
back on a 10 cm screen (think of "Ben Hur" in Cinemascope = 1 :
2.35).
Guess what will happen: the users will not go to the cinema anymore because they
are accustomed to these tiny screens.
They may wonder why the experience is that bad (its the bad sound, THX vs
headphones is a losing battle), but they will not return to the cinema. They
paid for the ---- and seeing the original with full experience would implicitly
be self-critizising, ie it would reveal that the decision to buf the inferior
version was bad.

The result will be that the industry will destroy its own base. Less and less
movies will be made. The big visual and aural effects for blockbusters get
useless because they cannot reach the user anymore.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Why DRM Everything? - by David Pakman, CEO, eMusic.com
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, December 31 2005 @ 02:30 AM EST
The best guide on DRMing music e-tailers on the web at EFF http://www.eff.org/IP/DRM/guide/

[ Reply to This | # ]

Nice, but... (slightly OT)
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, December 31 2005 @ 02:31 AM EST
I used to be a subscriber to eMusic and enjoyed it very much. Unfortunately
they have demonstrated their complete and utter contempt for Linux users with
their ultra-crappy Linux download manager. Go check the forums for what a waste
of time talking to tech support about their broken software is.

[ Reply to This | # ]

nicely written and you get it kinda
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, December 31 2005 @ 02:31 AM EST
You did manage to hit a few points like price and there insessant need for
control aka drm. Think of it like this to all those who care that is. Lets say i
went and got a pirated game such as diablo II then tried it andliked it. Now do
i keep using that version no. This imaginaryperson then goe sout and BUYS the
boxe dset that includes much mor eand a nice thick book and lots a extras. Even
more pleased the same person decides to "pirate and try" the warcraft
3 game and lo and behold likes htat and gets it legal next.
However he then tries a few other games and doesnt like them.
so delete happens.
in a way if they have 25000 cds and i sample 100 and like 2, id keep those and
id go buy them legite to show my apreciation toartist. I would then admit some
stuff i wouldn't buy but cause the access is there id download. This imaginary
person rarely wouldlisten to that set amusics and if out of 100 sampled mp3
albums i only keep 2 , yet dl all 100 what true lose to the industry was there
even if i didn't patronize the artists or the riaa. Well
they'd like you to think 100 times 15.99 andive seen the sick price of 30$
canadian. While inturth id have got none of the 100 albums had i not had
beenexposed to said music.
instead they get 2 sales where there would hav ebeen none.

NOW, after this DRM stuff how many non technical people aregoing to buy cds
cause they dont understand that evenwith it removed so SONY will say, would
believe them.
It sounds kinda weird bu ti honestly believe that a certain amount of so called
piracy leads to actuall profit and not thatmuch loss. Think htis way too, young
kid A)
has enough maybe to buy one cd a month
so instead hepays for internet (btw that all these companies are vested inand
profit off of also)
and dls the stuff. Already they get money form us to get access to the net. As
he gets older he'll pirate less and buy more but now he has a wayto smaple the
music before he buys or games.
btw sorry forbad spelling its late andim tired and i cant get my password off
the site seems it isnt emialing me.
P.S. try pushing hte collectablility of the cd covers and cd art.
You'd be surprised how effective that would be.
P.S.S And suing 15 yr olds and innocents who have no money doesnt do anyhting
but make that kid NEVER buy music again PERIOD.
has anyone done a study to see how people they've sued have bought music
afterwards?
i'll bet not verymuch.
CHRoNoSS

[ Reply to This | # ]

One question only
Authored by: Winter on Saturday, December 31 2005 @ 02:42 AM EST
I would like to ask the author (or anyone) only a single question.

Currently artists could sell their video/music to any consumer directly over the
internet by way of services like iTunes or Napster. At the moment, this is
blocked by the contracts of these services and running contracts of artists.

My question is:
Given the ability to sell music directly to an audience, what can the recording
industry contribute to the works of musicians that justifies their share of the
income?

In the past, the artists were unable to produce and distribute their music.
Records and CD's used to be expensive, broadcasters and shops difficult to
reach. The latter two partly due to active obstruction of the record companies
(payola etc.).

However, constructing an MP3/Ogg Vorbis whatever and putting it on the internet
is cheap. The main cost is in collecting the money. And iTunes already works
practically for free, given the label's exhorbitant prices. Artists already have
to pay for studio time etc.

So I am mystified about what the Record companies can contribute in Value Added
Services.

Currently, their only contribution seems to be in holding back artists with
overly restrictive contracts and blocking access to broadcasters and shops. And
blocking internet distribution by taking down legal MP3 selling services that
work for the artists instead of for the record labels (a single illegal song on
your site is enough to take you down).

Rob

---
Revenge, Justice, Security, and Revenge, chose any two.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Ah, the market responds...
Authored by: dnl on Saturday, December 31 2005 @ 02:47 AM EST
Well, Mr. Pakman, congratulations on providing a service the customer wants.

I stopped buying CDs when those fine "majors" started copy-protecting
their CDs back in the '90s. I first noticed more and more CDs wouldn't play in
my car's 1992-vintage CD player; at first, I thought the player was dying, but I
couldn't understand why CDs that I already owned played fine, while newer CDs
didn't. Eventually I found the explanation on the Internet--undocumented and
undisclosed copy protection that would knowingly fail to work on older devices.
I voted with my wallet and stopped buying CDs.

As one may imagine, I was overjoyed to hear that Sony got caught red-handed with
their rootkit. Reading their "what you don't understand can't hurt
you" explanation was truly priceless.

So Mr. Pakman, it's time to vote with my wallet again! Congratulations on
providing a valuable service!

[ Reply to This | # ]

Why DRM Everything? - by David Pakman, CEO, eMusic.com
Authored by: cventers on Saturday, December 31 2005 @ 03:04 AM EST
Here's a music service I would use:

Something like eMusic where the format was unencumbered
(MP3 > DRM formats here) and hi-fi (eg, Ogg Vorbis or
FLAC). Music fidelity is just as important to me as the
openness of the format, and MP3 isn't particularly open
either (patent-encumbered).

What if I could buy music by downloading a few tracks from
an album? As I keep liking what I hearing, I keep
downloading more tracks from that album. When I've bought
all the tracks, I should be given the option to receive
the CD / jewel case / artwork via mail in a bi-weekly
batch shipment, perhaps for an extra fee if the total
downloaded cost is less than the cost of the actual
pressed CD.

Such a service should be totally GNU/Linux compatible (if
it required any special clients, they should use GTK or Qt
and ideally be released in the open so that distributions
like Debian are free to package them).

[ Reply to This | # ]

Music providers free of any DRMs exist!
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, December 31 2005 @ 03:10 AM EST
There are some music distributors who sell music online without DRMs

Here's one I know:
http://www.bleep.com/

There is a good selection of artists.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Why mp3 - why not higher quality downloads
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, December 31 2005 @ 03:19 AM EST
I guess mp3's are ok if you are playing the music through a personal stero, but an mp3, even a "high quality" one doesn't cut it on a good home stero.

Do most music sites offer CD quality downloads also?

[ Reply to This | # ]

Mr. Pakman - Comments on eMusic.com
Authored by: cventers on Saturday, December 31 2005 @ 03:40 AM EST
Thank you for taking your time to write this thoughtful
article. As a result, I've become a trial member of
eMusic.com and I just wanted to pose a question.

I'm a GNU/Linux user for both technical and political
reasons (well, perhaps political is a wrong word -- let's
just say GNU/Linux sits well with my software idealism).

My first comment would be that while the MP3 format is
much better than others in terms of DRM, it still has less
fidelity and more patent / licensing issues than free
alternatives like Ogg Vorbis or FLAC (both of which my
hardware player devices are capable of playing).

I see no problem selling MP3s, but why not give the open
source user an alternative?

In this vein, I tried your deprecated / unsupported Linux
download manager and unfortunately it did not work or fail
in a way that may suggest how to fix it. Consulting your
forums I saw the suggestion to disable the use of the
download manager, which is a workable option but
unfortunately removes much convenience.

So I downloaded one of your .emp files to my hard drive,
figuring it might just be a simple text list or XML file
from which I could derive my own open source eMusic
client.

Unfortunately, the format appears to be binary and
(daresay) intentionally obfuscated.

Why doesn't eMusic release a spec for reading "emp" files?
I'm sure there are those of us in the community (like
myself) that would be happy, paying eMusic customers,
especially if we could write a client. eMusic wouldn't
have to pay us to do so; though it would be nice if once
we had an acceptable client you exercised your rights as
open source consumers and distributed a known stable
version on your site, or at least pointed your customers
where to go.

Thanks!

[ Reply to This | # ]

Why DRM Everything? - by David Pakman, CEO, eMusic.com
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, December 31 2005 @ 04:03 AM EST
Mr. Pakman,

I believe you've hit the nail on the head here. I don't subscribe to your
service because I'm not interested in the latest independent label music but I
think you are providing a very useful service. I am interested in classic rock,
old R&B, jazz, blues, and big band music. The major labels don't seem to
understand that I don't want to buy restricted copies of music that I already
paid for at least twice, and sometimes three, times (album, cassette/8 track,
CD). I'm certainly not going to pay 99 cents per song for something that was
published in 1942. To see an example of how much money you can make from
reasonable pricing and no DRM take a look at allofmp3.com. At approximately 2
cents per MB I don't have any problem buying all of the music that I already
have on vinyl or old cassette/8 track (yes I'm that old). I even purchase
copies of music that I have on CD since it's easier than ripping it myself.
I've probably dropped a couple of hundred on them in the last two years.
Granted, allofmp3.com may or may not be paying royalties to the artists (they
claim that they do) but the major labels are not offering older titles at rates
that anyone can afford. If they were really concerned about artist welfare they
would be setting up their own version of allofmp3.com and putting the Russians
out of business. The RIAA tried to put them out of business via the Moscow
courts but lost. Don't get me wrong, I don't download anything that I haven't
paid for (unless it's offerred free). Right now, I choose to pay the Russians.

There are two other points I'd like to make here that are somewhat related.
First, DRM is absolutely useless. If I can hear it I can copy it (the RIAA
refers to this as the analog hole and they'd like to plug it). I don't mean
lousy copies either. I have a professional audio card with external ADC/DAC on
my system (all Linux) and I can record anything I can hear at 24 bit/96 KHz (10
channels so I can do 5.1 or 7.1 as well). Does anyone really think that a
person who is happy with 128kb mp3 quality will not be happy with analog to
digital converted 16 bit/44.1KHz wav? I can even make digital copies from vinyl
that are as good and sometimes better than copies from CD. Anyone who wants to
seriously pirate music can get into it for very low money and DRM is not going
to stop them. All I want is fair use and a reasonable price.

Second, the pricing scheme that the RIAA is pushing at present is ridiculous
(all of the majors have been busted for CD price fixing in the last 10 years and
it looks like our buddy Elliot Spitzer is going to slap them again for price
fixing digital downloads). As an example, I recently bought the third of the
Lord of the Rings movies on DVD. In the package I received a DVD with the
movie, a DVD with deleted scenes, outtakes, a documentary, and other extras. I
also got a lovely case and an insert with a ton of information. If I had gotten
in a little earlier I could have gotten a poster as well. This movie cost
somewhere on the order of $150 millon US to make (I'm just guessing here but I
know it was more than $100 million US). My price - $19.95US. In comparison, if
I want the latest CD from The Backdoor Boys (TM) or their ilk I am expected to
pony up almost the same amount for 10-12 songs of which two may be worth
listening to (if that). The cost to record and produce the CD was an order of
magnitude less than the cost to make the LOTR movie. For a copy of a 35 year
old Steppenwolf album I am expected to pay the same amount. What's wrong with
this picture?

Hopefully the major labels will begin to listen to voices of reason like
yours. They stand to make tons of money if they would just open their eyes. As
many people have pointed out before - when Napster was at its peak they were
doing 3 million downloads a day. I doubt if it would have bothered many people
to pay 10 cents a song for those downloads but even if it cut it in half you'd
be looking at $150K per day. Napster was up and running strong for at least a
year so that's $54 million right there. They should at least scale the prices
based on age/popularity of the music.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Why DRM Anything?
Authored by: geoff lane on Saturday, December 31 2005 @ 04:04 AM EST
For us copyright geeks, there would be an excellent book in the history of anti-copying technology starting from the "Hogarth Act" in 1735 through the efforts of music manuscript publishers in the 1870s, the introduction of heavily coloured paper after copiers became common in offices, the attempts to create compact cassette tapes with "inaudible" artifacts in the 1970s, various hardware "dongles" in the 1980s, the pathetic attempts to hide the fact that CSS was useless in the 1990s, the "secret" signatures used in colour copiers and the various legal efforts today.

Of course, it would be a rather one note story. The need for material to be viewable, listenable or otherwise usable, limits what can be done and so far not one law or technology has done anything other than annoy the legitimate customer.

Maybe I can make this my 2006 non-programming project.

---
I'm not a Windows user, consequently I'm not
afraid of receiving email from total strangers.

[ Reply to This | # ]

CSS on DVDs
Authored by: jmc on Saturday, December 31 2005 @ 04:55 AM EST
I have always believed that the region coding on DVDs is an abuse of DRM by
manufacturers.

For years music CDs have cost at least twice as much in the UK as they did in
the US so every time I visit the US I come back with an armful of CDs - so many
at times that I've had to declare them at customs (but they never made me pay
anthing).

The DVD people didn't want to repeat that "mistake" hence the
"region codes" which don't let you play a legally-purchased DVD on a
legally-purchased player so you're stuck with inflated UK prices.

This seems to me a denial of fair use for your own purposes.

(You can of course download and program in to your player an all regions patch
which of course I've done. And you can download libdvdcss and play them on your
Linux box which of course I've also done).

[ Reply to This | # ]

Total Dollars Spent on Entertainment
Authored by: capt.Hij on Saturday, December 31 2005 @ 05:25 AM EST
Has anyone calculated the total dollars spent in the US on entertainment over
the last few years? It would be interesting to see if the total dollars spent
has gone up and how the money is distributed. If the total has gone up and the
proportion spent on music has gone down then that is an argument that the music
industry is simply out of touch with its customers. The folks in the music
industry seem to argue that their total is down therefore people are cheating
which is absurd. If cheating is such a problem then it should affect all
entertainment not just music.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Why DRM Everything? - by David Pakman, CEO, eMusic.com
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, December 31 2005 @ 06:14 AM EST
If the CD revenues are down then perhaps it is not the copying that is the
problem but the product itself?
As an aged Dinosoar (50+) I have over 400 Vinyl Albums and a similar number of
CD's. I don't but anything full priced anymore and most of the CD's I buy are of
recordings of Jazz, Blues, Classical & Rock dating from before 1980.
The products made by the majority of the mainstream labels artists today is
manufactured sh1t. Its all driven by Marketing Drones.
I regurarly see and listen to Buskers on the London Underground. Some are
ecxellent musicians and have their own CD's for sale. I often buy them direct
from the Artist. No Records Company involved and therefore more money to the
Artist = Satisfaction all round. These skilled musicians can't et recording
contracts because they don't produce this crap that is aimed at the 6-16 year
old age group.
So, Mr Mainstream Record Company Executive, I respectfully submit that you are
(in most cases) selling the wrong product to the wrong market. That is why your
Sales are down. Adding more restrictions to what you sell WILL NOT STOP THE
ROT!
Do not go down the path of putting DRM on Everything. This will cut even more
revenue from your coffers as perople get pissed off with CD that won't play,
Rootkits installed illegally on all kinds of thing.
What happens if a rootkit from one Label is installed over a rootkit from
another label and it renders the whole system unusable. The ferocity and size of
the lawsuits against you will soon make you bankrupt.
There is always a lesson to learn from history when looking at thing like this.
When James Watt got the patent on the steam engine it effectively stifled
progress for a number of years. When the patent expired large strides in
improving steam engine efficiency were made very rapidly. If you DRM all music
then IMHO, you will be digging your own grave and one for the rest of your DRM'd
colleagues.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Sell something I would like to buy
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, December 31 2005 @ 07:09 AM EST
It's no wonder sales of music is going down. The music produced today sounds all
alike. If you have heard on new group of boys or girls put together because they
look good on picture, you have heard them all.

It's not worth paying for, and it is definitely not worth risk having the record
companies tamper with my equipment.

I'm also somewhat curios, as all these new sounding alike bands seam to target
young people, say around 15. Most of these people doesn't have regular jobs, how
are they supposed to afford buying full priced CDs?


[ Reply to This | # ]

It is not about piracy, it is about control.
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, December 31 2005 @ 07:14 AM EST
At first sight what the big record and movie companies that sponsor DRM are
doing looks stupid. Why provide something the customer doesn't want to buy and
that doesn't prevent mass pirating of CDs and DVDs. Why not provide a binary
DVD player for Linux free to allow people to play legally purchased DVDs on
Linux by licensing DeCSS under a closed source license like so many other dual
licensed GPL programs? This would be no different to use of binary DVD players
on Windows, and it won't allow copying unless the binary player they release
allows it.

Are the record companies and movie companies just plain stupid? The answer is
no, on the contrary, they are very smart people, and I will tell you why they
are doing what they are doing.

It is all about control. In the past recording and film studios had complete
control over the making and marketing of music and films. In the past a musician
or film star, no matter how talented, was entirely reliant on a recording or
film studio to make it. The big recording or film studios entirely controlled
whether an artist was seen or not, and had the power to screw the artist into
signing contracts that handed over to them the bulk of the artist's revenue
(case in point what happened to Buddy Holly and George Michael happens to
every muscian. The recording and film studios were also able to screw the
customer because they had control over production and distribution.

This cosy world of the fat cat recording/film studios is now under threat. With
the spread of the Internet it is possible for artists to be noticed without
signing away their future careers to the big record labels. It is possible to
distribute music and films without going through the big recording/film
studios, all you need is a web server or a CD/DVD burner. Hell even the smallest
garage startup company can match the biggest labels and offer better terms to
attract artistic talent. Artistic talent can be recognised and can become a
money making proposition without the artists having to sign their lives away.


This loss of monopoly control is what the big greedy fat cat recording studios
fear. They are trying to impose DRM not as an anti-piracy measure, but as a
means of exercising control over low volume DVD/CD production and file
distribution methods to prevent it's use by small record labels or individual
artists from competing with them. This is why their focus is on banning the
proliferation of Internet file sharing technology (as opposed to pirated
content), banning the use of DVD players on Linux even if they don't allow
copying (because Linux is difficult for them to manipulate, whereas fellow
monopolist fat cat Microsoft can always be relied on to cut a deal if it is
given a monopoly on computer distribution).

To summarise, all this Internet copying and DRM hullabaloo is not intended to
prevent piracy. Nor is the recording/film industry making any serious attempt to
implement a means of Internet file distribution or CD/DVD creation/backup that
would deal effectively with piracy. On the contrary, they are deliberately
trying to kill, cripple or discourage the use of these new distribution
technologies by making them cumbersome or inconvenient to use, because they
don't control them, and using DRM they are trying to establish a control over
those technologies that they can use to lock out small companies and artists
themselves from competing with them. The idea is you form a cartel with an
expensive joining fee (which only the fat cat reocrding/film studios can
afford) which allows you to use a cumbersome DRM encryption method, which
through the wonders of DMCA and an exclusive monopoly deal with a certain
convicted monopolist felon, will prevent people from running film and music in
other formats on a certain OS that has 95% of the desktop market.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Physical vs digital purchases
Authored by: cmc on Saturday, December 31 2005 @ 07:20 AM EST
It seems that for quite a while now, the various recording companies have been
upsetting their customers by providing products of limited use (copy- or
content-protected "CDs"). At the same time, the quality of the
product has gone downhill (at least for the discs I've seen). I've seen many
CDs without the lyrics printed in the liner notes, very little in the way of
artwork or photos in the liner notes, and the average length of a CD seems to
have decreased (from what I've seen and heard, the average length is now about
30-35 minutes on a medium that holds 74-80). A lot of CDs still cost $18 plus
shipping (or the cost of transportation to/from the seller if purchasing
locally)? Shipping is usually $3.95 or so for ground shipping. And
transportation is dependent on distance and mileage; let's assume a 30-mile
round trip, and you get 30 mpg, for a total of 1.00 gallon, which is current
$2.15 where I live. So add that $2.15 to the $18 price of the CD, and the
35-minute CD has now cost you $20.15. Is it really any wonder people aren't
buying as many CDs as they used to? And let's not even get into the fact that
there is much less quality music being released now than there was in the past.

The RIAA and it's vocal members are very keen on legal downloads. In fact, it
seems that they would prefer you to buy your music online (through iTunes) as
opposed to purchasing the physical medium (CD). At first, I wondered why that
was, and I came up with some thoughts. The biggest push I see is that with
digital downloads, it's much easier to restrict what can and can't be done
through DRM. Sure, it takes away our fair-use rights, but most people don't
care enough to do anything. But a big secondary push is the distribution
itself. With digital downloads, there are no CDs to create and distribute. The
recording company just supplies a digital file to the digital seller, no
physical product needed, so they immediately save a large chunk of cash.

But I think the biggest of all is the profit factor. It's something that we
can't really accurately determine because no one is willing to really tell us
what percentage of product sales goes to whom, but some numbers have been thrown
around. It's been mentioned that recording companies get about $6.00 from the
sale of a CD, and 75 cents from the sale of each song on iTunes. Let's assume
the same ratio (75:99) for album sales, and that comes out to $7.56 per album
sold on iTunes. That's $1.56 more profit immediately, plus no debt from
physical media and distribution. With those additional profits, is it really
any wonder they want us to buy music online instead of buying CDs? And now they
want to raise the price from 99 cents to $1.49. Imagine what their profit would
be then. Lower costs, higher profit, *and* they can tell us exactly what we can
and cannot do with what we purchased (including the inability to later resell
the songs we purchased). Why wouldn't they like digital music sales?

On a side note, when someone purchases music through iTunes, what are they
buying? They have nothing tangible provided to them in return for their money.
Do they pay for anything, or are they paying for nothing? Are they paying for a
license? If so, do they see the license beforehand so they can decide if they
agree to it or not? Do they get a copy of this license so that they can later
prove that they are in fact legally licensed? With a physical CD, no one can
dispute that you are licensed to listen to the music on the CD (stealing the CD
is theft, but the holder of the CD is still licensed to listen to the CD's
contents). But if something happens, and both EMI and Apple say you never paid
for Queensryche's "Operation: Mindcrime" digital album, how do you
prove that you have a valid license to listen to it?

Enough of my ramblings...

cmc

[ Reply to This | # ]

Why DRM Everything? - by David Pakman, CEO, eMusic.com
Authored by: blacklight on Saturday, December 31 2005 @ 07:36 AM EST
Right now, the majors have a very poor business model and are caught in a vise
between declining sales and high overhead. For CD prices to drop to a reasonable
level, the majors will have to entirely restructure their business model to cut
down on their overhead - and a key step to that is changing their distribution
methods. The current business model is the only one they know, and the only one
that has a proven track record if only because they don't know of any other.

If I were to compete with the majors and I have a far more efficient business
model than they do, I don't sue my customers and I have enough of a low overhead
to execute small production runs of CDs and make money at it, why should I tell
or advise any of my competitors to change their ways? What's in it for me?

Why shouldn't I keep a low profile, make my money quietly and keep growing my
business until by the time they notice that I exist, I am already in their faces
and their options are limited? The problem with pounding your chest and
screaming at the top of your lungs like a gorilla in the jungle is that you will
be attracting the attention of every well armed poacher in the neighborhood who
is out to sell your body by the piece or by the pound (or by the kilogram).

In summary, my approach would be: make real profits, don't advertise, keep a low
profile, keep growing and just kill the competition - silently.


---
Know your enemies well, because that's the only way you are going to defeat
them. And know your friends even better, just in case they become your enemies.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Internet radio
Authored by: Winter on Saturday, December 31 2005 @ 07:40 AM EST
I am currently listening to an MP3 download of Beur FM (France) with a lot of
music. Podcasts work this way too.

No DRM.

So it can be done, I see. But this cuts out the record companies.

So it must be illegal and I am stealing from the artists?

And what if the next round of updates refuses to play these recordings?

Wouldn't that be against the freedom of speech?

I imagine few politicians in France will try to silence BEUR radio now.
(for those who missed the last French autum, Google for Beur Paris Flames)

Rob

---
Revenge, Justice, Security, and Revenge, chose any two.

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • it kind ais - Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, December 31 2005 @ 01:49 PM EST
Jane Siberry's self-determined pricing
Authored by: qitaana on Saturday, December 31 2005 @ 08:35 AM EST
Some time ago, there was a news item on the side of Groklaw regarding Jane Siberry, who happens to be one of the Q household's favorite artists.

She's gone to "self-determined pricing" for music downloads from her website. Users may choose to pay nothing at all ("gift from Jane"), a suggested price, or a price of their choosing.

Here's some interesting statistics lifted from her website:

Pricing Statistics as of Dec 8 6:00 PM pst
% Accepting gift from Jane 20%
% Paid by determining price 45%
% Paying Later 35%

Avg Price Per Track $1.27
% Paid Below Suggested 9%
% Paid At Suggested 81%
% Paid Above Suggested 9%


She has an Open Letter up explaining the plan.

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • "Magic Hat" - Authored by: cybervegan on Saturday, December 31 2005 @ 12:57 PM EST
    • "Magic Hat" - Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, December 31 2005 @ 03:45 PM EST
    • "Magic Hat" - Authored by: Wol on Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 07:31 AM EST
Why DRM Everything? - by David Pakman, CEO, eMusic.com
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, December 31 2005 @ 09:08 AM EST
I am afraid that the consequence of the Sony rootkit fiasco is that I have had
to tell my family, and all my kids' friends' families that the only music CDs
that are safe to put into a computer are pirate ones. "Legit" ones may
end up causing me to have to do a complete Windows reinstall.

I am serious - I don't live in the USA. However, until such time as a Sony
Executive is jailed, I for one am prepared to go to court and argue that its
simply not safe to put so called "legit" music disks into a computer,
and while the USA sees "Honest" in the same terms as "The
Legitimate Business Men's Club" in the Simpsons, we have a problem with the
concept of legitimacy.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Why DRM Everything? To close leaks, of course!
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, December 31 2005 @ 09:57 AM EST
One of the problems with DRM concepts being spread to document formats,
especially as tied to the DMCA's anti-circumvention penalties, is that
document leaks can be sealed off AUTOMATICALLY. If a document can't be
printed (and printed matter may be treated as "fabricated" if the
source
document can't be read) then leaked information can't be
"compromised".

So what can a company hide when documents are protected by DRM like this?

Oh, sure, if it gets to the court the documentation may be sub-peonaed but
then how will something get that far?

Imagine if the documents leaked to the New York Times on the domestic
spying the NSA has been doing had been sealed via DRM.

Who does DRM serve? The publc? Or any one of a set of self-styled elites?

When it comes to entertainment-- it's all about squeezing the last dollar out
of an "intellectual property". I'm not sure if that enriches a
culture or (as I'm
coming to believe) steals from it.

I recall someone remarking that copyright violation isn't a *taking* like real
property but more of an easement-like encumbrance; it merely cuts into the
"top dollar" while doing no damage to the spread of the meme.

I sometimes wonder if, in a corporation's desperate bid for profits, whether
that leads to our own extinction as a society... and a species.

Greed got us to where we are, but now the "required profit margins"
keep
growing and so lives hang more and more in the balance.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Has DRM boosted sales?
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, December 31 2005 @ 11:01 AM EST

How long as the DRM battle been really insane? A year?

Is there any evidence that imposing DRM has cut piracy and boosted sales?

If so, then the recording companies may have a point.

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • lets see - Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, December 31 2005 @ 01:58 PM EST
Isn't DRM a two way street?
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, December 31 2005 @ 11:29 AM EST
Shouldn't any DRM ensure the purchaser's rights as well as those of the
copyright owner. I think this would mean that any DRM software should
automatically allow unfettered use when the term of the copyright expires. I'm
sure this would be a lot of fun or perhaps impossible to implement. Is this an
argument against any form of DRM?

[ Reply to This | # ]

2 cents - use metadata protection via Creative Commons searching and filtering!
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, December 31 2005 @ 11:35 AM EST

Title: Use Creative Commons idea(s) not DRM!

To: those who want to protect digital copyright... use Creative Commons!

Can Creative Commons protect works for "commercial only" purposes?

If so, then...

Use Creative Commons, with a meta-data tag, that gives a digital file a digital ID that is search-able, filterable, and then protect that meta-data from changes or removal by creating a law that prevents the change or removal of a file or it's meta-data. ISP's could filter the meta-data - like how anti-virus software works, and notify a user (ISP has their email address for billing purposes) that the users account is being used to exceed "fair use" of copyrighted material, beyond a quota, or established "fair-use" limit. Of course Creative Commons or the government needs to establish a Creative Commons style of "commercial only" license with a way to register (on-line) a creators digital meta-data. Shareable meta-data (See Creative Commons Share-alike) would be not filtered or audited, only commercial only meta-data would be filtered. The notification process would first be friendly, then a process of questioning by the ISP could happen if the "commercial only creative commons meta-data" continued to be shared beyond fair use! If all friendly attempts to stop the infringer from exceeding fair use quota did not affect the traffic the ISP could then notify a central world wide infringer data base providing a "hidden" Pseudonym email address to the database where others could email this Pseudonym address and the ISP would then forward the email to the infringer (the creator of the works, owner of copyright, or fans of the work could then ask the infringer to stop (could be digital and automatic once the infringer's pseudonym email address hit the database listing the files meta-data along with the pseudonym's email address. Friendly notification, only amplified could continue, before enforcement action via law suit or criminal process could continue. IP v6 could allow an ISP customer a "assigned IP address" and even if the user had a open wireless network that was usable by anyone, they could be advised in a friendly way to investigate the users of the network or be able to "block the sending of certain files on their network" at a central router or firewall. Final penalty for user who infringes on "commercial only creative commons copyright digital meta-data" would be the termination of the Internet account by the ISP (private ISP or public if the municipality were providing free Internet access)! No one would like to loose their Internet access, would be worse than fines (as a repeat infringer could be targeted in a database with the risk of being black listed for X amount of time from using other ISPs). Of course, other Internet anonymous use could continue as only "commercial only" meta-data would be filtered or audited! China does a similar thing now to control Internet access there, only in violation of human rights. Blocking content is possible as well and the creative commons license, once violated, revokes future use of the licensed work (meaning that the ISP could block that one file from being shared, etc). Auditing traffic of certain file types is possible because of the meta-data idea with creative commons! 12 year olds sharing files should not be criminal, yet does need attention of parents who don't want to lose their Internet access due to illegal sharing. Remember that Creative commons can also have meta-data for sharable works that use the various degrees of creative commons protection and notification of the terms of use with the license.

No DRM at all!

Friendly to all.

See Creative Commons web site and use your imagination as to see how easy this would be to get going all over the world.

http://www.creativecommons.org

The music, movie, and other artist's are a bit paranoid. Some industry folks have a second interest in DRM (protected by law), and that is to profit from the sale of many different and changing types of digital formats and thus force the customers to pay a 2nd or more times for the fair use of the same content they already paid for! Many who owned "records" with content and thus fair use, bought CDs and the record companies profited. That is wrong. Once a work is acquired there should be fair use where the copyright user can take a file and use it on various devices (and not be locked-in to one manufacturer's device by DRM).

Artists who want to allow for freely sharable files have that option with Creative Commons license that would allow users to freely share their works.

Using the same idea, artists who want digital control for profit of a file could also have this right... and it could be enforceable in a friendly way as well, again using creative commons (if creative commons created a "commercial only" license with meta-data.

From Creative Commons FAQ: http://creativecommons.org/learnmore

"What happens if someone misuses my Creative Commons-licensed work?

A Creative Commons license terminates automatically if someone uses your work contrary to the license terms. This means that, if a person uses your work under a Creative Commons license and they, for example, fail to attribute your work in the manner you specified, then they no longer have the right to continue to use your work. This only applies in relation to the person in breach of the license; it does not apply generally to the other people who use your work under a Creative Commons license and comply with its terms.

You have a number of options as to how you can enforce this; you can consider contacting the person and asking them to rectify the situation and/or you can consider consulting a lawyer to act on your behalf. For information about how you may be able to locate a suitably qualified lawyer, please refer to this question and answer".

" What is the Commons Deed? What is the legal code? What does the html/meta-data do?

Creative Commons licenses are expressed in three different formats: the Commons Deed (human-readable code), the Legal Code (lawyer-readable code); and the meta-data (machine readable code).

The Commons Deed is a summary of the key terms of the actual license (which is the Legal Code)óbasically, what others can and cannot do with the work. Think of it as the user-friendly interface to the Legal Code beneath. This Deed itself has no legal value, and its contents do not appear in the actual license.

The Legal Code is the actual license; a document designed to be enforced in a court of law.

The meta-data describes the key license elements that apply to a piece of content to enable discovery through customized search engines". see http://creativecommons.org/faq for more!

http://creativecommons.org/abo ut/licenses/

http://creati vecommons.org/about/licenses/meet-the-licenses

No DRM (no DRM viruses owned by paranoid media industry types), Free Fair use again to what it is meant to be. Use Creative Commons. The Creative Commons Meta-Data is better than DRM.

See more about Meta-Data here: http://creativecommons. org/technology/usingmarkup

It is easy to choose a license to use: http://creativecommons.org/license/

This work is hereby released into the Public Domain. To view a copy of the public domain dedication, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/publicdomain/ or send a letter to Creative Commons, 543 Howard Street, 5th Floor, San Francisco, California, 94105, USA.

[ Reply to This | # ]

You forget to mention their failure rate.
Authored by: kawabago on Saturday, December 31 2005 @ 12:53 PM EST
The music industry expects 90% of it's products to fail in the marketplace.
They make all their profit off only 1 in 10 artists. I can't think of any other
industry where 90% of products fail and the business expects to survive. Even
fake psychics can do better than that!



---
TTFN

[ Reply to This | # ]

To CD or not to CD
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, December 31 2005 @ 03:01 PM EST
The one thing that really annoys me is the fact that most "DRM"
systems actually void the original Philips CD patent. Thet is to say, these
music data discs are not and should not be referred to as CDs. "CD"
refers to a specific format.

It's actually worth a try to bring an unexpectedly DRMed "CD" back to
the shop and complain about false advertising because it was placed in the
"CD" area. I do remember Philips responding to this matter before,
but I can't remotely remember the link. The idea was basically, "we don't
really care".

Additionally, such "Un-CDs" (I'm grateful to the German magazine C't
for this term) in many cases make copying NECCESSARY. After buying the new
Gorillaz "CD" I found that the DRM was F*Á%ing with the CD player in
my car, so I copied it. I had no other reason to copy other than the fact that
the (hugel
ye innefective) DRM forced me to. I mean, seriously, a DRM which can't prevent
me from ripping, burining and testing a CD in less than half an hour simply
can't be effective. Why bother?

This actually brings me to another point. In europe (I dunno bout USA or the
rest of the world) there is a law against getting around "effective"
copy protection systems. Isn't this a bit grey? I mean, as I've said, being
able to rip, burn and test in under 30 minutes simply can't be described as
"effective". And all that with software that's more than 2 years old.
Added to the fact that all blank CD bought here in Eurpoe have a fee paid to
the GEMA (like RIAA in USA) basically means that I've already paid for my copy,
right?????

I really don't know. I think the music industry should take a long walk.....

[ Reply to This | # ]

Language
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, December 31 2005 @ 03:31 PM EST
It's disappointing to find a front-page article on Groklaw that abuses language in the same way as those who are trying to lock up our culture.

Downloading without permission isn't stealing. Neither is it violating copyright. The person posting unauthorized copyrighted material is the violator. (However, bittorrent etc. do post while downloading.) There is no "music industry". It's the recording industry that prints CDs and sues grandmothers. Anonymous unauthorized file sharing doesn't invade ships and kill their crews, so it's nothing like "piracy". If you need a colorful term, bootlegging makes a much closer analogy, but even that really applies only to people selling copies, which most of us don't do.

PJ, acting as editor, has the right to insist on accurate language.

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • Language - Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, December 31 2005 @ 03:56 PM EST
  • Language - Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, December 31 2005 @ 04:30 PM EST
Confessions of a long ago music buyer and sometime pirate.
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, December 31 2005 @ 03:42 PM EST

It all started out in the early sixties when a friend of mine bought a second hand open reel tape recorder. Nothing was sacred, we pirated everything from hits on the radio to his older brothers record collection.

Truth is we didn't have the money to buy the music anyway.

No sales were lost.

By the mid sixties I owned my own record deck. Money was still short and so I was choosy with my buying. I prefered originals, the quality was better and you had all those little extras such as proper flashy packaging, some sleeve notes and maybe pictures. My piracy was rampant as I listened to music copied from my friends. I had to be sure if I was to spend the money on "the real thing", I was making the right choices.

No sales were lost.

In the seventies cassettes came out. I had a field day. I managed to obtain those out of presses and the rare imports. Some of which I retain to this day. But my decision to buy the "real thing" still rested on my tastes.

No sales were lost.

In the late eighties and early nineties I bought CD duplicates of my vinyl. My piracy was lessening but I guess that's what happens as you get older and less inclined.

Sales were gained

I don't know if I have bought a recording since the year 2000. The inclination is not so great, maybe I'm getting nostalgic. My son showed me some sites to download from if I feel so inclined and I have. I watched in horror as the RIAA got greedy, their court cases didn't help.

I'm a IT techy by trade since the 70's. Client side DRM stinks.

The RIAA has lost my custom by their actions - Sales were lost.

Brian S.

[ Reply to This | # ]

No, eMusic's downloads are _not_ like CDs
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, December 31 2005 @ 04:01 PM EST

David Pakman eMusic's CEO writes:

...eMusic's entire catalog is available as unrestricted, no-DRM, high-fidelity MP3's. ... (In other words, they are not inferior to the CDs you've been buying for years.)

This statement is completely wrong when it comes to anything other than simply playing the music. A regular CD can be manipulated in a myriad of ways that a MP3 cannot. A MP3 is lossy, do anything to it but play it and the sound gets worse. A CD on the other hand can be sampled, filtered, mixed, and in general transformed in any way desired. A MP3 cannot. Operations as simple as fading one song in while fading another out, or overlaying voice on music, fall into the category of things you can do with a CD that suffer when done with MP3s. Want to put music in your home video? Oh well, it just won't have high fidelity sound.

By definition, the distinction between MP3s and CDs does not matter to consumer culture. But culture always suffers when a licence is required in order to create.

Karl O. Pinc <kop@meme.com>

[ Reply to This | # ]

Why DRM Everything? - by David Pakman, CEO, eMusic.com
Authored by: Hop on Saturday, December 31 2005 @ 04:52 PM EST
BTW, Janis Ian has some excellent commentary on her website about the music biz,
downloads, piracy, etc. if you're interested in some informed commentary.

<a
href="http://www.janisian.com/article-fallout.html>www.janisian.com</
a>

[ Reply to This | # ]

Why DRM Everything? - by David Pakman, CEO, eMusic.com
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, December 31 2005 @ 05:14 PM EST
Your dissection and analysis of a more appropriate business model, suitable to
the technologies available in the 21st century is spot on. The same goes for
the printing press and publishers. The ability to to "reproduce and
distribute", is now in the hands of the masses, and not only in the hands
of the privileged few. There has to be a new business model that builds on this
reality.

There is also another business reality that your model can possibly leverage.
Music tastes in relation to demographics and generations. The "Baby
Boomers" who are a large segment of the market will not buy the c__p err...
music that is produced today. And already have full collections of their
musical tastes, or additional content to their taste collections is now not
available to purchase in the legal market place. Your business model could also
possibly solve this.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Why DRM Everything? - by David Pakman, CEO, eMusic.com
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, December 31 2005 @ 06:34 PM EST
Wow talk about twisted thinking. Do you realize what kind of people you are
defending? They hacked peoples computers with a rootkit. And they want off
with little to no cost for them. And thats one the nicer things they have
done.

Elsewhere I read about RIAA and the 15 year old girl they have suborned perjury
from. Don't believe me? Read about it here:
http://recordingindustryvspeople.blogspot.com/2005/12/nelsons-sue-riaa-attorneys
-in-michigan.html

Maybe you will belive the court documents.

The music industry has and continues to be nothing but a cross on the back of
both the Artist and the customer. They are criminals. Thats why New York
Attorney General Spitzer(SP?) is currently probing them for price fixing
charges.

They tell Apple to give them control of the pricing of Artists work. Do they do
this for the benefit of the artists? No of course not. Its done to have a
cludge they can use to preasure the artists into doing what they are told.

The technology exists today to exclude them completely from the buisness. You
don't need a $1 million studio today to produce music. It can be done with not
much more than a off the shelf desktop computer system. I say more power to
anyone who seeks to destroy this industry that has harmed so many people.

Dan

[ Reply to This | # ]

Why DRM Everything? - by David Pakman, CEO, eMusic.com
Authored by: John Hasler on Saturday, December 31 2005 @ 06:47 PM EST
> "Educate, predominantly by using lawsuits to bring to
> parents' and kids' attention that file-sharing is stealing"

File-sharing is not stealing.

---
IOANAL. Licensed under the GNU General Public License

[ Reply to This | # ]

Why DRM Everything? - by David Pakman, CEO, eMusic.com
Authored by: grw on Saturday, December 31 2005 @ 06:48 PM EST
So I went to emusic.com to check it out, and I was presented with a blank grey
screen with no links on it. Does the same thing on Firefox and Konqueror.
Doesn't work on Links either. Looks like their webmaster needs to be shot.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Not just music!
Authored by: McLae on Saturday, December 31 2005 @ 07:19 PM EST
For an example of a working business model, check out Baen.com.

You can read the first 1/4 of all their books, and download the full version for a fee in several formats, including HTML. Makes it easy to tell which book you want to buy.

I usually buy both the HTML version and the paper version. Win, win for all involved!

Making the first 1/4 of a song a free download would be GREAT adversing idea.

---
Thomas (The McLae)

[ Reply to This | # ]

Why DRM Everything? - by David Pakman, CEO, eMusic.com
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, January 01 2006 @ 02:44 AM EST
David Pakman writes:

> Customers don't like it.

Having just visited eMusic.com for the first time upon reading this article, I
can advise Mr. Pakman of another thing that customers don't like: having to
provide a credit card number before being permitted to view the catalog. Show
me what you're selling, Mr. Pakman, before you start asking me for personal
financial information.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Where is the global consumer ?
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, January 01 2006 @ 11:21 AM EST
I hope this rant won't be too off topic, it's new year now anyway, maybe an idea
for things to look out for in the coming years.

What strikes me as particluarly odd is that there has been a lot of reporting
about the free markets, the growing power of multinational companies etc.

Big companies seem now to be able to influence many governments... but what I
almost always lack reading of is anyone mentioning the new international force.

The global consumer, citizen, blogger and user.

When a movie does not "come out" 2 weeks after it's been shown in the
US what do you think many overseas computer users with a good internet
connection do ? I disregard the morality side here and just want to point to
human nature.

As a government you can maybe control or influence the national media but now
citizens can compare easily from home via the internet how things are done in
other countries. Obviously some countries are very concerned about this freedom
and have enacted ways of protecting their citizens from such dangers.

The blogger has in many ways shown how shallow many people can be. But the good
blog will attract the attention of many quickly and in some areas easily stand
out over any publication you can buy at your newsstand.

Finally I can get the latest update for the operating system I run in seconds
from the internet. Linux is not only a success made possible by the freedom of
software but the medium of the internet.

Interesting times are afoot
Newbee

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If this is true, why worry?
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, January 01 2006 @ 11:27 AM EST
eMusic's entire catalog is available as unrestricted, no-DRM, high-fidelity MP3's ... when compared to a restricted buying experience, customers consume far more music from eMusic than from digital stores like iTunes. At iTunes, customers are averaging purchasing between one and three songs per month. At eMusic, the average customer purchases between nine and 31 songs per month.

Sounds to me as though the free market is taking care of the problem, if those numbers you quote are correct.

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One reason why I like eMusic
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, January 01 2006 @ 05:04 PM EST
I'm not an investor or employee or anything else of eMusic other than a
customer.

Besides their content (which itself is good reason to subscribe), one thing that
attracted me to them is that they don't impose DRM. They trust me to make
purchases and use the product responsibly. They don't tell me that I can't use
the product on each of my 3 computers and on my iPod without jumping through
hoops.

Bravo to them.

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Why DRM Everything? - by David Pakman, CEO, eMusic.com
Authored by: Tyro on Sunday, January 01 2006 @ 06:00 PM EST
I can imagine that sometime in the future my attitude
might change, but for now, what with the MPAA and RIAA, in
my opinion, bribing and corrupting congress, I can't
imagine trusting ANYTHING put forwards by a music or other
"entertainment" industry member.

The very concept of DRM is ethically questionable unless
the person who owns and holds the keys is the person who
owns the equipment on which the DRM is installed.

You may claim that this is not a viable mode for an
entertainment company, and you may be right, but those
companies have been, by and large, so unethical, sleezy,
underhanded, deceitful, malicious, and careless of the end
user's well-being that I don't really CARE if they all go
bankrupt. I cannot trust them with anything that I cannot
easily prove is totally harmless to me and mine.

As one result of this I have refused to purchase or
otherwise acquire music, videos, movie performances, etc.
for much of the past decade. Sony has recently
demonstrated that I was wise in my caution, but I have no
reason to believe that others are not currently engaged in
the same practices. In fact a statement from an RIAA
official leads me to believe that Sony was primarily
unfortunate in being caught, not in being maliciously
deceptive.

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"Never mind the quality, feel the width"
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 02 2006 @ 09:58 PM EST
"Worldwide recorded music sales are down more than 25% over the last five
years. The music industry believes the primary culprit is file-sharing and other
forms of piracy."

Speaking purely for myself, the main reason I bought a lot of CD's about 5 years
ago, but only one or two a year nowadays is not file-sharing or piracy. The main
reason is the kind of music that the major labels are pushing. I don't like
rap/urban/hip-hop and therefore I am not buying it.

Change the music being released and we baby-boomers wil buy more. Simple.

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