Defective by Design

Other Music Digital Store sans DRM

Submitted by Gregory Heller on Tue, 2007-04-24 20:49

Saw this on Digg earlier this week: Other Music, an eclectic music store in New York City is now offering DRM free digital downloads. I only bring it up because I used to frequent OM for music tickets and rare electronica when I lived near by in the East Village.
All of the tracks here are sold as premium-quality 320kbps DRM-free mp3s. All of our titles are hand-picked.

Topic:  music

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E-Music Second Largest Online Music Store after iTMS

Submitted by Gregory Heller on Tue, 2007-04-17 22:36

eMusic announced today that with300 thousand users it is the second largest digital music download service on the web. eMusic's success proves that you don't need DRM to do business. Unfortunately, eMusic only offers mp3 files, when they should be offering the unencumbered OGG format instead (check out why).

Topic:  music mp3

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Record Labels Watermark Promo Tracks with DRM

Submitted by Gregory Heller on Tue, 2007-04-17 22:17

A DBD member recently sent us word that music reviewers are being hampered by DRM watermarks on promo tracks. One label out of Sweden has set up a petition to record companies asking them to stop because, among other reasons:

Topic:  drm music

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Help Save Internet Radio

Submitted by Gregory Heller on Tue, 2007-04-17 22:10

Only tangentially related to DRM in that the perpetrator of the crime against the public is the same, internet radio is under attack!

The RIAA and record companies have been pushing for an increase in royalties for internet radio play. The increase is absurdly high compared to the royalties other formats (terrestrial and satellite) pay.

The Copyright Royalty Board rejected a request for appeal filed by NPR and other webcasters.

Topic:  RIAA music

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Vista Badge Means DRM

Submitted by Gregory Heller on Mon, 2007-04-16 11:06

The Inquirer has an article up about Vista and DRM. The piece drives pretty hard on this single point : Vista is all about DRM and DRM is bad for the user.

As we have been saying for years now, DRM infections have no positives for the user, there is literally no good that you get from them. Everything they do is negative under each and every scenario. While the content mafiaa gets positively orgasmic over the money they will rake in while you twist, the whole industry tanks.

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The Music Industry is in Trouble and DRM Can't Save It

Submitted by Gregory Heller on Thu, 2007-04-12 14:39

"Unfortunately for the record labels, it looks like the glory days of the mid-90s have vanished forever, and no amount of lawsuits, DRM, or licensing deals will be able to turn back the clock."

Topic:  drm music

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RIAA Calls Steve Jobs "Hypocrite"

Submitted by Gregory Heller on Thu, 2007-04-12 13:58

The Inquirer is running a stroy on a presentation made by David Hughes of the RIAA at Arizona State University:

DAVID HUGHES, senior vice president of technology for the RIAA, dubbed the spiritual leader of Apple Steve Jobs as a "hypocrite" over his attitude to DRM on iTunes.

While Steve has been banging on about the music companies dropping DRM he has been unwilling to sell his Pixar movies through iTunes without DRM and DVDs without CSS encryption.

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Mark Shuttleworth on the Futility of DRM (in video)

Submitted by Gregory Heller on Tue, 2007-04-10 13:53

"There are some ideas that are broken, but attractive enough to some people that they are doomed to be tried again and again. DRM is one of them."
Mark Shuttleworth (of Ubuntu Fame) writes on his personal blog recently about the futility of DRM specifically focusing on video. It is a well written piece that should be mandatory for anyone working in the content industry.

Topic:  drm video

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Job Opening at the FSF Running Activist Campaigns

Submitted by Gregory Heller on Mon, 2007-04-09 16:10

Over the last year the Free Software Foundation, through the DefectiveByDesign campaign and the BadVista.org campaign, has taken actions around the country (and the world) in defense of computer users' freedoms. In that time we have gotten major press, brought people together for real world actions, educated computer users and music lovers about the dangers of DRM and the problems with Microsoft Vista, and we are making gains in the securing greater freedoms for users.

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WSJ on the Apple/EMI Announcement

Submitted by Gregory Heller on Mon, 2007-04-09 08:53

The WSJ's "Real Time" column this week is about last week's Apple/EMI announcement (you know, the one about dropping DRM).

Jason Fry observes, "First and most obviously, a major label is finally treating its customers like customers, instead of regarding them as likely shoplifters who should be given as few rights as possible."

Topic:  drm apple itunes music EMI

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Microsoft to Drop DRM From Some Songs in Zune Marketplace

Submitted by Gregory Heller on Sun, 2007-04-08 17:20

Boing Boing reports that Microsoft is talking about dropping DRM from some songs sold in the Zune Market Place. The interesting part of the story (we all new MS would follow the leader WRT EMI tracks) is that a Zune spokesperson seems to suggest that MS might drop DRM from more than just the EMI catalog. We'll wait and see what happens.

Topic:  Microsoft drm

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DRM in Other Media and What Jobs Has to Say About It

Submitted by Gregory Heller on Wed, 2007-04-04 20:55

Buried in the press coverage from Monday's announcement about EMI and Apple dropping DRM from EMI tracks in the iTMS was this quote from Steve Jobs:

"Video is pretty different from music right now because the video industry does not distribute 90 percent of their content DRM free. Never has. So I think they are in a pretty different situation and I wouldn't hold it to a parallel at all."

Topic:  drm apple video

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EMI Drops DRM, iTMS to sell Unencumbered Digital Tracks

Submitted by Gregory Heller on Mon, 2007-04-02 06:24

I woke this morning the glorious news that EMI is dropping DRM from its entire digital music catalog and will start offering songs and albums for download in unencumbered high bit rate MP3 AAC formats! But wait, April Fools Day was yesterday! This is for real!

Topic:  drm apple itunes EMI

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Record Labels Abandoning RIAA for new Group

Submitted by Gregory Heller on Sun, 2007-04-01 10:07

A DBD member in Seattle sent me story about record labels abandoning the RIAA from her blog earlier this morning.

Topic:  drm RIAA

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Looks Like Jobs is a Jester

Submitted by Gregory Heller on Fri, 2007-03-30 08:45

About 3 weeks ago, we launched the Open Letter to Steve Jobs. Since then over six thousand people have signed on. Steve Jobs hasn't taken any action since his February 7 rant on DRM. As promised, we'll be sending him the open letter with our signatures and jesters hat on Monday.

UPDATE:
Hold that hat....

No it can't be. He has, he really has. iTunes will be selling DRM free tracks from EMI within a few weeks. Read the

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DRM confuses customers and leads to more support calls

Submitted by Gregory Heller on Mon, 2007-03-19 20:07

BoingBoing and others covered a recent story out of Europe: Deutsche Telekom's Musicload service (one of the largest digital music stores in Europe) says 75% of customer service calls were about DRM problems. Musicload has come out strongly against DRM:

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$1 Billion expected to be spent on DRM this year

Submitted by Gregory Heller on Mon, 2007-03-19 20:00

EMarketer.com has a post that says Insight Research expects spending on DRM this year to be $1 Billion and increase to $9 Billion in 2012.

From the Insight Research report:

"DRM evolved to serve corporations to deal with information piracy, peer-to-peer file sharing, and various regulatory requirements," noted Robert Rosenberg of Insight. "DRM did not arise to meet the needs of end users, and in fact, it may be said to have evolved to spite the end user.

Topic:  drm

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New Online Music Store with No DRM: Amie Street

Submitted by Gregory Heller on Mon, 2007-03-19 19:54

I just read about this new independent online music store, AmieStreet.com. Other than the fact that it is DRM free, the reason it is noteworthy is because Amie Street exhibits just the kind of innovation that will explode in a world without DRM. At Amie Street, songs change price (from free to 98 cents) based on how many times they have been downloaded. Artists get 70% of the revenues from their work after a flat fee for hosting and bandwidth.

Topic:  music mp3

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BadVista Shirts Available

Submitted by Gregory Heller on Sat, 2007-03-17 17:04

We just added two new Tee-Shirt designs based on graphics from the BadVista.org campaign.

Topic:  tshirts

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5000 Signers in one week!

Submitted by Gregory Heller on Thu, 2007-03-15 16:26

Today marks a week since we released the open letter to Steve Jobs and in that time over five thousand people have signed! We've also had many great comments like this one from Zane R.:

Topic:  drm apple itms

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EU Comissioner Slams Apple's DRM

Submitted by Gregory Heller on Mon, 2007-03-12 14:06

This from Gizmo Cafe: An EU Commissioner for Consumer Protection, Meglena Kuneva, slammed Apple for it's DRM. She said, "Do you find it reasonable that a CD will play in all players, but an iTunes song will only plan on an iPod? It doesn’t to me. Something must change.".

Topic:  drm apple ipod itms europe eu

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Universal to test DRM Free Sales

Submitted by Gregory Heller on Mon, 2007-03-12 10:51

Universal France is testing DRM free music sales: Universal has begun testing the viability of DRM-free downloads, albeit in a very limited release of an album by French singer-songwriter Emilie Simon.

While the test is limited, it is hopeful to see another of the big for looking at DRM free digital downloads.

Topic:  drm music mp3 universal

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iRony event video

Submitted by Gregory Heller on Fri, 2007-03-09 16:31

As part of last October's Day Against DRM, folks from FreeCulture Harvard, Free Culture Boston and the MIT Media Lab, held an event they dubbed iRony to help people install RockBox on iPods. This short video explains the problems with DRM and iPods, the benefits of RockBox, and talks a bit about the event.

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DBD Swag

Submitted by Gregory Heller on Thu, 2007-03-08 12:05

Figured with so many people dropping by the site, I would highlight that we have T-Shirts for sale all proceeds go to support the campaign. You can also download printable signs and stickers or get buttons, badges and banners for your site! If you want to design a T-Shirt or website button/badge, send us a link to your artwork.

Also, now is a great time to join the Free Software Foundation!

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Open Letter to Steve Jobs

Submitted by Gregory Heller on Wed, 2007-03-07 13:17

Our Open Letter to Steve Jobs hit the top of Digg and Boing Boing on Wednesday morning causing some site load problems. We reached out initial target of 1000 signatures in just 5 hours. Read the letter and sign it today and lets see how many we can get by April 1.

Topic:  drm apple itunes ipod itms

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Schneier On Why DRM in Vista is Bad For Everyone Except Microsoft

Submitted by Gregory Heller on Mon, 2007-03-05 20:52

In a recent post that originally appeared in Forbes magazine, security expert Bruce Schneier presents a clean, compelling argument for why Vista's DRM is bad for everyone except Microsoft.

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Schneier on Jobs' DRM Announcement

Submitted by Gregory Heller on Mon, 2007-03-05 20:44

In a recent post about DRM in Windows Vista, Bruce Schneier took some time out to mention Steve Jobs' announcement about DRM last month.

Topic:  drm apple itunes itms

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Press Manufacturers to Offer Free Software operating systems on new machines

Submitted by Gregory Heller on Thu, 2007-03-01 13:54

The FSF today released a paper that details the ways that hardware manufacturers can help the Free Software Community and stop DRM. The paper is a really good snap shot of what is going on right now and what the manufacturers can do. (Digg the story now.)

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RIAA Announces Plans to Sue More College Students

Submitted by Gregory Heller on Thu, 2007-03-01 08:27

The RIAA has announced that they plan to sue more students by sending letters to 13 colleges and universities. They plan to send the schools lists of IP addresses and want the schools to turn over the names of the students and pass the notice of intent to sue on to the students. All this before a suit or subpoena has been filed.

Topic:  drm RIAA students dmca

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Digital Fair Use Bill Introduced in Congress

Submitted by Gregory Heller on Wed, 2007-02-28 17:54

Just read this over on the Washington Post Blogs

Reps. Rich Boucher (D-Va.) and John Dolittle (R-Calif.) introduced what they call the "Freedom and Innovation Revitalizing U.S. Entrepreneurship" (or FAIR USE) Act they say will make it easier for digital media consumers to use the content they buy.

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