Dell to Offer Computers without Microsoft OS

A while back I pointed folks to Dell's IdeaStorm website where they were soliciting feedback from customers about what products they offered. Overwhelmingly people wanted Dell machines with GNU/Linux operating systems.

Dell has announced that they will now offer systems with GNU/Linux operating systems preloaded.

Digg Users Revolt Over DRM Encryption Key

Congratulations to the Digg users who revolted against the censorship of a number today. Digg took down stories that featured the DRM encryption key for HD DVD encryption. Digg users then started reposting it until the entire front page of Digg was covered with the story and each one had thousands of Diggs.

After tens of thousands of diggs on multiple stories, Digg has decided to stop fighting it.

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A Letter to Warner Chairman Edgar Bronfman

Dear Chairman Bronfman,

Recent weeks have brought major changes in the music industry as it relates to online digital music distribution. Apple and EMI have now committed to distributing without Digital Restrictions Management (DRM), and there have been similar announcements from other online music stores and retailers. Last week brought news that Universal Music may be opening up some of their catalog to DRM free sales too.

Jobs: Apple Customers Don't Want to Rent Music

There has been some recent chatter on the internet about the possibility of Apple introducing a subscription based service. Steve Jobs may have just put that speculation to rest:
"Never say never, but customers don't seem to be interested in it," Jobs told Reuters in an interview after Apple reported blow-out quarterly results. "The subscription model has failed so far."
This was reported on CNN.

MPAA Softens Stance on DRM

"MPAA Chairman and CEO Dan Glickman told an industry gathering that the industry "wholeheartedly supports legitimate copying." (since when? Ed) So reports StreamingMedia today in a nice wrap up of recent DRM related news.

Glickman was addressing a conference on the topic of DRM. He does support DRM, of course, but would really like the ever elusive interoperable type - the type that would allow user's right to copy content they have legally acquired but somehow prevent sharing.

Other Music Digital Store sans DRM

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.

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E-Music Second Largest Online Music Store after iTMS

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).

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Help Save Internet Radio

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.

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Vista Badge Means DRM

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.

RIAA Calls Steve Jobs "Hypocrite"

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.

Mark Shuttleworth on the Futility of DRM (in video)

"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.

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Job Opening at the FSF Running Activist Campaigns

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.

WSJ on the Apple/EMI Announcement

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."

Microsoft to Drop DRM From Some Songs in Zune Marketplace

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.

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

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."

Looks Like Jobs is a Jester

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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