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

$1 Billion expected to be spent on DRM this year

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.

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New Online Music Store with No DRM: Amie Street

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.

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Universal to test DRM Free Sales

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.

DBD Swag

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!

Press Manufacturers to Offer Free Software operating systems on new machines

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.)

RIAA Announces Plans to Sue More College Students

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.

Digital Fair Use Bill Introduced in Congress

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.

Doctorow on Jobs DRM Dance

Cory Doctorow had a great article in Salon today about Steve jobs tortured DRM position.

We couldn't have said any of this better ourselves. Here are some excerpts from Cory's piece.


I doubt Jobs' sincerity. I suspect he likes DRM because it creates an anti-competitive lock-in to Apple. I think he's trying to shift blame for the much-criticized DRM to the music industry, whose executives are twirling their mustaches and declaring DRM to be the only way forward for their industry.

BBC holding public consultation on adding DRM to it's content

The BBC is holding a Public Consultation as to whether and how to implement DRM on BBC content. They have a form up on their website that allows constituents to air their opinions on a number of questions.

Advogato has a good post about the issues at hand with some recommended answers.

EMI moving closer to offering music without DRM

I just read on Gizmodo that the NYT reports this morning that EMI is considering opening up "broad swaths" of its catalog for digital download through online retailers without DRM.

The EMI Group, the British music giant, has been considering a plan to offer a broad swath of its recordings for sale online without anti-copying software, executives involved in discussions with the company said.

Jobs (and Gates) should "Put their money where the mouths are"

In the days since Steve Jobs' open letter basically denouncing DRM and calling for its abolition, we have heard from many of you that Jobs unfairly distances himself from the DRM problem and solution, laying the blame at the feet of the big four music companies.

We wonder if he has forgotten that he is CEO of Pixar, part of the Disney Family. DRM is not just about music, increasingly it is movies and video that are protected by DRM, especially those selections purchased from iTMS.

Instead of laying the responsibility for DRM with the music companies and calling on their customers to influence them, Jobs should ask music fans to join him in directly lobbying the Big Four to drop DRM. He should be joining with Bill Gates and hosting a summit on the issue with Big Media.

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