music

The War on Sharing: Why the FSF cares about RIAA lawsuits

The Free Software Foundation and DefectiveByDesign have been working with attorney Ray Beckerman to help fight for victims of the RIAA's baseless intimidation campaign. The RIAA recently took notice, calling our position -- and by extension the position of many other anti-DRM activists -- "virulent" and "baseless."

Microsoft defends DRM, badly

While others are waking up to the problems with DRM and moving away from it, Microsoft is embracing and defending it.

Do they think we forgot about MSN Music already?

I buy these songs on your service - and they're locked to my phone - what happens when I upgrade my phone in six months' time?

Well, I think you know the answer to that.

Behind-The-Scenes Look at How DRM Becomes Law from Cory Doctorow

This afternoon Information Week published a great article by Cory Doctorow about how big corporations and shadowy associations and working groups collude to develop DRM schemes and the laws that mandate them.

The piece is very long, and very good. Everyone who is interested in this sort of thing should give it a read and then tell your friends and family about it.

Here is a choice excerpt from the beginning:

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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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."

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.

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.

We're winning! Jobs joins Gates in opposition to DRM

A year ago I don't think that anyone could have imagined these two stunning announcements from the founders and titular heads of the worlds leading technology and digital music device companies. both Steve Jobs and Bill Gates have publicly derided DRM as an impossible mission to secure digital music files with "crippling" DRM.

From Jobs open letter:

The third alternative is to abolish DRMs entirely. Imagine a world where every online store sells DRM-free music encoded in open licensable formats. In such a world, any player can play music purchased from any store, and any store can sell music which is playable on all players. This is clearly the best alternative for consumers, and Apple would embrace it in a heartbeat. If the big four music companies would license Apple their music without the requirement that it be protected with a DRM, we would switch to selling only DRM-free music on our iTunes store. Every iPod ever made will play this DRM-free music.

Major Labels start Ditching DRM

Alot is happening in the digital music realm these last few week.s We've heard news that Microsoft is abandoning PlaysForSure DRM to focus exclusively on their Zune DRM. EMI, meanwhile, has abandoned DRM in all new CDs which is great news, and they are also starting to offer mp3s with no drm. Including music by Norah Jones on Yahoo and eMusic.

Major labels looking to ditch DRM

Last week some record labels started offering MP3s free of DRM (as reported by ArsTechnica, < ahref="http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16081654/" target="new">MSNBS (from the AP) and also engadget and others.

EMI is selling some music on Yahoo Music for 99 cents without DRM. The release is limited in scope and is being billed as an experiment to test the waters of demand.

But we believe that the record lab

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BBC on UK Copyright law changes

The BBC has an article up about a report by The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) calling on Parliament to revise the UK's copyright laws (currently Brittons do not have even the private right to copy their CDs to their own computers or portable digital music players).

Deputy Director of the IPPR, Dr. Ian Kearns said, "[But] it is not the music industry's job to decide what rights consumers have that is the job of government."


Report author Kay Withers said: "The idea of all-rights reserved doesn't make sense for the digital era and it doesn't make sense to have a law that everyone breaks. To give the IP regime legitimacy it must command public respect."

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