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RIAA Spokesman Says DRM Is Dead

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the joined-the-choir-invisible dept.

Music 154

TorrentFreak is reporting an on-the-record remark by the main RIAA spokesman acknowledging what has been obvious to the rest of the world for some time now. Let's see whether their actions going forward align with the words. "Jonathan Lamy, chief spokesperson for the RIAA[,] declared DRM dead, when he was asked about the RIAA's view on DRM for an upcoming SCMagazine article. "DRM is dead, isn't it?" Lamy said, referring to the DRM-less iTunes store and other online outfits that now offer music without restrictions." Update: 07/21 01:16 GMT by KD : InformationWeek is now reporting that Jonathan Lamy says he never said "dead." TorrentFreak, which originally reported Lamy's remark, has also backtracked.

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On that topic (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28754771)

First post is also not in the best of health :(

LOSSY encoded IS DRM, only ur2 fucking stupid (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28755019)

LOSSY encoded IS DRM, only ur2 fucking stupid to know it.

I already said resistance was futile... (1)

ls671 (1122017) | more than 5 years ago | (#28754779)

Well DRM was definitely a form of resistance to a movement ... ;-)

http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1293953&cid=28604363&art_pos=34 [slashdot.org]

Re:I already said resistance was futile... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28755921)

What do you want? "Respect" from a bunch of strangers on a website? Pretend everyone on here is a robot. That is about how much cum you want.

DRM is dead? (5, Insightful)

ethorad (840881) | more than 5 years ago | (#28754781)

Perhaps he means it as in:

DRM is dead!

Long live DRM!

Re:DRM is dead? (4, Funny)

RichardJenkins (1362463) | more than 5 years ago | (#28754837)

No, actually the whole thing doesn't make sense when taken out of context. What he actually said was

"DRM is dead, isn't it? *wink* *wink*

Re:DRM is dead? (5, Insightful)

sinrakin (782827) | more than 5 years ago | (#28754865)

That's exactly how I interpreted it too. DRM: "the rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated".

Re:DRM is dead? (0, Flamebait)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#28755809)

DRM was stillborn, but its mother didn't realize that. DRM is dumber than a kid with Down's Syndrome, but the RIAA execs are even dumber, believing the snake-oil programmers who HAVE to know that there's no way DRM can work.

Blind and crippled, DRM was too stupid to remember to breathe. Let the poor thang rest in peace.

Re:DRM is dead? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28756157)

Blind and crippled, DRM was too stupid to remember to breathe. Let the poor thang rest in peace.

No, please, let it rest in horrible, horrible torture, like it deserves.

Not dead, 'e's resting! (2, Funny)

Tenebrousedge (1226584) | more than 5 years ago | (#28756165)

Reminds me of that skit, you know? I think it went something like this...

Netcraft: Bring out yer dead.
[a man puts a body on the cart]
Jonathan Lamy: Here's one.
Netcraft: That'll be ninepence.
DRM: I'm not dead.
Netcraft: What?
Jonathan Lamy: Nothing. There's your ninepence.
DRM: I'm not dead.
Netcraft: 'Ere, he says he's not dead.
Jonathan Lamy: Yes he is.
DRM: I'm not.
Netcraft: He isn't.
Jonathan Lamy: Well, he will be soon, he's very ill.
DRM: I'm getting better.
Jonathan Lamy: No you're not, you'll be stone dead in a moment.
Netcraft: Well, I can't take him like that. It's against regulations.
DRM: I don't want to go on the cart.
Jonathan Lamy: Oh, don't be such a baby.
Netcraft: I can't take him. I have to go over to the *BSDs, they've lost nine today.

Something like that :)

Re:DRM is dead? (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 5 years ago | (#28755021)

Since it has been shown that removing DRM increases their profits, that would suggest that they have an overwhelming desire to implement DRM, even at the expense of their own profits.

considering the RIAA's raison d'etre is to preserve the interests (i.e. profits) of its members, why would they want it back?

Re:DRM is dead? (5, Interesting)

Artifakt (700173) | more than 5 years ago | (#28755561)

I know you meant that as a rhetorical question, but actually, there's a sort of answer. Looking at the media industries, there's been a real pattern of people putting kinds of abstract scoring ahead of profits.

Here's a few examples:
1. Roger Corman - this director made a huge number of very low budget films, all of which made substantial profits. There were several periods where you could take the financials on Corman's last 10 films, compare them with the same numbers for every director in the entire studio system, and for every single Hollywood studio, it would have made a lot more sense to hire Corman and hand him 30 million dollars with very loose, few strings attached contracts, and most likely get 10 more films out of it that would probably gross 100 million plus at the box office, than to risk that 30 million on a single big budget epic with any other director, given those director's reputation for expensive flops. But that didn't happen.

2. Gold and Platinum records - as sales have declined, the number of copies needed to score a gold or platinum has been repeatedly changed so the studios can brag (maybe to their stockholders, since these figures invariably get quoted in the stock prospectus) that they are getting more platinum sales than ever, even though the actual sales numbers are down.

3. Planet of the Apes (the original films): Hollywood dropped the budget lower on each one of the four sequels, and all still made a huge truckload of money. That money went to fund big budget epics (Cleopatra for one), which got Oscars but didn't make their costs back. Despite the sequels making as much money as the original or more, the 'wisdom' of the industry was that sequels never make as much as the original picture, even with the Apes counterexample starting them in the face. The industry didn't revise this position until after Cameron's Aliens.

4. The Monkees: When these four actors responded to criticism that they weren't real musicians by learning to play at least moderately well and trying to do live performances for the press to prove it, their industry handlers didn't recognize this was the four being team players. The industry inside reps made public statements that their own clients couldn't play a note, which was both untrue and practically a guarantee of lost record sales, but as those same people actually wrote, 'it kept them in line for a time'. The Monkees final period, with the film 'Head' and the open statements about LSD on an album back cover, seem pretty solidly anti profit. But, the period before that seems to about be the band focusing on the bottom line, and the studio heads losing all sight of it until the band got burned out.

Re:DRM is dead? (0)

dasunt (249686) | more than 5 years ago | (#28756557)

1. Roger Corman - this director made a huge number of very low budget films, all of which made substantial profits. There were several periods where you could take the financials on Corman's last 10 films, compare them with the same numbers for every director in the entire studio system, and for every single Hollywood studio, it would have made a lot more sense to hire Corman and hand him 30 million dollars with very loose, few strings attached contracts, and most likely get 10 more films out of it that would probably gross 100 million plus at the box office, than to risk that 30 million on a single big budget epic with any other director, given those director's reputation for expensive flops. But that didn't happen.

If you are a young studio executive who wants to make it big, is it better to be responsible for one major blockbuster, or for a string of mediocre films that make money most of the time, with a few noteworthy flops?

Re:DRM is dead? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28756791)

Congratulations, you just restated his point... which was:
 
  Looking at the media industries, there's been a real pattern of people putting kinds of abstract scoring ahead of profits.

Re:DRM is dead? (3, Informative)

WankersRevenge (452399) | more than 5 years ago | (#28756597)

Not that I disagree with your overall points but you should know that Cleopatra was made in 1963 whereas the first Planet of the Apes was made in 1968.

Re:DRM is dead? (4, Insightful)

nine-times (778537) | more than 5 years ago | (#28756991)

These are all very interesting examples, but I don't think it's unique to media. The dirty little truth that a lot of people don't like to admit because it sounds ant-capitalist is, we often don't really do our work for the money. Watch your boss and your coworkers and anyone else you can, and you'll find lots of examples where people essentially make decisions that are against their own economic best-interest in order to give themselves ego-boosts. Or inversely, you'll see people refuse to do things that will obviously benefit them if it means eating crow.

You can see it even more strongly in cases where the decision-maker doesn't directly benefit from the decisions. A salaried worker, for example, might often do things which will hurt the company's profits in order to boost his ego. What does he care, if he doesn't see the profits? On the other hand, I've seen salaried workers do a lot of work to boost company profits without economic benefit to themselves, essentially because it gave them bragging rights and pride in their work.

Now someone might very well argue that these examples don't show what I'm saying. You might argue that having prestige in the industry can give you more clout within the industry, allowing you to sign bigger actors, directors, musicians, etc. Making a prestige picture can be justified as an investment, allowing you to make more money down the line by attracting better people.

Still, in my professional experienced, the generally assumed idea that "companies always do what's most profitable" hasn't seemed to be reliable at all. An executive on an ego trip can make all sorts of unprofitable policies just to throw his own weight around.

Re:DRM is dead? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#28755031)

Insightful or funny? You decide. I figure what he meant was "DRM isn't really an issue for consumers, so we don't need to do anything." But of course, the current situation with DRM involves the DMCA; It might as well have been called the DRMA. DRM is a serious problem for consumers so long as the DMCA is allowed to stand. Our record in eliminating legislation is not too good in this country. I know that in my state you can't remove a law until there's already two other redundant pieces of legislation (e.g. the so-called assault weapon bans in California.)

Re:DRM is dead? (1)

master5o1 (1068594) | more than 5 years ago | (#28755079)

Digital Resource Management Act [mfe.govt.nz]


Whenever I see RMA I think of the Resource Management Act.

Re:DRM is dead? (1)

Kreigaffe (765218) | more than 5 years ago | (#28755103)

... wait, what? I'm afraid I don't understand that last part in the least, but it sure sounds like lawmakers passed a law that essentially states their infallibility. please tell me there's some sort of misunderstanding here. Even the Pope, the voice of god on fucking earth, has apologized for mistakes.

Re:DRM is dead? (1)

MrKaos (858439) | more than 5 years ago | (#28756959)

Long live DRM!

So I don't get to say 'Ding Dong, DRM is dead, DRM is dead' yet?

DRM is more than just music (5, Interesting)

noidentity (188756) | more than 5 years ago | (#28754783)

DRM is dead, huh? Apparently Amazon didn't get the memo [slashdot.org] .

Re:DRM is more than just music (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 5 years ago | (#28755641)

Tomorrow's headline: Amazon is dead.

Re:DRM is more than just music (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 5 years ago | (#28756743)

DRM is a dead horse I would like to beat a little more.
Or nuke from orbit, it is the only way to be sure...

Nice Politician Answer (5, Insightful)

seeker_1us (1203072) | more than 5 years ago | (#28754785)

RIAA has been pushing for DRM up the ass. Asked for their view on DRM, they answer the question with another question that really had nothing to do with the original.

Speaking of politicians - how's that hope & ch (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28754861)

working out for you?

$2.5 Million for 2 lbs of ham. Wow, no wonder the fucking stimulus didn't work. Where was that oversight we were promised by Obama & Biden?

http://www.recovery.gov/?q=content/contracts-recipient-summary&id=12-AG3J14120297210&mode=details&primeid=4 [recovery.gov]

Re:Speaking of politicians - how's that hope & (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28754935)

I thought the phrase "pork in the stimulus" was a figure of speech.

Re:Speaking of politicians - how's that hope & (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28755179)

Hey, it was sliced and pre-cooked. You know that costs more than just "ham." Don't worry. I'm sure they'll get Cap and Tax and Obamacare right.

waiting for this moment a long time (4, Funny)

santax (1541065) | more than 5 years ago | (#28754807)

I for one, am downloading the complete works of James Brown as we speak.

Re:waiting for this moment a long time (5, Funny)

Megane (129182) | more than 5 years ago | (#28754853)

I for one, am downloading the complete works of James Brown as we speak.

Do you feel good?

Re:waiting for this moment a long time (1)

santax (1541065) | more than 5 years ago | (#28754877)

I feel alive :)

Re:waiting for this moment a long time (1)

ZOmegaZ (687142) | more than 5 years ago | (#28755445)

And yet you're sitting here posting? Get up off'a that thang!

Re:waiting for this moment a long time (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#28756947)

He's dead, Jim. So's DRM, apparently.

Re:waiting for this moment a long time (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 5 years ago | (#28755405)

I tried to understand this
I thought that they were outta there minds
How could I be so foolish
To not See I was the one behind
So still I kept on fighting
Loosing every step by the way
I said, I must go back there
In Washington still the things are the same.

I never knew that song was about the RIAA.

Admiral Ackbar says... (5, Funny)

yanyan (302849) | more than 5 years ago | (#28754809)

It's a trap!

Re:Admiral Ackbar says... (5, Insightful)

al3 (1285708) | more than 5 years ago | (#28755081)

Trouble is they spent all this money lobbying politicians to make DRM stick, and tampering with it a federal offense, so they'll keep going down that road while abandoning it in their business models

Re:Admiral Ackbar says... (2, Funny)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 5 years ago | (#28755431)

Admiral Ackbar says... It's a trap!

I'm not sure I believe he said that. Send me a copy of the clip, will you? ;)

Oops...and now Johnny is deader than DRM (5, Insightful)

Bearhouse (1034238) | more than 5 years ago | (#28754825)

When his paymasters hear about that remark.

Unless they are all suddenly going to start shipping DVDs with no region codes and encryption removed, and tell M$ and others to remove the DRM crap that cripples most PC OSs and head-end audio/video gear...
Dream on little Johnny, wherever you are, (or will shortly be)...

Re:Oops...and now Johnny is deader than DRM (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28754933)

Unless they are all suddenly going to start shipping DVDs with no region codes and encryption removed

Why would the RIAA have anything at all to do with DVD production? Oh, I see. You're one of those people that can't distinguish between different organizations. I can be like that too. See! "I heard that people make open source software available for free on the internet. So why does Microsoft want me to pay? I thought you guys said software was free!" Your argument is really no different than that.

Re:Oops...and now Johnny is deader than DRM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28755257)

So when all those DVDs of performances by music artists appear on the store shelves, does that mean the RIAA doesn't have anything to do with them?

The RIAA and MPAA are inextricably linked (5, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#28755353)

Why would the RIAA have anything at all to do with DVD production?

The RIAA and MPAA are inextricably linked:

  • Concert DVDs.
  • Music video DVDs.
  • RIAA music is used in films' soundtracks.
  • Sony is in both the MPAA and the big four labels of the RIAA.
  • Disney is in the MPAA, and Disney's Hollywood Records (e.g. Jonas Brothers, Miley Cyrus, Queen) is in the RIAA.
  • Vivendi, parent company of UMG, still holds a 20 percent stake in NBC Universal, an MPAA member.

Re:The RIAA and MPAA are inextricably linked (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28755455)

This is several years old, but why don't we just take it a little further and show how they're all part of the military industrial complex? [cstrecords.com]

Re:The RIAA and MPAA are inextricably linked (1)

JCSoRocks (1142053) | more than 5 years ago | (#28756613)

That might be interesting but it's so bloody small that you can't read it. Bigger version please AC. Thanks.

Re:The RIAA and MPAA are inextricably linked (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28756703)

It was an insert with Godspeed You Black Emperor's Yanqui UXO album, so the physical copies are considerably larger. Thankfully, it looks like there's a larger scan available here. [wegart.sk]

Re:The RIAA and MPAA are inextricably linked (2, Informative)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 5 years ago | (#28756553)

This diagram (a few years old but still fairly accurate) really tells you what the media business looks like:
http://www.thenation.com/special/2006_entertainment.pdf [thenation.com]

So yes, nearly all of the big media companies are both RIAA and MPAA members.

Re:Oops...and now Johnny is deader than DRM (1)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 5 years ago | (#28755167)

DVDs are the MPAA's department, not RIAA. The MPAA still hasn't seen the light in this regard, and most videos are still infected with DRM.

Re:Oops...and now Johnny is deader than DRM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28755361)

Aren't music videos one of the largest kind of videos there is?

Re:Oops...and now Johnny is deader than DRM (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 5 years ago | (#28755435)

tell M$ and others to remove the DRM crap that cripples most PC OSs

Which DRM crap is this? I've used the Win7 RC since the day it was released to watch backed up movies, play ripped music, play DVDs I've borrowed from a friend, play games I bought 2nd hand etc etc and also to perform the actions which are required for the aformentioned archives to be created.

It seems that DRM only affects those who use media which comes compatible with it. Avoid those media, and it's all clear baby!

Re:Oops...and now Johnny is deader than DRM (1)

gbarules2999 (1440265) | more than 5 years ago | (#28755875)

tell M$ and others to remove the DRM crap that cripples most PC OSs

Which DRM crap is this?

"Please activate Windows 7 in three days or else this computer will self destruct." Ring any bells?

Re:Oops...and now Johnny is deader than DRM (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 5 years ago | (#28756257)

Oh that!

I just clicked Next. That's what I'm supposed to do, isn't it?

Give them 60 days to mourn. (5, Insightful)

MRe_nl (306212) | more than 5 years ago | (#28754843)

The RIAA is known for their shameless actions, there's really no way to escape a lawsuit. Take the Warner Bros. v. Scantlebury case for example. The defendant in this case passed away before the court made a ruling.
However, according to the RIAA this was not enough to "close the case".
Instead, the RIAA gives the family of the deceased defendant 60 days to grieve, before they start taking depositions of the late Mr. Scantlebury's children.
In the "motion to stay case and extend all deadlines" we read:
Plaintiffs do not believe it appropriate to discuss a resolution of the case with the family so close to Mr. Scantlebury's passing. Plaintiffs therefore request a stay of 60 days to allow the family additional time to grieve.

Re:Give them 60 days to mourn. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28755069)

There are three foolproof ways to avoid a lawsuit:
1) Don't download
2) Don't live in the US
3) Don't get caught.

Perhaps #3 isn't foolproof.

Re:Give them 60 days to mourn. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28755377)

Perhaps #3 isn't foolproof.

Neither are #1 and #2.

Re:Give them 60 days to mourn. (1)

JCSoRocks (1142053) | more than 5 years ago | (#28756659)

Seriously, what about the people that have been sued that don't even own a PC? I'm also pretty sure I remember hearing about a printer being accused of illegal downloads. At this point you might as well download because you're going to get sued for it anyway.

Disclaimer: I don't download music. No, really, I don't. I'm an audio snob and 99% of digital stuff sounds like crap. Unless someone happened to rip the disc in FLAC, I'm not interested!

Re:Give them 60 days to mourn. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28755247)

"before they start taking depositions of the late Mr. Scantlebury's children."

Blimey, I know the RIAA can be harsh, but taking the dead fella's kids is surely a step too far!

Yeah, and so is BETAMAX (2, Funny)

Cur8or (1220818) | more than 5 years ago | (#28754883)

and VHS now too. I think we have a real finalist for captain obvious here.

blu-ray (0, Offtopic)

hellfish006 (1000936) | more than 5 years ago | (#28754939)

then I can expect blu-ray movies to be region free and drm-free from here on out right?

Re:blu-ray (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28755013)

Either you are new to the internets, or just ignorant.

Re:blu-ray (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28755087)

yes if the RIAA had anything to do with region free movies.

Re:blu-ray (1)

Tweenk (1274968) | more than 5 years ago | (#28755139)

Wrong part of the Mafiaa, movies are the domain of MPAA...

Re:blu-ray (1)

hellfish006 (1000936) | more than 5 years ago | (#28755227)

I know it is, but he said DRM is dead, not just musical DRM

RIAA == MPAA (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#28755397)

Wrong part of the Mafiaa, movies are the domain of MPAA...

I've answered that objection in my other comment [slashdot.org] .

Re:blu-ray (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28755401)

No, they still make money on blu-ray.

Profits in the music industry are at an all time low, so the businessmen are bailing out.

So, they cut their losses, and abandon any pretence of protecting the artists.

Now the money is in computer games where there is strong copy protection and much less piracy.

slashdot need to drop this stupid obession (-1, Troll)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 5 years ago | (#28754945)

one day a turd will drop in the shape of RIAA and kdawson will post it

When the RIAA closes a door... (3, Insightful)

castironpigeon (1056188) | more than 5 years ago | (#28754949)

...I'm sure they'll open a couple of windows. I guess this news means their buyout of Congress and the ISP monopolies is going quite well?

Re:When the RIAA closes a door... (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 5 years ago | (#28755451)

Are the windows opened to clear the reek of bullshit?

YAY (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28754965)

Free pineapples for all!

DRM is dead? (3, Funny)

johannesg (664142) | more than 5 years ago | (#28754985)

I won't believe it until Netcraft confirms it!

Re:DRM is dead? (1)

yanyan (302849) | more than 5 years ago | (#28755839)

Or until we nuke it from orbit. After all, that's the only way to be sure.

Torrentleech link? (1)

SebaSOFT (859957) | more than 5 years ago | (#28755001)

Can you quote a less black-listed source?

Re:Torrentleech link? (1)

SebaSOFT (859957) | more than 5 years ago | (#28755011)

My mistake, it's torrentfreak... but still

Re:Torrentleech link? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28755145)

Can you please be a bit less white-listed? Please?

Can't trust them (5, Insightful)

wrmrxxx (696969) | more than 5 years ago | (#28755015)

Aren't these the people who told us that the law suits were over? Call me paranoid, but I can't trust them.

I suspect the only reason the RIAA are presenting a softer image on things like the lawsuit threats and DRM is because they believe (or know) that they're going to get their way with the ACTA treaty and we'll all end up being subject to outrageous three-strikes laws.

Re:Can't trust them (1)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 5 years ago | (#28755485)

Aren't these the people who told us that the law suits were over? Call me paranoid, but I can't trust them. I suspect the only reason the RIAA are presenting a softer image on things like the lawsuit threats and DRM is because they believe (or know) that they're going to get their way with the ACTA treaty and we'll all end up being subject to outrageous three-strikes laws.

Seems like not trusting them is the smart thing to do. When they say they're not going to sue any more people, it's just something to make us relent while they prepare more subpoenas and gather mediasentry "evidence". Expect your ten year old kid to be getting a multi-million dollar lawsuit any day now.

lets hear it for the RIAA! (1)

nimbius (983462) | more than 5 years ago | (#28755023)

an industry so vehement in their defence of artists rights in cyberspace, they have completely forgotten about the very technology they approved to protect it.

to parallel: this is akin to your local law enforcement asking if the war on drugs is dead, or your local supermarket asking if organic produce is dead.

DRM is dead? Lets bury it! (0)

joaobranco (55662) | more than 5 years ago | (#28755063)

Now is the time to pass a bill requiring that all the digital goods encumbered by DRM should be made available without such restrictions (and free of charge) to those who bought them.

Since even RIAA acknowledges that DRM is dead, there should be no objections to such a common sense measure, right?

Re:DRM is dead? Lets bury it! (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#28756973)

I'd rather see an anti-DMCA, one that would remove copyright protection from any work protected by electronic means.

So? (1)

Veneratio (935302) | more than 5 years ago | (#28755141)

Even if this spokesman expressed the RIAA's official stance regarding DRM, this is no guarantee that it ends the stream of stupid/evil/meanspirited/frivolous lawsuits. You only have to look at their trackrecord to believe that. Common sense has never stopped them before, has it?

Damned if you do... (5, Insightful)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 5 years ago | (#28755183)

They need DRM because a lot of their potential customers **won't** pay for the music, but then, if they do put it in there, a lot of their other customers will be pissed off at being restricted when they are willing to pay up for a fair claim to the music. If anything, this proves the basic libertarian point about most morality and the state: society relies on voluntary compliance by the vast majority of people. Any law, even murder, would not be able to work without draconian penalties if a large percentage won't obey it.

Re:Damned if you do... (5, Insightful)

holmstar (1388267) | more than 5 years ago | (#28755323)

Except that they really don't need DRM. Sure in their perfect world, no one can listen to copyrighted music without paying something. But that is a fantasy land. They have to work in the real world, where their loyal customers want to pay for music, but not have to deal with any crap when they do. The other people who are getting it for free most likely wouldn't have bought the music anyway.

I agree with you on voluntary compliance. Look at speed limits. They are mostly ignored and people drive at a speed that seems reasonable instead.

Re:Damned if you do... (5, Insightful)

cowscows (103644) | more than 5 years ago | (#28755537)

Somebody who won't pay for the music is not a potential customer. That's really the giant disconnect in this whole issue. College kids who've downloaded 40,000 songs off of the internet wouldn't have paid for those 40,000 songs if the music wasn't available online. But the naive belief/dishonest claim that every downloaded song is lost sale is what the RIAA has used to justify all this DRM nonsense to themselves, consumers, government, their investors, etc.

It doesn't come down to anything as broad as libertarian views on society. All of the music industry turmoil can be summed up with just a few basic points:

The record labels as a business model provided three things that most musicians couldn't feasibly do on their own. A proper recording studio, distribution, and decent advertising. Modern hardware and software has drastically lowered the costs to build a recording studio. The internet allows for almost free digital distribution, and physical distribution is become less important every day. The internet has also made advertising much more accessible. What this all means is that record labels are becoming irrelevant, technology is allowing us to cut out the middle man position that they fill. DRM is just a symptom of the huge hissy fit that the music execs are throwing as they've slowly started to understand that they're going to have to find new jobs.

Re: Potential Consumer (0)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 5 years ago | (#28756005)

They would be potential consumers, but the equation they're using is wrong.

As a totally random but scarily easy to apply metric, potential consumer = SqRoot(SqRoot(Pirated Songs)).
(Done that way so those cheap $5 calculators can handle it.)
Examples:

PowerPirate downloads 40,000 songs...
Sqr(Sqr(40000)) = about 14 songs they might have paid for.
Now yes, 14 IS greater than zero! But now it becomes clear what the ratio really is.

MinorPirate downloads 50 songs ...
Sqr(Sqr(50)) means they might have bought 2-3.

Re:Damned if you do... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28756029)

You people keep saying that record labels are becoming irrelevant.

What evidence do you have for this other than your own supposing? Are music sales down for all labels? Are sales up for musicians who go it entirely alone? (per your requirements you can't count any independent artists with music distributed by Amazon/iTunes/etc)

It is one thing to realize that it is possible for an individual to inexpensively do things that record labels once did, quite another to show any evidence that it is effective.

Re:Damned if you do... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28756159)

"College kids who've downloaded 40,000 songs off of the internet wouldn't have paid for those 40,000 songs if the music wasn't available online."

I disagree: it all comes down to pricing. If all those songs were available to them for a for them reasonable price, they probably would. College kids just want to hear the music of their choice, at the moment and place of their choice, and for a price that doesn't eat into the beer budget.

For example, I'm not in college anymore, but I'm also not buying a lot of music: I would gladly subscribe to a $10/month unlimited use service that allows me to get unencumbered access to any music I would like to hear for my personal use only, but it has to be unencumbered (I need to be able to burn a cd (my car doesn't have aux input and no mp3 support), I need to be able to put in on a non-ipod mp3 player, I need to be able to play it on my non-windows home theater, etc, etc. I'd want to be able to stream it to me when I don't have access to where I keep the collection, but do have access to the internet.

Technologically It's possible. I'm only one person, and I wouldn't even listen to music that much. I'd probably listen to less than 50 songs a week. So they could be making roughtly 5 cents every time I listen to a song of my choice. There are many songs I would probably play more than the 20 times total to get to a dollar of revenue for the song.

I would not buy 10 $1 songs in an itunes store every month for ipod-only music, not even one. But I would pay the $10 per month, month after month to keep my fully usable collection both legal and up-to-date.

That isn't offered, so I'm not spending $10/month on music. I'll use the cd's I have from my 'fresh out of college' years and the digital music 'channels' on the cable box for now, maybe consider satellite radio (if that were $5/month I'd already have that)... In the care, I now keep the radio off (too much talking and commercials), and I'm beginning to enjoy that (my trips are short and I enjoy the quiet time).

You can call me cheap, or you can realize I just don't think non-live music is that valuable.

I'm a customer that the industry is missing. I have $10 every month for the right service from the industry, actually I'd find it fair to pay $20 every month to include my wife, but I can't find such a service. There are always restrictions that sour the deal for me.

If they wait much longer, I'll completely lose what it left of my addiction to recorded music and find even $10/month not worth it.

Re:Damned if you do... (1)

Urza9814 (883915) | more than 5 years ago | (#28756227)

If you've got a few PCs laying around and BitTorrent, you can actually get some excellent and quite professional recordings for damn near free - pull as many soundcards as you can get, load them into one PC, and pirate Cakewalk (or pay a couple hundred bucks for it). It's amazing what you can do with that setup. I remember one solo that I just could not get right when my band was recording, and we actually spliced out a few notes that were bad and re-recorded them and layered it over.

Physical distribution isn't bad either if you're a small band and are looking to do it locally. You can get CDs printed and mailed to you for about $2 a disc online. Then you can sell those on your website, on Amazon, and probably on some other online stores. If you're looking for brick-and-mortar distribution...well that's the one thing that's missing, though you could easily do it locally - most record stores will allow you to set up a rack of discs and a cash box, though they won't ensure that everyone actually pays - and perhaps with some dedicated friends and fans (who you've met online) you could get most of the major cities covered that way.

And advertising...anyone can buy some google ads. And anyone can put together a 'street team' online. And 'word of mouth' flows much faster than it used to. Combine those and you've got some pretty good advertising.

Personally, I think it's easier even than you seem to imply.

Re:Damned if you do... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28756665)

"Modern hardware and software has drastically lowered the costs to build a recording studio."

No it has not.

Studio 1980 :
Recording equipment : £40,000
Premises and sound treatment £120,000

Studio 2009:
Recording equipment : £20,000
Premises and sound treatment £120,000

You can say, 'hey but now I can record in my bedroom!'
But, back then people could buy a second hand 8 track and record in their bedroom too. Then make tape copies for their friends. Nowadays, people record stuff at home of the same quality, and their friends download it from myspace. In both cases, 99% is forgotten after a couple of years, as neither the songs, nor the recording quality are very good.

A recording studio is a place with good sounding rooms, accurate monitoring for both playback and headphone distribution, and the equipment to get a quality job done quickly. It hasn't got any cheaper.

Re:Damned if you do... (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#28756233)

Any law, even murder, would not be able to work without draconian penalties if a large percentage won't obey it.

Alcohol prohibition in the US proved that any law that a large percentange of the population won't obey should never have been enacted in the first place.

That goes for marijuana and the ludicrous copyright laws these days.

Re:Damned if you do... (1)

socrplayr813 (1372733) | more than 5 years ago | (#28756683)

Voluntary compliance works for most things because those things are understood by the public and pretty much universally believed to be in everyone's best interests. Murder, for example, is very much frowned upon in every modern society I'm aware of because it goes against the community/teamwork that makes up those societies beneficial to their members. I suspect that a lot of that is due to evolution or at least social conditioning.

I would guess that the reason DRM, copyrights, and other similar things aren't working is because they go beyond human nature and survival instincts. The community feelings and beliefs don't come into play because there's no immediate benefit to either side from an evolutionary perspective. I don't think the situation can really be compared to murder or other serious crimes.

Re:Damned if you do... (1)

FireFury03 (653718) | more than 5 years ago | (#28756851)

They need DRM because a lot of their potential customers **won't** pay for the music,

Even assuming that's true, how does DRM help?
  - Without DRM, their "potential customers who won't pay" download the music illegally.
  - With DRM, their "potential customers who won't pay" download music illegally.
See, there is no difference - DRM stops your *actual* customers copying the music (usually for their own use). It does nothing to stop the "potential customer who won't pay" - DRM won't stop 100% of people copying, so the music will always be available to download illegally. In fact, with DRM you have stopped your actual customers copying the content for their own use by legal means, so they are going to have to download it illegally - i.e. DRM has actually *increased* the amount of illegal copying and done nothing to increase the number of sales. Additionally, DRM will actually decrease the number of sales since some of your customers will decide they don't want to put up with DRM and therefore won't buy your product (either just doing without it, or downloading it illegally).

Of course, your assertion that there are "potential customers" who "*won't* pay" is completely bogus anyway - if they won't pay under any circumstances then they aren't potential customers.

Speaking for myself, I don't buy a lot of music but the vast majority of music I have bought in the past 10 years or so has been bought because I was able to download it first and see what I was going to get for my money. If DRM was 100% successful, most of those purchases simply wouldn't have happened; I won't buy an album on the back of hearing just 1 good track..

!Digital Rights Management (1)

A. B3ttik (1344591) | more than 5 years ago | (#28755189)

He meant DRM as in "Duke Nukem Forever's Release Model.

Does this mean DRM is dead? Nope! (1)

Chas (5144) | more than 5 years ago | (#28755277)

This is simply the RIAA trying to kill/win the argument by declaring it a dead issue.

See: "Hold hands over ears and scream LALALALALALALALALALALALA."

RIAA is audio, MPAA is video! and infected. (1)

upuv (1201447) | more than 5 years ago | (#28755391)

Minor point people.

To put it in cave man terms.

RIAA is audio.
MPAA is video.

Jonathan Lamy is associated with the RIAA not the MPAA. Thus he is not even remotely hinting that your DVD will be DRM infection free. Only your precious copy of the Chipmonks sing "Achy Breaky Heart" can be freely copied between your audio devices.

Re:RIAA is audio, MPAA is video! and infected. (1)

blackest_k (761565) | more than 5 years ago | (#28756855)

Ok Drm free downloads of music, but is the drm going on all the cd's with music on them as well?

or how about the DTS audio discs DRM free?

I've a feeling that it wasn't a statement of DRM is dead more that there are some DRM free formats commercially available.

Control Freaks by Nature (2, Funny)

ring-eldest (866342) | more than 5 years ago | (#28755433)

I'm sure this is just a prelude to some new agenda to push DRM under a different name. "DRM is dead! But now we have Intellectual Property Protection... Or how about Online Property Protection?"

You down with OPP? Yeah, you know me.


I know you.

Oh come on now (5, Insightful)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 5 years ago | (#28755439)

DRM can't be dead! Everyone knows that the BEST way to counter shoplifting is to harass, insult and severely beat up your paying consumers before they ever think of commiting the crime!

Re:Oh come on now (1)

upuv (1201447) | more than 5 years ago | (#28755489)

Where were you when I was pimping back in the 80's? They called me "Johnny Goodie Two Shoes".

My Ho's were always given away the merchandise. Eventually I had to change to IT to fund my "habit". I was just loosing way to much money. Ho maintenance ain't cheap, you know.

And all I had to do was rough up the clients once and a while. You know, I knew I was missing something. I just couldn't put my finger on it.

Almost forgot! (1)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 5 years ago | (#28756581)

You also have to spot someone at random in the store and take away their wallet, claiming that since they are thieves they must pay thousands of dollars in damages to make up for the cost of the item they had probably stolen last time they were here. That's the RIAA way!

Dunno if DRM is really dead... (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#28755777)

...but it sure smells rotten.

Oh good then Windows 7 doesn't need it (1)

Eddy_D (557002) | more than 5 years ago | (#28756023)

Oh good then Windows 7 doesn't need it... Because if DRM is dead, what good is support for it in an OS? Yeah I know, dream on...

A question is not a "statement" (1)

Geoffrey.landis (926948) | more than 5 years ago | (#28756455)

Just pointing out, the actual wording was in the form of question, not a "statement".

"Jonathan Lamy, chief spokesperson for the RIAA[,] declared DRM dead, when he was asked about the RIAA's view on DRM for an upcoming SCMagazine article. "DRM is dead, isn't it?" Lamy said."

One really wonders why it is "news" when a RIAA spokesman asks an off-the-cuff question. It's really being blown out of proportion to call it a "statement from the RIAA."

Am I the only one? (0, Troll)

gubers33 (1302099) | more than 5 years ago | (#28756759)

Who is tired about the constant posting of all of the RIAA articles, I read slashdot daily and every day there is at least 2-3 articles about the RIAA whether is it cases or what? Is this like some train wreck that people are interested in?
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