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Yahoo! Sells, Advocates DRM-Free Music

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the could-have-picked-a-better-lead-artist dept.

244

prostoalex writes "Jessica Simpson's 'A Public Affair' will be sold on Yahoo! Music in MP3 format with no DRM attached. According to Yahoo! Music blog, this is a big deal for the major online music store: 'As you know, we've been publicly trying to convince record labels that they should be selling MP3s for a while now. Our position is simple: DRM doesn't add any value for the artist, label (who are selling DRM-free music every day -- the Compact Disc), or consumer, the only people it adds value to are the technology companies who are interested in locking consumers to a particular technology platform. We've also been saying that DRM has a cost. It's very expensive for companies like Yahoo! to implement. We'd much rather have our engineers building better personalization, recommendations, playlisting applications, community apps, etc, instead of complex provisioning systems which at the end of the day allow you to burn a CD and take the DRM back off, anyway!'"

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please explain (4, Informative)

yagu (721525) | more than 8 years ago | (#15753411)

Please explain to me what this really is. I visited the page, and what it looks to be is the users' ability to download an unfettered "customized" mp3 from Simpson where (I assume) a laundry list of common names are inserted into the mp3 (dubbed, no doubt)... giving the customer the illusion of some connection with the artist. (So far, it appears a more correct headline would have been "Yahoo advocates DRM-free music, offers one DRM-free song from their catalog!)"

Obscene marketing and subterfuge aside, I find nothing in the general Yahoo Music offerings to suggest the rest of their music is offered unfettered, free of DRM. Indeed, the FAQ includes the following info:

  1. Yahoo! Music does not permit copying or transferring music files to other users. Share function available only for subscribers to access another subscriber's Yahoo! Music Unlimited music files.
  2. Using Yahoo! Music Unlimited subscription music with a portable device requires Microsoft Windows XP and is subject to an extra monthly/annual subscription fee and is not included in this free trial offer. See details during registration.
  3. Yahoo! Music Unlimited: $59.88 per year, billed annually (that's just $4.99 per month); or $6.99 per month, billed monthly. Yahoo! Music Unlimited is available to U.S.-based subscribers only.

There is also a "requirement for Windows Media Player 9.0 or higher mentioned on the Yahoo Music home page -- sheeeesh!.

Any information/explanation or evidence to the contrary would be greatly appreciated, because, other than the free advertising, I'm not seeing any change in direction from Yahoo on this one.

Re:please explain (5, Informative)

Bryansix (761547) | more than 8 years ago | (#15753502)

Yahoo! Music Unlimited is a subscription based service. This is not what the article is refering to. It is refering to the actual selling of music files. With the service you do not own any music but simply pay a fee to be able to access Yahoo!'s collection of music. If you bought the song in question then you would own it outright.

Re:please explain (1)

br0k_sams0n (848842) | more than 8 years ago | (#15753831)

That's not entirely true. Even songs you purchase through the service have DRM that expires every year. You still need to have your lease renewed once a year (I think, not sure on the exact timeframe as support was vague on this) by calling home to the master blaster. You never truly own it.

In other words, DRM is actually good! (0)

TrisexualPuppy (976893) | more than 8 years ago | (#15753505)

Caught you. Suck my ball nuts. Queer.

Re:please explain (5, Funny)

hackstraw (262471) | more than 8 years ago | (#15753512)

Re:please explain

I second the motion.

WTF? Being a good slashdotter, I did not read the article before checking out the posts, and then I read the parent post and had to check this out for myself.

So, for $2 I can have my name embedded somehow in a music file of Jessica Simpson? Maybe having her titties embedded in my face, I might throw down $2, but after reading the two links, I still don't see what the extra $1 gives me over a standard $1 track.

I'm all for the token statement against DRM. Its dead on. Yes, DRM free stuff is sold every day. Yes, its still practically illegal or at least easier and better to get MP3s the old fashioned way that are free of DRM. But I have no clue what the point of this Yahoo! thing is besides a slashvertisement astroturfing or whatever you call marketing today.

Re:please explain (5, Informative)

cliath (978599) | more than 8 years ago | (#15753704)

The big deal is that Yahoo! actually got the record company to allow them to sell DRM free music.

Re:please explain (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15753657)

"There is also a "requirement for Windows Media Player 9.0 or higher mentioned on the Yahoo Music home page"

Lots of site "require" WMP software that I do not have and would never run, being on Linux, but that hasn't stopped me yet. I do agree however that the wording most sites use is a bit over the top. They make it sound like Apple has never sold a computer and Linux/BSD are imaginary words.
That being said, http://www.nongnu.org/streamtuner/ [nongnu.org] has provided my music needs for a couple years now, and you can record/burn tracks DRM free, plus they list every genre of music most people would ever want to listen to.

Re:please explain (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15753709)

So, a huge company in the internet music business finally makes a statement against DRM, and some slashbitch is bitching like a big bitchy bitch.

You losers should really just give up and self-terminate by gorging on your own grogans.

Re:please explain (5, Informative)

Luke Psywalker (869266) | more than 8 years ago | (#15753712)

The tracks have unique inaudible soundwave watermarks that can be traced back to the buyer if they are found on P2P networks. This is the only reason the labels are going for it. The tech comes from Fraunhofer [fraunhofer.de]

Re:please explain (2)

hobbit (5915) | more than 8 years ago | (#15753851)


Do you have a source for that claim?

Re:please explain (4, Interesting)

trewornan (608722) | more than 8 years ago | (#15753918)

Spread frequency watermarks are only effective with individual files (effective means that altering the file enough to guarantee removing the watermark causes an unacceptable loss in quality). If you've got lots of files with different data in the watermark (like the name of the buyer) you can remove the watermark from any file without significant loss in quality. There is (to the best of my knowledge) currently no watermarking system robust to this attack.

You could therefore set up a system where the more people share a file the better quality file can be downloaded - and still guarantee removal of all watermarks specific to any one purchaser.

It's theoretically possible at least but whether a workable system could be set up in practice I don't know.

Less sophisticated watermarking systems (like least significant bit) are trivial to defeat and I assume no competent company is using them.

Re:please explain (2, Interesting)

Cylix (55374) | more than 8 years ago | (#15754091)

Assumming the only variance is the watermark and the tracks are sample for sample nearly the same... it would make it rather not-difficult to remove the water mark.

Of course, unless there is some padding involved, the file hash will be different. So would that cause every variation to show up on a p2p network. ie, your search for "Bad Artist - Bad Song" produces 900 results. I'm assumming most P2P apps use a simple md5 sum or some such hash generated to match exact files.

Now come up with an alternate hash system that uses a sample at specific intervals and simply compares those values and tosses out minor variances then it seems we have a winner. That could also be used in conjunction with a file name and file size comparison. ie, very very similar.

Seems like such a setup might suffer from generational loss. Artifacts are bound to slip in at some point in the mass sharing frenzy of an ant farm. At some point, an individual file will have too much generational loss to be shared among the masses.

On the flip side, if you did chunk by chunk comparisons you run the risk of generating too much data. In turn it could cause issues scaling high enough to meet the masses demand for pirated music.

Then again, I'm only theorizing. I could be completely off here, but if someone happens to be an expert I would be interested to hear their thoughts.

On a side note, I remember a comment from the iTunes drm buster. Effectively, he could detect the watermark, but decided to keep it in even when converting to mp3. He simply wanted to bust the encryption and not invite mass piracy.

Re:please explain (1)

AndrewNeo (979708) | more than 8 years ago | (#15754059)

So why aren't they using this with everything else, instead attaching icky DRM? Or is this just a test for that system? Right now I buy CDs because there's no DRM (er, no Sony CDs either, just to be safe) and I can do what I want with them. If they start selling watermarked non-DRM'd music I'll be happy to buy it online.

Watermarks useless? (2, Insightful)

LBeee (605992) | more than 8 years ago | (#15754243)

What I never unterstood with the whole watermarking stuff is how they can help to avoid people putting tracks on some P2P network.

if the RIAA tracks down one of your songs you can simply explain it by "my pc got infected by a virus because MS didnt provide a patch for powerpoint. that virus had a P2P module that shared my whole hard drive on the net". alternatively you can say "i was in germany last month where copying tracks for friends is allowed. some of my friends must have given my track to some of their friend and so on. one of them must have been a bad person how put the song with my watermark on a p2p network".

how can you avoid this with watermarks?

Bastardized version (1)

Mia'cova (691309) | more than 8 years ago | (#15754064)

What this means to me... Now why would they offer DRM-free only on a customized song? Clearly what they're thinking is that hey, if we're trying to sell someone a stupid trick, they're going to want to show their friends. There's no point if you can't. I don't need a copy of Jessica singing my name. It's not as if it was recorded with me in mind, just recorded for popular names. Oh how personal and wonderful that would be! Hah. If they locked it down, idiots couldn't MSN it to their friends to show off with their cool trick. In a sense, they're acknowledging that the point of this track IS to pirate it. Go figure.

Don't expect their "advocacy" to spread. I, for one, am very very sceptical.

Re:please explain (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15754090)

fluff

1. release one drm free song
2. market it as being against drm
3. post on slashdot
4. ???
5. profit

Wah!? (3, Funny)

MagikSlinger (259969) | more than 8 years ago | (#15753420)

I was taken aback by this. Something tells me they won't be allowed to succede, but it reminds of when WB tried selling a DVD without copy protection and discovered a) it was cheaper for them, and b) made no difference to their sales.

But when I clicked on the link, it took me to a Jessica Simpson page. MINE EYES!!! *clutches eyes and runs away*

Re:Wah!? (4, Funny)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 8 years ago | (#15753454)

Funny- normally my eyes are ok looking at her, its my ears I want to shut off.

Re:Wah!? OH NOES MINE EYES TOO!!!! (3, Funny)

cloricus (691063) | more than 8 years ago | (#15753460)

I was about to say non DRM is awesome but seriously...Jessica Simpson?

Who's going to buy her music let a lone pirate it!

Re:Wah!? OH NOES MINE EYES TOO!!!! (1)

Baricom (763970) | more than 8 years ago | (#15753830)

Who's going to buy her music let a lone [sic] pirate it!

Me. $1.99 is a small price to pay to hit the MAFIAA with a cluestick. I can always delete the file later. (In fact, I probably will.)

Re:Wah!? OH NOES MINE EYES TOO!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15753983)

They get you to pay $2 for a song you don't want and their the ones that need to be hit with a clue stick?

Re:Wah!? OH NOES MINE EYES TOO!!!! (1)

Baricom (763970) | more than 8 years ago | (#15754240)

They get you to pay $2 for a song you don't want and their the ones that need to be hit with a clue stick?

This is the first step. If they see that they can make money without DRM, maybe they'll think about releasing the songs I used to buy from them without DRM as well.

Re: [sic] (1)

cloricus (691063) | more than 8 years ago | (#15753987)

I'll give you my broken space bar and you can hit them with that. :)

Re:Wah!? (0, Offtopic)

FirstTimeCaller (521493) | more than 8 years ago | (#15753486)

MINE EYES!!! *clutches eyes and runs away

I don't know... I've always found Jessica Simpson to be easy on my eyes. Now my ears are different story.

Still, I'd be tempted to buy the MP3 just to make a point. This is the way customers want their music!

Great news!! (3, Insightful)

aussiedood (577993) | more than 8 years ago | (#15753426)

Pity they didn't choose an artist I would actually want to listen to.

Re:Great news!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15753515)

- Pity they didn't choose an artist I would actually want to listen to.

The more people who feel that way the fewer who download the album over P2P software.
that should help the numbers showing that it's not asking for piracy to sell non-DRMed files. :)

Re:Great news!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15753599)

Pity they didn't choose an artist I would actually want to listen to.

Well c'mon. If anyone wanted to hear it, it would have to be protected. Duh.

Re:Great news!! (4, Funny)

askegg (599634) | more than 8 years ago | (#15753774)

I look forward to the "good taste" DRM that refuses to play music of questionable quality - maybe we can call it peril sensitive?

Re:Great news!! (1)

Monkeys!!! (831558) | more than 8 years ago | (#15753982)

Yes, sadly they picked a vastly popular artist to test out this idea.

Minor corrections (1)

JourneyExpertApe (906162) | more than 8 years ago | (#15753984)

Pity they didn't choose an artist I would actually want to listen to.

I think you meant, "Pity they didn't choose an artist. I would actually want to listen to it."

CONGRATULATIONS, SLASHDOT - YOU WON!!!! (1)

CmdrTaco (troll) (578383) | more than 8 years ago | (#15753428)

Jessica Simpson indeed.

props to yahoo (4, Insightful)

crabpeople (720852) | more than 8 years ago | (#15753444)

Companies talk of thinking different, while others actually perform different. Tip of the hat to yahoo who may strangely become relevant again.

Re:props to yahoo (0, Flamebait)

peragrin (659227) | more than 8 years ago | (#15753482)

Nope yahoo is going down the drain faster than a toliet flushes.

They have "improved" their message boards and the users are fleeing in terror. people complained yahoo told them the polite version of go fsck off. The investors who used to use Yahoo daily for information, are selling like mad and leaving in droves.

This token gesture is to little to late.

Re:props to yahoo (2, Insightful)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 8 years ago | (#15753523)

hmmmmmmmm are you sure, fta:

Which is why we're so excited about these personalized Jessica Simpson tracks. Not only is it pretty cool to have a version of the song which speaks to me (I was shocked to see they had "Ian", did they do that for me?), but it's in MP3 format, which I have no problem paying a little more for (though $1.99 is a premium price because of the PERSONALIZATION, not the DRM, the right price for MP3s is somewhere between $0.99 and there, IMHO).

Am I reading this right, did they just manage to blind us by making mp3 files more expensive even though theres no cost for evil DRM like they profess?
why should we pay MORE for the mp3 when just above they said DRM has a cost, if I can get a protected DRM file right now for $0.99, shouldn't I be able to get the mp3 for less?

Re:props to yahoo (1)

Yonzie (516292) | more than 8 years ago | (#15753695)

There's no reason for DRM since the MP3 is personalized*

* The amount of personalization is debateable since they have probably automated the integration of the names in the music (imagine having to sing a few hundred names... gah) but acquiring the complete library of different versions would be completely ridiculous so...

Re:props to yahoo (1)

mod_critical (699118) | more than 8 years ago | (#15753872)

Haha, maybe DRM for a few years was an attempt to brainwash the public into thinking that ceasing to DRM music is somehow value-add (as opposed to removed value reduction). If you're eating only bread and water for a year, SPAM and Ramen noodles with a can of soda would be a gormet meal!

Just conjecture, but this particular song made the news (here anyway) no because of the personalization, but because of the DRM free download.

Re:props to yahoo (2)

Frogbert (589961) | more than 8 years ago | (#15753597)

I personally never saw the point of DRM anyway. I mean lets face it, it was/still is possible and relatively easy to get the music you want for free off the Internet.

The reason people pay for digital downloads is that it is convenient and fast. If I was going to copy the song, or give my friend a copy I would just download it from the usual places as an MP3.

Re:props to yahoo (4, Interesting)

anagama (611277) | more than 8 years ago | (#15753807)

I personally never saw the point of DRM anyway. ... The reason people pay for digital downloads is that it is convenient and fast.
You forgot another important reason: to compensate the artist. Believe it or not, some people feel good about compensating others for work they find enjoyable (or in the case of linux: useful). I know this is not exactly a popular sentiment here, but I don't really have a problem with DRM. It isn't like I have natural god-given right to have someone's music on my terms alone -- the owner naturally has a say in whether he/she wants to avoid DRM and in all likelihood, give up a significant amount of direct compensation for the recording. Now, DRM-free music may very well be of great benefit for the artist in other ways, but we'd all be fooling ourselves if we thought nobody would take advantage of a DRM-free situation. And even if DRM-free distribution would make an artist the greatest thing in the world, it isn't our choice. People need to be allowed to make lousy decisions.

Personally, I avoid DRM'd music anymore because I got sick of the issues associated with it (I'm thinking of iTunes specifically, emusic is so much simpler), but whoever owns the music gets to make that DRM decision. I can be dissapointed, but I can't really blame them either. Very few people are willing to give as much as those in the GPL world do -- those who let most direct compensation go in exchange for indirect compensation.

Re:props to yahoo (2, Insightful)

bnenning (58349) | more than 8 years ago | (#15754014)

I know this is not exactly a popular sentiment here, but I don't really have a problem with DRM.

I don't have a problem with DRM per se; we can always just not buy the crippled content. I have a problem when proponents of DRM make technologies illegal because they *could* be used for copyright infringement.

Re:props to yahoo (2, Informative)

anagama (611277) | more than 8 years ago | (#15754061)

Now that's a whole other issue and I agree with you completely. Just because a tool has a potential illegal use is no reason to make the tool illegal. Practically everything in existance can be used illegally, right down to red plastic cups. Even though underage kids can drink beer in them, it isn't a remotely valid reason to make them illegal.

Re:props to yahoo (1)

Wordsmith (183749) | more than 8 years ago | (#15754301)

Oh great. What if there are underage kids reading this? You've let the secret out!

Re:props to yahoo (1)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 8 years ago | (#15754015)

You forgot another important reason: to compensate the artist. Believe it or not, some people feel good about compensating others for work they find enjoyable (or in the case of linux: useful).
Then I suggest you try reading a couple of articles, like this one [jimdero.com] or this one, [weblogsinc.com] both of which describe how artists get very little from legal downloads. I believe that record companies actually have the gall to charge a deduction for "breakages" on downloads.

Re:props to yahoo (1)

anagama (611277) | more than 8 years ago | (#15754099)

I've probably read those already. I am well aware that recording industry screws artists, but it is the artists who signed over their interests in the music in the first place to a known evil. Regardless of who has the rights, it is still true that some entity does. That entity gets to decide the means by which it will distribute its product and while I can wish they would be more open and fair, I still don't have a right to receive the music in a form other than how the copyright owner or the law grants. That fact is true no matter how bastardly the industry players may be.

Re:props to yahoo (1)

swimin (828756) | more than 8 years ago | (#15754049)

If you allow a sufficiently motivated and skilled person to play music, the DRM is broken. The DRM is mostly an inconvenience for people who actually pay for the music, and can exclude people who would normally pay for their music, but in their setup, the DRM would not work.

Re:props to yahoo (1)

bit01 (644603) | more than 8 years ago | (#15754159)

... whoever owns the music ...

False assumption. You assume without justification they own every copy and therefore they get to control it. The point is, why do they get to decide what I do with my copy? I have it, I decide. They can decide what they do with their copy. Copyright is a government granted privilege, not a right, despite the name and that law is currently disadvantaging millions.

---

DRM'ed content breaks the copyright bargain, the first sale doctrine and fair use provisions. It should not be possible to copyright DRM'ed content.

Re:props to yahoo (4, Insightful)

merreborn (853723) | more than 8 years ago | (#15753943)

Tip of the hat to yahoo who may strangely become relevant again.

I'm sorry, remind me how the web portal that's held the number one spot in traffic rankings [alexa.com] for years could ever be considered irrelevant?

Sure, they haven't been in the limelight like google has in a few years, but they've still got more eyeballs than anyone else, still employ thousands, and still churn out new stuff all the time.

I can only imagine the interview (3, Interesting)

hsmith (818216) | more than 8 years ago | (#15753448)

~~~ zomg drm is like so sucky

although, there aren't many musicians opinions i would respect. but good to see at least some "major" artist is pulling against it.

Re:I can only imagine the interview (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 8 years ago | (#15753609)

Remember this? [slashdot.org]

Re:I can only imagine the interview (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15753750)

It seems vaguely familiar... But that's a fairly common status code. Off-topic, to boot.

It's a scam, a straw-man (5, Interesting)

IBitOBear (410965) | more than 8 years ago | (#15753458)

Because when the track doesn't sell for shite (because the content is shite) then everybody will wave and wail that _clearly_ once the track was out there, the reason it didn't sell was that The Pirates(tm) turned it to the P2P dark side.

You know what I am getting at here. 8-)

Re:It's a scam, a straw-man (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 8 years ago | (#15753546)

Either that, or some bloke called "Ian" is going to have his collar felt for being the guy who's copy gets onto the p2p networks (every copy is personalised, movie studios have been trying to get this kind of information planted into movies for ages.

Would you share your copy if there was even a slim chance that your the only person called "xyz" that purchased a copy using your credit card?

Re:It's a scam, a straw-man (1)

zsau (266209) | more than 8 years ago | (#15754195)

Why don't you buy a copy then? Even if this track is crap, it gives a better chance that a decent track will be released DRM free in the near future.

Nicely done! (1)

XL70E3 (574496) | more than 8 years ago | (#15753459)

I dont care about Jessica Simpson but it could just lead to more artists being distributed in non-drm format... and that is GOOD!

No DRM not worth the cost of downloading that song (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15753466)

i think the original article read:

"According to Yahoo! Music blog, this is a big deal for the major online music store: 'As you know, we've been publicly trying to convince record labels that they should be selling MP3s for a while now. Our position is simple: Jessica Simpson doesn't add any value for the artist, label (who are selling Jessica Simpson-free music every day), or consumer, the only people it adds value to are the technology companies who are interested in locking consumers to a particular technology platform. We've also been saying that Jessica Simpson has a cost. She's very expensive for companies like Yahoo! to implement. We'd much rather have our engineers building better personalization, recommendations, playlisting applications, community apps, etc, instead of complex provisioning systems which at the end of the day allow you to burn a CD and take the Jessica Simpson back off, anyway!'"

never thought it would happen (4, Insightful)

minuszero (922125) | more than 8 years ago | (#15753478)

Is the music industry starting to see sense?

I'm not going to be a /. pessimist and go searching for the loopholes. Sometimes it pays to be an optimist, and I reckon Yahoo et al. are going to need all the encouragement they can get to convince record exec's that this is a Good Idea (TM).

Then we might see some decent music being released unrestricted!

Re:never thought it would happen (1)

Intrinsic (74189) | more than 8 years ago | (#15753659)

Sometimes it pays to be an optimist


I think you got that backwards my friend. Somtimes it pays to be pessimist. :)

Ah great! (4, Funny)

The Munger (695154) | more than 8 years ago | (#15753488)

Ah great! Now I have to balance buying a non-DRM'd product to show the people in charge that it can actually work against owning a Jessica Simpson song. The agony of these modern times.

Re:Ah great! (5, Interesting)

somethinghollow (530478) | more than 8 years ago | (#15753714)

I'm going to buy it to help prove a point to the music industry. Then I'm going to delete it to prove another point to the music industry.

I guess DRM has some uses (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15753510)

I just hope they keep Ashley Simpson's msuic DRMed.

iTunes take note.. (5, Interesting)

BawbBitchen (456931) | more than 8 years ago | (#15753520)

I love iTunes. And I love the music store. Lately I have found myself buying CDs that I downloaded from the music store because I wanted non-DRM copies so I can share them on my home network that includes non-iTunes using boxes. I do not think I will be buying anything else from iTunes.

www.beastproject.org

Re:iTunes take note.. (2, Informative)

TomHandy (578620) | more than 8 years ago | (#15753926)

I'm confused, I can understand you making the decision to buy CD's from now on - but why did you buy CDs that you had already purchased through iTMS? Wouldn't it have been easier to burn CD's (which iTunes does let you do) of those purchased tracks, and thus had a physical CD that would be like what you bought again?

Re:iTunes take note.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15754069)

i'll help with the confusion.. by saying he bought his CDs again, he's tryign to make it seem like you can't share music from itunes with non-itunes using computers and such. burning the songs to CD just makes too much sense and would make his arguement moot. please don't let the facts get in the way of wha he's trying to convey.

Re:iTunes take note.. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15754077)

I'm not even some rabid audiophile, but there is most definitely a noticeable difference between 128k AAC and uncompressed CD audio...which becomes even more important if you're going to be recompressing it. Might seem expensive, but if you can buy the CD's you're wanting to re-rip used, then sell them back, it isn't even all that pricey.

Re:iTunes take note.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15754173)

Might seem expensive, but if you can buy the CD's you're wanting to re-rip used, then sell them back, it isn't even all that pricey.

No, but it is piracy. Why wouldn't you just download them to begin with?

Depends on how you translate that? (2, Insightful)

cl191 (831857) | more than 8 years ago | (#15753522)

For some this may be good news, but for others it may be "Jessica Simpson's music is so crappy that they don't even need to DRM it, cause no one will even want to waste their bandwidth to pirate it."

Re:Depends on how you translate that? (1)

bilbravo (763359) | more than 8 years ago | (#15753565)

You know, the /. crowd will always be this way. Your post is dead-on.

DRM IS TEH EVIL! OH NOES!

Oh, they released this crappy song without DRM? SCAM!

The elitism here sometimes makes me sick to my stomach. Jessica Simpson isn't my cup of tea, but to some it is... it's DRM-less music nonetheless.

The real story here is that this is a well known artist and the music is sold without any restriction.

Re:Depends on how you translate that? (1)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 8 years ago | (#15753577)

When you consider the average age of Jessica Simpson's pre-pubescent female fans, I doubt any of them would know how to copy an MP3 anyway...

Re:Depends on how you translate that? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15753708)

You've forgotten your childhood already?

Copying an MP3 falls squarely into the category of "things kids figure out waaaaaaay before their parents do."

PSSSSSTTTTT!!!! (1)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 8 years ago | (#15753525)

Usenet! *GIVES AWAY* DRM-free music.

But keep it to yourself...

Re:PSSSSSTTTTT!!!! (2, Funny)

Frogbert (589961) | more than 8 years ago | (#15753613)

On'tday alktay aboutway usenetway

Doh! (0)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 8 years ago | (#15753547)

And there was me thinking that her dad Homer's barbershop quartet LP was much better...

In a related development... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15753554)

...nobody steals my dog's crap out of my front yard! It's just sitting there. No lock on it! Plain sight. Anyone could take it.

and that's precisely a problem ... (1)

porky_pig_jr (129948) | more than 8 years ago | (#15753649)

DRM it, and it will be gone.

Mod parent up (1)

511pf (685691) | more than 8 years ago | (#15753692)

That's funny stuff.

Thank You Yahoo (1)

gotamd (903351) | more than 8 years ago | (#15753579)

If Yahoo keeps it up and expands the program it'll be great for us consumers. Hopefully other mainstream companies will follow suit.

Re:Thank You Yahoo (1)

rolyatknarf (973068) | more than 8 years ago | (#15753660)

You did read the article right? It is one crappy song by one crappy performer for one crappy download. What in TFA gave you the impression that this was the start of something BIG? You want other companies to give you $2 Jessica Simpson music downloads? Go outside and get some air - allow your penis to deflate after hearing such exciting news.

The last thing I would have guessed.... (5, Insightful)

pentapenguin (904715) | more than 8 years ago | (#15753611)

I never thought I would live to see the day when a major (really major) company not only publicly supports but actually takes the plunge to sell non-DRM infested music. What's next? Sony will release a $199 PS3? (Har har...)

This kinda reminds me of Gmail. Back when it came out it was just unthinkable that a company would give you more than a few MBs of storage for free let alone a whole GB! Nowadays, everybody gives you at the minimum of 200MB. I think that Yahoo, like Gmail, just might profoundly shift the paradigm of online music distribution like Gmail changed the way we think of free email.

Is this the beginning of the end of DRM? Not quite yet IMO because the RIAA and MPAA are still run by idiots, but I think the day may come sooner than we think if more major players like Yahoo come on board.

Great news (1)

rolyatknarf (973068) | more than 8 years ago | (#15753621)

Possibly tomorrow I will be able to get a personalized tune from David Cassidy or maybe The Monkeys!!!

In related news (1)

nickheart (557603) | more than 8 years ago | (#15753677)

...Microsoft will now enforce a "Revert to Windows Default" upon setting up AutoUpdate.

Is DRM-free worth $1? (4, Insightful)

jevvim (826181) | more than 8 years ago | (#15753699)

iTunes sells DRM-encumbered music for $0.99 per song. This Jessica Simpson song (which, for now, appears to be a one-off in MP3 formwat) is priced at $1.99. Assuming that you put no value on having "your name" in the version of the song you download, should we consider this a test of the price consumers will pay to be able to do what they want with their music?

I've seen reports that record companies aren't "happy" with the royalties they're getting from iTunes. Could higher-priced, DRM-free releases be part of their solution? Skeptical though I am, I hope so. Even though I have a Mac, an iPod, and many tracks I've bought from the iTunes store, I'd rather Apple not be the "only game in town" for music on my iPod. Absolute power corrupts absolutely, even through a reality distortion field I expect.

Re:Is DRM-free worth $1? (1)

Lord_Dweomer (648696) | more than 8 years ago | (#15753928)

"I've seen reports that record companies aren't "happy" with the royalties they're getting from iTunes. Could higher-priced, DRM-free releases be part of their solution?"

Are you serious? Those greedy fucks only want MORE MORE MORE. Getting higher prices would make them less mad, but they'd STILL want more.

They spelled my name wrong (1)

Bryansix (761547) | more than 8 years ago | (#15753711)

It's supposed to be Bryan not Brian [yahoo.com] . Now how am I supposed to get a truely personalized track. (Yes I'm being facetious)

Re:They spelled my name wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15753746)

Perhaps you should spell your name right, then. :-)

-Brian

Re:They spelled my name wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15753761)

> (Yes I'm being facetious)

Oh, I thought you were being serious.

As long as they have CDs... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15753720)

I will NEVER EVER buy DRM crap! Not only is it restricted, its of lesser quality! Its bad enough I have to purchase movies with this garbage on it and will not do it for music.

Major Online Music Store (1)

Draconix (653959) | more than 8 years ago | (#15753726)

Wait, Yahoo! has an online music store? /Not really trolling, actually didn't know about it until now, or at least, forgot about it.

Let me be Devil's Advocate (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 8 years ago | (#15753812)

Jessica Simpson... who's that? Wasn't her name Lisa? Whatever.

I could imagine that this is yet another move to prove that non-DRMed music can't be sold. I mean, who's gonna buy that song? If it was from some artist that has global relevance, ok. I could see a truely comparable result. So, the result will be that DRM is a key requirement for selling music online, because we'll clearly see that the latest Robby Williams (with DRM) will outsell this Jessica Simpson song by magnitudes.

Re:Let me be Devil's Advocate (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15753927)

Robbie Williams has global relevance?

Uh, those engineers aren't working all that hard (1)

br0k_sams0n (848842) | more than 8 years ago | (#15753820)

After once happily installing to x64, the Yahoo! music engine no longer works on this architecture/OS despite having been a mainstream Microsoft release for over a year now. There isn't really any support for their music product line aside from a pittance of online help pages. It's a bit offensive to me as someone locked into x64 to hear that they are working away so hard when they lag behind their compeditors on entire platforms while not acknowledging their lack of support for x64 on their product web site.

About Jessica (3, Insightful)

MyNameIsEarl (917015) | more than 8 years ago | (#15753844)

While she may not be high on the average Slashdot user's, i.e. male, perhaps older than 20, I believe the 13-16 crowd like her music and will beg mommy and daddy to get them the new Jessica song. Remember folks as much as you want it to be true the people who post here are not the majority in this country. I have a feeling this won't do that great because it is not offered by the iTunes Music Store but it is still a step in the right direction.
 

Minimal Piracy (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15753857)

Well, it's a great one to choose. Looking that it's from Jessica Simpson, it's almost guaranteed not to be pirated and shared on P2P networks. 4 megabytes is worth about 0.16 cents, or $0.0016 in today's market. That's far more than the song is really worth.

This much should be obvious (4, Insightful)

xigxag (167441) | more than 8 years ago | (#15753883)

This much should be blindingly obvious. However, for the benefit of the people on the 8-bit bus:

1) This is a trial balloon. If it sells well, it may convince some retailers to experiment with further DRM free tracks. If it sells poorly, it will serve as "proof" that DRM is needed.

2) There's at least somebody on the command chain who wants this to fail. Hence the $1.99 price.

3) The record company couldn't stomach the idea of a totally naked mp3 so they came up with this lame idea of embedding the purchaser's name in the file. If course this is easily worked around, but so's regular DRM. This is to deter the teeming masses. If John Q. Moron decides to fileshare, he'll soon be indicted by a thousand copies of "Jessica Loves John Q. Moron" floating around. You might add that they were being slightly clever by selling this crude copy protection measure as a value added feature.

I'd also speculate that might be meant to caution Microsoft ever so lightly. MS is openly scheming against its current music partners by introducing Urge and Zune. But it wants to keep them hooked on Plays For Sure while making sure their services are inferior to its own offerings. This is Yahoo's way of saying, "Look Microsoft, we might not need your crap DRM after all, so watch yourself."

Stating the obvious: This is about the iPod (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15753930)

Before getting all excited about Yahoos altruism, think about the business side.

Apple has what...80%... of the portable music player market?

Until apple decides to share their DRM, everyone else (including Yahoo) is locked out of the iPod market.

MP3s are their only way in. If they can manage to line up some labels, they will suddenly have access to a totally new and much larger customer base.
   

No DRM = Perfect, but $2/Tune = Faulty (3, Insightful)

FigOSpeak (990072) | more than 8 years ago | (#15753979)

I'm ecstatic that Yahoo wants to offer unencumbered tunes. But $2.00 / song? That's more than I pay for a 16-bit PCM CD. Besides, they don't have to package, distribute (old-skool distribute, that is) or keep brick-and-mortars. I might get interested/serious if it were $2 / album ... I've already spent $500 this year with allofmp3. I'm not opposed to spending, I'm just not going to play sucker to suckers.

Sounds good, but... (4, Funny)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 8 years ago | (#15754024)

1. What's the bitrate? It needs to be at least 192 kbps.

2. Jessica Simpson's "A Public Affair"? Hmm, I was considering downloading just to show I'm supportive of a non-DRM model, even if it would need future tweaks, but just to try get the industry on the right track. BUT... Jessica Simpson? I really don't know if I can do this. :-(

too little... (1)

partowel (469956) | more than 8 years ago | (#15754056)

too little...too late.

the music industry is going to die.

DRM or Not... (1, Troll)

Edward Teach (11577) | more than 8 years ago | (#15754085)

Jessica Simpson != Music.

Itunes DRM Free.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15754092)

Burn your song to a Cd then Re rip...

BLA BLA BLA lower quaitity BLA BLA BLA ogg format, BLA BLA BLA should sue apple BLA BLA BLA

Okay sort of DRM (1)

RobertF (892444) | more than 8 years ago | (#15754167)

This is actually *gasp* the sort of DRM I could live with. A unique fingerprint that is traceable to the original buyer, so that they can find you if you pirate. But it doesn't actually hinder fair use at all. I really wouldn't mind if this became standard practice, as it only affects those who are actually doing something illegal, and leaves the rest of us alone. W00t technological, instead of legal, solutions to problems.

Cool, but eMusic has more for less (3, Interesting)

schnablebg (678930) | more than 8 years ago | (#15754364)

It is nice to hear an Internet superpower talk about selling "plain old MP3s," but eMusic [emusic.com] has been doing this for years (well before the iPod even existed). They don't have acts like Jessica Simpson, or even Radiohead, but they do have a huge collection of quality, interesting music. Loads of Indie Rock, Underground Hiphop, old and new jazz, lots of classic stuff and new albums come in everyday. It's cheap and no watermarks, either.

I'm a serious music collector and plain MP3s simplify my collection--DRM is a major headache when you just want to HAVE music and store it anyway you like.

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