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Teens Don't Buy Legit MP3s Because They Can't?

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the seems-a-little-ehhh dept.

365

iSeal writes "According to a recent study, 13-17 year olds are both the most likely to pirate music, and also the most likely to own a portable MP3 player. Yet, as this article goes on to say, the lack of credit card ownership prevents teens from buying music online. The author maintains that since regular record shops don't sell MP3s, or gift cards to places that do sell MP3s, its practically impossible for teens to buy legit MP3s on their own. From the article: 'If the only way to obtain music online continues to be through illegitimate means, then we are no better off than in the days of Napster.'" I'm not sure I agree with some of the conclusions here (you can buy iTunes cards at Walgreens), but it's an interesting discussion.

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well then (3, Funny)

macadamia_harold (947445) | more than 7 years ago | (#16346341)

Yet, as this article goes on to say, the lack of credit card ownership prevents teens from buying music online.

Clearly, the only solution is for the RIAA to start providing teenagers with credit cards. That can't possibly go wrong.

Re:well then (3, Insightful)

MassEnergySpaceTime (957330) | more than 7 years ago | (#16346389)

Even if teenagers had credit cards, I think teenagers would still more likely opt to illegally download mp3s just because it's "illegal", therefore it's cool to do so.

Re:well then (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16346401)

I guess that explains why sodomizing sheep is so popular in Montana.

Re:well then (1)

telchine (719345) | more than 7 years ago | (#16346607)

Even if teenagers had credit cards, I think teenagers would still more likely opt to illegally download mp3s just because it's "illegal", therefore it's cool to do so.
When I last used OD2, I'm pretty sure you could pay for tunes with text messages, not credit cards. I suspect the reason they don't buy the tunes is for the same reason that the rest of us don't, awful sound quality, awful DRM, and awful software interfaces.

Re:well then (1, Insightful)

sj26 (850595) | more than 7 years ago | (#16347037)

I think there's an awareness problem as well. Many teens don't think of legally downloading music as pirating music is what they've always done. It's not even necessarily thought of as wrong; after all, you can listen to the tunes on the radio. About the only "well-known" services is iTunes' music shop, which has a fairly low reputation, and is fairly useless to anyone not using an iPod.

Re:well then (5, Insightful)

Mike89 (1006497) | more than 7 years ago | (#16347607)

That's not at all the reason why. The reason (at least for me) for getting MP3s 'illegally' is because I have such a varying taste of music and munch through it so quickly, it's not economically viable for me to buy the amount of albums I actually download just to try out an artist. I'll download an artists discography and randomly insert their tracks into my regular playlist, usually as I go to sleep. If a track wins my attention, I'll remember it and it'll become part of my regular listening. However, most bands cannot capture me with more than a couple of songs. For the bands who do, I don't want to buy low-quality DRM ridden MP3s via some crappy software. 3 bands have managed to "Woo" me enough for me to spend money on them, so I go to CDUniverse and use my Paypal account (doesn't require credit card) to get their albums (or DVDs) posted to me. One local band (The Living End) has managed to get me as a fan, and I've bought all their releases bar one since I started liking them. I downloaded the one I didnt buy (illegally), and didnt like that much of it. But, I've gone 2 of their concerts based around that release, so theyve more than made their money back off what I "deprived" them of by downloading it. I bought their live version of the same album because I like the songs live. So, no, we don't download illegally just because it's cool.

Re:well then (1)

galaad2 (847861) | more than 7 years ago | (#16346529)

i want one of those cards... make it a debit card and tie it to the RIAA main bank account number :) :D

i know what i'll use it for :P

Re:well then (1)

Xymor (943922) | more than 7 years ago | (#16347205)

"'If the only way to obtain music online continues to be through illegitimate means, then we are no better off than in the days of Napster.'"

Pff, this guy is living in the past, with bittorrent and gnutella we can pirate music 10x faster and much more efficiently, not mentioning movies, xbox games, pr0n, etc...

DRM (5, Insightful)

BerkeleyDude (827776) | more than 7 years ago | (#16346351)

I don't buy MP3s because there's no freaking way to just buy the files - not stream them, not download DRMed crap, but just buy the plain old MP3s.

Rhapsody? iTunes? Can't do that.

Only independent websites (e.g. magnatune.com) have the decency to give you something worth paying money for.

Re:DRM (2, Informative)

reub2000 (705806) | more than 7 years ago | (#16346359)

Try eMusic. I *heart* their merge records and matador collection.

Re:DRM (5, Funny)

bartron (772079) | more than 7 years ago | (#16346605)

because there's no freaking way to just buy the files
Where I buy all of my mp3's from I can do jsut that....DRM free ;)
Bartron

Re:DRM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16346617)

or eMusic?

Re:DRM (1)

eatmadust (740035) | more than 7 years ago | (#16347407)

allofmp3.com ... but the RIAA doesn't like them very much either! -- splayground@dodgeit.com

More productive research (5, Interesting)

Seiruu (808321) | more than 7 years ago | (#16346353)

IMO, much more interesting to know is who
  1. Wouldn't buy them anyway if they couldn't have gotten them through illegal means (IMO the majority)
  2. Would buy them anyway after getting them through illegal means (somewhat split with the third option)
  3. Wouldn't buy them after getting them through illegal means

Re:More productive research (1)

Lorkki (863577) | more than 7 years ago | (#16346553)

You forgot to add one variable, the artist. I've seen lots of people buy music they first downloaded for free, but unfortunately (for record companies) it tends to require more from the artist than just one hit song.

Re:More productive research (1)

helfom (932199) | more than 7 years ago | (#16347689)

Exactly! Studies always seem to suggest that every song downloded illegally is a lost sale, which just isn't true. That is why figures of billions of dollars lost is completely bogus. There are many more variables that I think studies are flat out ignoring. Many people would not buy stuff even if it cost a penny. Many people just want exposure to things that they can't get at any store, and paying to take that risk is too much. Sometimes exposure due to illegal methods leads to discovery and increased sales for that area of interest. There is a large, multi-faceted dynamic taking place and I think any study would be hard pressed to take everything into account. Just remember, not everything is simply black and white.

Debit Cards (5, Informative)

jjeffrey (558890) | more than 7 years ago | (#16346363)

OK Credit Cards aren't available to under 18's but in the UK at least you can get a debit card from as young as 13 - a lot of kids have them and they work on iTunes here.

Not the same in the US?

Re:Debit Cards (2, Funny)

jjeffrey (558890) | more than 7 years ago | (#16346377)

Oops sorry slip of the tongue - I do know the difference between the US and Canada - apart from anything else the US would never get in to the Commonwealth :-)

Re:Debit Cards (1)

SimonInOz (579741) | more than 7 years ago | (#16347303)

No, absolutely not.

We're not letting them in until they pay the tax on that tea ...

Re:Debit Cards (1)

DarthChris (960471) | more than 7 years ago | (#16346391)

How many American sites accept, say, Switch? How many UK sites accept US debit cards, for that matter? When I first bought a game off Steam, I had to wait for the bank to give me a Mastercard.
(Yes, I know you can get e.g. Visa debit cards.)

Re:Debit Cards (3, Insightful)

jjeffrey (558890) | more than 7 years ago | (#16346413)

iTunes is effectively a different site in each country though, accepting the local methods of payment. For example in the EU, Maestro/Switch.

Re:Debit Cards (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16347331)

iTunes is effectively a different site in each country though, accepting the local methods of payment. For example in the EU, Maestro/Switch.


A side-effect of that is that the music selection is different. There is a lot of music I would buy from iTunes, but it is only available on the UK site. (Presumably my account is tied to my credit card address.)

Re:Debit Cards (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16346415)

And on the iTMS you can buy Pre-Paid cards from Tescos/Sainbury's/Asda, you can set up an allowance funded by your parents' credit card or can recieve a non-physical gift over the internet. There are plenty of ways that an under 18 can access legal music, the reason they don't is because 79p is worth a lot more to a 13 year old than it is to a 24.

Re:Debit Cards (5, Insightful)

Pc_Madness (984705) | more than 7 years ago | (#16346501)

Indeed, the prepaid cards for iTunes are everywhere, so its not so much an excuse of not being able too cos of a lack of a credit card.. but more the fact that most teens that age don't have money, and if they do, why would you want to spend what little you have on something everyone else is getting for free? I know I got funny looks when I announced I bought some songs from iTunes (and regret it since cos of all the hassle the DRM has caused me).

Re:Debit Cards (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 7 years ago | (#16346687)

Yeah, but there's no dynamic allocation of resources with iTunes Cards. If you have a credit/debit card, you can buy 2 songs from itunes and the rest of your money is still allocatable for other things. Once you buy an iTunes card its good only for iTunes.

Besides, I don't buy the whole "no credit card" thing, unless they really mean that they can't overspend and run up huge debt by buying more than they can afford. Debit cards (aka Visa Check Cards) are given out like candy at all the banks I know.

Re:Debit Cards (1)

nxtw (866177) | more than 7 years ago | (#16347339)

I've seen the cards for as low as $15. Not very much at all, if you ask me.

Re:Debit Cards (1)

rizzo420 (136707) | more than 7 years ago | (#16347465)

i believe in order to even use the itunes card, you have to register on the music store with a credit card. i prefer not to buy from itunes for obvious reason (DRM), but i do regularly "buy" their free downloads. it required me to put in a credit card for that.

Re:Debit Cards (1)

jrmcferren (935335) | more than 7 years ago | (#16347247)

Yes, even FYE (For Your Entertainment) sells iTunes cards.

Re:Debit Cards (1)

b4jts (816849) | more than 7 years ago | (#16346809)

But then again on the other side, there are alot of countries where having a credit card is a pretty rare sight independant of age, simply because there's little use for them.

Re:Debit Cards (1)

KingOfBLASH (620432) | more than 7 years ago | (#16346969)

It's the same in the US. I think the bigger issue is money? Why would a kid spend money (a very limited resource for kids) on something they could get for free?

Re:Debit Cards (2, Insightful)

lwells-au (548448) | more than 7 years ago | (#16347355)

I just checked on the Australian iTunes Store* and the options listed are Visa, Mastercard or American Express. No debit card option that I can see. I would also point out that whilst teens don't have credit cards because they can't, I would estimate a reasonable percentage in their late teens and early-20s also don't either because they have no great need or don't trust themselves not to get themselves in to debt (like me!).

Just as in the UK and US, iTunes Store cards are easily available in Australia (in Coles supermarkets no less). There are two problems I see with the cards though:
1) You can't just pay for the songs you want as you basically are buying store credit. Cards are available in A$20, $50 and $100 which makes perfect sense as a gift, but if one only have a small amount of disposable income (as most teenagers do) the idea of having to expend what s/he might consider a reasonably large amount in one go to buy the couple of songs s/he wants is probably less appealing than the individual song purchase system available to credit card holders.

2) Having to buy a "music card" takes away from the immediacy of a purchase. One has to get off one's backside and go and get a card. Why wouldn't I just go to the record store and buy a CD single (or album) instead (particularly given point 1) since the effort is about the same?

Basically I think it makes the barriers just high enough that even those within the teen demographic that would go to the effort of purchasing the music if they had a credit card, are more likely to opt for the illegal download because they can have it Right Now and not have to worry about expending a large (in their eyes) amount of capital.

Two quick provisos: I'm not endorsing this behaviour and excusing copyright infringement, and I certainly don't believe that every teenager -- even if they did have access to a credit card or the above two issues were not evident -- would purchase music rather than illegally download it (but that holds for all ages, to varying degrees).

Re:Debit Cards (1)

LordLucless (582312) | more than 7 years ago | (#16347575)

Most debit cards I know of (ones issued by St. George, IMB, ANZ) use the VISA network. I believe Commonwealth Bank debit cards use the Mastercard network. Anything that accepts payments by VISA/Mastercard can accept payments by these cards. It functions exactly the same as a credit transaction, except it debits your account instead of extending your credit.

thts a reality.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16346387)

thts a reality....
http://www.newskicks.com/ [newskicks.com]

Maybe tens simply lack the money? (1, Insightful)

Swizec (978239) | more than 7 years ago | (#16346421)

Just look at the average teenager, mummy bought them a snazzy new mp3 player and gives them perhaps some allowance each month which is usually spent on fags and alco. Asking for more money to go and buy music usually doesn't work but parents are already paying for broadband anyway. The next logical step? Get music for free.

It's really that simple imho.

Re:Maybe tens simply lack the money? (1)

williamstome (1001708) | more than 7 years ago | (#16346505)

The average teenager doesn't randomly get things bought for them by their parents. That's what the "fag and alco" money is for. Responsible parents make their kids learn the value of money by making them save.

Re:Maybe tens simply lack the money? (1, Insightful)

satoshi1 (794000) | more than 7 years ago | (#16346583)

I don't know if you've noticed or not, but parents these days are not at all responsible. Well, most, anyway. There are good ones out there, but they're hard to come across.

Re:Maybe tens simply lack the money? (1)

Matt Edd (884107) | more than 7 years ago | (#16347283)

Insightful? You must either be younger and have no idea what parents where like a generation ago or older and have forgoten what parents where like a generation ago. I bet every generation thinks the previous generation's parents where so much better.

Re:Maybe tens simply lack the money? (5, Funny)

Gilmoure (18428) | more than 7 years ago | (#16347367)

That reminds me, my daughter's 6th birthday party is tomorrow and I need to pick up a case of beer. Kids like Miller, right?

They don't buy MP3 files because nobody sells them (4, Insightful)

TERdON (862570) | more than 7 years ago | (#16346427)

I'm not at all surprised that teens don't buy MP3s. Almost no one sells them! iTunes sells AAC tunes, so that doesn't count, and almost all others use WMA. The only exception I can think of allofmp3.ru and indie record companies which only cater to a niche market...

Re:They don't buy MP3 files because nobody sells t (0, Redundant)

kjart (941720) | more than 7 years ago | (#16346745)

I'd mod that 'pedantic' if I could - seems that's usually seen as 'insightful' here.

It explains ring tones at least (4, Insightful)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 7 years ago | (#16346445)

They can pay with mobile phone credit.

iTunes gift cards (3, Informative)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | more than 7 years ago | (#16346449)

In the UK there are quite a few places you can buy iTunes Gift Cards / Vouchers (Tesco, Sainsbury, Argos). Coca-Cola are doing a promotion at the moment where you get a free download from iTunes with each bottle bought. Of course this is limited to 3 per household and you also need to like Coca-Cola*

You also need to have an iPod and iTunes.

*This isn't strictly true as you could buy the bottle for the voucher and give away the drink, or not drink it at all

Re:iTunes gift cards (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16346571)

Thing is, don't bottles of Coke cost about 80/90p (standard price)? Someone elsewhere mentioned the relative importance of 79p which I assume is the cost of a track (never used iTMS), so if you weren't already going to buy the Coke it's actually more expensive? Admittedly it's a nice bonus for Coke fans, but are kids just wasting their money on false economy and unhealthy drinks? No wonder there's all this furore about Britain's kids becoming more obese on average etc...

Re:iTunes gift cards (1)

fermion (181285) | more than 7 years ago | (#16347389)

Not only that, but for the few non-iPod kids parents can purchase a subscription service. Parent can also set up allowances on iTunes.

This is really not about lack of funds, but about limited funds and opportunity costs. Listening to the average kid, they want all the music that is popular. However, there is not enough money to buy all the popular music, and making choices is not so easy at an early age. To solve this, the kids buy copied music for $4 instead of legit music for $12. $12 represent too much of an opportunity cost, not only limiting the music choices, but also other consumables, of which music is only one of many.

What credit cards do is push back the opportunity cost a few years for a fee. You can buy all the music you want now, pay only the minimum payment, and not have to make sacrifices immediately. OTOH, by this logic, the report could read kids don't buy music because they have no house equity, and if parent would only share any equity they have in the family house, then kids would not have to steal music.

Oh, so it was the kids (1)

merryXIV (1010525) | more than 7 years ago | (#16346451)

Yeah, they don't have credit cards. And they don't make any money either, to "refill". RIIA's problems will all go away as soon as kids of 13 to 17 will be able to work in Apple's factories for $50/month, so they can help fatten shareholders.

I disagree (3, Informative)

Propagandhi (570791) | more than 7 years ago | (#16346463)

I had a debit card when I was 15-18 so I could have bought music off the web had I chosen to and had the option been available. The real problem is that teens don't have that much cash. All my money was going into my ball and chain at the time (otherwise known as D&D), the ability to pirate music was there so I did it. Pirated music was a lot better than no music at all.

Re:I disagree (2, Interesting)

lumkichi (900689) | more than 7 years ago | (#16346545)

For the fortunate ones that have a bank account when they were very young that might have worked. The fact is there are a lot of teens who don't have bank accounts until they go to college. They simply don't need it -- their life is cash. And as far as I know, anyone can buy an iTunes card at Walgreens or CVS. But teens without credit cards cannot use them in iTunes program until it is validated -- the validation process requires a credit card before the stupid system will give them access to the credits that they paid for. The message is clear: Don't pirate software, but you can't buy our mp3's because you don't have a credit card. So you'd better go somewhere else or steal a credit card number from your parents. Stupid iTunes...

Re:I disagree (3, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 7 years ago | (#16346625)

For your case that is a bad (Really Bad, So bad it makes me angry) excuse to illegally download music. Saying I do not have enough money form of entertainment because I spend to much money in an other form of entertainment, so I have to steal the first form. There is a thing in life called "budgeting" it is a concept that most Americans fail to grasp.
The first step to this "budgeting" is to realize what You need to live Food, Shelter, Heat, Water, these things you always need to make sure you have enough money for, as you are probably a bratty teenybopper, who thinks they are a supper smart hacker type, I will assume that Mommy and Daddy give that to you. The next thing to budget for are for things that will allow you work with society, Taxes, Cloths, culturally relevant Communication tools, transportation, and education. still Mommy and Daddy are still flipping the bill for most of these. Finally the rest of the junk you can buy with your spare money because you really don't need it. Now if you want some junk more then other junk. Then you have a choice how much of Junk A you need vs. Junk B. So fyou example you can buy a book for $30.00 that tells you all about different attributes of Dragons xor (xor is a computer science term meaning "exclusive or" meaning one or the other but not both) 30 songs off of iTunes, or you can balance the approach and get the old version of the book for $15.00 and get 15 songs off of iTunes. But saying I need to steal music because I spent all my money on D&D is no excuse and I hope the RIAA sues your ass.
There are other reasons for illegally downloading music some I agree with and others I respectfully disagree with, but yours is wrong and stupid.

Re:I disagree (2, Informative)

unapersson (38207) | more than 7 years ago | (#16347167)

The industry always wants to have it both ways though. They want to create this desire to have the hottest new things they are producing at the time. While pushing this desire at a group that doesn't necessarily have the resources to buy what they're demanding they "must have". So this whole sharing situation is a natural result of that marketing.

They want teens to buy CDs, DVDs and games by getting hold of as much of their part time job or parents money as possible. That's why the losses to piracy figures are so laughable, they're claiming loss of money that just isn't there. It's the money budgeted for luxuries that has already been absorbed by another one of their arms.

Re:I disagree (2, Insightful)

eepok (545733) | more than 7 years ago | (#16347439)

Watch your vocabulary friend. He said nothing about his reason being an excuse, so get off your holier-than-thou rant and read the post for what it said.

Summary: I believe teens just don't have enough money to entertain themselves in all the ways they'd prefer. Music is easy to get for free, so they pirate.

Was there a request for validation or suggestion that his reasoning was just? No. Ok, so back off.

Re:I disagree (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16347589)

Then you have a choice how much of Junk A you need vs. Junk B. So fyou example you can buy a book for $30.00 that tells you all about different attributes of Dragons xor (xor is a computer science term meaning "exclusive or" meaning one or the other but not both) 30 songs off of iTunes, or you can balance the approach and get the old version of the book for $15.00 and get 15 songs off of iTunes.
Please mod the parent post -1, Pedantic imbecile

Re:I disagree (3, Insightful)

It'sYerMam (762418) | more than 7 years ago | (#16347639)

You probably disagree that it's a good excuse because it isn't an excuse at all - it's a reason. It doesn't have to justify pirating, but it is one cause of it, so we can understand it.

I don't buy MP3s because... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16346465)

There is no fucking point. If the cops ever stop at my house, I'm screwed anyway: I copy CSS protected DVDs (illegal), I listen to copyprotected CDs on my MP3 player (illegal), I have and know how to use Wireshark (formerly known as Ethereal, soon to be illegal where I live), I encrypt my data (my own data, not illegal but encryption means I'll never get my hardware back). I might as well go all the way. That's what legislators need to get through their thick heads: If you make normal behaviour illegal, you produce criminals. Not only do you hang a sword over the head of good citizens, you also cause more illegal behaviour. If people don't have a fighting chance to be law abiding citizens, then they stop caring about the saner parts of the law as well.

Re:I don't buy MP3s because... (0, Flamebait)

dballanc (100332) | more than 7 years ago | (#16346653)

That's what legislators need to get through their thick heads: If you make normal behaviour illegal, you produce criminals.


The point of law is to produce criminals. The people in power (mainly corps and special interest groups) could care less about what people want and the current definition of normal behavior. What they really care about is creating the future definition of normal behavior.

Legislators are simply shepherds herding the masses or shepherd dogs doing the work for someone else. They take away you freedom a little at a time, until you have no choice but to go with the flow or be trampled. You can go your own way for a while, but once the herd is taken care of they'll come for the stragglers.

Re:I don't buy MP3s because... (2, Interesting)

Oligonicella (659917) | more than 7 years ago | (#16347249)

Right, stealing was made illegal by the government. Thou shall not... Laws are codifications of things people want. Prohibition was driven by people and codified. Later, people decided it was a bad idea and 'decodified' it. Do the same for copyright, drinking, or whatever else you don't like. If you're in the minority opinion and the law truly doesn't abridge your civil rights. Oh well, be a criminal. Just don't whine when caught.

Re:I don't buy MP3s because... (4, Informative)

transporter_ii (986545) | more than 7 years ago | (#16347481)

"Did you really think that we want those laws to be observed?" said Dr. Ferris. "We want them broken. You'd better get it straight that it's not a bunch of boy scouts you're up against - then you'll know that this is not the age for beautiful gestures. We're after power and we mean it. You fellows were pikers, but we know the real trick, and you'd better get wise to it. There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens' What's there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced nor objectively interpreted - and you create a nation of law-breakers - and then you cash in on guilt. Now that's the system, Mr. Rearden, that's the game, and once you understand it, you'll be much easier to deal with."

- Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged

Re:I don't buy MP3s because... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16347523)

In all discussions about copyright I haven't talked to a single person yet who thought it's ok that you aren't allowed to make MP3 copies of your CDs for your MP3 player. Not a single person thought it was ok that you aren't allowed to watch a DVD that you rightfully own on a Linux system. Copyright law does not codify the will of the people.

Re:I don't buy MP3s because... (1)

isorox (205688) | more than 7 years ago | (#16346983)

I have and know how to use Wireshark (formerly known as Ethereal, soon to be illegal where I live)

Where's that?

Re:I don't buy MP3s because... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16347417)

Germany. [www.ccc.de] (Wireshark is in a gray area, but Nmap will certainly be illegal to have.)

Re:I don't buy MP3s because... (3, Insightful)

LordLucless (582312) | more than 7 years ago | (#16347593)

"To make laws that man cannot, and will not obey, serves to bring all law into contempt."
        - E. C. Stanton

Oh yes, the problem of paying. (4, Insightful)

WWWWolf (2428) | more than 7 years ago | (#16346485)

Sure, I'd buy a lot of stuff online. If only paying for the stuff wasn't such a great big pain.

Why is it that international banking is such a great big headache? When the money or goods - virtual or not - cross the borders, everyone seems to be grabbing part of it, if not the governments then the people who transfer it?

Why isn't there a simple, universal, reliable, regulated method for transferring money internationally, no matter how big or small sum? A simple service you'd get automatically when you open a bank account, anywhere, in any bank in the world?

Because people go for the "it works for me" kind of approach. To American companies, credit card "works for me". As long as there's a stopgap measure that covers 85% of who they consider their market segment at the time, there's no problem. They just happen to ignore the tons of people who silently mutter "well, I'd love to get this, but I can't".

Sure, I'd love to buy music. I'd love to buy tons of music. I use Linux and have a (non-Visa-logo) Visa Electron. No iTunes for me? Well, looks like I'm still sticking to ocremix.org and remix.kwed.org for my music needs, then, it's not like other people are producing much music worth listening to anyway.

There used to be some sort of non-DRM MP3 store that had grand total of two songs available and required SMS messages as payment. That rocked. Yay. Too bad they never went past the pilot phase. Would have been the perfect model.

Think of Google. They went for the "long tail" thing - index every nook and cranny of the web, make web advertising easy for small sites, both as advertisers and as advertising space sellers, and make life easy for advertisement viewers too. Then think of search engines of 1996. Small indexes, tons of big-name advertisers, ludicruously priced annoying ads, "let's just focus on the big sites because that's where the money is". That didn't go too far, now did it? And where's Google now?

(Not saying Google Money Transfer would be a particularly good idea - PayPal is a private company and has a lot of problems not found in banks. Not saying Google should necessarily go to the music store business either. =)

Re:Oh yes, the problem of paying. (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 7 years ago | (#16346671)

Sure, I'd love to buy music. I'd love to buy tons of music. I use Linux and have a (non-Visa-logo) Visa Electron. No iTunes for me? Well, looks like I'm still sticking to ocremix.org and remix.kwed.org for my music needs, then, it's not like other people are producing much music worth listening to anyway.
Perhaps you work on getting the Linux and Open Source community more open to the concept of allowing DRM, and not making it as evil the Devil. Because God forbid people actually making money off their labor, and how dare they try to protect their work! The Linux and OSS Community is great at screwing them selves over.

Re:Oh yes, the problem of paying. (2, Interesting)

WWWWolf (2428) | more than 7 years ago | (#16346843)

Perhaps you work on getting the Linux and Open Source community more open to the concept of allowing DRM, and not making it as evil the Devil. Because God forbid people actually making money off their labor, and how dare they try to protect their work! The Linux and OSS Community is great at screwing them selves over.

I guess this has been explained tons of times already, but here goes: Random Linux users probably don't care if there's DRM or not. Random Windows or OS X users probably don't care if there's DRM or not. I don't personally mind if iTunes would run on Linux with the exact same restrictions it has on Windows or OS X.

It's just that trying to fit DRM in existing open source projects is extremely problematic because everyone wants transparency. Current DRM depends on secrets. It depends on technology that wants things to be secret, all the while Linux folks are all about openness and interoperability.

Open source folks are more than happy to implement your DRM if you have a completely open specification. If you can't release the specification because it depends on a "secret" part and releasing it would undermine the whole thing, then it's a crappy attempt at DRM that will be undermined by l33t Hax0rz one day anyway, so why bother.

And as for myself, nobody needs to copy-protect things they sell to me. I won't copy them. Honest. The only P2P client I have at hand is Azureus, and that's for legit downloads only. I buy books and computer and video games and DVDs - not that much music, because CDs are overpriced and I have a radio too - and none get copied around. At worst I lend the stuff to my friends and family, and at that time I can't use them myself. So if you're a content provider, I have to ask, what is this DRM thing actually helping you for, anyway? What's the point of "protecting" the files, if I'm not copying them around anyway? (Don't say "you could" - stick to the facts. Don't say "someone else could" - stick to my case.)

Re:Oh yes, the problem of paying. (1)

Elbows (208758) | more than 7 years ago | (#16347385)

Open source folks are more than happy to implement your DRM if you have a completely open specification. If you can't release the specification because it depends on a "secret" part and releasing it would undermine the whole thing, then it's a crappy attempt at DRM that will be undermined by l33t Hax0rz one day anyway, so why bother.

The reason there's no open-source DRM software is not because the content companies are short-sighted or too dumb to make "good" DRM algorithms. It's because open-source DRM is flat-out impossible. When you distribute software that can play DRM files, it has to include
a) the decryption algorithm
b) the decryption keys

When you open-source that software, you've just given away everything. Anyone can tweak the software to output non-encrypted files, or take the keys and write their own. DRM only works if the software is closed-source.

Re:Oh yes, the problem of paying. (1)

electronerdz (838825) | more than 7 years ago | (#16347409)

Most of the people who really push/develop DRM (Microsoft, Apple, RIAA) DON"T have problems making money. Before or after DRM.

iTunes & MP3s? (4, Insightful)

Aceticon (140883) | more than 7 years ago | (#16346493)


I'm not sure I agree with some of the conclusions here (you can buy iTunes cards at Walgreens), but it's an interesting discussion.


iTunes is selling MP3s? Since when? Last i heard they where only selling DRM encumbered stuff (which is the reason i personally haven't bought anything from iTunes ... and i do own an iPod).

Re:iTunes & MP3s? (1)

williamstome (1001708) | more than 7 years ago | (#16346527)

also in order to buy stuff off itunes you have to use itunes. Which means you have to like itunes. Which is not a very great program for listening to music currently. WinAmp FTW!!!

Re:iTunes & MP3s? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16346533)

very true, but you'll get modded down by the people who go "oh, iTunes DRM is fair...". I'm now taking the stance of "fuck them, they'll lose everything they've paid for, good job it "just works"!"

Lack of CC ownership... I don't think so (1, Insightful)

RulerOf (975607) | more than 7 years ago | (#16346513)

I believe it has something to do with value.

I have bought music from iTunes. Once. After buring one CD (I don't have an iPod) and then reformatting and not being allowed to redownload the files (which is bullshit. I paid for them.), I haven't done it since. In that time, I've discovered that I only really like maybe one or two of the songs I purchased, and my total ran me over $25. $25 to listen to TWO songs occasionally? There's something wrong with that.

Most of the stuff that comes out tends to be crap. It is enjoyable to listen to and then a month later you never want to hear the song again. That's not a worthwhile investment. In fact, it's a waste of money. Top it off with DRM and you run into the realization that you can't even give away something you consider to be worthless, and piracy starts to looks pretty attractive.

Since my iTunes blunder, the CD I burned is scratched to all hell now, I've downloaded a few albums and after finding some I enjoy, I've actually bought the CD. Granted, if I was a teenager, I probably wouldn't... seeing as how I wouldn't have a job and all... I'd probably rather go buy overpriced clothes or something.

Re:Lack of CC ownership... I don't think so (2, Informative)

cplater (155482) | more than 7 years ago | (#16346669)

First off, Apple has changed thier policy, and will not allow you at least one redownload of content after a catastrophe. It amazes me that people assume this function is there in the first place. When you buy a CD, and then you loose it / scratch it /etc., do you expect the record shop from where you purchased to replace it? Why do you think iTunes constantly reminds you to backup your content? It's your responsibility to manage your data, not Apple. As far as buying music you don't like, the same thing happens w/ CDs these days. This is one of the reasons that iTunes has a place. You can buy just the one song you're interested in, and skip the rest of the CD if you don't like it.
It seem the bigger problem is with the music industry today, and the crap that's out there these days. I couldn't agree more. Hopefully iTunes, et. al. will force the record companies to rethink their stratagies, and stop pushing out crap. IMNSHO they have yet to realize that the problem with the music industry is that the current artists are putting out crappy records which is the reason for the decreases in sales.

Re:Lack of CC ownership... I don't think so (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 7 years ago | (#16346795)

Actually, the old B&M store Mothers would replace damaged/worn out/broken tapes, essentially free of charge. But that was the exception. Audible, one of the first large online vendors for digital audio (spoken, of course) will let you retrieve your audio from the library you've bought in the past.

If you "license" content from iTunes, you're not buying a physical product. You bought a licence, and you should damned well expect that that license - unless othewise stated - is perpetual. There is no media to replace. I could see a minimal bandwidth charge for re-download ($0.01-0.02) if you want to be a pita about it, but an iTunes song and a CD are entirely different items.

I'm with you on the limited "good" tracks thing, though it's not exclusively a modern phenominon. There have always been better and worse tracks on most albums. Not every song is a "hit," and not every song an artist creates is going to stike a particular listenesrs fancy. The great thing about iTunes, et. al., is that you can purchase the tracks you like. Me? Oh, no. I screen most of my music (what little new music I actually listen to) by checking it out on usenet or from allofmp3. Good albums get purchased in CD form and ripped to FLAC. Lousy ones languish on my hard drive until I decide I need more room.

Oddly enough, I rarely download movies - I usually buy them in DVD form. Every year or so I cull the ones I don't like by selling them on ebay or amazon. The difference is that a new DVD, on sale, is usually under $15, often obtainable for $10-12 or less on the used market in good condition, and holds a $7-10 resale value (say $5-7 net after transaction fees). Any given disc might "cost" me $2-5 to "rent" indefinitely. Contrast that with new CDs, and you're forking over more cash (initial cost is higher and resale is generally abyssmal) for shorter playtime. I have yet to figure out why the soundtrack to a movie can cost more than the movie itself. Here's an example: Amazon has X-men 3 for $13.99 on DVD, the soundtrack is also $13.99. Resale prices on the soundtrack are $2 lower than the movie. The original x-men movie is $9.99, but the soundtrack is $18.98.

(Disclaimer: I'm not a teenager)

Re:Lack of CC ownership... I don't think so (1)

ben there... (946946) | more than 7 years ago | (#16347103)

First off, Apple has changed thier policy, and will not allow you at least one redownload of content after a catastrophe. It amazes me that people assume this function is there in the first place.

OK, where is it then? Do you have to click "Buy" again?

They don't make it obvious.

Re:Lack of CC ownership... I don't think so (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16347435)

Sorry... I have to disagree with you. Yes, it is your responsibility to back up you data. HOWEVER, when was the last time YOU lost 1,000 CD's in the blink of an eye? Nothing short of a house fire, natural disaster, etc would wipe out a collection of plastic discs in a matter of minutes. An iPod or a computer can do that to the equivalent amount of digital music with little to no warning. A system that can store that much music on a device that can fall in the toliet, drop and break, get stolen, get wet and die, etc with no option to redownload music already purchased is retarded. How many times have you had to repair a virus infected PC by formatting and reinstalling windows? Or any other windows problem that resulted in lost data at best, or a format at worst? Are you suggesting people need to have an additional 30-80gig storage device sitting around just to back up a $300+ iPod? And how would you suggest that work? Can you have your iTunes music on more than one device at a time? Last I knew that was a "no". Maybe they've changed that, but I don't see an products out there to backup the iPod. Strange... Maybe that option doesn't exist?

For me, the cd's I purchased stay in their cases in a carry case. Away from kids, pets, friends and scratches. They're all ripped to MP3s and get burned to disc for use in the car and truck. Even with my music backed up I have lost tracks due to hard drive errors from power outages and windows errors. The difference is with my non-drm collection I can do whatever I want with it to back it up or put it on other devices.

I can also do a search and re-download the missing items.

Re:Lack of CC ownership... I don't think so (1)

cliffski (65094) | more than 7 years ago | (#16346675)

So you dont love every single song on every album you bought. how is this different in the digital age? I'm sure that albums had hits and duds for as long as albums have existed. Yet these days you keep hearing again and again "all albums have one hit song, and the rest is filler. its a con. therefore I pirate music".
This sounds like a flimsy excuse to me.
Nobody is forcing you to buy whole albums, buy the singles you like, or borrow a friends CD to see if you like it. Besides, music is pretty cheap. I dont understand why people think its fine to spend £10 on a meal that satsifies them for maybe 6 hours, but if they spend that £10 on music / games / software / anything digital, they expect to get enjoyment out of it for thirty years. So you bought an album you dont listen to as much as when you first bought it. Big deal. I think 99.9% of the planet can say the same.

Re:Lack of CC ownership... I don't think so (1)

mce (509) | more than 7 years ago | (#16346817)

Applying your own reasoning to your own example: I have CDs that I bought 15 years ago and they still work. My parents have vinyl records that they bought 40 years ago (and even a few that are over 60 years old) and they still work. Nevertheless, we only payed your symbolical £10 for each of them. So there's nothing new or "digital" to the idea of buying once and expecting to get enjoyment for many years.

Having said that, there's no reason why things should not be allowed to change. Today's technology allows us to do and expect things that were impossible when I was a teen. Must I therefor consider these things bad? Allow society to evolve, for $DEITY's sake!

A little story on personal preference (1)

JensenDied (1009293) | more than 7 years ago | (#16346521)

I believe it's more up to personal preference, I was talking with one co-worker about music and he was suprised at how little people 'had' in iTunes or otherwise at college. After pointing out that some people with probally a lot more actually know how to turn off the sharing feature of iTunes, and other devices, or dont use them. *As another co-worker walks by* Then again there are some people *points at passing co-worker* who have alot more music than I doubt you have, and payed for all of it, and still have it on the CDs.

No card? (1)

AlecLyons (767385) | more than 7 years ago | (#16346581)

I got a debit card when I was under 18.

Another problem... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16346645)

As mentioned, iTunes doesn't sell MP3's, nor any of the other "big guys". This problem became painfully apparent when my brother, who's a techno moron, had a buddy download some "MP3's" onto an MP3 player. No surprise that the songs that were bought didn't play on the MP3 player. They thought there was some problem with the MP3 player, which there wasn't. I put an MP3 on it and it played just fine. Please note I'm saying MP3 player and not portable digital music player, which is what an iPod is.

International Teens (2, Interesting)

owlman17 (871857) | more than 7 years ago | (#16346647)

I live outside the continental US. If I were a teen, I couldn't buy from iTunes or Napster or Rhapsody, etc even if I wanted to. Heck, not even if I begged. Probably the only legal option available for us outside the USA is eMusic.com. (Which is also good since they sell regular non-DRM mp3s.) So teen or no teen, people living outside the US are far likelier to just get that stuff off illegal file-sharing.

Not only teens (1)

cabinetsoft (923481) | more than 7 years ago | (#16347477)

I live in a country that doesn't have an iTunes store. If I want to create an account on itunes.com I can't because I have no fuckin' US address. Even if I have a good credit card and all that I simply can't create an account. And more... even if I receive a gift certificate I can't benefit from it because of the same reason. As much as i like apple, they fucked it big on this... there are somewhere around 5.7 billions people that don't live in US and some of them want to buy their mp3...

It's too bad CDs aren't around anymore (5, Funny)

bwalling (195998) | more than 7 years ago | (#16346655)

I remember back when I was young, we could go out and by music on optical discs. They played in your stereo, in your car, and you could even rip them to MP3. You could even head down to a used record store and pick up used CDs for around $8. Of course, back in those days, we had to walk both ways, up hill, in the snow.

Re:It's too bad CDs aren't around anymore (2, Funny)

evilviper (135110) | more than 7 years ago | (#16347323)

I remember back when I was young, we could go out and by music on optical discs.

Yup, I remember those days too... $20 a disc, for a CD that is 66% empty, which has exactly one song on it you actually like.

Those were the days.

Suggestions for Teens who want MP3s (1)

cplater (155482) | more than 7 years ago | (#16346705)

1) Take your lazy butt down to the store (indie record shop, Best Buy, Circuit City, etc.) buy the CD you want, and use your computer to rip the CD into MP3s (although I'd suggest you use AAC, but that's a personal preference.)

1a) If ripping a CD is too techincal for you, you could always just buy an iTMS "gift card" as the big box stores, or even your local gas station.

2) Ask P&M to give you an iTMS (is it just iTS now?) allowance so you can buy your tunes.

3) Ask P&M to take you to the bank to set up a savings acct with a Visa/MC debit card, and use that to buy your tunes.

(If P&M doesn't make sense, please go read / watch A Clockwork Orange and then you'll get it.)

Re:Suggestions for Teens who want MP3s (1)

soxerus (583516) | more than 7 years ago | (#16346943)

1) Take your lazy butt down to the store (indie record shop, Best Buy, Circuit City, etc.) buy the CD you want, and use your computer to rip the CD into MP3s (although I'd suggest you use AAC, but that's a personal preference.)
And break the law trying to rip a DRMd CD.
1a) If ripping a CD is too techincal for you, you could always just buy an iTMS "gift card" as the big box stores, or even your local gas station.
Wow, more DRM
2) Ask P&M to give you an iTMS (is it just iTS now?) allowance so you can buy your tunes. 3) Ask P&M to take you to the bank to set up a savings acct with a Visa/MC debit card, and use that to buy your tunes.
From where, more DRMd sites? The fact of the matter is, you can't buy the mainstream music in MP3 format (except maybe allofmp3, but then you're not paying the artists). The record labels need to pull their heads out of the sand, realize that their music is available for free un-drm'd (whether they drm it or not) and make it available as MP3s. Sell MP3s off their website and include them on the store-bought CDs etc.

Re:Suggestions for Teens who want MP3s (1)

rizole (666389) | more than 7 years ago | (#16347061)

So where do you suggest I download a legal copy of a Clockwork Orange then?

a more important cause (1)

l3v1 (787564) | more than 7 years ago | (#16346721)

A more important cause for not being able to buy legitimate mp3s for a lot (!) of people is that such services are not available. And I'm not talking here about hundred feet deep windowsless cell under the Anctartica ice.
 

so buy a debit card... (1)

alizard (107678) | more than 7 years ago | (#16346755)

Next to the POS terminal at your grocery store, you'll see gift cards by the dozen from various vendors (probably including iTunes) and a couple or three debit card brands. I use the one from Netspend [netspend.com] . I can use it almost anywhere (some smaller stores going through third-party accesss to credit card companies can't handle my card) either in RL or online, and I can transfer money to another card holder by going to the site and providing the transfer info, practically instantaneously and free of charge, and there are any number of places (some Safeways, some check cashing places - more info on site) where the card can be reloaded.

Since they require some sort of ID to purchase (I don't think the non-reloadable gift debit cards from that vendor do), this is something a parent can do for a younger teen. (upside for parent: if it isn't loaded onto a card, a kid can't spend it, and of course, this means the parent's credit card doesn't get used for online purchases) Check the URL for more info.

Whether or not one thinks online music is worth buying is up to the user, but there are lots of other things to buy on the Net.

So? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16346835)

I'm not sure I agree with some of the conclusions here (you can buy iTunes cards at Walgreens)

So? iTunes does not sell MP3's.

What does buying a gift certificate... (1)

ltning (143862) | more than 7 years ago | (#16346885)

...or whatever it's called help, if you need a CC to register on iTunes in the first place?

Er... (2, Insightful)

Peet42 (904274) | more than 7 years ago | (#16346913)

"(you can buy iTunes cards at Walgreens)"


How does that help someone who owns a portable MP3 player? (As distinct from an iPod)

not just teens (2, Insightful)

Scudsucker (17617) | more than 7 years ago | (#16346975)

I would bet that the vast majority of pirates have a very high debt to income ratio, and couldn't buy more than a small fraction of their collections even if they wanted to.

Umm, no (0)

Klaidas (981300) | more than 7 years ago | (#16347033)

Teens Don't Buy Legit MP3s Because They Can't?
Umm, I don't think so. Most likely it's because they don't really understand WHY they should buy them legally. Or if they do and have an opportunity to buy, they most likely don't want to spend their lunch money.

One solution... (1)

dotdevin (936747) | more than 7 years ago | (#16347085)

It seems to me that if you believe that alofmp3.com is legit (or are OK with the questions about it) then a USD20 account credit would go a long way for keeping your teanager in MP3s.

Re:One solution... (1)

DanielNS84 (847393) | more than 7 years ago | (#16347321)

Indeed it will...I put 20 in during the 20% more promotion and I've been running for months off that...if iTunes was a better program, they sold MP3's, and the prices weren't highway sodomy, then I might consider using it. As it is I'm sure you can go grab a preloaded credit card at the store and spend all you like on AllOfMP3 and it would be easy even on a 13 year old budget (1 lawn and you've got it!).

Bizarre (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16347137)

I dunno... It's been decades since I was a teen, but I know that the reason I buy online is for convenience. How does selling a gift card at WalMart seem more convenient? I don't think gift cards are the answer. Maybe bill to the phone or paypal. Paypal is easy to fund too.

CD burning kiosks (1)

ferd_farkle (208662) | more than 7 years ago | (#16347305)

I seem to recall that, in the early days of Compact Discs, a lot of hype (naturally) predicting that record stores would be burning custom cds. That is, cds of tracks the customer wanted, rather than albums.

What's wrong with that business model? (aside from DRM, obviously) The RIAA could choose to sell instead of 'protect' their product.

The solutions (1)

jonwil (467024) | more than 7 years ago | (#16347313)

Get gift cards out there a lot more (some aussie stores sell gift cards for the australian iTunes service but there needs to be more)
Another option would be to push use of prepaid credit cards (basicly, those cards that you get and load up with a certain amount of money and can then be used like a credit card) or debit cards (credit cards that take the money straight out of your bank account). Unfortunatly, for some stupid reason, you have to be over 18 to get prepaid credit cards or debit cards too.

Re:The solutions (1)

vidarh (309115) | more than 7 years ago | (#16347527)

Many countries let you get debit cards from you're 13. The main limitations is that those debit cards usually don't have visa or mastercard numbers tied to them, and so depend on merchants supporting various local debit card schemes (such as switch/maestro or solo in the UK)

YUO fAIL IT?! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16347487)

and slin6 or table
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