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Warner Rejects Jobs' DRM Position

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the we-like-things-just-the-way-they-are dept.

Music 102

massivefoot writes "Warner Music has rejected the suggestion from Steve Jobs that DRM should be removed from music downloads. In an open letter this week, Jobs said that removing the software would also allow greater usability for customers, as any online music store would be able to sell songs that would work on all players. Warner Music, the world's fourth largest record company, seems far from convinced. "

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Strong Argument (4, Funny)

OctoberSky (888619) | more than 7 years ago | (#17950026)

Its boss Edgar Bronfman, said Mr Job's proposal was "without logic and merit".

With a strong arugment like that, how can Jobs respond?

Seriously, that's all the linked article quotes him as saying. Next up we'll discuss what President Bush meant when he said "The Iraq situation is"

The RIAA's response (3, Informative)

KingSkippus (799657) | more than 7 years ago | (#17950144)

Here's an MSNBC article [msn.com] with just a few more details. It has the RIAA's response:

Apple Inc. CEO Steve Jobs challenged major record labels to strip copying restrictions from music sold online, but their trade group fired back Wednesday, suggesting the company should open up its anti-piracy technology to rivals instead.

Doing so, argued Mitch Bainwol, chairman and chief executive of the Recording Industry Association of America, would eliminate technology hurdles that prevent music fans from buying songs at Apple's iTunes Music Store and playing them on devices other than the iPod.

"We have no doubt that a technology company as sophisticated and smart as Apple could work with the music community to make that happen," Bainwol said in a statement.

Re:The RIAA's response (4, Interesting)

dch24 (904899) | more than 7 years ago | (#17950372)

Of course, MSNBC is just quoting the AP wire [ap.org] (you have to look at the copyright at the bottom to see this).

But even if Jobs is just doing this to get the EU off his back, you have to admit, this has made DRM a front-page issue. That's diametrically opposed to the approach Microsoft (with Vista) or the RIAA would prefer. They want to pull a fast one and sneak DRM into every part of Joe Sixpack's life without him even knowing it (until he gets his first C&D letter).

So whatever Jobs' motives, I think this is a good thing. Most of the articles I've read on the subject agree that DRM is a bad thing. The "public" is getting ready to kick out the RIAA, and I've got my front-row seat.

Re:The RIAA's response (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17952362)

Yes, but MSN / MSNBC won't get any money if their shills post the link directly to the original article. They get 3 to 5 orders of magnitude more ad impressions by posting their own site to slashdot instead of the original.

The MS sites either re-distribute other content or else wait a few months and then re-issue 'breaking' news. That includes Slate, which is under original editorial control and owned by one of Warren Buffett's and Melinda Gate's purchases...

Re:The RIAA's response (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 7 years ago | (#17952930)

As opposed to the slashdot model: Wait a week, then post it as breaking news. Wait a couple months, then re-post it as breaking news. Wait another year, then re-post it as breaking news.

Deaf ears (1)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 7 years ago | (#17950828)

"We have no doubt that a technology company as sophisticated and smart as Apple could work with the music community to make that happen," Bainwol said in a statement.
So, Jobs says "it's no technologically possible", their response is "we're sure they can do it".
Can't the RIAA suits all get in a plane together and go the way of the Big Bopper and friends? Please? Pretty please?

"We can't," "They can..." (3, Insightful)

KingSkippus (799657) | more than 7 years ago | (#17951494)

Well, therein lies the crux of the problem. Apple says it's not practical (or even possible) to adequately DRM music and license the technology to others, because that necessarily means sharing "secrets," and the more people that you share the secret with, the harder it is to keep the secret. That makes sense to me.

The music industry and its players are saying, in essence, "You're a smart company, figure out a way to share the secret with others, and yet still keep the secret." That doesn't make sense to me. Witness what's happened to CSS. When the secret was let out, it was impossible to retroactively say, "Okay, everyone that was using that secret, start using this one instead..."

The thing that really chaps my hide is that let's say that Apple says, "Okay, let's share the secret," and lo and behold, the secret gets out and Apple's DRM is irrevocably cracked open. Who here thinks that the RIAA and the major industry players will say, "Well, darn, I guess that's the risk we ran by telling Apple to do something they warned us was impractical."

Yeah, I don't either.

Re:"We can't," "They can..." (2, Informative)

blowdart (31458) | more than 7 years ago | (#17952378)

Apple says it's not practical (or even possible) to adequately DRM music and license the technology to others, because that necessarily means sharing "secrets," and the more people that you share the secret with, the harder it is to keep the secret.

Except Microsoft managed it with WMDRM; that was cracked a couple of times (one outstanding right now); and it took a lot longer than FairPlay. If the labels were really going to pull their music when FairPlay got hacked and not fixed then how come iTunes has music when there are a bunch of outstanding cracks [wikipedia.org] out there? Don't forget that OSX has the biggest DRM of all, it can't be run on an non-Apple machine. I view Job's statement as playing to the crowd and passing the buck, instead of an honest intention to stop DRM if he could.

Re:"We can't," "They can..." (1)

R3d M3rcury (871886) | more than 7 years ago | (#17952710)

Minor grouse.

As noted in the wikipedia article, some of these apps that break encryption don't work with newer versions of iTunes. Also, one of the hacks--QTFairUse--uses QuickTime to play the file into a buffer--essentially, the "analog hole" issue. Since Apple cannot solve the "analog hole" problem, I'm sure there's specific wording in it's contract with record companies to absolve it from this.

Re:"We can't," "They can..." (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | more than 7 years ago | (#17953138)

OSX has the biggest DRM of all, it can't be run on an non-Apple machine.
Er, I think you're confusing DRM with EULA. There are (at least) thousands of people illegally (according to the EULA) running OS X on non-Apple hardware. There are even a number of web sites dedicated to supporting people doing this. The only issue is the limited driver support.

Re:"We can't," "They can..." (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17953230)

Hi. I was involved with a small company that licensed WMDRM. Microsoft keeps their cards close to their chest. We got decryption chips that handled the DRM (which meant redesigning our hardware and firmware to work with it). We didn't get access to the source code, keys, or algorithms (beyond the white papers you can find on their website).

Re:"We can't," "They can..." (3, Insightful)

Thrudheim (910314) | more than 7 years ago | (#17954630)

This line of argument is fairly common (even DVD Jon is spouting it), but I hope it goes away soon. Why? Consumers should be doing everything to promote the end of DRM, not try to come up with rationalizations for why a workable, universal DRM scheme might be devised. Jobs has publicly committed Apple to selling DRM-free music if the labels will agree. EMI, at least, seems somewhat open to the idea. eMusic is doing quite well selling DRM-free music. Momentum seems to be building, despite Bronfman's idiocy.

The implication of the argument that Apple could build a universal DRM scheme is that it *should*. Instead, consumers ought to capitalize on Jobs' statement and pile the pressure on. Encourage Apple to sell DRM-free music, now, from those labels that permit it. Buy DRM-free music whenever possible from those download services that offer it. Better yet, refuse to buy any music from Warner, Sony, or any other company that refuses to sell you DRM-free music.

More directly to your point, I am not sure that Microsoft has really "managed it." Reports are that trying to maintain the system has been cumbersome. When things don't work, who is to blame? The device manufacturer? The music service? Microsoft? The fact that the Zune has its own DRM is telling. Control over all pieces of the system solves a lot of problems.

PlaysForSure, moreover, was created when Microsoft was not in the business of manufacturing its own player. It could be a neutral party in working with device manufacturers to make players that met the specifications to be certified PlaysForSure by Microsoft. It seems highly problematic, on the other hand, to force the number one manufacturer of mp3 players to coordinate with its competitors concerning some aspects of how these players are designed and what features their operating systems must have to make the DRM work.

The incentives are always there to make things not work quite so well for competitors. For example, Microsoft's control over Windows gives it a competitive advantage over other companies that try to sell Windows applications. Competitors products "break" mysteriously. Competitors don't have access to hidden hooks into the operating system. Would an Apple-organized DRM system really work all that well for competitors and consumers in the end? I doubt it. If there is to be a universal DRM scheme, a neutral body should design it and maintain it.

With DRM-free music, it doesn't matter. As Jobs said, it the clearly the best solution for consumers.

Re:"We can't," "They can..." (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17961166)

This line of argument is fairly common (even DVD Jon is spouting it), but I hope it goes away soon. Why? Consumers should be doing everything to promote the end of DRM, not try to come up with rationalizations for why a workable, universal DRM scheme might be devised.
Of course, no DRM is the ideal solution. However, IF this solution is not possible and DRM must be used to buy music from the big labels, then a universal DRM scheme is a better option than Apple's closed DRM scheme.

Jobs has publicly committed Apple to selling DRM-free music if the labels will agree.
Jobs made this "commitment" knowing full well that the labels will not agree. In this same open letter, he argued against licensing FairPlay. This conveniently locks-in (to the iPod) all those suckers who bought iTunes Store m4p files.

Re:"We can't," "They can..." (1)

Thrudheim (910314) | more than 7 years ago | (#17982890)

Of course, no DRM is the ideal solution. However, IF this solution is not possible and DRM must be used to buy music from the big labels, then a universal DRM scheme is a better option than Apple's closed DRM scheme.

Agree on this point, but I would reassert two points. First, a universal DRM scheme should not be under the control of any one of the major players. A neutral body should design and maintain it. Second, we are presently at a critical juncture with respect to the future of DRM. If consumers are better off without it, we should advocate for that outcome. That means embracing what Jobs is saying and pushing for that outcome. We, the consumers, are in charge. If we refuse to buy music with DRM, then the labels can't sell it.

Jobs made this "commitment" knowing full well that the labels will not agree. In this same open letter, he argued against licensing FairPlay. This conveniently locks-in (to the iPod) all those suckers who bought iTunes Store m4p files.

I know a lot of people believe this, but it doesn't square with what is actually happening. eMusic's CEO, for instance, accused Jobs of trying to jump on the anti-DRM bandwagon since the industry is moving in that direction already. Yahoo Music's general manager said, "The labels understand that DRM has to go," he says. "It's nothing but a tax on digital consumers. There's good momentum behind DRM going away." And EMI is apparently inking deals with several online music stores to sell DRM music. So, while there will be holdouts like Bronfman, I don't think it's correct to say that DRM-free music is not a possibility. It definitely is, and we should try to keep the momentum going rather than parrot the same arguments made by idiots like Bronfman.

Re:"We can't," "They can..." (1)

r3m0t (626466) | more than 7 years ago | (#17956692)

Microsoft has managed to keep its secrets excellently while licensing to music stores, subscription services and manufacturers of WMA players. Why can't Apple do the same?

Re:Deaf ears (4, Insightful)

ePhil_One (634771) | more than 7 years ago | (#17952376)

So, Jobs says "it's no technologically possible", their response is "we're sure they can do it".

Jobs said "it's not technologically possible" with qualifiers. Jobs' point is that DRM itself is "not technologically possible", that there's always going to be a way and someone will find it. Licensing Fairplay is "not technologically possible" because they can't "protect the protection" to the limits stipulated in their existing contracts if they license it.

The art of negotiation. Get the opponent to demand you give them what you want to give them. By advocating for removing DRM, the record companies will now demand Jobs open Fairplay DRM to others. Jobs will accomodate their demands by rewriting the contracts to reduce his responsibility for problems.

Now if Steve had started by asking to rewrite the contracts, the record company would have responded by demanding a share of all iPod sales, higher per song prices, etc. Now he has them demanding they rewrite the contracts so he CAN license Fairplay.

Re:Deaf ears (1)

LuYu (519260) | more than 7 years ago | (#17957502)

The parent deserves a 5. Mod him up again.

Re:The RIAA's response (1)

UnderCoverPenguin (1001627) | more than 7 years ago | (#17951394)

Technically, I am sure it is possible, however, if a non-Apple device trying to use Apple's DRM technology leaks protected content, there will be a "blame storm" resulting in a huge legal mess - especially if the leaked content was purchased from Apple's online store.

From a liability standpoint, the only way Apple can be sure the target device for the content purchased from the iTunes Store is safe is if it is an Apple device.

Re:The RIAA's response (2, Interesting)

Arcane_Rhino (769339) | more than 7 years ago | (#17952114)

Absolutely. And that was the whole point of the announcement: to put the blame for DRM right exactly where it belongs, on the record labels.

I like Apple products and use them if I have a choice but, cynically speaking, this announcement was a no brainer and a win win for Apple. If the record exec's had agreed, Apple could strip-off DRM immediately, be the hero and get back to their attempts to dominate the media download market.

As it is, Jobs can silence Apple's critics by demonstrating how constrained Apple is by the labels.

(If you look back, he does this every couple of years.)

Re:Strong Argument (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17950382)

Isn't Bronfman the fool that tried to get variable pricing on songs so hot selling albums would be higher priced than normal albums, and years before that attempted to get variable pricing on movie tickets so theater goers would be jacked by 'hot' movies as well?

Re:Strong Argument (2, Interesting)

Lockejaw (955650) | more than 7 years ago | (#17951920)

He's also the one caught his kids downloading copyrighted music and decided a lecture was sufficient punishment.

Re:Strong Argument (1)

vakuona (788200) | more than 7 years ago | (#17951930)

I think that would actually be a good idea. Variable pricing works both ways. When a record is new, and all the 13 year olds want it, they should pay top dollar. The artist's gotta eat. But when the initial demand dies down, it might be worthwhile for the price to drop to something like a 'library price' for people who are interested in building a good music library. It already happens with other media. PC games for instance. The price comes down over the life.

At current prices, who wants to spend $10,000 on music they are putting on that 80GB player. Seriously. And people actually complain about the prices of mp3 players. To legally fill that thing up with popular music(assuming its all music, at 128 kpbs) you need about $10,000.

Re:Strong Argument (2, Interesting)

camperslo (704715) | more than 7 years ago | (#17956394)

When a record is new, and all the 13 year olds want it, they should pay top dollar. The artist's gotta eat.

Where is the logic in that?

If all the 13 year olds want it, that artist will see MORE sales (and be less likely than other artists to be short on food money)

Normal free-market economics don't apply either - one can't expect a supply/demand curve to push price up with increased demand, when there is essentially no limit to the supply. (heavily downloaded tracks aren't any less available than unpopular ones, if anything they would be MORE available due to being more likely to be in server cache RAM)

While I agree that artists should be paid for their work, does their having to eat actually have anything to do with the price?
If so, wouldn't the least popular artists be the ones you should be paying since they're the mostly likely to be hungry?
And if being hungry is a basis for payment, why would we pay anything for works of artists that have died? They don't eat!

The whole system is far from fair. Per-listener compensation makes sense for physical media and distribution costs, but should what artists and composers get scale linearly? Considering than it may take no added effort on the artists part when something is heard by 50 million people versus 5, should they really be paid 10 times as much? Should an artist that's heard less not because of less talent but because of discrimination in the distribution/broadcast system really get so much less?

My feeling is that the costs (per listener per song) for music should be FAR lower than they are. If we get a bigger library and have more variety, we actually should be hearing each song less of the time, so it seems fair to pay less per song but perhaps the same in total.

It would actually be far more fair to all involved, if compensation was a bit more like the system used for broadcasters to pay composers. A flat fee is paid (amount depends on market size and share), then "logging weeks" are used to sample what is actually played and use that to weigh the distribution of the money among the composers. A radio station with broadcasting a good variety of music does not pay more than one that plays the same few songs over and over. Why should we?
We could do something similar if paid an annual fee (or one for the life of a playback device) and periodically voted how the payment was to be divided among the artists/composers in our libraries. Under such a system, sharing of music would be benificial to both artists and consumers. Artists would get more exposure and payments would be divided more evenly among them, and consumers would be more likely to be hearing the artists they actually enjoy most instead of what's hyped by the media.

Even with the current system, I think DRM that imposes technical obsticles to music playback could be avoided. Simply embedding info about the purchaser in each downloaded song (and having it periodically show on players), should be enough to discourage the average consumer from wide-scale file sharing. In theory, music could be purchased with different types of imbedded ID/license info. There could be personal licenses, family licenses, campus licenses, dance/dj public licenses etc...

Obviously the record industry would be opposed to most of what I've said. They're all about forcing their ancient business models on us.

Not sure if I still have a working VCR, but this has given me the urge to dust off the old Twilight Zone tape containing "The Obsolete Man"

Re:Strong Argument (1)

LuYu (519260) | more than 7 years ago | (#17957722)

Variable pricing works both ways. When a record is new, and all the 13 year olds want it, they should pay top dollar. The artist's gotta eat. But when the initial demand dies down, it might be worthwhile for the price to drop to something like a 'library price' for people who are interested in building a good music library.

There was a scheme for this called "expiration" that was mandated by the phrase "limited Times" in the Constitution. Originally, this expiration was set at 14 years, at which time the monopoly would end and prices would return to their natural market driven levels. Therefore, the "top dollar" price you are talking about is the price we all have to pay. $0.99 per song or $14 or so per CD IS top dollar.

Funny Post--A Bit of Apple Satire Perhaps (1)

Einstein45 (1062040) | more than 7 years ago | (#17950958)

Why DRM and Locks on Apple Stores are Dumb
by Steven Robs
http://www.apple.com/hotnews/thoughtsonmusic/ [apple.com]

With the stunning global success of Apple's iPod music player and iTunes online music store, some have called for Apple to "open" the digital rights management (DRM) system that Apple uses to protect its music against theft, so that music purchased from iTunes can be played on digital devices purchased from other companies, and protected music purchased from other online music stores can play on iPods.
Imagine a world where every online store sells DRM-free music, software, movies, and video games encoded in open licensable formats. In such a world, any player or console can play music or games purchased from any store, and any store can sell music, movies, and games which are playable on all players. This is clearly the best alternative for consumers, and Apple would embrace it in a heartbeat. If the big four music companies, and software companies, and Hollywood studios, and video game companies, would license Apple their music, movies, video games, and software without the requirement that it be protected with a DRM, we would switch to selling only DRM-free music, movies, and games on our iTunes store, and DRM-free software in our stores. Every iPod ever made will play this DRM-free music and movies, and we shall give them away for free, along with our trendy iBooks.
In order to lead this initiative, Pixar will begin offering all of its movies for download upon the Apple website, in DRM-free formats, which one can rip, mix, and burn on any device. The record companies caused the Napsterization of the recording industry by being too slow to give their content away for free, and in order to thwart pirates, Hollywood must beat them to the punch.
        Software too shall be given away for free in DRM-free formats. Final Cut Pro and the Mac OS X will lead the charge. One of most burdensome characteristics of software is that if the customer loses the box with the license key, the customer must purchase an entire new copy to install the software on a second device. This is "unfair play," und thus all software shall henceforth be released license-free, along with its source code. Now that both Macs and PCs run on Intel architectures, it makes sense that all software should be able to run on all devices.
        Just as the musician shall voluntarily give up their rights to their music in this brave new world, Apple will be releasing all of its patents and trademarks for the public good. Citizens are encouraged to show up to Apple with video cameras, walk around, attend meetings, and post the videos to youtube, as information wants to be free.
        DRM has failed. The problem, of course, is that there are many smart people in the world, some with a lot of time on their hands, who love to discover such secrets and publish a way for everyone to get free (and stolen) music. They are often successful in doing just that, so any company trying to protect content using a DRM must frequently update it with new and harder to discover secrets. We cannot win. Nor can car security systems nor digital security for banks triumph, as brilliant hackers share secrets about cracking these burdensome entities on the internet. So often it is that customers, forced to buy cars with locks, find themselves locked out of their very own cars!
Starting next week, Apple employees shall be forbidden from locking their cars, and the bank DRM that protects my back-dated stock options shall be removed, as no security system can be superior to hackers, and it is a mark of hubris before Zeus himself to even try. Locks are being removed from Apple stores, so come on by and get your free iPod for your free music, along with a free black turtleneck.
        A brave new day is dawning, so drop on by the Apple site to download the following Pixar movies and software in DRM-free formats: The Incredibles, Toy Story, Finding Nemo, A Bug's Life, Cars, and Final Cut Pro. We might have an option for you to pay, or you can use your friend's DRM-free version on your Zune.

http://artsentrepreneurship.com/ [artsentrepreneurship.com]

No, not satire. (2, Funny)

dr.badass (25287) | more than 7 years ago | (#17951894)

Generally, satire is funny.

Re:Strong Argument (1)

Swift2001 (874553) | more than 7 years ago | (#17963170)

Wait a minute, to claim intellectual property, shouldn't the owner first give evidence that they have an intellect?

Bronfman himself is the best argument against capitalism I've ever seen, and I'm pro-capitalist.

Or, even more, he's a one-man argument for a 100% Inheritance Tax.

Shocking! (4, Funny)

Verteiron (224042) | more than 7 years ago | (#17950038)

I for one am shocked, SHOCKED, at this response. Don't these companies work logically, with policies dictated by common sense rather than a dogmatic fear of trying new things? Particularly companies like Warner, who as we all know prides itself on being at the cutting edge of business, striving always to find new ways to make music affordable and available to all- .. wait, what?

Re:Shocking! (1)

Banzai042 (948220) | more than 7 years ago | (#17950282)

What possible reason could you have to think that these companies work logically? The MAFIAA and all the large corps they represent have no connection to reality(RIAA response to Jobs anybody?), this is just the latest example of their "I define reality" mentality.

Re:Shocking! (2, Funny)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 7 years ago | (#17951476)

Beep, Beep, Beep... Banzai042's sarcasm detector is broken. Please return for repair immediately....

"Companies" (1)

Schraegstrichpunkt (931443) | more than 7 years ago | (#17953298)

"Companies" don't really do things at all, except as a legal fiction. It's not "Warner" that's being dumb here, it's the execs behind Warner. Once either they (or Warner shareholders) start getting a clue---or are replaced---"Warner" suddenly will be a whole lot less stupid.

they're asking the wrong people (5, Insightful)

macadamia_harold (947445) | more than 7 years ago | (#17950058)

In an open letter this week, Jobs said that removing the software would also allow greater usability for customers, as any online music store would be able to sell songs that would work on all players. Warner Music, the world's fourth largest record company, seems far from convinced.

And what, if anything, would music labels know about customer usability and convenience?

Re:they're asking the wrong people (2, Funny)

Catiline (186878) | more than 7 years ago | (#17950336)

And what, if anything, would music labels know about customer usability and convenience?
I don't know, but given that they don't buy their KY lube in squeeze tubes yet....

Re:they're asking the wrong people (1)

eriklou (1027240) | more than 7 years ago | (#17951020)

I like how no one has really touched on convenience. I for one don't down load DRM Music because it's not convenient for me. AllofMP3, now that was convenient, I got the music that I wanted and that was it. Now to get music on to something that I would actually use I would have to go browse the music store for a CD that they may or may not have, buy it (overpriced for something that I'm going to use once,) rip it and then I can play the music on my device. There I just wasted a good 2-4 hours, oh there's no music store other then a Wal-Mart that's 30+ miles away, and I boycott Wal-Mart so... Needless to say I haven't bought music in a very long time now due to it being very inconvenient. Download it you say? Well that would shave time off the drive factor, but I would still have to strip the DRM, once again very inconvenient. I wish these moneybag a-holes would get a clue and stop living in 1992.

Re:they're asking the wrong people (0, Troll)

geoffspear (692508) | more than 7 years ago | (#17952780)

If you choose to live 30 miles from any retail stores, you can't really blame anyone but yourself for the lack of convenience in your life.

Um, okay. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17950094)

TFA isn't exactly rife with detail, is it?

Good! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17951212)

Now we can be sure that we didn't miss anything by not reading it :-)

One Last Blow (1)

porkface (562081) | more than 7 years ago | (#17950120)

It's somewhat understandable that the labels see Apple as a competitor now after they tried and failed to exert price control. But they're going to die clutching a bunch of soggy back catalogs once someone creates a new haven for artists.

Re:One Last Blow (2, Insightful)

Doctor_Jest (688315) | more than 7 years ago | (#17952098)

That's the kicker, isn't it? Their back catalog of artists that were not exactly barn-burners is huge. What does it profit them to sit on the music and not let it be heard? They could start an "emusic" like service that gave, for $10 a month, 40 downloads of old, crufty music that has been out of print for decades... (drm-free of course... why in the hell would they protect it? They're not making any money off it as it is...)

Why don't they? Because they're stupid profiteering criminals who desire to screw innovation and progress so they can continue to exist. I've no sympathy for their whiny "we're losing money" "CD's should cost more" bull. They are clinging to a dead business model and cannot be bothered to travel with the rest of humanity into the future. Let's put them on an iceberg and be done with this fiasco. The Movie industry isn't far behind in terms of stupid... but at least they recognize where their profit lies... and it ain't putting their product in a vault and hiding it underground for 100 years. (well not as much of it...)

May their collective death be painful.... It's closer than they think...

Re:One Last Blow (1)

mothas (792754) | more than 7 years ago | (#17953038)

Doctor_Jest spake thus, in part: "Their back catalog of artists that were not exactly barn-burners is huge. What does it profit them to sit on the music and not let it be heard?"

The thinking is that it prevents the low-profit back catalog from competing with current releases.

Re:One Last Blow (2, Informative)

tepples (727027) | more than 7 years ago | (#17954048)

That's the kicker, isn't it? Their back catalog of artists that were not exactly barn-burners is huge. What does it profit them to sit on the music and not let it be heard? They could start an "emusic" like service that gave, for $10 a month, 40 downloads of old, crufty music that has been out of print for decades... (drm-free of course... why in the hell would they protect it? They're not making any money off it as it is...)

Because a lot of people get residuals off each copy sold, including the songwriter and his publisher.

Re:One Last Blow (1)

Doctor_Jest (688315) | more than 7 years ago | (#17956126)

Ok... that's fine. They can use the money they're making on the subscriptions to pay the royalties... My guess is they don't have much to pay out, considering the industry in general is not the nicest bunch of jackals you'll run across....

Then they'll score a HUGE PR win in terms of "no drm" look how "nice we are to consumers!!"

Of course they'd rather sue us.....

Suggestion (0, Redundant)

skinfitz (564041) | more than 7 years ago | (#17950132)

Now that the Apple / Apple court case is sorted out, why doesn't Apple Inc. just become a record label?

Re:Suggestion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17950818)

Because they'll be sued by the Beatles and their Apple music label (again).

Settlement in Apple v. Apple (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 7 years ago | (#17954216)

Because they'll be sued by the Beatles and their Apple music label (again).
No. Under the recent settlement [wikipedia.org] , Apple Inc. bought the trademarks from Apple Corps and now licenses it back to Apple Corps. This could result in at least a deal among Apple, Apple, and EMI to release Beatles recordings on iTunes Store, if not a partnership between Apple and Apple to promote Internet recording artists.

Re:Suggestion (1)

soft_guy (534437) | more than 7 years ago | (#17951770)

Now that the Apple / Apple court case is sorted out, why doesn't Apple Inc. just become a record label?
Becoming a record label wouldn't help. Buying out all the major record labels probably would help, but would probably not be approved by regulators.

Of Course (4, Insightful)

shirizaki (994008) | more than 7 years ago | (#17950164)

It's the false fear that if DRM doesn't exist their income will plummet to 0, which isn't the case. Peopel that want music for free have been and still are getting it for free. Removing DRM may convert those people that get it for free BECAUSE of DRM to actually pay for music they can use anywhere.

One of the reasons why I used allofmp3.com for my music was becuase it was in a format I could use anywhere and that wasn't restricted by DRM.

And it's a problem when your record company is trying to cling to a failing business model. The gloriousness of CD's back int he 90s was that reguardless of the brand of player, location of it, and the age I could play my CD's on it. It makes no sense to restrict music under the false veil of "protection".

Re:Of Course (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17951746)

I love it when people post and think they are downloading their music legally through allofmp3.com. This website (run by some Russian company) has never obtained permission to sell any of the music they offer and they do NOT pay the artists a dime. Need proof? Both The Beatles and Led Zepplin do not distribute digitally through any company, yet this site has their entire catalogs. This is the worst kind of piracy because people pay to get music illegally.

Re:Of Course (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 7 years ago | (#17951932)

I'm not convinced that AllofMP3 was a viable or legal business model. For one, their claim to legality was basically a clause that was intended for licensing for ephemeral analog radio transmissions over cable TV networks, not the sale and transfer of discrete digital files for keeping. It was also not intended for international transmission, but AoM still set up an obviously international web site and solicited international business.

If it is a viable business model, I'd like to see them set up shop selling original music that they financed the production, and see how that works.

Re:Of Course (1)

Bastian (66383) | more than 7 years ago | (#17953108)

It's the false fear that if DRM doesn't exist their income will plummet to 0, which isn't the case.


While I can't claim to read the minds of the top brass in the music industry, I'm inclined to believe that this is not the case. They're literate people, so I find it hard to believe that they don't know as well as everyone else does that filesharing is not going to kill them and that DRM on general-purpose computers is not workable.

It's much more likely that what this is really about is the bread-and-butter of every cartel: control.

Re:Of Course (1)

satellitenoise (1060984) | more than 7 years ago | (#17953346)

The gloriousness of CD's back int he 90s was that reguardless of the brand of player, location of it, and the age I could play my CD's on it.

Isn't that still the nice thing about CDs? Even in the age of iPods? If we actually buy CDs we can very easily convert the content to MP3s (yes, I know, there are the CDs with rootkits and DRM and so forth... but these are still the exception to the rule) and play them on your digital music player of choice. On top of that, you still have a physical product from which you can make new copies if your hard drive crashes. Plus you get artwork that's larger than 200x200 pixels. Oh yeah, and then you get to own something, rather than purchasing a bullshit license that drastically restricts your standard legal rights? It takes, what, three minutes to encode a full disc, and you get to make choices about bitrate and compression.

For all the bitching about DRM, there's a very simple solution. Buy CDs, or even vinyl. If you don't like iTunes DRM, then don't buy digital music from them.

Re:Of Course (1)

trianglman (1024223) | more than 7 years ago | (#17959384)

Agreed, but when purchasing CDs you are often paying @$1.25-$1.50 per song, bad ones that you won't ever listen to again included; which winds up costing you about $7-$10 on average per good song. When you buy from an online music store you are paying @$0.99 per song you want; not every one of them will be a gem that you want to listen to repeatedly, but it will average out to far less than $7 per song.

Re:Of Course (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 7 years ago | (#17954400)

One of the reasons why I used allofmp3.com for my music was becuase it was in a format I could use anywhere and that wasn't restricted by DRM.

Is allofmp3 legal in your jurisdiction? Why not rip CD's?

DRM (1)

shlepp (796599) | more than 7 years ago | (#17950194)

Whats a Doesn't Really Matter position? Is that like a job where no one knows or gives a crap what you do,and all you do is sit there playing thumb darts all day long in a corner?

Logic eh? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17950230)

"without logic and merit".

This from an industry that thinks it's logical to/that:

* Get a share of the profit from iPod sales.
* Adjusting for inflation CD should cost around $30! Why can everyone see what a great bargain they are!
* If it's on your computer and you didn't legally download it, you must of pirated it!
* The quality of music has nothing to do with lower CD sales.

I know they don't read this but...

STOP treating your customers as thieves and maybe they will buy your product more often.
STOP dishing out crap, your customers will buy quality music.
DRM does not stop pirates any more then closed window will stop thieves if you leave the door open.

This meme irritates me. (4, Insightful)

Elemenope (905108) | more than 7 years ago | (#17951530)

* The quality of music has nothing to do with lower CD sales.

I'm sorry, but this is the same brand of BS as the old saw 'things were sooooo much better in my day, and everything since is crap' in every area of every art-form/discipline/job area/whatever since time began. Music doesn't get better or worse; it changes. Due to Sturgeon's Law, 99% of it will be crap, just as 99% of music when you were growing up was crap. Since we are a more media inundated society, the sheer quantities are higher, but proportionately it is the same.

Familiarity with certain styles will make a person more tolerant of mediocre talent in particular genres or styles, but not tolerant of mediocrity in others. To a person who listens to Rock, they might enjoy John Q. Crappy's rock band but can't stand the local sucky hip-hop artist. It doesn't mean that rock music is better. The same goes for generational changes with music, only you have to deal with the additional power of nostalgia.

And, it should be noted that CD sales of Beethoven, Stravinsky, et al. are dropping just as precipitously as modern pop artists, so I would submit that even the 'appearance' of diminshing quality is not a significant causal factor.

The culprit is a simple cultural acclimation to a technology that the industry simply hasn't taken advantage of. And they will probably die for it. Are you crying? I'm not.

Re:This meme irritates me. (1)

BarryJacobsen (526926) | more than 7 years ago | (#17952048)

Practically, what's the difference between there being more crap music and us being exposed to more crap music with the percentage of crap music being the same? Either way the quantity of songs that are bad that I'm subjected to increases which decreases my overall desire to listen to music.

Re:This meme irritates me. (1)

Elemenope (905108) | more than 7 years ago | (#17952344)

Practically, what's the difference between there being more crap music and us being exposed to more crap music with the percentage of crap music being the same?

Absolutely nothing. There is no difference from the end user's perspective; my issue was simply that people are asserting that overall music, as a whole, is getting worse, and that position is silly, for reasons mentioned above. The problem you bring up is I think closer to the real reason why people get frustrated with modern music. The effects of Sturgeon's Law are not such a big deal when you have reliable filters and search tools to find what you are looking for, because then for all intents and purposes you can pretend the 99% junk simply doesn't exist. But, as sheer quantity rises, without a concomitant increase in search algorithm or method efficiency, it simply becomes more difficult to find the 1% good stuff, and as you point out you get lateral exposure to more of that 99% from ambient sources, such as radio is for music.

The problem will reach, I believe, suffocating levels, not in the music industry, but rather on the Web. For now, contextual text searches are good enough to get you where you want most of the time, but given the rate at which total data available increases, finding any particular needle in that haystack is going to get prohibitively hard, such that even the best contextual text search algorithms will spit back mostly crap.

Re:This meme irritates me. (1)

bill_kress (99356) | more than 7 years ago | (#17953276)

One should also take into account that Good Musicians have a tendency to actually want to play music and may be moving away from record labels.

Also, music quality seems to be cyclic. Every so often a band (Beatles, Nirvana, ...) open up an entire new genre (Rock, Rap, Disco, Hip-Hop, Alternative, ...) that inspires an entire new batch of talented kids to give their soul over to it which is what makes Good Music.

Record Labels tend to counter this trend, resisting new genres and styles and flooding the airwaves with the old money grabbing assholes (Metalica anyone?) that have gone through what little talent their souls contained and are just spewing out garbage to make a buck.

Lately much of the really talented people have been going it on their own. Start to listen to alternative music sources, podcasts and stuff like that. You might be surprised.

One of the biggest holds the music industry has is the ability to force certain music onto the airwaves--and to get this music replayed constantly. Like it or not, all of us are influenced towards liking music that we hear repeatedly. People have been drifting away from Radio, which also loosens the industries control.

It's really not as simple as "Music is being stolen", I promise. I haven't bought music for years. I just found that you could write a CD from iTunes and read it back in as MP3s, so I started buying from iTunes. Not because I could give the music away, but because they couldn't take it away or impose their will on me once I had freed the music--that's the only reason I was avoiding paying...

Re:This meme irritates me. (1)

Petrushka (815171) | more than 7 years ago | (#17954184)

And, it should be noted that CD sales of Beethoven, Stravinsky, et al. are dropping just as precipitously as modern pop artists

That's most interesting -- I hadn't heard that. Could you suggest some further reading on this (a.k.a. provide a source)?

Re:This meme irritates me. (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 7 years ago | (#17961546)

Because Beethoven is not producing any more works, everyone who wants a Beethoven CD already has one. There was an initial spate of buying CDs because people who already had vinyl wanted a CD copy, now that everyone who wants it has it, so you'l get a much smaller number of sales, people who lost their copy, or who need it for a particular purpose etc.

Re:This meme irritates me. (1)

Elemenope (905108) | more than 7 years ago | (#17962896)

Actually, and this is weird, but for this past fiscal year it turns out that I was wrong about classical sales going down; they went up a significant amount over the previous year. Just search on Google 'beethoven' 'sales' 'decline'...I didn't save the page URL. I guess it might be because true classical enthusiasts can't stand the standard 128 MP3 bitrate because it takes some richness and clarity out of the pieces and so they prefer CD quality sound. Also, most classical fans are slightly older and so used to using CD tech as opposed to MP3 tech. Just a thought.

This is what I get for shooting my mouth off without checking first. The rest of my comment I stand by, though. ;)

Re:This meme irritates me. (1)

Petrushka (815171) | more than 7 years ago | (#17970980)

I wonder if that's in cash moved, or in raw numbers of tracks/CDs. I don't know what the situation is in the US, but in Australasia and Europe the market has been progressively flooded in the last ten years by budget classical CDs from Eastern Europe; it's kind of hard to resist splurging on a dozen CDs if they cost only 99 cents each, so I'd imagine that would have done something to sales. Even so I get the impression that the market for high-price specialist stuff is still doing well (classical music fans tend to be picky about performers, so iTunes/AllofMP3/etc. is rarely the last stop when shopping around).

Anyway, thanks for the pointer.

Re:This meme irritates me. (1)

PygmySurfer (442860) | more than 7 years ago | (#17954580)

I think the reason we feel there's more crappy music being released now is because we've forgotten about the crappy music from when we were younger. We naturally remember the stuff we liked.

The 80's were especially shitty though, I'm not sure why people recall them so fondly.

I think we blowth know the answer to that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17965708)

The 80's were especially shitty though, I'm not sure why people recall them so fondly.
Cocaine.

Re:This meme irritates me. (1)

Trogre (513942) | more than 7 years ago | (#17955384)

Thank you.

Someone had to say it. Just, thank you.

Re:This meme irritates me. (1)

quickbrownfox (900989) | more than 7 years ago | (#17968048)

De gustibus non est disputandum.

Grammar Nazi mode ON (1)

LanMan04 (790429) | more than 7 years ago | (#17952220)

* If it's on your computer and you didn't legally download it, you must of pirated it!
[grammar nazi]

"must've" == "must have"
"must of" != "must have"

I've been seeing this mistake more and more as of late; don't let it happen to you! "'ve" and "of" sound very similar when speaking quickly. =)

[/grammar nazi]

Re:Grammar Nazi mode ON (1)

aJester (954798) | more than 7 years ago | (#17954172)

Thank you!

I have been noticing the increasing use of "must of" too.
And "your /you're" mis-use too.

Due to some reason, it totally bothers me.... :)

Jes

Re:Grammar Nazi mode ON (1)

Trumpet of Doom (1002887) | more than 7 years ago | (#17962298)

And, for what it's worth, "it's/its", "who's/whose", and "their/there/they're" are also problems I tend to notice. Not the last one so much as the other two, but it's still out there.

With no due respect to Warner (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17950248)

Fuck 'em.

At some point I will say forget it and abandon iTunes and steal all my music. I can do this already, I just dont.... Yet.

Re:With no due respect to Warner (1)

violets are red (1062228) | more than 7 years ago | (#17957962)

I want to know when they will strip the copyright off DVDs. Bye-bye, DRM... and any assurance that your music is genuine, uncorrupted, and that the MIBs won't come knocking on your door someday. Eh, damn 'em. I'm sick of DRMs myself!

PR Stunt? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17950294)

Steve Jobs knew no major music label would accept a proposition such as that. Seems to me the only motivation for his action was to make him seem more pro-consumer.

Re:PR Stunt? (2, Informative)

tepples (727027) | more than 7 years ago | (#17954316)

Steve Jobs knew no major music label would accept a proposition such as that.

You mean like EMI [slashdot.org] ?

Open Letter? (1)

Mizled (1000175) | more than 7 years ago | (#17950314)

...Open Letter? Does anyone have a link to this letter cause the article doesn't link to one...

Re:Open Letter? (1)

Experiment 626 (698257) | more than 7 years ago | (#17950482)

...Open Letter? Does anyone have a link to this letter cause the article doesn't link to one...

The open letter from Jobs was covered in previous stories, and can be read at Apple's site [apple.com]

I guess the RDF... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17950380)

has trouble with people who don't operate in reality.

In related news... (4, Funny)

g253 (855070) | more than 7 years ago | (#17950392)

... Steve Ballmer rejects suggestion to release Vista under GPL.

Who would have thought?

Re:In related news... (1)

Ant P. (974313) | more than 7 years ago | (#17951470)

A more accurate analogy would've been "Steve Ballmer rejects suggestion to not invalidate XP licences when upgrading to Vista".

Warner are without logic and merit (5, Insightful)

kirun (658684) | more than 7 years ago | (#17950444)

Here is the complete list of Warner's songs that are currently unavailable for "unofficial" download thanks to DRM:

...

...

...

Those record execs must know what they're doing though. I'm sure they have a perfectly logical reason for selling the genuine customer a worse product in order to not prevent something.

Not true, it's available! (2, Funny)

Asmor (775910) | more than 7 years ago | (#17951032)

"..." just hit the pirate bay and man, this shit is TIGHT!

To prevent legal hassle.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17952024)

...as soon as they provide their songs DRM-free, their lawsuits against people copying it go mute: who says they got those MP3's on their harddrive by downloading *illegally* (in future cases, ofcourse) ?

Re:Warner are without logic and merit (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 7 years ago | (#17952062)

Well, if Warner doesn't want our money, we'll be happy to not give them any. Either way, we get the music DRM-free. The only question is whether they want us to go to a torrent site and download it for free or go to their site and pay them (which they currently won't let us do).

-Eric

Expected... (1)

Rav3L0rd (1062012) | more than 7 years ago | (#17950496)

Well who expected they will accept it? Me not. But atleast he tried :)

In related news, Warners agrees deal with last.fm (1)

GBC (981160) | more than 7 years ago | (#17950670)

Warner Music Group and Last.fm Strike Wide-Ranging Content Agreement

02/06/07

First Major Music Content Agreement for Leading Online Social Music Network

Warner Music Group Corp. (NYSE: WMG) and Last.fm, the social music networking site, today announced a broad partnership to offer WMG's renowned music catalog available over multiple services offered by Last.fm in the U.S. and Europe. This announcement marks Last.fm's first content agreement with a major media company and underscores WMG's commitment to offering consumers unique ways to experience its artists' music.

With more than 15 million active users per month currently, Last.fm is a service that analyzes what its users listen to and then presents them with an array of personal recommendations based upon their tastes including custom radio streams, music charts, users with similar tastes, and more.

As part of the partnership, Last.fms music fans will have access to WMG's catalog through Last.fm's free, advertising-supported radio streaming service and its soon-to-be released premium, subscription-based interactive radio. Through a phased rollout, U.S. music fans will have first access to these services with the European markets following suit in the coming weeks. Fans will be able to discover new music from the WMG catalog with Last.fms intelligent radio and music recommendations and share their radio channels with other subscribers.

In making the announcement, Alex Zubillaga, Executive Vice President, Digital Strategy and Business Development, WMG said, This agreement reflects WMGs dedication to fostering the growth of community-driven music discovery services. We want to enable fans to experience exciting ways to uncover new Warner Music artists, and to enjoy innovative approaches to customizing their digital music experience.

Martin Stiksel, cofounder and chief content officer of Last.fm said, We are very excited to have reached this agreement with WMG. This constitutes a major development for our social music network. Our innovative approach to music discovery and online radio now gives our users access to some of the greatest music ever recorded.

About Last.fm

Founded in 2002 in London, Last.fm is the online, social music revolution that connects people with music and artists with listeners. By joining the Last.fm community, music fans can choose to share their music preferences by linking their media player (e.g. iTunes) to the Last.fm database. This database is populated continually with over 500 million monthly track submissions from Last.fm music fans. As a result, Last.fm can intelligently recommend songs, artists, local concerts and even other members based on their musical tastes. Learn more about Last.fm at www.last.fm.

About Warner Music Group

Warner Music Group became the only stand-alone music company to be publicly traded in the United States in May 2005. With its broad roster of new stars and legendary artists, Warner Music Group is home to a collection of the best-known record labels in the music industry including Asylum, Atlantic, Bad Boy, Cordless, East West, Elektra, Lava, Maverick, Nonesuch, Perfect Game, Reprise, Rhino, Roadrunner, Rykodisc, Sire, Warner Bros. and Word. Warner Music International, a leading company in national and international repertoire, operates through numerous international affiliates and licensees in more than 50 countries. Warner Music Group also includes Warner/Chappell Music, one of the world's leading music publishers.

Source: Warner Music Group [wmg.com]

Re:In related news, Warners agrees deal with last. (1)

argent (18001) | more than 7 years ago | (#17951568)

What does this actually mean?

I guess, as a long time 'scrobbler, I'll find out soon enough.

Bronfman (4, Insightful)

Swift2001 (874553) | more than 7 years ago | (#17950844)

Bronfman is the grandson of a bootlegger, but unlike Kennedy, he shows exactly zero sense in his fat head. An elitist gangster who is now on his way to screwing up his second corporation. Having accepted Gates's bribe on the Zune -- wow, he must have made $100,000 on that deal by now -- he now speaks with a golden tongue. What a maroon.

I think all you eager Apple-haters should notice one thing: what's the RIAA's opinion on all this? Why, they adopt the "Norwegian Consumer Orgy-Borgys" position on all this: that Apple should bite the bullet and share the profitable portion of its business with all the losers. The RIAA. Do you get it now, morons? In response, Jobs offers a truly free market, and the labels, most of them, run in fear. (Though I heard a rumor that EMI is actually considering it.)

What we need now is a consumer movement. You want to start a boycott of all online music until they drop DRM? I'll sign that petition. Will I angrily denounce Apple for not sharing its DRM? Not on your life. That's the RIAA's position, chowderheads.

Re:Bronfman (1)

toddestan (632714) | more than 7 years ago | (#17963430)

Will I angrily denounce Apple for not sharing its DRM? Not on your life. That's the RIAA's position, chowderheads.

Then how come the RIAA will share its music on Microsoft's play-for-sure DRM, which can be licensed by anyone for both music stores and music players? How come Apple is resistant to removing the DRM on files in its stores where the rights holders do not want the DRM on their music? Quite simply, the most simple explaination is that Apple likes their lock-in, and thinks that they can shift blame away from themselves to the RIAA.

Re:Bronfman (1)

Swift2001 (874553) | more than 7 years ago | (#17965636)

There are two paths: this idea of an "open-source DRM" ends up with DRM permanently in place. If you share the DRM, so what? A bunch of loser devices get to have a shot at iTunes, which remains copy-protected. If you're blinded enough by your hatred of Jobs, or if you're easily gulled enough to think that Plays4Sure is "open", then you maybe deserve what the labels have in mind.

If they abolished DRM, on the other hand, then the market would be open, fair and free. THEN if Apple really insists on an "iPod only" path, I'd be a little pissed off -- but then, there could be an honest competition for users of Plays4Sure stuff, after Microsoft has abandoned them.

Oh, by the way, the reason MS hasn't made a hardware device before is because they're trying the same deal as with Windows. Let other people put up the factories and capitalize. We'll write the software and collect the licensing whether your company goes to hell or not.

There's nothing magic about the iTunes store. All the same music, or just about, is available everywhere else. How come Windows doesn't share its DRM with Apple? How come they've dropped the Mac version of Windows Media? How come they insist on using WMA? You know, suddenly, because 70% prefer the iPod, people have their underwear in a twist. If you're a Microsoft shill, the hell with you. If you're an earnest open-sourcer, notice how you're being played and by whom. If you've gotten stuck with a Plays4Sure device and now it can't play anything on the Zune store, my sympathies, but I don't see why it's my problem.

Re:Bronfman (1)

toddestan (632714) | more than 7 years ago | (#17969966)

The claim by Steve Jobs is that the RIAA wants a monoculture. It makes sense, as having one company control everything means that holes will be patched up quicker, and updates can be pushed out easier. Steve claims that this is the reason the RIAA is forcing them to not license their DRM. However, if you step outside of the Reality Distortion Field, you'll notice that you can get the same RIAA music with Play-for-sure DRM, which is a lot more open than Fairplay in the sense that Microsoft has licensed it to a number of hardware manufacturers and music stores (even Apple could license it if they wanted to)*. Quite simply, Steve Jobs' argument holds no water - if the RIAA didn't want their songs sold with DRM that was in the hands of a variety of companies, they wouldn't allow their songs to be sold with play-for-sure DRM.

So we're keeping track, right? (2, Insightful)

markbt73 (1032962) | more than 7 years ago | (#17950848)

EMI (potentially) gets our business.

Warner does not.

Favorite artists who are on Warner labels get letters saying that their new albums will not be purchased as long as they continue to do business with Warner, along with a full explanation why.

Record companies don't care about their customers, but bands care about their fans. If we can get artists to jump ship to the companies that "get it" (or better yet, take the plunge and try self-distribution), and get the message out to new bands not to sign with the companies that don't get it, that will send make the message louder and more clearly than anything else. The media companies are not really the "content creators," as much as they like to throw the term around. The message can't just be "adapt or die;" it has to be "adapt or we (artists and fans alike) will kill you off."

Re:So we're keeping track, right? (1)

LordEd (840443) | more than 7 years ago | (#17951922)

Favorite artists who are on Warner labels get letters saying that their new albums will not be purchased as long as they continue to do business with Warner
This would be followed by letters from Warner explaining their contracts and how the artist can not sign on with another label. Remember that in most cases Warner owns the rights to the music, not the artist.

Dog bites man! (1)

argent (18001) | more than 7 years ago | (#17951514)

Yeh, I know, this is news, but... at the same time... it's not news, you know what I mean? What else were we expecting them to say?

Time to take the DRM fight up one level (5, Insightful)

codeonezero (540302) | more than 7 years ago | (#17952204)

Love or Hate Apple most people here will have to agree that Steve Jobs essay makes a strong case as to why DRM will not work in the long term.

Thought it's no surprise that due to pressure in certain European countries Apple is re-evaluating their options, I still think this could potentially be a good thing, specially if consumers back up the 'sell DRM-free music' option. This might be as good a time as any. Who knows maybe this is the year that the DRM fight goes up one level.

A lot of the things that Jobs states in his essay are true. More devices with the same DRM scheme will be harder to update once the DRM scheme gets cracked. No matter what new DRM scheme is developed someone will crack it. He told the recording industry 'big four' this when he approached them about the iTunes Music Store, and it's true today as well.

Personally, I stopped buying iTunes music because I recognize that the DRM limits my options with it, and frankly I like choice. I do have an iPod and chances are any music I buy will go on it, and I probably upgrade to an iPod because it does what I need. Over 90% of the music on my iPod is DRM free. I do like to support artists I like and in fact I've bought a good amount of music from iTunes at one point or another not because I wanted DRM music, but I felt at least I had to support the artist in some way. In other cases, I've bought one song from iTunes and bought the CD from a store once i decided I liked that artist.

Steve Jobs also stated in his essay:

Perhaps those unhappy with the current situation should redirect their energies towards persuading the music companies to sell their music DRM-free.

So what it comes down to is us the consumers who "bitch and moan" about DRM, to take this opportunity while it's still fresh in the RIAA's mind, and write constructive, honest, and polite letters to them letting them know what we think.

Because ultimately DRM-free music is not Apple's concern, it's ours.

Thank God (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 7 years ago | (#17953602)

The best thing that can happen for the music world (and world overall), is to have the labels (and major publishers) lose control of the market. Right now, it is a monopoly. If the labels/publishers try to keep their work in CD format/drm music, then they will slowly lose control of the musicians. I think that even now, the musicians are realizing that they make MUCH more money AND have the control by using the internet, none-drm downloads combined with regular shows.

Offhand, I disappointed to EMI's move. The longer that the major labels try to control everything, the quicker will be conversion to having ppl control their own future.

Listen to independent music (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17953900)

I don't get why people are even trying to demand... well, let's just say... the owner of a product to sell it to them exactly like they want it, when there are others who offer a similar product that already supplies those needs.

I mean, I don't know what you guys are into, but it doesn't really matter. Let's say you like a certain metal band and their label is a RIAA-member and thus selling only DRMed music online. Why don't you just take a look outside of your box and discover the nearly unlimited amounts of metal-bands on independent labels, who are selling .mp3 and often even giving away whole albums to download for free? Their concerts are certainly much cheaper, too.

Give those independent artists a try and once they grow large and sign a major, just switch again. In our times it is really no problem to discover independent artists. There are plenty of catalogue-sites already, so nobody should rely on mayor lables and their massive marketing anymore to find out about bands.

Oh please.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17954864)

Apples not anymore interested in removing the DRM from their music file downloads than Warner is. They were getting a lot of heat, with several European countries moving towards device inter-compatibility (anti-DRM) laws. Steve knew what the response was going to be from Warner. It was a PR stunt, not a heartfelt treatise.

You know, this is really funny (2, Interesting)

MadJo (674225) | more than 7 years ago | (#17956640)

A few months back the Dutch organization of the music industry (BREIN) claimed that it wasn't the music industry that forced DRM on their tunes, but instead it was Microsoft and Apple who forced them to do it. They didn't want it, but they couldn't have it any other way. (Right in the face of the news that eMusic had just launched their European shops, but meh, who's counting...)

Right here, we have proof that it's the other way around. Jobs essentially offered the big music companies an opportunity to show that it was indeed Apple who forced DRM into iTunes, and clearly it shows that it's in fact the music industry that wants (and think they need) DRM.

Re:You know, this is really funny (1)

JamesRose (1062530) | more than 7 years ago | (#17967080)

If that were true then why are all the music on Itunes DRM protected. Itunes certainly has the capability of selling DRM music when needed and DRM-free the rest of the time, and I'm sure those DRM-free music companies at the moment would happily move to Itunes.

Will this backfire for Jobs? (2, Interesting)

JamesRose (1062530) | more than 7 years ago | (#17967122)

This clearly will gain Jobs friends in the public domain, everyone dislikes the strict DRM apple has to some extent. But music companies have long memories, and Steve Jobs has effectively bought some publicity and goodwill from the public by making the music companies look like bad guys- This, they will not like. Long after the public applause has died these music companies will know plainly that Jobs bought credit at their cost.
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