Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Yahoo Music Chief Comes Out Against DRM

CmdrTaco posted more than 7 years ago | from the getting-on-the-bandwagon dept.

Music 304

waired writes "It seem that a trend has begun in the music industry after Steve Jobs essay. Now a senior Yahoo chief has spoken out in favor of Apple CEO Steve Jobs' call for major labels to abandon digital rights technology (DRM). It points out that consumers are getting confused and that the Microsoft DRM "doesn't work half the time"."

cancel ×

304 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Monkey see, Monkey Do (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18011240)

Monkey see, Monkey Do

Re:Monkey see, Monkey Do (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18011616)

Monkey see, Monkey Do

Re:Monkey see, Monkey Do (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18011686)

Sea Monkeys, Monkey DooDoo

Re:Monkey see, Monkey Do (0, Offtopic)

9Nails (634052) | more than 7 years ago | (#18011728)

Monkey's wee, Monkey's doo. "Watch your step"

Re:Monkey see, Monkey Do (0, Troll)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 7 years ago | (#18011766)

dumb monkeys wii, smart monkeys arm [armageddon.org]

Re:Monkey see, Monkey Do (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18011836)

monkey wii, monkey poo

As predicted (4, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | more than 7 years ago | (#18011564)

nce one major corp came out gainst DRM other would begin to speak up as well.

These people are not dumb, and slashdotter's aren't the only ones that understand the folly of DRM.

Re:As predicted (4, Interesting)

SaDan (81097) | more than 7 years ago | (#18011606)

Anyone could have predicted that Yahoo would back up statements by Jobs concerning DRM. Yahoo, after all, is partnering with Apple to provide some of the IMAP "push" functionality with the new iPhones.

Re:As predicted (2, Interesting)

i_should_be_working (720372) | more than 7 years ago | (#18011668)

I agree that Apple coming out against DRM could prove to be the tipping point, but I'm pretty sure that Yahoo (among other companies) had already made some moves towards this before Jobs gave his views. But, once again, Apple will be seen as the original free-thinking innovators that everyone else follows.

Anyway, I'm not arguing with you, just bitching in general.

Re:As predicted (4, Informative)

kirun (658684) | more than 7 years ago | (#18012898)

You're right, Yahoo have made this point [ymusicblog.com] in the past. In fact, there was a Slashdot story [slashdot.org] on it at the time.

Re:As predicted (2, Insightful)

defy god (822637) | more than 7 years ago | (#18012924)

as with many things, Apple isn't the first with this, but they create a big impact to get the ball rolling: mouse, GUI, ethernet, CD-ROM, USB, MP3 player, online media store...

Why didn't everyday people speak out? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18011708)

What bothers me the most is that we had to wait until these corporate executives spoke out. What we needed, at least in the United States, was every Jill and Joe American speaking out against having their rights "managed".

The very idea of "managed rights" flies in the face of the Constitution, the ideals of the Founding Fathers, and what it truly means to be American. It's difficult to say for sure why most people didn't take a far more active stance against DRM. The first reason is no doubt because it'd take effort to do effectively, and most Americans would rather watch the NFL or American Idol instead. The second reason is perhaps because they just don't give a fuck, and that's quite dangerous a stance to be taking.

Regardless, the American people as a whole should have stood up and said NO! to any sort of "rights management" system. DRM is just plain un-American.

How the heck is parent insightful? (5, Insightful)

Xonstantine (947614) | more than 7 years ago | (#18012168)

The very idea of "managed rights" flies in the face of the Constitution, the ideals of the Founding Fathers, and what it truly means to be American

I don't think those things mean what you think they mean. "Digital rights management" != inaliable rights as laid down by the U.S. Constitution and liberal political theory. Lets be clear here, the two have absolutely NOTHING to do with each other. Digital rights management is essentially a technology mechanism to enforce (or hinder the breaking of) contract law. The only thing it flies in the face of is consumer convenience. DRM certainly annoys me as a consumer, but I think things like no-knock warrants, the drug war, idefinite detention without trial, and asset forfeiture laws fly in the face of the Constitution, the ideals of the Founding Fathers just a tad more.

Re:How the heck is parent insightful? (2, Interesting)

0123456 (636235) | more than 7 years ago | (#18012502)

"Digital rights management is essentially a technology mechanism to enforce (or hinder the breaking of) contract law."

But there's no legally-binding contract between buyer and seller when I buy an HD DVD and the DRM is enforced by law through the DMCA. In addition, DRM is a blatant violation of the intention of copyright, which was merely to support the creator before the material entered the public domain... material with effective DRM will _NEVER_ enter the public domain.

Re:How the heck is parent insightful? (2, Interesting)

mstone (8523) | more than 7 years ago | (#18012560)

Minor correction: DRM is a technological means to enforce license law, not contract law.

The confusion between those two branches of law creates an unnecessary amount of meaningless noise here on /. Way too many people think that, "I never signed anything," is a vaild refutation of EULAs, music and video license restrictions, or any other rule that gets in the way of their 'I paid for it so I should be able to do whatever I want' mindset.

The irony, of course, is that 'GPL violation' would be completely meaningless if that were true.

Re:How the heck is parent insightful? (1)

Ed Avis (5917) | more than 7 years ago | (#18012564)

I don't think copyright is contract law. Copyright violation is a tort, not a breach of contract, and the scope of copyright is limited (for example it expires after a certain number of years, and some fair dealing rights are inalienable). Of course the publishers would prefer it to be a contract, but wishes aren't the same thing as law.

Re:How the heck is parent insightful? (4, Informative)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 7 years ago | (#18012690)

"The only thing it flies in the face of is consumer convenience."

I agree with much of your post, but this is incorrect. "Fair use" is a well-established legal principle, not just a Slashdot mantra. While not its primary goal, DRM does its best to contradict our established rights by preventing even fair use of legally purchased material.

Re:Why didn't everyday people speak out? (1)

the_womble (580291) | more than 7 years ago | (#18012172)

Do you think the people have a clue what is going on.

The vast majority of people are likely to think as far as "I like free music", or "they need to be paid", and that is it.

Re:Why didn't everyday people speak out? (0, Offtopic)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 7 years ago | (#18012270)

The very idea of "managed rights" flies in the face of... what it truly means to be American.

      Good thing Iraquis don't count. Wouldn't want to manage THAT nation's "rights"...

Re:Why didn't everyday people speak out? (3, Insightful)

Orange Crush (934731) | more than 7 years ago | (#18012294)

DRM is just plain un-American.

What really upsets me is DRMed hardware. DRMed media is bad enough, but I can choose not to purchase it. At the rate things are going, soon we'll only be able to purchase locked-down hardware that's both more expensive due to DRM and less flexible. A bought and paid for tangible device that restricts what I can do according to arbitrary rules devised by companies that treat their customers like thieves is unacceptable to me.

Re:Why didn't everyday people speak out? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18012970)

If Steve Jobs is REALLY against DRM, then I'm looking forward to DRM-free Pixar movies soon. We'll see how serious he was.

Yahoo! did this last year. (2, Informative)

scottschiller (1020773) | more than 7 years ago | (#18012312)

For the record (pardon the bad pun), David Goldberg from Y! Music was asking the labels for No DRM, Please [ymusicblog.com] last year (February 2006.) It's good to see more executive types speaking out about the idea, in my opinion.

jobs against drm? (2, Insightful)

TinBromide (921574) | more than 7 years ago | (#18011592)

So, when is itunes going to be drm free? With all of jobs' crusading against drm, you'd think he would start within his own company.

Re:jobs against drm? (4, Insightful)

Constantine XVI (880691) | more than 7 years ago | (#18011608)

As soon as the labels will let him sell without DRM.

Re:jobs against drm? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18011744)

If Jobs really cared about the DRM debate, he would 86 DRM now, along with all content who's distribution requires DRM, then focus more on smaller name/obscure artists to sell without protection, and could offer a much broader range of music.

Jobs is only on our side because he knows this will increase sales -- which it WILL, we've been saying this for years, just look at allofmp3. But for him to 'wait' until the content producers give the OK simply because he would loose out on a smaller piece of a smaller pie shows what a greedy, money-hungry, uncaring communist fuck he actually is.

Grow some balls Jobs, if you really want to kill DRM, then do it NOW.

Re:jobs against drm? (1)

Xaositecte (897197) | more than 7 years ago | (#18012450)

communist

I know I shouldn't feed the trolls, but I'm really curious about this one.

?

Re:jobs against drm? (1)

geoffspear (692508) | more than 7 years ago | (#18012838)

I think he's talking about those same money-grubbing Communists who Hitler thought ran all of the world's banks. Because, you know, there's nothing bankers and money-hungry corporate CEOs love more than giving the means of production to the workers.

Re:jobs against drm? (2, Interesting)

mstone (8523) | more than 7 years ago | (#18012704)

How 'bout you grow a brain first?

All you're really saying is, "I think someone else should suffer to support my ideals." Who cares that dumping DRM or pulling DRM'd music from the iTunes store would probably violate the contracts Apple has with the labels? Who cares that it would give the labels a free ticket to crucify Apple, not only for the immediate loss of revenue, but also to send a message to any other company that dares to try and defy them? Who cares that shutting down the iTunes store all of a sudden would royally screw the millions of customers -- i.e.: people who actually give Apple money -- who like using the service, DRM and all.

Not you, apparently. In your uncomplicated little world, everything can be resolved with grandiose gestures that would look poorly thought out in a comic book.

Re:jobs against drm? (1)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 7 years ago | (#18011820)

And whose forcing Jobs to put his DRM in the Mac OS X?

Re:jobs against drm? (1)

Constantine XVI (880691) | more than 7 years ago | (#18012198)

Pirates who want to breach the OSX EULA and run OSX on non-Apple hardware. That's the only real DRM contained within OSX to my knowledge (You can safely remove iTunes, and plenty of other apps as well). As much as we hate their decision, it is part of their license. Breaching it to them would be no different to MS shoving the Linux kernel into WinVi without abiding by the GPL. It just happens that since Jobs produces the hardware, he can put things in it (the TPM) to check with the software (OSX on AAPL hardware)

Re:jobs against drm? (1)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 7 years ago | (#18012316)

Wow. So you could say that pirates are forcing Jobs to put DRM into iTunes :rolleyes:

Re:jobs against drm? (2, Informative)

Trillan (597339) | more than 7 years ago | (#18012930)

With Mac OS X, Apple has a unique form of copyright protection: One that gets in the way of absolutely no legitimate users. And no, it doesn't use the TPM. The TPM isn't even on recent models.

This is hypocritical! (2, Insightful)

SerpentMage (13390) | more than 7 years ago | (#18012324)

Ok, Jobs saying no DRM in iTunes is a good thing, but DRM in OSX is a bad thing?

Read what you said:

"Pirates who want to breach the OSX EULA and run OSX on non-Apple hardware. That's the only real DRM contained within OSX to my knowledge (You can safely remove iTunes, and plenty of other apps as well). As much as we hate their decision, it is part of their license."

Well, if music has no DRM then it will have a license agreement as well. That means that it is up to the consumer to respect the EULA. So why can Jobs not do the same thing? Oh yeah I forgot, Jobs wants to make sure that he can sell overpriced hardware! Just like the Music producers want to make sure that they sell multiple copies of their music! There is no difference between DRM'd music and DRM'd OSX. The only difference is "who's getting the advantage perspective."

Re:jobs against drm? (4, Interesting)

bogjobber (880402) | more than 7 years ago | (#18011986)

Most of the indie labels (approx. 30% of sales) already do want their music sold without DRM.

Re:jobs against drm? (1)

roaddemon (666475) | more than 7 years ago | (#18012746)

Source?

Re:jobs against drm? (2, Informative)

badasscat (563442) | more than 7 years ago | (#18012834)

Source?

Here: http://www.emusic.com/ [emusic.com]

Re:jobs against drm? (0)

teh kurisu (701097) | more than 7 years ago | (#18012068)

What about the labels that sell both on the iTS and eMusic? DRM in one store, no DRM in the other. With regards to the iTS, I think Steve's bluffing. His open letter was a PR exercise. He could well act on his words with regards to the aforementioned labels, but I don't think he will.

Re:jobs against drm? (4, Insightful)

MoneyT (548795) | more than 7 years ago | (#18012594)

I said it before, I'll say it again, the minute that Apple backs down on its "every music file is exactly the same and gets the same treatment" is the minute that along with some songs without DRM, we also see some songs that you can't burn, some that you can't play more than once a day, some that cost $500, some that cost $0.02, some you can't download, some you can't put on your iPod and some that you can't ever backup. Apple's plan is very honest and very forward, it's either all or nothing with DRM, and that's exactly where their barganing power lies.

Re:jobs against drm? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18012082)

This is untrue. Some labels would prefer to have their music sold without DRM, but Apple doesn't permit this.

Please see the post here: http://nanocrew.net/2007/02/06/steves-thoughts-on- music/ [nanocrew.net]

By only selling DRM'd music and refusing to license Fairplay, Apple is using their DRM to lock people in to Apple music players.

Re:jobs against drm? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18011634)

Yes, because obviously it's Jobs who decides the DRM, not the record companies that licence the music to him.

Re:jobs against drm? (1)

asilentthing (786630) | more than 7 years ago | (#18011786)

Unfortunately Jobs can't just rip the DRM from the entire iTS catalog. If you had read his original call to rid music of DRM, you would see that it's a matter of contractual obligation. The only way iTS can sell 90% (ish) of their music is to have DRM inflicted upon it. This is not necessarily Apple's fault. If Apple started selling their music DRM-free, the catalogs would be pulled by the labels. And then you have no music. That was the point of his original message. I'm glad to Yahoo!, who actually has a great promotions team in their music dept., voicing their support.

Re:jobs against drm? (1)

trongey (21550) | more than 7 years ago | (#18011888)

So, when is itunes going to be drm free? With all of jobs' crusading against drm, you'd think he would start within his own company.

More to the point; is Disney going to be DRM-free? I understand he's on the other side of the fence at that company.

Re:jobs against drm? (2, Interesting)

jonwil (467024) | more than 7 years ago | (#18011994)

The best place to start would be to allow those labels who want to sell their music on the iTunes store without the DRM attached. That way, all the music coming from those labels (RIAA etc) who insist on DRM, will still get their DRM but other music would be DRM free. It could be done with absolutely no visible difference to the user.

If Jobs was serious about his anti-DRM stance, he would either allow DRM free music on the iTunes store or he would come out with a clear statement as to why he cant allow it

Microsoft DRM "doesn't work half the time"... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18011600)

wow... that's about 25% better than I had expected.

Re:Microsoft DRM "doesn't work half the time"... (1)

funfail (970288) | more than 7 years ago | (#18012348)

Did you expect it to work 40% of the time?

Re:Microsoft DRM "doesn't work half the time"... (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18012922)

Oh don't make fun. He's an AC. Everyone knows ACs have only two neurons to rub together, and one is on fire.

I'm reminded of that song... (2, Insightful)

Dorkmaster Flek (1013045) | more than 7 years ago | (#18011628)

It's the end of the world as we know it! Yeeeeeah yeah yeah...something like that. It was only a matter of time. If it takes Steve Jobs to kick start an industry wide backlash against DRM, then so be it.

If Slashdot used DRM... (4, Funny)

itsdapead (734413) | more than 7 years ago | (#18011788)

Hey! I just upgraded to Slashdot Vasta "Bedroom Premium" edition and your post came out:

It's (premium content blocked) something like that. It was only a matter of time. If it takes Steve Jobs to kick start an industry wide backlash against DRM, then (premium content blocked).

(The second one was a false positive for "Let it be")

Good news but... (1, Interesting)

Xest (935314) | more than 7 years ago | (#18011630)

I've never understood why tech companies listened to the music industry in the first place. Perhaps I'm wrong but I was under the impression that the tech companies are far bigger in monetary value and hence far more powerful than the music industry in the first place so don't understand why these companies supported, rather than fought DRM from day one.

If it weren't for this I'd believe these companies coming forward now were coming forward of their own free will and not because they're getting scared at the fact that governments and lawmakers, particularly in the EU are turning against DRM.

Re:Good news but... (4, Insightful)

Kenshin (43036) | more than 7 years ago | (#18011674)

I've never understood why tech companies listened to the music industry in the first place.

If they had stood firm against DRM in the first place, these online stores would have never happened.

Now that they've demonstrated that these stores work, and the public is transitioning to them, they can start making demands.

You have to get your foot in the door.

Re:Good news but... (1)

Xest (935314) | more than 7 years ago | (#18012510)

Sounds logical and it was my original understanding of the issue, but I have to now question whether these stores wouldn't have happened otherwise. The music industry was following an unsustainable business model, if the tech companies really were so anti-DRM then they could surely have waited until the music industry became so desperate that they had to bow down to the non-DRM demands. I'd suggest it's more greed on behalf of the tech companies in not being willing to wait for the music industry to cave that made them choose too go in early and support DRM not a need to get their foot in the door because as I mentioned above - I'm convinced there's other ways to do that, I'm sure Apple could have just as easily signed bands themselves if they had wanted.

I don't even so much have a problem with the tech companies going in early and supporting DRM because from a business standpoint it's a smart move - to get in their and start making money as early as possible. What I do have a problem with however is them now trying to claim the moral high ground when their previous decisions to go in early and support DRM, whilst a good business decision was, imo, a morally wrong decision.

Re:Good news but... (0)

0123456 (636235) | more than 7 years ago | (#18012562)

"If they had stood firm against DRM in the first place, these online stores would have never happened."

Indeed. Just as, if they'd refused to put DRM on VHS tapes, there'd never have been any major movies released on VHS.

Oh, wait...

Re:Good news but... (2, Insightful)

Dorkmaster Flek (1013045) | more than 7 years ago | (#18011696)

I think you underestimate the power of the music industry. They may not be worth quite as much as the tech industry, but they're still worth a ton and they were smart enough to lobby the politicians to be on their side (DMCA, **AA lawsuits, etc.) from the beginning. We should also hold accountable the people in the tech industry who supported them by coming up with these ridiculous DRM schemes in the first place and convincing the music/movie industries that they would be "unbreakable" when they know damn well there's no such thing. If the tech circle had held their ground in the first place and said "we can't create something that won't be broken, it's impossible" every time they approached them, I bet they would've given up long ago.

Re:Good news but... (2, Informative)

Gr8Apes (679165) | more than 7 years ago | (#18012084)

What you're asking for is uniformity in stance by all developers, a group that historically does not play well together, and a large percentage of which is mercenary (consultants). Those consultants' only concern is how to extract money from their customers. They'll promise them anything to get in the door, and if it's impossible, that translates into continuing revenue streams. Thus your posted position is at best a figment of your imagination.

Re:Good news but... (5, Insightful)

Zontar_Thing_From_Ve (949321) | more than 7 years ago | (#18011838)

I've never understood why tech companies listened to the music industry in the first place. Perhaps I'm wrong but I was under the impression that the tech companies are far bigger in monetary value and hence far more powerful than the music industry in the first place so don't understand why these companies supported, rather than fought DRM from day one.

I can explain this to you. Your problem is that you are a rational human being. You must understand first of all that the music industry is irrational. Imagine the following conversation, which illustrates the problem:
Tech company: We'd love to sell your music in non-DRMed format.
Music company: We're not interested in selling it without DRM.
Tech company: We're not going to sell it with DRM!
Music company: Fine. Don't sell it. Get nothing. We can live without online sales. If you want a piece of the pie, you have to sell it with DRM. No negotiations. No exceptions. That's how it will be done. Take it or leave it.

Yes, the music industry really is that dumb. They would rather not sell it at all then sell it without DRM. Remember, their goal is to rip you off. They have proven time and time again that they would rather sell one CD for $18 than 3 for $10 each. This is irrational behavior, but they have been very consistent in it. If they can't sell you something at their price and on their terms, then they don't want your money. They really don't. It truly is "their way or the highway". So when you realize that the only deal that could be made was to sell music with DRM or not sell it all, is it any wonder that Yahoo and Apple and everyone else agreed to DRM? There weren't going to be any sales without it. Besides, they were able to make the major labels take the heat for DRM, which is totally fair, so it wasn't a difficult business decision to sell DRM music since they could make money off it and they wouldn't have to answer to pissed off customers who don't like DRM since it wasn't their fault the music had DRM. It really is that simple. Make money off selling DRMed music or make nothing.

Remember too that I am talking about the major music industry companies and smaller labels or individual artists have a more rational outlook. How rational is it to decide "We'd rather sell one at $18 than 3 for $10 each", but that is exactly how they operate.

Re:Good news but... (1)

koreaman (835838) | more than 7 years ago | (#18012734)

Corporations, may be heartless and evil, but they aren't stupid. Giant companies can pay the smartest MBAs, etc. available, and are generally good at making as much money as possible. Do you really think your reasoning escaped from their horde of Harvard graduates?

Re:Good news but... (2, Insightful)

Znork (31774) | more than 7 years ago | (#18012830)

'How rational is it to decide "We'd rather sell one at $18 than 3 for $10 each"'

Unfortunately, if you look at it from their perspective, it's entirely rational. Their model is built around maximizing revenue on a per-album basis (see monopoly price setting). Selling _more_ albums means selling more varied albums, which in turn dilutes the efficiency of marketing, fractures the market, spreads more money to the producing segments like artists and composers, entails more risk, and which all have to share play time on the radio.

As each album and song is its own little monopoly, and they all 'compete' (see monopolistic competition) for more or less the same dollar in the pocket of the consumer, even with the other albums in the labels catalogue, they maximize their profits if there was only one album (minimizing per-unit production costs) and it cost all the dollars available for spending on entertainment. Of course, even the media corps cant quite accomplish that, nor control peoples taste to that extent, so we got the best they could do in the form of a grossly limited and tightly controlled 'pop' culture.

Of course, no matter what they do, they're doomed. Social music network sites are vastly superior in mediating music fitting personalized taste, with in turn will utterly fracture the market, destroying that model, drm or no drm.

Re:Good news but... (1)

PhysicsPhil (880677) | more than 7 years ago | (#18012472)

I've never understood why tech companies listened to the music industry in the first place. Perhaps I'm wrong but I was under the impression that the tech companies are far bigger in monetary value and hence far more powerful than the music industry in the first place so don't understand why these companies supported, rather than fought DRM from day one.

The tech companies listened because the music companies hold copyright over the content of interest. Whether they like DRM or not, the tech companies can still make money by selling DRM'ed music, so they'll play ball until it stops being economical. It's fine and good for the tech companies to be against DRM, but it doesn't matter a bit until the guys who actually own the content get with the program too.

Why didn't he just come out and say Apple? (1, Insightful)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 7 years ago | (#18011644)

The Yahoo chief's thoughts were echoed by SanDisk founder and CEO Eli Harari, who wrote: "Proprietary systems arent acceptable to consumers. In recent months, there has been a rising chorus of complaints in Europe about the anti-competitive nature of closed formats that tie music purchased from one company to that companys devices, and tie that companys devices to its music service."

The Jobs Fanboyism Is Sickening (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18011682)

I know many media execs, both music and film/video, here in Los Angeles and have had many discussions with them about DRM.

Every single one of them hates DRM, thinks it is a pain in the ass to deal with, would love to sell all of their content without DRM.

But they all live in the real world.

This Jobs invented "hating DRM" bullshit is as tiresome as all the other Apple "invented X" bullshit.

Re:The Jobs Fanboyism Is Sickening (5, Insightful)

ZachPruckowski (918562) | more than 7 years ago | (#18011732)

Noone claims Jobs invented anti-DRM, but it's a bigger deal when a major player comes out against it than when a regular guy does. I mean, someone like me has no soapbox, and someone like Cory Doctorow has only a small one. Steve Jobs can command a major audience. Additionally, he's about the only guy benefiting from DRM. If he wants it gone, that says something.

Re:The Jobs Fanboyism Is Sickening (5, Funny)

jandrese (485) | more than 7 years ago | (#18011812)

I hated DRM before it was cool.

Re:The Jobs Fanboyism Is Sickening (1)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 7 years ago | (#18011908)

Do you still hate it now that DRM is cool?

Re:The Jobs Fanboyism Is Sickening (1)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 7 years ago | (#18011830)

True, but if the *AA goes with no DRM they have to admit to courts and governments and to CONSUMERS that they were not only wrong, but their declining sales are because their products SUCK for the most part. Worse yet for them is the fact that they have to face stockholders and tell them this is true, unless they keep clinging to the lie that consumers are all thieves and criminals.

When it all plays out and the new digital arts business models begin to make money, we can look back and remember the *AA for the asshats that they really are, how they abused the legal and political systems, and how they tried to criminalize the consumer (their source of revenue).

That said, I think this will have to end up like a bullfight with a million picadors and if we are lucky, a quick final blow to put the *AA down.

The real world is DRM free CDs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18011860)

"But they all live in the real world."

Yet they sell DRM free CDs so they don't live in the real world.
Not only that, there are watermark solutions that have none of the disadvantages of DRM and are non intrusive, again they are not living in the real world.
Their stores don't sell, the independents, who live in the real world and DRM free, are selling.

Quit with those sideways DRM puff pieces, if you can't argue that DRM is necessary directly, don't try to pretend you are making an anti Jobs rant.

Back the truck up, Chuck (1)

djupedal (584558) | more than 7 years ago | (#18011990)

"...would love to sell all of their content without DRM"

Their content? They wrote it? They sang it? They played backup in the studio?

Pepsi Lite, Budweiser Beer, Ford Focus, Motorola A1200...all products sold by the corporate entities that made them. 'Love, Love Me Do!' Licensed content. Not 'their' content'...and, yes, I've known my share as well. None of them cast a shadow taller than a rat.

'But they all live in the real world.'

Bullshit. Not one media exec has EVER lived in the real world.

Re:Back the truck up, Chuck (2, Insightful)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 7 years ago | (#18012094)

They own it, regardless of who created it. It's their's in the controlling ownership sense, not by any creative mastery. Letting their product out of the door without loking it down would be as foolish as, say, letting people own their phones. Phones will always be leased becuase that's the way the phone industry works and there's just no way to run a successful telecom company otherwise. Oh, right. Thought I was back in the 1970s again.

I own my own phone (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18012360)

"letting people own their phones. Phones will always be leased becuase that's the way the phone industry works and there's just no way to run a successful telecom company otherwise."

Erm, dude, you can't legally sell a phone locked to a service in Belgium, it always has to be unlocked by law. The contract & sim are sold separately.

Handsets sell very well, phone companies make lots of money, everyone is happy.

Re:The Jobs Fanboyism Is Sickening (2, Insightful)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 7 years ago | (#18012142)

But they all live in the real world.

      What's that supposed to mean? The real world, like the one 20 years ago where anyone could duplicate a casette tape? It wasn't as fast as downloading a song and compiling a CD if you have broadband, but it wasn't that hard to do. And yet the publishers didn't go out of business.

      The ONLY reason "DRM" exists is because they think they're smarter than me and they can make MY computer prevent me from copying, so they try to do it. Everything else is BS.

Re:The Jobs Fanboyism Is Sickening (1)

itsdapead (734413) | more than 7 years ago | (#18012148)

This Jobs invented "hating DRM" bullshit is as tiresome as all the other Apple "invented X" bullshit.

Apple have a pretty poor track record at actually inventing stuff, but they've got an excellent track record of turning existing but underused ideas into decent implementations and carving out a market for them (Graphical user interfaces, laser printers & DTP, local area networks, the modern laptop, MP3 players, USB & legacy-free computers, small form factor computers...)

Heck, if you had to endure DRM I think most people would choose Apple's "if all else fails you can make a CD and rip it" over Microsoft's "plays-for-a-given-value-of-sure until we pull the rug".

Jobs may have had ulterior motives for putting his mouth where his money is, but the end result is that he's got the anti-DRM issue a lot of coverage outside of slashdot and off-the-record industry whingeing.

Media Execs in the Real World (1)

Sloppy (14984) | more than 7 years ago | (#18012262)

But they all live in the real world.

No, they don't.

In the real world, they became media execs thanks to a lack of DRM. All they have to do, it look at where all their money came from: sales of non-DRMed media. In the real world, you don't tell customers, "fuck off, we don't want your money anymore," and replace a proven business model with a fantasy that some snakeoil/Macrovision salesman put into your head.

How can these execs claim they would love to sell content without DRM, as though it were some hypothetical possibility? They did it, and it was wildly successful. All those billions of dollars are what these "real world" people are saying they would love to have?

Ah, well. Execs get paid whether they live in the real world or not, but owners/stockholders don't. Sooner or later, they're going to want to get back into the having-customers-and-making-money business, and these execs will need to find new jobs.

Re:The Jobs Fanboyism Is Sickening (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18012886)

I know many media execs, both music and film/video, here in Los Angeles and have had many discussions with them about DRM.

Name one.

Every single one of them hates DRM, thinks it is a pain in the ass to deal with, would love to sell all of their content without DRM.

Just one.

But they all live in the real world.

Is this the real world of empty nut sacks or the real world of made up slashdot friends.

And the RIAA won't listen to him EITHER. (4, Interesting)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 7 years ago | (#18011784)

They're like telcos: you can only hurt the RIAA/music licensors in one of three very basic ways:

1) legislation/lawsuit (unlikely as they own the legislatures and have armies of lawyers)
2) have a massive clientele defection (unlikely because they're a monopoly like the telcos) or
3) have their talent pool stop making revenue (crappy quality music, and so on-- also highly unlikely).

Bottom line: he's sucking up to his clientele (us, supposedly) and Wall Street, especially Wall Street who wants to pound the crap out of them for other foollish moves. They should have demanded that Mark Cuban stay with them for a few years after they bought his Broadcast.Com.

It's all PR. Nothing to see here.

Re:And the RIAA won't listen to him EITHER. (4, Informative)

Technician (215283) | more than 7 years ago | (#18012086)

3) have their talent pool stop making revenue (crappy quality music, and so on-- also highly unlikely).

Don't rule this one out.. Some talent is going inde. Some consumers are moving outside the Clear Chanel CD advertising route. Talent now gets exposure on youtube, Google Videos, etc. They put their products on CD Baby and emusic. You get higher quality (192Kbs VBR compared to 128Kbs fixed) with no DRM and lower prices. This trend is growing. Given time it will gain critical mass. It is legal and the RIAA and their team of lawyers are powerless to sotp it. They will have to adopt or die.

Arvil Lavine and Bare Naked Ladies have already moved. I think some of the newest TSO releases are now on inde labels. The RIAA can only screw the talent and consumers so much before they both seek an alternative.

Re:And the RIAA won't listen to him EITHER. (2, Insightful)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 7 years ago | (#18012802)

It's like when Ticketmaster had the Pearl Jam rebellion. Who one that? Ticketmaster. Yes, you can go outside the 'system', but it's not easy and while there are successful financial models to pattern from, it's extraordinarily difficult.

Revenues come from licensing (merchandise), concerts (lots of high-margin revenue), as well as the song marketing themselves. The lyrics and sheet music, coupled with just about everything associated with a 'brand' is revenue production. The RIAA isn't about to let a heavy piece of that go away, even if their cost-of-goods in digital dissemination looks very tasty-- it's the rest of it that then seems to slip away, too.

The mentality of this group (the RIAA) is gruesome, and they have the law on their side in the US, such as the law is (rife with burden of proof mishaps, invasiveness, and other abrogations of common law and even US constitutional twists).

I applaud what indies try to do. It's very very tough for them. Artists aren't good money managers, traditionally, and the vagueries of royalites, copyright law, and the other facets of management and licensing relationships have become truly horrid to manage.

Re:And the RIAA won't listen to him EITHER. (1)

Silentknyght (1042778) | more than 7 years ago | (#18012696)

"2) have a massive clientele defection (unlikely because they're a monopoly like the telcos) or... It's all PR. " Item #2 in your list is directly related to public image. If fallout from Jobs' statements and/or anti-DRM crusade reaches critical mass with the public, that's bad PR for the **AA's. Steve Jobs' name recognition lends him "expert" and "genius" status in the eyes of the average person, and most people will see him inextricably tied to the issue through music through iTunes and the iPod. if someone with those kinds of credentials and that kind of (relative) stake in the industry gets continuously ignored by the industry (the **AA's), then it's bad PR for the others and Item #2 in your list is reached.

Re:And the RIAA won't listen to him EITHER. (1)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 7 years ago | (#18012896)

While Job's work has done seeming miracles, there is no need for a monopolistic organization to change what it does. Public pressure hasn't changed them at all, else the stunningly bad customer relations that 1) DRM 2) copyright litigation of individuals 3) obscene privacy violations aimed at ISPs (it's almost like extortion) 4) PUTTING ROOT KITS ON MEDIA 5) other staunch asset protection PR nightmares haven't stopped them yet.

This isn't going to be death-by-a-thousand-cuts that hemorrages the RIAA. They have thousands of bandaids, if you'll excuse the pun. The music industry is incestuous with the movie and entertainment industry, and all of them have perverted intellectual property concepts in ways that if you looked at it in 1960 eyes would have made you roll in laughter-- yet they've done the incredible.

You will not make them move until you hit them hard in the wallet. No other action, save litigation will work, because consumers can't rally sufficient mass to hurt them. It's a sad reality.

YES - Down With DRM!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18011846)

This is awsome news, and I commend Steve Jobs and the Yahoo exec for standing up in favor of abolishing DRM! I never thought I'd see this happen! I'm looking forward to seeing iTunes Store become DRM-freeeeeeeeeeee!!!! As soon as they do they will be getting a lot more of my $$$$! Yeaaaaaaa!

How politic of him (2, Insightful)

Bullfish (858648) | more than 7 years ago | (#18011872)

It's all fine and well for both Jobs and this guy to come out and say cast down the DRM, but it really is just pandering to the masses. If a deal to drop DRM is ever to be worked out, it will be through backroom deals, not in the tech press. I think we all know DRM doesn't work well and is a pain, but it is not up to these delivery vehicles (iTunes et al) to drop the DRM. It is a condition under which they are allowed to sell the licensed product. No DRM, no product to sell. It's that simple.

A lot of this is just saying, "it's them, not us". Fine for geek politics, but it probably is not going to make a pig's fart of difference to the RIAA/MPAA cabal.

I want DRM to go away to, but it isn't going to happen through these feel-good speeches. It's going to happen through things like the recent EMI announcement (which frankly only applies to a chunk of their catalog that isn't selling anyway).

Sounds a bit like... (1)

taff^2 (188189) | more than 7 years ago | (#18012050)

Listen, I can't get involved. I've got work to do. It's not that I like the Empire; I hate it. But there's nothing I can do about it right now... It's all such a long way from here.


That's your uncle talking!

Re:How politic of him (3, Insightful)

Phat_Tony (661117) | more than 7 years ago | (#18012640)

The surest way to be sure DRM never goes away is for there to be no pressure to make it go away. Before, very few people knew what it was, or were mad about it, and of them, many (most?) blamed it on Apple and Microsoft, not the recording companies. Putting public pressure on them and making people aware of the issues and the origins of the problems is the only thing that will ever give them the impetus to strike these backroom deals you're talking about.

The day after Jobs' Blog Post, the Wall Street Journal had two front page stories above the crease about it. That introduced this issue to probably a hundred thousand people who weren't previously aware of it, and they're overwhelmingly the important, moneyed, influential movers and shakers who it's most important to make aware of it. I was visiting my mother the next weekend, and that WSJ was lying around, and she asked me what it was all about. It was the first she'd heard of any of it. She only had a rudimentary idea of what a Media Player is. I'd tried to tell her about DRM before, but she never listened. Now she knows.

Jobs' Blog Post may be the event that precipitates an interest in this issue that will eventually lead to change. The backroom deals are the conclusion of the change process, not the origin. You're right that won't happen in "the tech press," but for the first time I've seen, this story was just blown a mile outside the tech press.

Re:How politic of him (1)

mgblst (80109) | more than 7 years ago | (#18012832)

I think you are oversimplifying the situation. No doubt people have tried to do deals and get music without DRM, but at this point, the big Music Companies are too worried to do this. All this talk from Jobs and Yahoo is to try to get some sort of public reaction, which they can then use to make some deals (hopefully). It might not cost you anything to run around saying how much you dislike DRM, but for 2 big companies, such as Apple and Yahoo to do it, it means something.

SO you are completely wrong, it is possible to get rid of DRM by making such speeches, getting the public united against it, getting over companies on board, then more and more companies start selling DRM-less products, until the big guys have to. This is the way it could work, your option is to say nothing, and hope for the best. Brilliant.

Re:How politic of him (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18012846)

It's all fine and well for both Jobs and this guy to come out and say cast down the DRM, but it really is just pandering to the masses.

Yeah, who cares about those damned masses anyway? They're just the ones that spend the money on the products and make the financial world go around. Fuck 'em.

I don't get this "killing our friends" meme (4, Insightful)

Catbeller (118204) | more than 7 years ago | (#18011892)

Jobs finally decloaked, and stood up against the RIAA. Now Yahoo. And all I see is... people... calling them names.

Apparently nothing can satisfy you? Are you all just terminally apolitical? The enemy of the enemy is our friend. Back them the hell up.

Reminds me of an old saying (4, Interesting)

jc42 (318812) | more than 7 years ago | (#18011920)

[TFA] points out that consumers are getting confused and that the Microsoft DRM "doesn't work half the time".

So Microsoft's standard approach of writing software that confuses users and doesn't work very well is telling the public that this is what all DRM is like. We see this all the time, for example with viruses which are invariably reported as infecting "computers", not just "Microsoft computers". Similarly, the difficulty of learning to use the little beasts is a property of "computers", not of any particular brand.

It reminds me of the old saying: "Nobody is all bad. They can always serve as a bad example."

In this case, though, MS could well be doing us a service. By convincing the gullible public that "DRM is confusing and doesn't work very well", they are inadvertently helping in the fight against DRM everywhere. Even if someone will come up with DRM that works (for some value of "works"), it won't be used, because it won't run on Windows (and on non-MS systems, the crypto geeks will break it within hours of release). Most users will just accept that MS's DRM is what DRM is like, and will oppose its use anywhere as a result.

Of course, one could argue that a correct implementation of DRM is probably intractable. This is mostly because determining which "fair use" rules apply wherever the use might live is a seriously difficult AI problem. It can't actually be determined by a human-level intelligence, as demonstrated by the need to ask the courts rather than just reading the law books. So we need an AI that's much more intelligent than any team of human lawyers, and has deep understanding of all the "IP" laws of every jurisdiction in the world. Of multiple jurisdictions, actually, when Net transactions are considered. We won't likely see this level of AI in our lifetimes.

Discuss amongst yourselves ...

Re:Reminds me of an old saying (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18012878)

So skynet is what happens when we trade in lawyers for computers? ah it's all coming together now...

The obvious (3, Insightful)

Technician (215283) | more than 7 years ago | (#18011928)

In the article it is stated the DRM free MP3 tracks sell faster.

In a well duh moment, they figured out the installed base of equipment that can play MP3's is just about everyting. A MS or Apple format locks out all other format players. People don't buy incompatible formats. DRM in any format is incompatible with the majority of media players out there. Before you jump on the iTunes bandwagon... Do you have a DVD player? Do you use Linux? Do you have a MP3 player? Do you have a CD player that can play MP3 CD's in your car or as a portable CD player? iPods are everywhere, but not nearly as everywhere as MP3 players.

Selling MP3's is a much bigger market than selling something that will play on a Windows PC and Plays for Sure devices or just iTunes on Apple and PC platforms and iPods, or worse yet Zunes.

Re:The obvious (3, Funny)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 7 years ago | (#18012166)

I wonder if "mp3" includes "wma without any 'DRM' crap". I ask because I rip/convert to wma now, as every device that I own can play it, and it's half the size of mp3 for the same quality. Does that make me an OMG TOOL OF SATAN? Would you choose to buy an mp3 or ogg format track over a smaller wma one (sans 'DRM') for the same price?

Re:The obvious (1)

pipatron (966506) | more than 7 years ago | (#18012546)

I'd prefer the four times larger FLAC. No loss of quality, no closed-source, patent-ridden codec.

Re:The obvious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18012648)

Would I choose mp3 or ogg over wma?

I don't currently buy any music as a download, but if I had to choose, I would choose a format I can use - WMA is not that format because I do not currently possess anything portable that will play it. Nor do I have any reason to switch to something that does support that format.

Re:The obvious (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18012888)

I wonder if "mp3" includes "wma without any 'DRM' crap". I ask because I rip/convert to wma now, as every device that I own can play it, and it's half the size of mp3 for the same quality.

I have devices that can't play wma. Well, one. Er, two. So yes, I would rather have mp3.

YUO xFAIL iT (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18011944)

unpleasant Distended. AAl I Host what the house

Music Industry ? (0)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 7 years ago | (#18011980)

I didnt know Yahoo was considered part of the 'music industry'...

They sign any good bands lately?

Film at 11 (2, Funny)

navygeek (1044768) | more than 7 years ago | (#18012048)

"...and that the Microsoft DRM "doesn't work half the time" "

In other new, the Earth is round and the Sun is really far away.

Master Chief Goes Against DRM (1)

tbcpp (797625) | more than 7 years ago | (#18012090)

Really that's what I read at first. For a moment I thought, "YEAH BABY! You find those DRM guys, you take those DRM guys down!"

Okay, time to lay off the Halo books for a while (and maybe of the caffeine).

DRM free week (1)

orb_fan (677056) | more than 7 years ago | (#18012342)

So let Jobs and Goldberg put their money where their mouths are - lets have a week (or longer?) where they will only sell non-DRMed. Any record company not willing to go without DRM won't have any sales for that period. I for one would be interested to see what the sales numbers would be.

Personally, I would be willing to pay for non-DRMed tracks (and I do from http://bleep.com/ [bleep.com] )

Re:DRM free week (1)

MoneyT (548795) | more than 7 years ago | (#18012722)

Stunts like that mean nothing. They don't prove anything except that if you make a special event, you will generate more interest and sales than normal, but companies have known this for years. The only way this will change is if the music companies call Apple and Yahoo's bluff and say "ok go for it", but they won't because they know that Apple and Yahoo are right. And for Apple and Yahoo to be right, the RIAA has to be wrong, and that is very damaging for their interests.

Microsoft DRM (2, Funny)

codepunk (167897) | more than 7 years ago | (#18012624)

Microsoft DRM does not work 100% of the time on any of my linux boxes.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>