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Music Execs Think DRM Slows the Marketplace

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the well-duh dept.

Media (Apple) 224

MacGod writes "From BBC News comes a story about a Jupiter Research survey conducted before Steve Jobs's anti-DRM essay, indicating that most music industry execs see DRM-free music as a way to expand sales on digital tracks. The survey covered large and small record labels, rights bodies, digital stores, and technology providers. To summarize: 54% of music execs think that current DRM is too restrictive and 62% think selling unencumbered music would be a way to boost sales. Even limiting the survey to the record labels themselves, 48% believe this. Yet, many also believe it's not going to happen without significant governmental intervention — even though most insiders think DRM is harmful, the labels are keen to stick with it. Is this yet another sign of the typical media industry 'head in the sand, refuse to change' approach, or might we be seeing the early stages or some actual change?"

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COMMENT PROTECTED (5, Funny)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 7 years ago | (#18023962)

Please enter your authorisation code to view this comment.

Re:COMMENT PROTECTED (5, Funny)

David McBride (183571) | more than 7 years ago | (#18024038)

muslix64

Re:COMMENT PROTECTED (5, Funny)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 7 years ago | (#18024416)

Windows has detected you clicked on a submit button...

Cancel or allow?

Re:COMMENT PROTECTED (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18024470)

Windows has detected you clicked an accept button?

Do you actually, really not want to not, not click this button?

Re:COMMENT PROTECTED (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18024870)

Wasn't funny in the Apple commercial and is even less funny on Slashdot.

Re:COMMENT PROTECTED (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18024954)

waht are you talking about it is fucking HILARIOUS and an incredible insight as to how shitty Vista really is.

only complete and utter idiots bought and use Vista.

Let me guess, you run vista..... oops sorry, I'm sure it's nice....

Re:COMMENT PROTECTED (2)

encoderer (1060616) | more than 7 years ago | (#18025178)

What I _love_ is that if I posted this same comment but f/r "vista" with "OSX," My karma would be burned to the ground and I'd be run out of town with a screaming mob of fanboys with pitchforks and torches, heaving exploding sony batteries at me. ...Just an observation...

Re:COMMENT PROTECTED (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18025334)

... and the post you are talking about was left at 0 like the troll that it is; what's your point? Or are you just in such a hurry to point out a double-standard that you don't even care that you are creating a straw man by pretending that it was modded up?

Re:COMMENT PROTECTED (1)

encoderer (1060616) | more than 7 years ago | (#18025476)

I'm proud that you learned something from Wikipedia, but you should probably go read the article again. A straw-man is a specific type of fallacious attack. The comment I posted does not, in fact, qualify.

Sorry. Try again.

head in sand vs change (2, Interesting)

stormi (837687) | more than 7 years ago | (#18024044)

"Is this yet another sign of the typical media industry 'head in the sand, refuse to change' approach, or might we be seeing the early stages or some actual change?" I think it's a little of both. They'd LIKE to keep their head in the sand, but change cannot be stopped. It's inevitable that eventually they won't be able to ignore the problem any longer.

Re:head in sand vs change (4, Interesting)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 7 years ago | (#18025560)

I dunno what their problem is. People WILL always copy songs, and try to get them for free. They did it with vinyl and recording it to 8-track and cassette. Hell, my friends and I did as kids...we'd figure out that each one of us would buy 1-2 albums, each different, and then swap them to record them. That's they way it happens.

However, now that I'm older...I got money to spend...plenty of discrecionary money. However, I have never bought a single song online. Have I downloaded any mp3's? Years ago when I first discovered them on USENET, sure I did a few...mostly bootless Zeppelin/Stones stuff I couldn't find anywhere else...but, for the most part I pretty much own all the CD's of music I like. I have a high end stereo, and I like to play the best version of a song that I can.

If they would offer for sale online...lossless songs without DRM so that I could burn hardcopy backups, and my own lossy versions for my car or portable (no big deal with such a poor listening environment)...I'd be all over that. While I like a good deal and free stuff as much as the next person, I don't mind spending money for things I want. I think there are plenty of people out there just like me that they'd make plenty of money off of if they opened things up.

I just don't want to buy music/video that is of lesser quality and hinders me from doing what I've done with it in the past when a copy I bought was mine to use, play and store as I wished.

Alvislujia (3, Insightful)

BecomingLumberg (949374) | more than 7 years ago | (#18023982)

Other than 'its chilly down here' comments, I have to say I think this is record companies trying to pose like they actually care about the consumer, while still loving the RIAA henchmen they employ. I don't buy it for a second.

Re:Alvislujia (1)

jimstapleton (999106) | more than 7 years ago | (#18024156)

Funny, if someone said the same thing about Jobs, they are trolls, but if they say it about the music industry people it's insightful.

Not that I disagree, I'd say you are right on the ball, they just want to look good to encourage sales.

Re:Alvislujia (2, Interesting)

nomadic (141991) | more than 7 years ago | (#18024514)

Funny, if someone said the same thing about Jobs, they are trolls

The REAL funny thing is this hasn't always been true. On slashdot you used to be required to make fun of Apple and IBM, but you couldn't criticize, for example, Transmeta or Google. Now you can sort of criticize Google but you can really let Transmeta have it. Ninendo used to be fair game, but now they can do no wrong.

And of course, interspersed with all this groupthink is the constant assertions by slashdotters how everyone else are "sheep" because they follow the crowd.

Re:Alvislujia (1)

jimstapleton (999106) | more than 7 years ago | (#18024612)

I prefer to critcize just about everybody... Then again, I'll also mention their advantages and good sides when relevant too.

That's the way it should be

Re:Alvislujia (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 7 years ago | (#18024664)

I think that's the way it should be, too, but it's kind of a minority viewpoint here. Slashdot has Heroes Who Can Never Do Wrong, and any attempt to impugn them at all is met with negative moderation and impassioned rants.

Re:Alvislujia (1)

jimstapleton (999106) | more than 7 years ago | (#18024700)

sad isn't it? Maybe someday they'll realize these "HWCNDW"s are simply people too, and are suceptable to mistakes and greed.

Re:Alvislujia (1)

AndersOSU (873247) | more than 7 years ago | (#18024782)

copy and paste from my comment on Job's proclamation here [slashdot.org]

Apparently the argument isn't as transparent as the Economist says, (or maybe I'm just a bit tin-foilly today) but Jobs is a PR genius. If comes out against DRM, maybe he gets the French off his back, knowing full well that the RIAA will never allow him to sell non-DRM music. He's counting on not having to switch in a heart-beat. This way, he not only gets to look like "a champion of consumer rights," but also gets to maintain his lock in.

Apple would be fine without DRM, but the are better off with it - and even better with it while saying the don't want it.

Note: it wasn't modded troll.

I do think this is the recording industry doing the same thing.

Re:Alvislujia (4, Insightful)

DarenN (411219) | more than 7 years ago | (#18024166)

Perhaps, but there is a real phenomenon of corporate momentum. It's more than possible that 48% of record executives believe that non-DRM is the way forward, but who actually decides the policies of the company? Partially, it's decided by "this is what we've always done" and partially by the conservative 10% who live at the top. They're the ones that a survey of would be interesting.

Re:Alvislujia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18024708)

"this is what we've always done"

Just so we're clear on this: What they've always done, particularly in times of phenomenal commercial success, was to sell unencrypted music. Digital Restrictions Management is a very new technology and has thus far not resulted in rising profits even once.

Re:Alvislujia (1)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 7 years ago | (#18024230)

They'll find some other way to crap the buffet.

Re:Alvislujia (1)

BecomingLumberg (949374) | more than 7 years ago | (#18024422)

Nay, for that was I. Now lets drink deeply of the bourbon, scotch, and rye until such time as we are fighting drunk!

Re:Alvislujia (5, Interesting)

TheMeuge (645043) | more than 7 years ago | (#18024258)

I disagree. I think that they've seen what happened to their MPAA buddies when they spent countless millions developing DRM for HD-DVD and BluRay, only to see them broken before the sales got off the ground.

I always had a sense that while the RIAA execs had the information about the uselessness of DRM all along, their greed and anger was too great for them to admit it to anyone, especially themselves. But this recent fiasco, along with a very high profile essay by Jobs might have just been enough to jolt them into realizing that the reason that they're losing money, is because they're failing at their primary business model - music distribution.

They got so caught in copyright protection that for awhile it seemed like this was their primary focus. It was almost clear that the RIAA lawsuits were becoming a profitable side-business in the form of outright racketeering and extortion.

But perhaps the decreasing sales of CDs in the context of a flourishing DVD business, and very healthy iTMS sales, they've finally come to their senses.

The goal of RIAA is to distribute music at a price to the consumer. So that's what they should be doing. If the labels got together, and opened an online music shop with non-DRM custom-format/bitrate downloads from 96kbps to uncompressed, a-la-AllOfMP3, they'd make a killing!

So perhaps long-term greed reinforced by reality and logic has finally triumphed over old-school throat-ripping greed...

Re:Alvislujia (3, Insightful)

Phreakiture (547094) | more than 7 years ago | (#18024642)

I think this analysis is correct.

Back in the 80's, we went these particular rounds with the software industry. Software vendors had resorted to putting creative errors on their media, changing the track pitch, sometimes even using lasers to burn holes into floppy discs (the DRM system would attempt to write the sector that was supposed to have a hole in it, and then read it back, and exit if it succeeded in doing so) in an attempt to prevent illegal redistribution of their software.

Ultimately, most software vendors gave up on this whole idea because the finally realised that they were doing more harm than good. In at least one instance, a game title that ran fine on my next-door neighbour's computer, would not run on mine. Both machines were essentially identical (Commodore 128, 512K expansion RAM, 1751 floppy drive). It turns out that the DRM kicked on this software simply because my floppy driver was ever so slightly out of alignment.

At any rate, the software vendors largely gave up, though they are starting to get back into it again. On the part of the MAFIAA, this is a case of them failing to learn from another industry's mistakes. Now, it looks like they are starting to get it. Hallefuckinlujia!

Incidentally, I am still pissed off over HD-DVD and BluRay players downrezzing when connected to an analogue HDTV. I was an EARLY ADOPTER and helped FUND the RESEARCH that made HDTV possible, motherfuckers!

Re:Alvislujia (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18025104)

They got so caught in copyright protection that for awhile it seemed like this was their primary focus. It was almost clear that the RIAA lawsuits were becoming a profitable side-business in the form of outright racketeering and extortion. But perhaps the decreasing sales of CDs in the context of a flourishing DVD business, and very healthy iTMS sales, they've finally come to their senses.

I think the key thing that the companies are missing is that people generally rise (or fall) to your expectations. There are ALWAYS disappointments and exceptions but the masses are generally eager to please, whether they realize it or not. But by treating people like children, idiots, or criminals, you generally get them to act in this way.

Treat me like a criminal? Make me sit through your warning and your modernized version of "don't copy that floppy" which was insulting enough the first time? Try to prevent me from exercising my fair use and related rights because I might be a criminal? Fuck you, now I'm copying that shit.

Seriously, while people are herd animals and you can manipulate them easily enough in the aggregate, individuals get uppity. They don't like to do things simply because they are told. And if you fuck with them they tend to get an overexpressed sense of entitlement.

Re:Alvislujia (1)

qigong (688252) | more than 7 years ago | (#18025220)

So perhaps long-term greed reinforced by reality and logic has finally triumphed over old-school throat-ripping greed...
Huzzah for the triumph of greed over greed!

Told Ya (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18023992)

http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=222358&cid=180 11682 [slashdot.org]

"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."

Re:Told Ya (5, Informative)

Drogo007 (923906) | more than 7 years ago | (#18024148)

I think you've hit the nail on the head.

I spent 8 years in the video game industry and eventually wound up as one of two guys in the studio responsible for Copy Protection. I got the dubious honor of dealing with the tools to make sure all our CDs had our chosen form of copy protection "working".

At no point did I think the copy protection was worth the time and money we spent on it. The members of management I talked to about it weren't convinced that it was worth it either. But there was just enough anecdotal "evidence" of pirates completely eviscerating sales of games that shipped without copy protection that management was terrified to try and ship without it.

Next time you hear the **AA's going on about how piracy is killing them, realize that they may be targetting those who make decisions about including DRM just as much, or possibly more, than they're targetting the lawmakers or joe public.

Re:Told Ya (2, Interesting)

danpsmith (922127) | more than 7 years ago | (#18024254)

Next time you hear the **AA's going on about how piracy is killing them, realize that they may be targetting those who make decisions about including DRM just as much, or possibly more, than they're targetting the lawmakers or joe public.

Okay, but that makes me ask in my head why would they want the DRM if not for this purpose? Many people like to push the "control the consumer" and "make them re-buy things" theories here, but honestly, do you really think that's the reason? Maybe the **AAs do actually think the DRM deters piracy. I mean, it can have these side effects, the lockin, etc. But in all honesty they don't seem to be stopping people from ripping their own CDs and using windows DRM, which is compatible with more devices than just one. It just doesn't seem to me like these side effects are their real motivation, as those side effects are more likely to make no sale at all. They perhaps do actually believe what they preach, even if it is incorrect.

Re:Told Ya (1)

mr_mischief (456295) | more than 7 years ago | (#18024474)

Don't forget, too, that in the US it's a crime under the DMCA to bypass the DRM for the purposes of making illegal copies in addition to the copyright issue itself. So DRM makes people prosecutable for another offense, which they probably think is further deterrent.

Re:Told Ya (2, Informative)

Dog-Cow (21281) | more than 7 years ago | (#18025442)

The DMCA does not allow you to bypass DRM for *legal* copies either.

Re:Told Ya (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18025520)

The DMCA does not allow you to bypass DRM for *legal* copies either.

Except for the instances where it does...Maybe you should learn a little more about the DMCA.

Re:Told Ya (1)

t0rkm3 (666910) | more than 7 years ago | (#18024548)

There may yet another angle to this as well. Especially in the music space where distribution agreements fly around a lot. Liability. If a particular party decides to use a particular distribution channel and that channel doesn't use DRM and the music doesn't sell well, the originating studio may be able to eke out a case for incompetence, breach of contract, or some other tripe.

With class action suits like the recent one that MS lost in Iowa... One has to wonder.

Note: I have a bitter hatred toward MS and their products, but I hate class-action suits and the lawyers that profit from them even more.

Re:Told Ya (3, Funny)

Fujisawa Sensei (207127) | more than 7 years ago | (#18024850)

Note: I have a bitter hatred toward MS and their products, but I hate class-action suits and the lawyers that profit from them even more.

As long as the lawyers get their payment in the same form of the people they're representing, I have no problem with it. M$ Pays with vouchers for M$ products,lawyer gets paid in vouchers for M$ products.

Re:Told Ya (1)

AndersOSU (873247) | more than 7 years ago | (#18024868)

I think you're giving the content industries more credit then they deserve. I don't think that anyone is actually thinking about the relative pros and cons of DRM. (At least they aren't paying anyone to do so in order to issue recommendations effect policy in any non-trivial way.)

I think the only reason they do it is because that is the way the market is trending - which promptly becomes a self-filling prophesy.

The RIAA is a machine, and like any poorly managed machine/corporation, it will continue to do what it is doing because that is what it does.

FUD from a DRM vendor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18024590)

No matter how you dress it up the DRM doesn't protect their content. On the other hand it does take away their legitimate sales.

You're reduced to trying to scare them with this FUD.

Usurpers (4, Interesting)

Digital Vomit (891734) | more than 7 years ago | (#18024004)

Is this yet another sign of the typical media industry 'head in the sand, refuse to change' approach, or might we be seeing the early stages or some actual change?"

Sounds more like preparation for those wretched music execs to put out non-DRM'd music like it was their idea all along; as if their customers haven't been shouting for DRM-free products all this time.

Re:Usurpers (1)

djasbestos (1035410) | more than 7 years ago | (#18024060)

If you can listen to it, you can rip it...maybe they have smelled the coffee, but have yet to fully awaken.

Re:Usurpers (1)

lewscroo (695355) | more than 7 years ago | (#18024138)

I think that non-DRM music will help boost sales tremendously. I also think that since its going to be open mp3's, there will be a lot more sharing of this purchased music with friends and family. While I don't think that's a problem, even if music sales increase by a significant amount, the RIAA will still say these mp3's are allowing too much piracy. It's a no-win situation in their minds. Music is meant to be shared, not hoarded. If nobody gets a chance to hear your music, then its tough to know you want to buy that music. I don't know why the music industry cannot understand this.

Re:Usurpers (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 7 years ago | (#18024604)

Imagine you're a little baby bird learning to fly. You want to fly. You think life would be better if you could fly. So you step up to the edge of a cliff and look down. You understand that, if everything goes according to your theory, you should be fine. But then you think, "What if I'm not the sort of bird that could fly? What if I'm an ostrich or a penguin?" You realize that you have a choice: you can continue to walk around and your life will be fine, or you could take a chance, jump off the cliff, and hope you can fly.

So I think that's where they music execs are these days. They want to drop DRM. They theorize that dropping DRM might improve sales. They also recognize that unprotected and unregulated digital distribution could be the end of their entire industry. So if you're the Executive Vice President of BrandX Music, do you want to risk your career on this, or do you want to plod along doing business the way it's being done, and hope for the best?

Re:Usurpers (1)

reub2000 (705806) | more than 7 years ago | (#18024982)

Illegal piracy is already widespread on the internet. How can DRM do anything about this?

Re:Usurpers (3, Insightful)

AndersOSU (873247) | more than 7 years ago | (#18025016)

Which would be fine, but thanks to napster, and all the p2p that has come since, they've already been forcibly thrown from the cliff. They better start flapping, or things could get ugly.

DRM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18024066)

Well, what if I like DRM you insensitive cloud!

Re:DRM (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18024354)

I see them up there, those insensitive clouds....scheming

"So Bill, we attack tomorrow"
"Yes, tomorrow..."
"I mean it this time"
"I do too "

Governmental intervention? Bwahahaha! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18024070)

Is this yet another sign of the typical media industry 'head in the sand, refuse to change' approach...

Governmental intervention? Yes, who better to assist the media industry's 'head in the sand, refuse to change' attitude than the Bush administration?

The irony such a move would generate would be so dense it would collapse upon itself and form a black hole that would destroy the Earth.

OK I am really confused. (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18024102)

I was confused by the summary at first, and now that I've R'ed TFA, I am no more enlightened. The article says that music industry execs think they can boost sales with unencumbered music, but that music labels won't allow this to happen, and that in the future music execs want DRM to allow them to manage their rights rather than encumber music.

So, can somebody please explain:

(1) What is the difference between the music industry execs and the people who run the labels, and

(2) If the music industry execs are saying they do or the don't want DRM?

Thanks.

They should have learned from e-books (4, Insightful)

Zigurd (3528) | more than 7 years ago | (#18024134)

Why did the music industry think consumers would accept DRM?

The obvious and total failure of DRM'ed e-books should have warned them: Take a medium that consumers view as a tangible product, that they can buy and sell in an aftermarket, and try to turn it into a limited, licensed, revocable, non-transferable right-to-use at a not particularly attractive price - and it should succeed?

What are they snorting? Oh. Right. Never mind.

Re:They should have learned from e-books (0)

hador_nyc (903322) | more than 7 years ago | (#18024872)

The obvious and total failure of DRM'ed e-books should have warned them: Take a medium that consumers view as a tangible product, that they can buy and sell in an aftermarket, and try to turn it into a limited, licensed, revocable, non-transferable right-to-use at a not particularly attractive price - and it should succeed?
good point... I buy ebooks from an scifi paper and ebook publisher, this is not an ad, so I won't put their name here, that doesn't add drm. They actually make it available in pdf, M$reader, and TEXT format. Plus you can download it again and again; so long as you've paid for it once. The system works for me, and I believe they are making money on it, as the cheaper price(as compared to the same title they offer in paperback), allows me to buy more books.

I hope more go this way!

Re:They should have learned from e-books (3, Insightful)

kat_skan (5219) | more than 7 years ago | (#18024926)

Isn't it reaching a bit to assume that the reason eBooks failed is the public's rejection of DRM, rather than the readers costing hundreds of dollars and the books themselves costing as much or more as the paperback?

I don't understand. Help. (5, Insightful)

tkrotchko (124118) | more than 7 years ago | (#18024172)

So record company execs are saying:

1) DRM is bad
2) It hurts the market
3) Doggone it, let's get rid of it!

But then they say....

4) But we're not going to get rid of it
5) We're hoping the government will force us to get rid of it?

I may not be as bright as some of you guys around here, but this doesn't make any sense.

They really seem to be saying:

1) DRM *THE WAY WE'VE DONE IT* is bad.
2) No way will we get rid of it, we'd rather have bad DRM than none. We need to be able to resell Elvis tracks every 5 years to the same consumer.
3) What we're hoping for is the government mandates a technical solution, since Apple has really screwed us up, and we don't seem to be able to work together to come up with a viable solution on our own.

Seriously, if you're the government, isn't it reasonable to say "Gee, selling music to consumers is not a core function of government. You guys figure it out. We've already given you eternal copyrights and the FBI to enforce it, what else do you need?". But I guess that won't happen.

Re:I don't understand. Help. (3, Insightful)

twistedsymphony (956982) | more than 7 years ago | (#18024358)

I think it would be benificial for the government to prevent DRM. They wouldn't waste all that FBI money on enforcing it, they would waste all that money in the legal system fighting over it's infringement, and consumers get a product that isn't artificially limited in it's use. And depending on who you believe record sales will actually increase as consumers get a product they're more happy with/are able to let more people experience more music causing them to buy more music.

It's win-win-win... except for the companies that exist only to develop ridiculous DRM schemes... but they were already losers anyway.

Re:I don't understand. Help. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18024430)

No, no. It's:

4) But we're not going to get rid of it
5) We're hoping the government will force us to get rid of it.
6) And replace it with some kind of blanket recording media/network traffic tax that will be given back to us.
7) Profit!

Re:I don't understand. Help. (4, Interesting)

Ngwenya (147097) | more than 7 years ago | (#18024840)

1) DRM *THE WAY WE'VE DONE IT* is bad.
2) No way will we get rid of it, we'd rather have bad DRM than none. We need to be able to resell Elvis tracks every 5 years to the same consumer.
3) What we're hoping for is the government mandates a technical solution, since Apple has really screwed us up, and we don't seem to be able to work together to come up with a viable solution on our own.


The more I look at it, the more the music labels seem to resemble strung out junkies.

They know that DRM hurts more than it helps.

They know that infringing copying is rampant, and DRM schemes do nothing to stop it. I think they even know that the losses due to copying don't really make that much difference to their situation. Some difference, but not much. In fact, the most swapped music tends to enrich the bands at live gigs and sell more merchandise.

They want to stop, but they just can't. They can't make that first step. One of them (EMI, maybe?) will go cold turkey for a bit. Their tracks will then be all over P2P as they already are and always were, but this will be enough for the pushers (DRM manufacturers) to say "See? Do you want that sort of pain for your back catalogue?", and enough of them will start hurting. Enough to continue the sad cycle.

Eventually, they will phase out CD sales, and replace them with (DRM'ed) downloads only. Fine. I don't care. I won't buy them, and I won't even hack round them. And the bands I do buy from will be those who market themselves well enough, and play good gigs.

An old industry dies. A new one lives. It's a fair trade.

--Ng

DRM is good (3, Insightful)

pseudorand (603231) | more than 7 years ago | (#18024174)

Personally, I'm all for DRM. If we have a effective and uncrackable DRM system, more people wouldn't bother listening to the garbage hollywood and the music industry force on us (Brittany Spears, etc.) because they have to pay for it. Smaller artists who give their music away and make money by dealing directly with local radio stations concert venus would thrive.

Re:DRM is good (2, Insightful)

Yoozer (1055188) | more than 7 years ago | (#18024260)

If we have a effective and uncrackable DRM system
...we still have the infamous analog hole, and people will be satisfied with 128kbps-quality rips. I don't think you can wean 'm off the drab.

Re:DRM is good (1)

geoffspear (692508) | more than 7 years ago | (#18024776)

Oh please. People buy music you think is "garbage" because they like it. They can already get the music the smaller artists are giving away for free, but they don't want it because it's crap. No one's "forcing" anyone to listen to anything; the major labels put out plenty of music that doesn't sell well, and you can bet if they could force people to buy it they would. Insightful my ass.

Re:DRM is good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18024884)

Just a couple of notes here:

1) Just shave off the hair. The comb-over isn't working for you.

2) Speaking of shaving, just do it. That was probably a good look for you when (a) you were 15 years younger and (b) had hair but now, it just makes you look homeless.

I'm just sayin' man. Consider this constructive criticism, kinda like when someone says your fly is down, or you have a zit on your nose.

You're welcome!

Re:DRM is good (1)

Mister Whirly (964219) | more than 7 years ago | (#18025138)

Just a couple of notes here:

1) Nobody gives a rat's ass what an AC thinks about someones appearance. You don't even have the balls to post under a real user account. You are less than insignificant.

2) Even if you did post under a real account, nobody still cares about what you think about someone else's appearance. You must be pretty insecure with your own looks if you have to resort to criticizing someone else.

I'm just sayin' man. Consider this constructive criticism, kinda like when someone says your fly is down, or you have a zit on your nose.

You're welcome!

Re:DRM is good (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18025136)

No one's "forcing" anyone to listen to anything

On the contrary; at its peak Clearchannel owned/controlled something like 75% of the radio stations in the US. If you want to listen to the radio, in most places you can ONLY get the usual commercial pap shoveled at you.

Re:DRM is good (1)

geoffspear (692508) | more than 7 years ago | (#18025530)

I'd like to see how GP's unbreakable DRM scheme is going to stop people from listening to Britney if they're not downloading her music but listening to it on the radio.

Of course, since you're just making up statistics (Clear Channel has never controlled close to 75% of the US radio market or "something like" it), it's hard to take your comment seriously at all. I heard that currently 99% of US radio stations only play NPR news and indy rock. It's true because I said so.

Re:DRM is good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18024854)

Dude! How did you get a gig on Venus?!?

You First! (1)

Steve B (42864) | more than 7 years ago | (#18024188)

To summarize: 54% of music execs think that current DRM is too restrictive and 62% think selling unencumbered music would be a way to boost sales. Even limiting the survey to the record labels themselves, 48% believe this. Yet, many also believe it's not going to happen without significant governmental intervention....

The bottom line is that a critical mass of the MAFIAA has figured out that their omerta is no longer viable, but nobody wants to be the first to break it.

The problem is... (5, Insightful)

starseeker (141897) | more than 7 years ago | (#18024190)

if DRM is removed and piracy jumps, the cause-effect logic will be very hard to refute. It probably CAN be refuted (all that has to happen is to have a file successfully ripped once and it's all over the internet) but an observed jump post-DRM removal would undoubtedly end some careers. Nobody wants to take that chance.

The music industry seems to be doing quite well (which is not to say the artists are getting all they really should, but that's another post) since they have money to spend playing around with copyright law. There is no "we need to try DRM-free music before our profits dry up!" imperative which might drive people to take risks and the company to accept risks, so DRM (which is easy to make sound good, whether it is or not) won't go anywhere until the case for it hurting sales AS A CONCEPT (not just a bad implementation) becomes obvious enough to convince anyone.

The only way I can see that happening is an "open source music" phenomena that replaces corporate music trends, star generators, and hits with something just as good (or "effective" if you don't think it's good) but community controlled. That's hard, because opinions are subjective and can apparently be influenced by ads. We need a central site, lots of sources of music people want to listen to (not what they SHOULD want to listen to, mind you, but what they DO want to listen to - no running people down for their (lack of) taste), and quality control that people can trust. When THAT emerges, DRM will become too much of a liability. I don't see anything else that can do it.

Re:The problem is... (2, Insightful)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 7 years ago | (#18024444)

if DRM is removed and piracy jumps, the cause-effect logic will be very hard to refute.


How can that possibly happen?

The only way would be if removing the DRM caused additional media to be piratable... But what RIAA products aren't available in a DRM free form from illegal sources?

Selling DRM free music wouldn't increase the supply of DRM free music, since that supply is already infinite. All it would do is increase their profits.

Good Cop Bad Cop (1)

mpapet (761907) | more than 7 years ago | (#18024202)

The Sales Department of any entertainment conglomerate will happily beat the "DRM is bad" drum because their job depends on it.

Meanwhile, executive management is doing everything in their power to maintain their distribution cartel. DRM serves their end game quite nicely thank you.

Consumers don't care and will accept their DRM schemes because they don't know any better. All the righteous outrage on ./ amounts to absolutely nothing because nothing will ever be done by nearly all ./er's. Most of us on ./ know better but won't do a thing to improve the situation for the uninformed. Myself included.

Grinding Halt (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18024268)

They are 100% correct that it slows down the marketplace, actually it comes to a grinding halt since I'm not buying anything which is DRM'ed.

DRM is ultimately a WASTE OF MONEY (3, Interesting)

harshmanrob (955287) | more than 7 years ago | (#18024288)

Remember the guy who beat the CD copying by using a black magic marker or macrovision's using the same video scrambler technology they developed in the 80s that can be defeated with a $30 video enhancer unit on eBay? Why is the industry wasting time and money to be encrypting systems that seems to be defeated before they are deployed in the market. DVD Jon has busted DVD's and other alleged "secure" media. Some of these hacks are 20 to 30 lines of code! So much for the millions of dollars invested. Even Legislation has done nothing. What has come from the RIAA suing 12 year old's for downloading music. Limewire and other P2P engines are active now more than ever. The funniest part is watching these music artists bitching about how record companies steal their money and giving a press conference with their million dollar mansion in the background, or coming out of a restaurant most people could not afford to eat at. The reality is modern music sucks, so does most of the content they are trying to protect. That is the real reason why the media companies are losing money, not because of piracy. They want to blame other people instead of the trash they are peddling as entertainment.

Re:DRM is ultimately a WASTE OF MONEY (1)

revlayle (964221) | more than 7 years ago | (#18024962)

You had me until "The reality is modern music sucks, so does most of the content they are trying to protect."

That is a very SUBJECTIVE opinion. There is a good deal of modern music that is, in my opinion, good... and a good deal of "yesteryear" music that, again - in my opinion, really blows

As a person who hates DRM (5, Insightful)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 7 years ago | (#18024312)

I'm not sure if they are mistaken or not.

A few people revel in ripping things off. The music industry (MI) will lose some money on them.

A lot of people have absolutely no morals and will do what costs them the least. MI will lose some money on them.

A lot of people are as moral as they can afford to be. MI will lose some money on them if people feel swapping non-drm'd titles is okay.

The folks folks who are very moral, it won't really matter unless the basic morality of the action is redefined by the culture (which I see a strong incentive to occur).

It might turn out to be the last big blast of sales income before music sales dry up.

Surveys (2, Insightful)

loafing_oaf (1054200) | more than 7 years ago | (#18024334)

Surveys are one of the least reliable ways to get statistics. Why? Even with anonymity, people try to cast themselves in a good light on surveys. If music executives don't like DRM, then where is DRM coming from?

Meanwhile the RIAA shakes people down (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18024392)

Xxxx Xxxxxx, We are in receipt of your email dated 02/XX/07. Please contact me by telephone at (913) 234-81XX to discuss possible resolution of the matter to which you refer in your email. Alternatively, please provide a telephone number at which you may be reached, and let us know when would be a convenient time for us to reach you. We look forward to discussing this matter with you. Sincerely, Xxxx X. Xxxxx Settlement Representative 913.234.81XX (p) 913.234.81XX (f)

Okay, fine (1)

Bullfish (858648) | more than 7 years ago | (#18024396)

With all the anti-DRM stuff coming out of these guys who speak out of both sides of their mouth of late, it is easy to be cynical, and I have been cynical on this topic. Every one of the people who have come out against DRM (yes, Jobs too) has been a beneficiary.

They all hate it? Fine, do away with it by mutual consent! Shut up and do it!

Otherwise it is just like one of those ads that say the banks are your friends.

Only DRM Vendors want DRM... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18024418)

Only DRM Vendors want DRM and their strategy is to create fear that if you release any music without DRM it will be pirated.

Common sense should tell them thats what a CD is, music without DRM, they are not changing the dynamic at all by giving up on that DRM crap.

So FUD is all they have, because their DRM doesn't work and doesn't sell.

q/a (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18024520)

Is this yet another sign of the typical media industry 'head in the sand, refuse to change' approach, or might we be seeing the early stages or some actual change? I don't know what you're looking at, but what I'm smelling is the industry grasping towards a compromise: tougher laws for laxer DRM. IE, "we're stupid, so give us your shit before we take it away."

FINALLY!! (1)

filesiteguy (695431) | more than 7 years ago | (#18024536)

You know, I have been avoiding buying music over the 'net simply because I don't want to be stuck with some proprietary DRM format that isn't transferrable to my various players. For example, I once bought an album from Lush on Real Tunes or whatever. I then tried to transfer it to my Palm Zire and - bzz! - no luck. Because the Real Player on my Palm doesn't handle DRM files, I cannot play it. Oh, and it didn't play in Amarok either.

I know the industry is afraid of downloads - just look at what you can get on Usenet - but they should just provide what we want in an easy interface (like iTunes) and we'll buy.

Of course, come to think of it, I can't play my U2 or Duran Duran 12" EPs on Amarok either, so I wonder if my argument is moot...

Amusing enough (1)

hsmith (818216) | more than 7 years ago | (#18024544)

They fought MP3's for years, they finally "gave in" and implemented restrictive DRM, now they finally may remove it because they think it will "help" sell their product.

Good job fucksticks, if you would have embraced the technology 8 years ago you would possibly have much much better sales right now. You'd think the record industry would learn from past mistakes but no, the same morons keep making the same decisions.

Digital Rights Management huh (2, Insightful)

romland (192158) | more than 7 years ago | (#18024562)

This just occurred to me (call me slow), who came up with the abbreviation DRM? Somehow I doubt it was some random blogger. To state the obvious: the goal of the whole bloody concept has become to blur it. Read the words spelled out "Digital Rights Management". Whose rights? Who is managing? The only thing that is clear about it is the word "digital" but I count on the creativity of /.:ers to blur that part as well. As far as the regular Joe is concerned this could be something positive for him -- before doing any research, but why would he think he should?

Point is, in the case of the regular Joe half the battle is already lost, they have no bloody clue what DRM is, it's just another abbreviation along with DVD, HDDVD or whatever else that is `in' right now. For some twenty years DRM was referred to as "Copy Protection" because that is exactly what it is, by renaming it to some nonsensical abbreviation they have created a highway for easier acceptance.

But ah, it's not like it's the first time some industry does something like this...

And now we get to the point where I am considered troll: I do believe there are places where "DRM" is called for, anyone who posts it is all-through evil gets a page-down tap from me (it's usually long rants). Lately it has however been going out of line. Repeatedly.

On an ending note, all according to Google: 46,200,000 hits for DRM. 2,900,000 hits for "copy protection" (quotes included). God, I feel old.

Re:Digital Rights Management huh (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18025172)

Read the words spelled out "Digital Rights Management". Whose rights? Who is managing?

Just do what I do (not my idea I admit) and refer to it as "Digital Restrictions Management". Far more honest, same initialization.

Re:Digital Rights Management huh (2, Insightful)

denis-The-menace (471988) | more than 7 years ago | (#18025274)

Troll, maybe not.

It's just that people are sick and tired of being controlled, manupulated coerced and duped by copy protection.

Having no protection in old versions of Windows helped MS get to where it is today. MS exec were even quoted to say that if there was any piracy going on that they hoped it was for their products and not their competitors.

People pay enough for the HW and spend enough time fixing for-pay beta-quality SW only to find out that there's DRM in their way. The /. crown is just more aware of the entertainment mafias.

As for DRM and music, it's just history repeating itself. Thomas Edison didn't learn and that's why we have Hollywood. And because of DRM, in 20-50 years we'll be listening to the hits of "Pong Yang and the chopsticks".

DRM and Piracy (1)

edbob (960004) | more than 7 years ago | (#18024564)

I just don't see that piracy would take a big jump if DRM is removed from the content that is sold at iTunes et al. DRM is already broken and song files appear on filesharing networks. This will likely continue, however, I would prefer to receive a sanctioned, DRM-free, high-quality download for a reasonable price. I will only pay for DRM-free tracks so I could use them with any device I own or may own in the future. The real reason that these files are so readily available on filesharing networks is that once people download the file, the file is left in the share folder and others are able to download it from there. If people can be convinced to use sanctioned download services it may actually serve to help reduce piracy by keeping these files out of individuals' share folders on the various networks. The fact is I (and I believe many others) can afford to pay $1 per track, but I will not pay for something that has been intentionally crippled. Right now, aside from a few independent artists, the only way to get a DRM-free track is by either buying the CD and ripping it (and hoping that there is no rootkit or other nefarious code lurking on the CD) or through the filesharing services.

You are coming to a sad realization... (2, Funny)

Tiger Smile (78220) | more than 7 years ago | (#18024582)

... allow, or deny?

Allow.

Re:You are coming to a sad realization... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18025344)

I came to a sad realization... that Steve Jobs is just a lying corporate shill and not the creative visionary all the Mac fanbois paint him to be.

Apple is the problem, not the execs (1)

thespace101 (902515) | more than 7 years ago | (#18024636)

I've heard in multiple articles and reports, one being an NPR interview with the Vice President of Marketing at Apple stating that DRM is in Apple's favor and they don't want to change it (it was a foot in mouth moment you've gotta hear it). DRM is beneficifal for keeping their market share. With all your music locked into an ipod you can't jump to any other hardware product. Practically the day after that interview Apple did an about face and Steve Jobs posted his "thoughts on DRM" article. And I'm not putting all the blame on Apple, DRM is or was in the music industry's benefit too, but right now, Apple is set up to 'possibly' loose if they pull the DRM out now.

Re:Apple is the problem, not the execs (2, Insightful)

Bullfish (858648) | more than 7 years ago | (#18024994)

You're right.

Actually, removing DRM is against what I believe are Apple future plans. Yesterday, in the Yahoo hates DRM thread it mentioned how microsoft's DRM only works 50% of the time. Makes sense when you realize they don't make the hardware, therefore, they are only 50% of the equation.

Apple, on the other hand, makes both hardware and software. My own belief is that the iPod, and soon the iPhone will be joined by among other things.. iTV or some such thing. Apple brought back Jobs to create, sell and make them money. He did it by advancing them as a multimedia delivery company and selling consumers devices that make it easier to buy content from them. I do believe that those nice Apple displays will become nice Apple HDTV's with firmware that enforces DRM and gets you to choose Apple as your content provider through their user friendly software et al. I actually expect more stringent hardware based DRM to come, not less, and I see Apple at the forefront.

I can't blame Jobs, it will make money and that is what he was hired to do. Now, OSX and it's incarnation can be 100% better than Vista, but all the comparisons smack to me of the old Windows 95 = Apple 88 stuff. And we know how that turned out.

Interesting that despite all the hype about OSX, it's the iPod and iTunes (banned in Norway!) that arguably turned Apple around. Iview will carry them forward when it comes.

Re:Apple is the problem, not the execs (1)

Steve525 (236741) | more than 7 years ago | (#18025314)

I used to think that, too. That is, I used to think that Apple wouldn't want to get rid of DRM since having it locks people into their products. After Job's posting, I could see how getting rid of DRM could help them more.

So far Apple has the dominant products in both on-line music store and portable player. I don't think DRM is responsible for this success; it's only been important that the products work well together. Moving forward, keeping DRM may lock in people, which could maintain their dominant position. However, I'm sure Apple just doesn't want to maintain - they want to grow. Jobs believes that removing DRM will make both their products (the on-line store directly, and the music player indirectly) better, and therefore attract more customers. Yes, they will face more (and fairer) competition this way, but he beleives that the growth that will occur in the entire online music market will translate into significant growth for Apple. He probably believes his products can continue to be compelling enough over the competition, even without DRM lock-in.

Is he right? Who knows? I just hope he gets his way, because I'd certainly like to be able to buy DRM-free music on-line from such a large catalog.

Re:Apple is the problem, not the execs (1)

thespace101 (902515) | more than 7 years ago | (#18025536)

Well I hope you're both right

iTunes business model flawed (1)

El Cabri (13930) | more than 7 years ago | (#18024666)

I think that the model of digital distribution, that consists in having the consummer pay about as much for a data file as they would for a packaged physical support with the same content, is flawed at the core. You get at most the same experience as you would by paying for the physical object, and often much less : compare for example a TV show episode on iTunes : $35 for a whole season when a boxset can usually be had second hand for $25 on a C2C website. And then you have no widescreen, no subtitles, no chaptering, no extras, and much worse-than-DVD video quality. And you're very restricted in how you can play it : if in fifteen years you want to watch your show again, assuming the file is not lost to some harddrive crash or computer upgrade or bad backup discipline, you'll have to do it on some Apple hardware, and no other. By that time maybe another company will make much better products, you'll be restricted to using Apple hardware all of your life or you have to give up on your $35 show (and the rest of your collection). Imagine paying for the right to watch The A Team in the 80s and now if you want to watch it again, having to do so on an RCA TV set.

Re:iTunes business model flawed (3, Insightful)

thpr (786837) | more than 7 years ago | (#18025406)

I think that the model of digital distribution, that consists in having the consummer pay about as much for a data file as they would for a packaged physical support with the same content, is flawed at the core.

Actually, while this may be unpopular on ./, it's indicative of value pricing of the digital product. You may not feel that is 'fair', but pricing isn't about fairness. It's about extracting the maximum amount of value from the consumer of the product while leaving the consumer with enough value that they return as a customer. In this case, the fact that the content is copyrighted generally trumps pricing fairness under anti-trust law (because the effect of copyright is to grant a temporary monopoly).

Digital downloads and CDs are well differentiated products, and they both have an effective place in the market. I suspect the value for the digital content is appropriate. Marketing = Product, Promotion, Price, and Position (or some other form of 4 Ps equating to the same message), so if you are purchasing a season-at-a-time and are price sensitive, you are not their target market. That doesn't mean the market does not exist (e.g. I think ringtones are the biggest rip-off known to man-kind, but I can't ignore that it's a billion dollar market).

Digital distribution is targeted at those who are either cherry-picking or are time sensitive. Conversion from a CD to digital form takes time and effort (worse for DVDs). To some people, this time is worth more than the price difference between the products (and to others, they are so price-insensitive, that they will probably buy the digital version to watch the show during their commute and then purchase the season DVDs once they are available). One could also digital distribution is carrying a premium price at the moment, because it's 'hip'.

One pays MORE on a relative basis for an individual ditigal product of lower quality than they can receive on a CD or DVD. It's 100% consistent with hundreds of thousands of physical products you can buy in a store. Effectively, CDs/DVDs are bundles, where you also receive the benefits of the doctrine of first sale (because you bought a product, not a license). Therefore, by buying the bundle, you get a discount (or you can view it as getting the higher quality for free). Buying the individual songs, you pay the market rate. In the case of TV shows, you may also get a time advantage (this is part of 'Position': it will be out in digital form before the season DVD is available).

Another useful analogy is to look at cost per bit of digital transmission. Try it someday on an SMS (cellular text) message (128 characters) vs. what the cable company pipes to you every month. The cost differential is something like 100,000X on a per-bit basis. That doesn't mean either cable or SMS is fundamentally flawed. SMS is certainly value-priced, but the number of users indicates it still possesses value even at that price.

Note that this judgement is on a relative basis to the cost of a CD, I am making NO judgement here about whether the CD costs are over-inflated due to industry behavior. That is an entirely different discussion which is not required to properly evaluate the relative value of individual digital tracks to a physical CD.

Given the current price of a CD, the prices are pretty close to what the market will bear (they are value priced). CDs can be effectively purchased for about $7-$8 at your favorite music club or other method of bulk purchases. So effectively, if you're buying more than 3 tracks on a CD, it's much more cost effective to buy the CD. For a one-hit wonder or a band where you appreciate a single song, but generally cringe at the music, use a $1/track digital source.

Government does just the opposite today (1)

chainLynx (939076) | more than 7 years ago | (#18024680)

"significant governmental intervention" ... like, say, the DMCA?

DRM means the end of Microsoft (3, Interesting)

Didion Sprague (615213) | more than 7 years ago | (#18024714)

I don't think it's a much of stretch to say that selling music without DRM will probably destroy Microsoft.

I think *this* -- essentially the end of Microsoft -- is what's at the core of all of this. And the end of Microsoft will be the *result* of DRM-less tracks. Jobs knows this. Everybody knows this. This is the elephant in the room that no one is talking much about.

Vista is all about DRM -- everything about Vista is DRM wrapped in eye-candy. Vista is the DRM operating system.

The end of DRM means the end of Microsoft as the major OS player. It also means a return to the "hobbyist" computers of the 1980s -- the TRS-80s and the Commodore 64s and the Apple IIs. This "hobbyist" market continues to erode as DRM gains a foothold. Drop DRM, and we're back to where we were 25 years ago -- personal computers that were meant to serve users not the corporations.

Just my two cents.

Re:DRM means the end of Microsoft (1)

Mister Whirly (964219) | more than 7 years ago | (#18025540)

And if I had a nickel for every Slashdot prediction that "[fill in the blank] is Microsoft's stupidest move ever and will finish them off." I could buy them myself and put them under... Apple may well live and die by selling their music, but Microsft is hardly going to be put out of business by DRMless music. I mean what do you think is on all those CDs they sell every year? Right, DRMless music and yet MS is still somehow in busines...

you9 insefnsitive clod! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18024976)

it's a European survey (1)

tazochai (213288) | more than 7 years ago | (#18025010)

at first I was confused by the slashdot blurb... if execs surveyed really feel this way, then how can the next breath say that labels are keen to stick with DRM? Aren't execs of labels, and labels, kind of the same thing? I figured, something must be up with the polling.

Then I saw the first sentence in the article:
"The Jupiter Research study looked at attitudes to Digital Rights Management (DRM) systems in Europe music firms."

They only polled European firms. I guess that explains the difference between what people think and what is actually done. So we're only reading about what European execs think, and then comparing it to what the industry as a whole is doing.

Off topic but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18025024)

It might be a good idea for music vendors to market their copies of digital content as spyware/adware/virus free in order to promote buying legal copies of music instead of trying to rely on drm etc. It seems to me that this would probably be the single best reason to pay for music, that is unless you feel some crazy desire to support the artist. you think?

I'm sure this is true (2, Insightful)

Scareduck (177470) | more than 7 years ago | (#18025088)

Just as some slaveholders were beginning to come out against slavery before the (U.S.) Civil War, mainly on economic grounds. There were not enough of them, however, and they were not in sufficient numbers to prevent said war.

DRM not a problem for me (2, Interesting)

rlp (11898) | more than 7 years ago | (#18025218)

I used to listen to music during my daily commute and while exercising (cycling). I'd convert my CD's to MP3 and burn mix CD's for the car and load-up my (non-IPod) MP3 player for exercise. After encountering a CD I couldn't rip for MP3's due to DRM (and that the store wouldn't allow me to return) - I stopped buying CD's. I've tried ITunes - but it's too much hassle to get it to work with non-IPods.

Anyway I've switched to listening to podcasts (Thank you Leo Leporte!!). I use 'Juice' to download (via the RSS feed) and just drop it onto my MP3 player. Got a wireless transmitter for the car, which is not great for music, but good enough for voice.

Competition? (4, Interesting)

kthejoker (931838) | more than 7 years ago | (#18025354)

What really strikes me as amusing about this whole conversation is that the members of the RIAA and the industry at large are no longer even pretending like there is any actual competition going on at the music distribution level.

And even better, everyone here in this discussion basically assumes that the industry is acting as one singular beast. They say things like "Well, when DRM is removed, blah blah blah..." as if all of the companies will, you know, COLLUDE to just end DRM one day and that'll be that.

The sad part is that, of course, all of these posts are right. The industry no longer acts as a bunch of competing units. They are essentially acting as a philosophical (if not legally binding) conglomerate on all of the ideas about music distribution. That's just sickening.

Why can't one company take that risk now? Why not, you know, offer a *COMPETING* business model of DRM-free music at the upper levels? Of course there are a number of independent companies who do just that, but why can't EMI, for example, just dump DRM? It's because they're all in bed together.

I think we should resist at all times the premise that the RIAA is just some mythical octopus, a single unit with many arms. These types of industry-wide assurances and reclamations are damaging to the whole premise of business as it is. The fact that none of them are even attempting to compete on these terms is just proof that we have already let them cement their status as a de facto monopoly. To not even fight them on that front is disheartening.

To music executives: Your industry is in crisis. Take a fucking risk!

Not All execs created equal. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18025482)

I guess this study just demonstrates that the music industry is not a direct democracy.

Also lots of people are taking the until the goverment does something to mean, until the government forces us not to be stupid. Given the legislation the music and movie industries tend to want it seems more likely that the government intervention they are talking about is the government so empowering them so that they don't need DRM to force us to re-buy music, and can bill us for playing music for our friends, and for being at the recieving end of their ads.

I really think that we (int eh US) need a hybrid between the bbc and nea. A non-profit comapny that would produce and distribute artistically created media that has mass market appeal. They should have a promotional outlet similar to radio and television, that lets the public get a taste of what they have to offer with out making it all available on demand all the time. So people can get a taster for what's out there, but alsol so that they can get a taste for what people are into. And they should charge money for personal copies of the media. The morepopular something is the less it should cost. They should pay the artists a living wage with the succesful artists getting a comfortable living wage, and most of the profits being held to cover future productions from succesful artists, initial productions from unknown artists, and to buffer the successful and somewhat but not quite independently viable artists.

Rationale for DRM, from a music exec POV... (4, Insightful)

HerculesMO (693085) | more than 7 years ago | (#18025500)

At least, it's what I think they would think.

Most "big hits" these days are CDs filled with garbage. If you look at the number one selling CDs, it's the "Wow! Now that's what I Call Music - Volume 845". Music executives know that people are only going to buy the CDs that are filled with stuff that audiences like, and enjoy.

That said, look at the music that's released on those 'compilation' CDs. The music is all old and past its 'hit single' prime. It's not terribly old, but it's not the stuff that plays commonly on the radio either.

Most artists have 'filler' CDs. That is to say, they have maybe two tracks that are any good, and the rest is total crap. But the music companies can charge you for the full price of the CD, filler and all. You pay for all 12 or 15 songs or whatever, when all you wanted was the two. And now with iTunes, you can pay $2 and get those two tracks alone. The odds of you buying entire albums now goes down significantly because you know that most artists pretty much suck donkey balls, and you just like that one "lalalala cookie monster" song. They are going to get smaller slices of the pie.

With DRM gone, there's no tie to iTunes and as well, people aren't as leery of buying music online because they know no matter what, their music will play in their car, on any mp3 player, and won't expire or screw up. It will spur rapid adoption of online music because it's easy to use, easy to share, easy to listen to, and gets you exactly what you want, without paying for filler.

And further, with rapid adoption of online music, the 'indie' bands now have a greater chance at making it big, because there is no reliance on music industry to play their music on the radio. Digital music will hit a critical mass quickly I think, and services like Pandora and Last.fm will become the standard for listening to music, instead of turning on your radio. You'll tell Last.fm that you like bands X, Y, and Z, all of which are mainstream bands. Then Last.fm will say "hey, you like them, you might like bands A, B and C" -- which are indie bands.

And in the end, the only people who are going to gain are the fans -- artists won't be able to produce filler CDs because they won't be able to make a living off of them (ala Britney Spears and the others), record companies won't control what we listen to because we have services like Last.fm, Pandora and the wonderful "word of mouth" (which is lightspeed on the internet). Music industry loses control, artists realize that if they are good, they can self-publish, and they all lose out.

As Cartman said to Token in South Park (playing the role of the Music Industry here) -- "From now on, we are an entertainment team, Token. You just do all the singing, all the performing, and all the entertaining... and leave the rest to us." That really won't work any more. And it's a good thing for us as fans, bad for the recording industry. And it's inevitable anyway.... just give it time.
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