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EMI Says ITMS DRM-Free Music Selling Well

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the people-like-choice dept.

Music 239

An anonymous reader writes "'The initial results of DRM-free music are good' says Lauren Berkowitz, a senior vice president of EMI, at a music industry conference in New York. Berkowitz went on to say that the early results from iTunes indicate that DRM-free offerings may boost revenue from digital albums as well as individual songs."

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Hermoine Dies in Harry Potter 7 (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19597407)

Dear my brothers, Voldemort killed Hermione. Yes, that's true. And we knew that 2 days ago. This is the end of the not yet published (someone could call that 0day) book Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows . At the end of the story Hagrid was killed by Snape in the attempt of ambush Hermione and Ron. Ron and Hermione flees in privet drive but Voldermort, surprising them, engaged a magical duel with Ron and Hermione. Voldemort attacked trough the imperius curse and Hermione, to protect the life of Ron fight hardly for more than 6 pages and then finally die. (boring, very boring... it's always the same story!) Then, to make a long story short, Harry came up, killed all the bad guys and Hogwarts against became a good place to stay and have fun. Ah, i missed one important information about Draco Malfoy, he started to create Horcrux (for fun and profit!). The end.

Spaz you are! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19599013)

Hahaha, what a spaz you are!

Shock! (5, Funny)

thrills33ker (740062) | more than 7 years ago | (#19597427)

Who'd have thought that treating your customers with respect and giving them what they want would pay off?

Amazing!

Re:Shock! (4, Funny)

Harmonious Botch (921977) | more than 7 years ago | (#19597453)

Only in the long run.

Re:Shock! (-1, Troll)

teh_commodore (1099079) | more than 7 years ago | (#19597555)

This has been a very impressive PR stunt. Let's claim to be DRM free and then we're the heroes who stand up for the little guy, the customer. Let's not forget, they still encode e-mail addresses and names in these 'DRM free' tracks. I still consider that DRM. If we're gonna love someone for providing DRM free tracks, remember Amazon is providing actual unencoded MP3s. [nytimes.com]

Re:Shock! (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19597671)

Clarification: the email addresses are simply attached to the file as a tag, not encrypted or otherwise obfuscated, and can be easily removed by tag-editing tools.

Some people seem to believe that they are encrypted into the music somehow, but it's been confirmed that this is not the case.

Re:Shock! (0, Flamebait)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#19597699)

Mod parent up! Encoding personally-identifiable information in the files is still DRM, albeit a significantly less restrictive one. It just says, "See, we still don't trust you," while allowing you to exercise your fair use rights, but charging you for the privelege.

Oh well, I'm probably just going to get modded down (a whole bunch of -1, overrated's) by the Apple zealots around here that seem to be plaguing /. as of late. Yes, that means you, Jake.

Re:Shock! (5, Informative)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 6 years ago | (#19597789)

Watermarking is not DRM. It's watermarking. DRM controls when and how you are allowed to use the content, and watermarking does not. It only provides a [potential] trail of culpability. If you are modded down, it will be at least half because you are simply wrong - although I have been hit hard by fanboys as well, Apple and otherwise. Right now it's the OSI fanboys modding me down for pointing out that Perens' claim to invent the idea of "open" source is false and that "open" meant something before he opened his mouth on the subject. I suspect you suffer for the same reason I do; some people mod me down any chance they get to make a plausible-looking negative moderation, simply because they recognize me and disapprove of that for which I stand.

Er, anyway, back on topic: Watermarking is, by definition, not DRM.

Re:Shock! (1)

timster (32400) | more than 6 years ago | (#19597951)

But... but... the files aren't even watermarked! It's just a tag!

C'mon, people, this is the worst FUD since the Alexis de Tor-something Institute spit out that paper on how Linux was a copy of Minix.

Re:Shock! (4, Informative)

Odiumjunkie (926074) | more than 6 years ago | (#19598021)

> Er, anyway, back on topic: Watermarking is, by definition, not DRM.

And this isn't watermarking. Digital watermarking changes content to encode some kind of message. When you buy DRM-free tunes from iTunes, the actual content, the AAC stream, contains no watermark. If you buy the same DRM-free song from five different accounts, all the AAC streams will be bit-for-bit identical. All that's included is a tag, in plaintext, which contains your info. You can read it, you can edit it, you can remove it. Not DRM, not a watermark.

Spiltting hairs (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 6 years ago | (#19598351)

I agree that technically, it's not a watermark - but the end effect to the average user is that of a watermark, as to them the data is the whole file and not just the encoded audio data within the AAC wrapper.

You have to call it something, and to my mind watermark is an acceptable term even if it's a variant of the core meaning.

No, no splitting hairs (1)

CallFinalClass (801589) | more than 6 years ago | (#19598435)

Since is is NOT a watermark, calling it one is simply incorrect.

Re:No, no splitting hairs (1)

Fahrenheit 450 (765492) | more than 6 years ago | (#19599021)

Net necessarily. For example, you can mark a gif file by inserting information in unused portions of the color table and leaving the image data completely untouched. Is this a watermark by pour definition? Or is it one only if used color entries or pixel entries are altered? Or is it a watermark of the container, but not the data (even though it is potential data...)?

Really, nitpicking about something that was never given a formal definition in the first place is just silly.

Re:Shock! (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 6 years ago | (#19598507)

Well, I sit corrected. I thought the data was merged in with the stream. You're correct that it's not a watermark; it's simply more like a watermark than it is like DRM. If anything, it's a ownership sticker like kids put in books :)

Re:Shock! (1)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 6 years ago | (#19598191)

Right now it's the OSI fanboys modding me down for pointing out that Perens' claim to invent the idea of "open" source is false and that "open" meant something before he opened his mouth on the subject

Not sure what this off-topic rant has to do with anything, but I've never seen Perens claim he "invented" open source. Far from it, he's always claimed its the same thing as Free Software and given appropriate credit to RMS et al.

That, however, he was a part of the original group that promoted the term as an alternative/replacement for the phrase "Free software" is beyond question. It is also beyond question that he created the "Open Source Definition", a commonly accepted definition for what open source is.

If you're being modded down, it's because you're lying about what people are claiming.

Re:Shock! (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 6 years ago | (#19598419)

Not sure what this off-topic rant has to do with anything, but I've never seen Perens claim he "invented" open source. Far from it, he's always claimed its the same thing as Free Software and given appropriate credit to RMS et al.

Perens claims to have invented the term "Open Source": in this comment [slashdot.org] .

It is not the same thing as Free Software, even if he DOES claim that, and I don't think he does (at least, he doesn't seem to have here on slashdot today.) It's vaguely similar, but that's as close as you get.

If you're being modded down, it's because you're lying about what people are claiming.

If only rational, reasonable people got modpoints, you might be right.

Re:Shock! (0)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 6 years ago | (#19598273)

I mod you down because of horrific childhood memories related to "drinkypoos".

Re:Shock! (1, Insightful)

UncleTogie (1004853) | more than 6 years ago | (#19598329)

I'd like some clarification, if possible. You'd said:

It only provides a [potential] trail of culpability.

It may be "watermarking" or not, but the Wikipedia article seems to think so, as quoted here:

"Another application is to protect digital media by fingerprinting each copy with the purchaser's information. If the purchaser makes illegitimate copies, these will contain his name. Fingerprints are an extension to watermarking principle and can be both visible and invisible."

As for whether it's DRM or not, IMHO, it IS. Whose benefit is the "trail of culpability" for? The customer, or the RIAA? Once again, IMHO, any technology that embeds information which ONLY benefits the recording industry should be considered DRM.

Re:Shock! (2, Informative)

pyite (140350) | more than 6 years ago | (#19599217)

As for whether it's DRM or not, IMHO, it IS.

And it's a good thing we don't come to you to give the final say on such matters. DRM stands for Digital Rights Management. Your rights are not being managed--at all. You can do what you wish with the file. Another point: technically, when you strip DRM from normal iTunes songs, because it relies on an encryption mechanism, you're in theory, violating the DMCA. There's no encryption with the files being tagged as they are in the non-DRM version. Go to the console and type 'strings FILENAME' and voila, it dumps these so-called watermarks. If you want to put these on Bit Torrent, or some P2P network, fine. No one is stopping you. No one is stopping you from easily stripping the tags, either. Calling it DRM just makes you look completely ignorant on the subject.

Re:Shock! (1)

metamatic (202216) | more than 6 years ago | (#19598719)

some people mod me down any chance they get to make a plausible-looking negative moderation, simply because they recognize me and disapprove of that for which I stand.

Or maybe it's because half the time you're insightful and half the time you're talking out of your ass (or so I've noticed)--but they never have mod points at the right time.

Re:Shock! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19597925)

mom, is that you ?

_____
Jake

Re:Shock! (3, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 6 years ago | (#19598063)

Mod parent idiot. Adding a metadata atom, in the format published in the standard and easily removable, to give a receipt is not DRM. It does not restrict any legal use, and it doesn't serve much impediment to illegal use either.

The tags added by the iTunes store make it easy for you to prove that you purchased the tracks, should you need to. If you don't need to, and you think having your name stored on your hard drive is somehow an infringement of your civil liberties, then just remove them. They're stored in standard MPEG-4 atoms, and there are a number of tools for editing them.

Re:Shock! (5, Insightful)

Odiumjunkie (926074) | more than 6 years ago | (#19598171)

> The tags added by the iTunes store make it easy for you to prove that you purchased the tracks

No! They allow you to prove precisely one thing, and that is the tracks contain a completable editable and non-authoratative item of metadata that describes certain data about you. They don't prove who owns the tracks, who bought the tracks, where the tracks have been, who's done what with them - they're a post-it note on a car saying "Dave bought this car". Anyone can put on a new post-it note saying something different, or remove the post-it note altogether.

The amount of FUD on this topic has been unbelievable.

Re:Shock! (1)

falcon5768 (629591) | more than 6 years ago | (#19598079)

no its not your moron. DRM means your rights are restricted, you cant copy or even play your music on something you own because it wont LET you do it.

Encoding data does nothing to prevent you from doing anything but ILLEGALLY TRADING MUSIC. You can burn it copy it back it up play it on anything you want and nothing is restricted.... but go ahead and put that on Limewire which is what you really want to do with it by the obvious tone of your writing. Be the ultimate reason the rest of us are getting dicked over by giving the record companies a example.

You dont even have to be a Apple zealot to understand that your whole line of thinking is fundamentally flawed by the fact that in order for your rights to be restricted by having your email encoded in the track, you have to be breaking the fucking law since any law abiding person would not see it as a issue.

Re:Shock! (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19597743)

How is watermarking the files DRM? It doesn't prevent you from doing anything you want to with the file. Now, if you do something illegal with the file, like distribute it on a P2P network, then this could help them track you down. Unless you are saying the only reason you are against DRM is it prevents you from breaking the law.

Re:Shock! (1)

Evil Adrian (253301) | more than 6 years ago | (#19598827)

AMEN!!!

Previous poster is a genius, and that is not sarcasm.

Re:Shock! (5, Insightful)

Scarblac (122480) | more than 6 years ago | (#19597809)

Whatever encoding e-mail addresses should be called, DRM it is not. It doesn't limit you in any way.

Let's not confuse the meaning of terms like this, that's not helpful.

Re:Shock! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19597945)

Whatever encoding e-mail addresses should be called, DRM it is not. It doesn't limit you in any way.

Sure it does! I can't freely distribute them with impunity.

Re:Shock! (1)

InsaneProcessor (869563) | more than 6 years ago | (#19598115)

That is right. You can't distribute without impunity even if it isn't there. You are just harder to catch. The tag (watermark) does not prevent you from "fair use". It just identifies you as the purchaser.

Re:Shock! (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 6 years ago | (#19597817)

Oh geeze, please stop spreading FUD about having the e-mail address in the song. It's a fricken *TAG*. It'd be like if they sold MP3s and put "Purchased on iTunes by yourname@domain.com" in the ID3 tag. Stop whining already!

Re:Shock! (5, Informative)

Dominic_Mazzoni (125164) | more than 6 years ago | (#19597875)

Let's not forget, they still encode e-mail addresses and names in these 'DRM free' tracks. I still consider that DRM.

You may not like it, but please don't confuse the issue by calling it DRM. It's metadata, even potentially useful metadata, that discourages copyright infringement while not in any way restricting fair use. You can copy those files to any device, or even transcode them into any other format, easily stripping all metadata in the process. Totally different than DRM, where you have to actually break encryption or suffer quality loss in order to do that.

If we're gonna love someone for providing DRM free tracks, remember Amazon is providing actual unencoded MP3s.

Except that they haven't opened their store yet. So don't go lauding them when you don't even know that they're not going to include the user id of the person who downloaded the song in the metadata.

Re:Shock! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19597563)

In all honesty, it's not really enough to look at these rising sales and conclude that releasing DRM-free digital songs was a good idea. Their fear in doing so was and is that people will take their copies they purchased legally and distribute them (more easily without DRM to prevent them from doing it). So the real question is, have total music sales increased in correlation with the abandonment of DRM?

Double Shock! (1)

TheAxeMaster (762000) | more than 6 years ago | (#19597733)

Raising prices increases revenue!

Re:Double Shock! (1)

danbert8 (1024253) | more than 6 years ago | (#19597859)

Actually, you're wrong... I know it's true in my industry, but others may not follow. We actually gain more revenue when prices go down. When prices increase, sales go down. More sales with a smaller profit usually ends up being a higher total profit than low sales with a high profit.

Re:Double Shock! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19597941)

Imagine if, by some kind of wizardry, we could represent your idea in a clear fashion that could be understood at a glance by a large number of people.

1. Get 4 straight sticks
2. ???
3. PROFIT!!!

Re:Double Shock! (2, Informative)

digitalunity (19107) | more than 6 years ago | (#19598461)

This depends on how much the economies of scale affects your industry. With software distributed electronically, this is especially true. The first one may cost $10M to develop, but every copy after that is effectively free, thus reducing price to encourage sales can make a huge difference in profits.

If you make a one-off embedded controller for a particular purpose and you expect to sell 10 annually, reducing your price will definitely reduce your profits.

Re:Double Shock! (2, Interesting)

clifyt (11768) | more than 6 years ago | (#19598093)

Actually, they didn't raise the prices unless you are buying individual tracks.

I *RARELY* buy individual tracks unless I am evaluating a single and want to see if I want to buy the next one. In which case, I have like 6 months to buy the rest of the album at the cost of said album minus the cost of the tracks I've already bought.

If you want singles, feel free to get hosed. Singles have ALWAYS been the way the industry made money until recently (in which time they decided albums were pretty much going to be one single mixed with lots of shit).

:o (0)

Nick_taken (1090721) | more than 7 years ago | (#19597435)

Unexpected

With sales tax it's a buck-fifty !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19597467)


That's too much for a friggin' itunes !

And why exactly does it cost 35% more than before ?

Re:With sales tax it's a buck-fifty !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19597529)

And why exactly does it cost 35% more than before ?
that's the too-lazy-to-buy-the-fucking-cd tax.

Re:With sales tax it's a buck-fifty !! (0, Redundant)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 6 years ago | (#19597855)

I'd buy more CDs, but now they have DRM too.

Re:With sales tax it's a buck-fifty !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19597953)

"I'd buy more CDs, but now they have root-kits too."

There, fixed.

Re:With sales tax it's a buck-fifty !! (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 6 years ago | (#19598429)

Huh? CDs do not have DRM. The DRM-laden media that companies pass off as "CDs" do not meet the Red Book definition that Phillips established as the Compact Disc. It's a technical point. But it's like calling WMA files MP3 files.

Re:With sales tax it's a buck-fifty !! (4, Insightful)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 7 years ago | (#19597585)

Actually they just need to make that final step:

Sell the songs in CD (or better) lossless format, with no DRM, and then I'll be a customer!!!

This first step, is a baby step...a good one but, a small one. Sell me online what I can buy in a store (quality) without DRM, and then, you've got it right. I'll be buying pretty much all my music online.

Re:With sales tax it's a buck-fifty !! (1)

brunascle (994197) | more than 6 years ago | (#19597729)

i agree.

in addition, i'd like them to ship me the liner notes, along with a physical copy of the music on some sort of portable media that's compatibile with my car stereo. and some kind of case to put the media in.

yeah, that'll never happen.

Re:With sales tax it's a buck-fifty !! (1)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 6 years ago | (#19597759)

Keep in mind you're in the majority. Most people don't mind that their music isn't super-high-bitrate/lossy compression. You don't have to get all the money in the market to be the biggest player, just the majority. Example: MySpace. Sure, it looks like ass, and it's code is half-broken. But millions upon millions of people use it. And the ad money flows in.

Re:With sales tax it's a buck-fifty !! (1)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 6 years ago | (#19597769)

I'm guessing that you are into jazz or classical? Higher bit-rates/lossless don't buy you much in the rock/pop/hip-hop category these days...

Re:With sales tax it's a buck-fifty !! (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 6 years ago | (#19597821)

Sell the songs in CD (or better) lossless format, with no DRM, and then I'll be a customer!!!
AFAIK, even the best lossless codecs don't do better than ~55% compression. Not to mention that the decoding process for most of them is a bit power hungry.

My main point is that a compressed CD will end up well over 300MB and that's a much bigger bandwidth & storage bill for iTunes

Re:With sales tax it's a buck-fifty !! (2, Informative)

maeka (518272) | more than 6 years ago | (#19597975)

AFAIK, even the best lossless codecs don't do better than ~55% compression. Not to mention that the decoding process for most of them is a bit power hungry.

FLAC takes less CPU to decode than MP3, AAC, WavePak, or Vorbis.

Re:With sales tax it's a buck-fifty !! (2, Informative)

Dominic_Mazzoni (125164) | more than 6 years ago | (#19598047)

Sell the songs in CD (or better) lossless format, with no DRM, and then I'll be a customer!!!

Have you actually given yourself a blind listening test? 256 kbps AAC is very, very good. I have never seen a study where anyone could tell the difference between 256 kbps files and uncompressed files a significant fraction of the time. Many people claim that they don't like the sound of MP3 or AAC compression, even at such a high bitrate, but they don't back it up with a real test to prove it.

Do you think that photo sites should get rid of JPEGs and replace them with uncompressed TIFFs, too? I think that JPEG at the 99% quality setting is a fair comparison to AAC 256 kbps.

Re:With sales tax it's a buck-fifty !! (4, Insightful)

sricetx (806767) | more than 6 years ago | (#19598757)

I agree with you Dominic that 256 kbps AAC may sound fine. But what if you want to play it on a device that doesn't support AAC? If you re-encode a lossy format it may not sound so good anymore. I rip my cds to FLAC so that I have a choice later in what format I want to listen to the music in. A simple shell script is all that is needed to convert a directory full of flac files to MP3 or Ogg. Disk space and bandwidth are cheap, but rebuying music in another format is not.

Re:With sales tax it's a buck-fifty !! (1)

aichpvee (631243) | more than 6 years ago | (#19599171)

It sounds crappier when you convert it to MP3 to play on your MP3 player.

Re:With sales tax it's a buck-fifty !! (5, Insightful)

nine-times (778537) | more than 6 years ago | (#19598133)

Sell the songs in CD (or better) lossless format, with no DRM, and then I'll be a customer!!!

You really think you can tell the difference between CD-quality and 256kbps AAC? Doubtful. I call BS. And even if you can tell the difference, and the difference is obvious enough to you that you care, you're one in a billion. For pretty much everyone, 256kbps is near enough to lossless that you could treat it as lossless (even transcode it to another format) and never be able to tell the difference.

And for that miniscule nearly-undetectable drop in quality, you're cutting your download time, increasing the amount of songs you can hold on your mp3 player, and maybe even increasing battery time.

Re:With sales tax it's a buck-fifty !! (1)

metamatic (202216) | more than 6 years ago | (#19598751)

And for that miniscule nearly-undetectable drop in quality, you're cutting your download time, increasing the amount of songs you can hold on your mp3 player, and maybe even increasing battery time.

I don't care about download time. However, if I have a lossless original, I can encode a high bitrate copy for home listening, and a lower bitrate one for my iPod.

That's why I prefer lossless. However, as iPods get more capacious, the need for lower bitrate mobile versions of tunes is going away.

Re:With sales tax it's a buck-fifty !! (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 6 years ago | (#19598845)

I don't care about download time. However, if I have a lossless original, I can encode a high bitrate copy for home listening, and a lower bitrate one for my iPod.

Yeah, but what I'm saying is that "high bitrate copy for home listening" isn't going to need to be more than 256kbps, and if you wanted to transcode the 256kbps AAC to 128kbps AAC, it won't sound much different from encoding the 128 from lossless. Unless you're really going to process the sound a lot (like remastering and crap), the 256kbps AAC is going to be good enough to consider it "lossless" for most practical purposes. Distributing in ALE or FLAC would generally be a waste of bandwidth and disk space.

On AVERAGE 256 is okay, but it's not ALWAYS okay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19598893)



On AVERAGE 256 is okay, but it's not ALWAYS okay. Lossy is lossy. JPEG is lossy. TIFF or PNG is PERFECT. You WILL hear artifacts, unless you are already oblivious to that (there's your 8 out of 10). Lossy is listenable, absolutely, but lossless (i.e., the digital "original") is the ohly way to fly.

Re:With sales tax it's a buck-fifty !! (1)

jeremyp (130771) | more than 6 years ago | (#19598973)

If it makes that big a difference to you, you'd probably consider it not too much inconvenience to go to a record shop and buy a CD which, I understand, is of CD quality and in a lossless format. Furthermore, when you buy a CD it comes with a back up bundled.

Re:With sales tax it's a buck-fifty !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19597651)

higher quality encoding, no drm, pseudo-added-value++; pricing the singles higher, but ( i think ) the albums the same as the DRM'd ones is also supposed to encourage you to buy albums again instead of single tracks - thus increasing their profit margin

Obligatory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19597505)

We told you so. Listen to the geeks next time

Isn't it ironic ... (5, Interesting)

for_usenet (550217) | more than 7 years ago | (#19597507)

that with 2 earlier articles - making DVD copying even more illegal (if that were at all possible), and a "desire" for a Canadian DMCA, that we "now just find out" people are willing to pay for DRM-free content. I did my part and paid for a couple of tracks that I bought with DRM and "upgraded" to the DRM-free version, and will continue to do so as more become available, and as content I want becomes available DRM-free. Let's really show them where we willing to spend our $. Seems to be the only thing they listen to ...

Re:Isn't it ironic ... (2, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 6 years ago | (#19597921)

Let's really show them where we willing to spend our $. Seems to be the only thing they listen to ...

That's because everything else is bullshit. If you don't care enough to alter your spending habits, then you don't care.

Until they release the new market impact numbers.. (1)

absterge (263820) | more than 7 years ago | (#19597533)

But what about all that unthinkable PIRACY that goes on with the now-DRM free music?! Will Intellectual Property ever be secure?! Ye gods!

HOWLER MONKEYS!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19597545)

HOWLER MONKEYS!!

how about 'nix (2, Insightful)

scharkalvin (72228) | more than 7 years ago | (#19597559)

Well if they are willing to go drm-free, how about a site
to buy their 'tunes if you are NOT running M$.
We need an itunes for Linux.

Re:how about 'nix (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19597723)

Uh...by a Mac...

As a story here recently pointed out, Steve Jobs does not even acknowledge that Firefox exists. Maybe Linux is in the same boat.

Out of curiosity, has Jobs ever expressed an opinion on Linux and open source issues?

yeah yeah... (0)

numbski (515011) | more than 6 years ago | (#19597735)

Call up Apple and offer to port the Quicktime runtimes to Linux for free, and not have license compatibility issues. It would have to be a closed-source binary, and could not make use of any GPL code. Good luck! :)

Re:how about 'nix (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 6 years ago | (#19597823)

We need an itunes for Linux.

No, all we need is an iTMS web store that doesn't require iTunes, which would be platform-agnostic and probably require very little work on Apple's part. It would only allow you to download unprotected music (if you don't have iTunes, then the DRM is ineffective) but that's what most of us would want anyway.

Re:how about 'nix (1)

CrackedButter (646746) | more than 6 years ago | (#19598449)

You mean like www.bleep.com?

Re:how about 'nix (1)

Aqua OS X (458522) | more than 6 years ago | (#19597963)

I don't know if eMusic is carrying the new EMI content, but I imagine they will in time.

I respect the fact that you're sticking to your guns and avoiding a commercial operating system. That said, I don't think anyone is going to look down on you for, at the very least, virtualizing XP. Is the ideological battle really worth a hundred-something bucks and countless compatibility headaches?

Re:how about 'nix (1)

syrinx (106469) | more than 6 years ago | (#19598299)

Well if they are willing to go drm-free, how about a site
to buy their 'tunes if you are NOT running M$.


Hm, I hadn't realized Apple had sold OS X to Microsoft. Must have missed the Slashdot story on that. (I shouldn't worry, it'll be duped soon!)

Of Course It Is..... (1, Interesting)

queenb**ch (446380) | more than 7 years ago | (#19597587)

Wow, you mean I can put music the same music on my laptop, desktop, MP3 player, and burn a CD to listen to in my car with out having buy the same song 4 times???

Hmmm....this sounds a whole lot like Napster back in the day. Sheesh, it's only taken them six years to come up with a business model that works. Charging us for what we were doing on Napster anyway.

QueenB.

Re:Of Course It Is..... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19597685)

You can do that with ITunes DRM'ed files, so long as that MP3 player you mention is an Ipod.

Re:Of Course It Is..... (1)

xgr3gx (1068984) | more than 6 years ago | (#19597711)

I agree 100%. If I own a copy of music, I should be able to play it on any device I want.
Before there was CD burning, there was copying onto a cassette tape...anyone remember that?

Re:Of Course It Is..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19597939)

I beleive you have always been able to burn itunes to cd, then you could rip them back in any format you want and use them wherever you want. A pain for average users, but nothing for Slashdotters.

Sad (3, Interesting)

thesupermikey (220055) | more than 7 years ago | (#19597635)

I had bought about 200 songs off iTMS in the 2 years i have been using it. Not a single song was from EMI.
I don't know what that is important to this discussion, but if felt like sharing.

EMI Not Releasing Everything DRM-Free (1)

chefmonkey (140671) | more than 6 years ago | (#19598531)

You're probably basing that on the fact that iTunes didn't ask you to upgrade any of your music, right? That doesn't necessarily mean it's not EMI.

I don't know why there hasn't been more noise about it, but iTunes is apparently making only a tiny fraction of the most popular EMI music available through iTunes plus. For example, Ferry Corsten is an EMI artist, and most of the stuff he's released has been through EMI. Go try to download a non-DRM version of anything he's released. It's just not there. Certain other EMI artists are having only selective parts of their catalog released through iTunes plus -- to cite a more mainstream band, the Pet Shop Boys have been on EMI since the mid-'80s. By my count, about 2/3rds of their tracks on iTunes are still listed only as the DRM-laden "iTunes minus" variety.

DMCA is only reason DRM-Free is not music suicide (4, Interesting)

tjstork (137384) | more than 6 years ago | (#19597655)

I have a soft spot for artists getting screwed by technology. Every technological advance seems to fall on artists particularly hard, so, while I really do hate the RIAA and the music industry and movie industry, I still think there might be a place so someone could show pictures of their work on the internet without having them stolen.

My wife used to use Napster (pre-lawsuit), and Kazaa, but she switched to iTunes because iTunes was more convenient and not choked full of ads, and paying a $1 a song is not so bad. If you add the threat of RIAA letters, then, iTunes seems like a pretty good deal indeed. She also feels a need to support the artists.

But really, the value of iTunes is the convenience and cleanliness, and there's no reason someone could not make a similar, ad-free thing but for file sharing writ large. Really, DRM free on iTunes is predicated on the fact that the recording industry must feel like it is getting some sort of handle on musical file sharing - that is, RIAA lawsuits to music downloaders must actually be working. Were there REALLY no DMCA or copyright controls on music, though, someone would eventually make something with a really cool user interface, like iTunes, but where music would be genuinely free.

Then, musicians would starve.

Re:DMCA is only reason DRM-Free is not music suici (2, Insightful)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 6 years ago | (#19598009)

I still think there might be a place so someone could show pictures of their work on the internet without having them stolen.
The internet is a system that allows you to download content to your computer. Assuming by "stolen" you mean "put on someones computer and used as they see fit without the copyright holders permission," well, the whole internet is kind of designed to facilitate stealing. Sorry, but that's the nature of the beast.

Were there REALLY no DMCA or copyright controls on music, though, someone would eventually make something with a really cool user interface, like iTunes, but where music would be genuinely free.
Sounds like bittorrent, limewire or any open source file sharing system. The reason that iTunes works is because people often want to do the right thing; it has nothing to do with the DMCA or copyright controls or anything like that. I've purchased a lot of music in my life because it's the right thing to do. If it weren't for my own moral compass, I would be able to get all the music I would like without paying for it. The DMCA and copyright controls have nothing to do with it.

Re:DMCA is only reason DRM-Free is not music suici (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 6 years ago | (#19598029)

But really, the value of iTunes is the convenience and cleanliness, and there's no reason someone could not make a similar, ad-free thing but for file sharing writ large.

No, there isn't, except for the fact that it would require a fairly large investment, it would meaning risking a lawsuit from the RIAA, and unless you fill it with ads there's no profit in it. Who's going to do that?

Personally, I think iTunes (DRM-less) is the exact right model for legal online music sales. The interface is clean, the selection is large, the quality of the songs is decent, and it's easy to find what you're looking for. On top of all that, the price is low enough that many people will actually pay for the convenience of near-instant decent-quality digital music with a large selection through a clean interface and have it all be *legal*. In other words, it's not the music alone that makes it worth $1/song $10/album-- part of what people are paying for is *convenience*.

And it's been demonstrated time and again that people will pay for convenience. Even the success of higher-priced DRM-free music depends on people paying in order to avoid the hassle of DRM.

Re:DMCA is only reason DRM-Free is not music suici (1)

MontyApollo (849862) | more than 6 years ago | (#19598039)

DRM on itunes probably only deters casual file sharing with friends. The songs downloaded off the internet that RIAA is going after probably were just ripped off CDs. DRM on itunes is irrelevant to wide scale downloading.

Re:DMCA is only reason DRM-Free is not music suici (2, Insightful)

alexgieg (948359) | more than 6 years ago | (#19598055)

Then, musicians would starve.
What would prevent them from making live shows? Like, you know, all musicians during the whole human history always did? Have they all starved, per any chance? Or what you actually mean is that current musicians would lose the ability (that their predecessors never had) to work once and, if lucky, profit forever? Because this is not what "work" is supposed to be, and it surely doesn't apply to most of humanity.

Give me a way to do my work once, doesn't matter what it is, and live from it until I'm dead, and I'll think it's fair for musicians to have the same privilege. Otherwise, forget it. It's simply fair that they work everyday, as everyone else does, by doing whatever they're good at, as everyone else also does. Copyright is at best illogical, at worst an aberration.

Re:DMCA is only reason DRM-Free is not music suici (1)

MontyApollo (849862) | more than 6 years ago | (#19598229)

>>Give me a way to do my work once, doesn't matter what it is, and live from it until I'm dead, and I'll think it's fair for musicians to have the same privilege. Otherwise, forget it. It's simply fair that they work everyday, as everyone else does, by doing whatever they're good at, as everyone else also does.

In Soviet Russia...

Re:DMCA is only reason DRM-Free is not music suici (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19598103)

> Then, musicians would starve.

Or lose their bullshit sense of entitlement, rock star attitudes and return to performing?

-- random AC musician

Re:DMCA is only reason DRM-Free is not music suici (1)

Kamots (321174) | more than 6 years ago | (#19598143)

I think Jonathon Coulton would be happy to contest your point of view.

But then he's making a living from his music. His music that he sells as DRM-less mp3s... that he releases under the Creative Commons license...

Strangely, despite it being perfectly legal for me to give his music away to the world, or for you to download it from whichever file sharing app you want... in other words... despite him making his music available for free... he's making a living.

Re:DMCA is only reason DRM-Free is not music suici (2, Insightful)

friedmud (512466) | more than 6 years ago | (#19598189)

Not true.

Copying CDs has been pretty easy for a long time now... but musicians haven't starved.

Copying copyrighted music has always been illegal... the DMCA didn't make it "more illegal" or whatever.

Some (I would argue most) people really do like to follow the law, even when it's easy not too... those people will always continue to buy the music they want to hear. Not too mention that some of us feel _good_ about buying cds because we like to support artists that we enjoy (even if most of the money doesn't go to them, more cds sold = good chance of another from the same artist).

Really... assuming that everyone in the US (or world) would break the law and not give any compensation for any entertainment they enjoy is just foolish. I think the RIAA and MPAA forget this sometimes... that 99% of people in the world are actually good people who like to do the right thing.

Friedmud

Re:DMCA is only reason DRM-Free is not music suici (2, Informative)

IP.Address.Conflict (1118501) | more than 6 years ago | (#19598261)

You mean like http://www.emusic.com/ [emusic.com] ? Funny, I've been buying DRM-free music from those "starving artists" since way back, and they seem to be doing perfectly fine as is.

This is a mistake (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19597669)

I know I'm in the minority here, but I actually prefer DRM music. DRM adds a certain ineffable flavor to otherwise bland music. It's like a sprinkle of cinammon on hot chocolate. The bass sounds more meaty and the singers sound just a little more angelic and bird-like.

I know, I know, I'm a bit of an audiophiliac. I don't want to sound too pretentious. But give it a try! You'll see. Music just sounds better with DRM.

yours truly,
David Massey

More Interesting Numbers Would Be... (3, Insightful)

SlashdotOgre (739181) | more than 6 years ago | (#19597697)

The more significant figures would be whether the amount of EMI music being passed on peer to peer services has changed. I highly doubt it has increased more than its usual variance (it may even have decreased), and I hope the other RIAA companies notice this. I'm of the opinion that there's roughly a fixed number of people who would pirate regardless, and distributing music without DRM won't change this. However making music harder to listen due to DRM might actually drive piracy numbers up.

Hmmmm... (4, Insightful)

PlasticMonkey (863080) | more than 6 years ago | (#19597741)

Somehow, I think EMI knew that selling DRM-free tracks would make a profit all along.

1. Release DRM-laden, horrific quality tracks
2. Watch consumers buy tracks
3. Wait for consumers to grow angry and realize the restrictions placed on their media
4. Release DRM-free, slightly better tracks
5. Wait for the consumers to REBUY or 'upgrade' all their tracks
6. ???
7. Profit!!

THEN the second round

8. Release slightly better quality tracks...
9. Wait for the consumers to REBUY or 'upgrade' all their tracks...

Re:Hmmmm... (1)

Goaway (82658) | more than 6 years ago | (#19597917)

Your step 8 was already included in step 4. Also, there was no REBUY, just 'upgrade'.

Re:Hmmmm... (1)

pjviitas (1066558) | more than 6 years ago | (#19598149)

Ok...maybe I will just buy and rip the CD the old fashioned way...sigh.

Re:Hmmmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19598007)

DRM-laden
Mmh... we should start calling closed source software "bin-laden"

Thanks, I'm here all night.

Re:Hmmmm... (2, Insightful)

QuantumRiff (120817) | more than 6 years ago | (#19598153)

which is much different from physical CD's where you have the album, the Greatest Hits CD, the Live CD..

Or for Films where you have the DVD, the Unrated Edition DVD, the Directors Cut DVD, The "the microphone guy didn't like the way this scene looked so here is another copy of the DVD for you to buy" DVD, etc

Or even software for example.. Buy Vista home basic, Upgrade it online to Vista Home premium, then upgrade to Ultimate Edition (with a whole other path for business users to do the same!)

Money now or later (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 6 years ago | (#19598381)

Your steps make no sense - because after you upgrade a track, EMI has just as much money as if you had bought the DRM free version in the first place!

It what world is it more beneficial for EMI to get a partial payment now, and then HOPE that maybe they might get a little more later, instead of just collecting the same amount upfront?

I wish (3, Insightful)

niceone (992278) | more than 6 years ago | (#19598303)

I wish apple would offer this option to indie musicians (like me), I'd sign up for straight away.

(strictly speaking they'd have to offer it to the the aggregators like tunecore that people like me use)

Re:I wish (1)

El Mariachi 94 (1064198) | more than 6 years ago | (#19598397)

Why not just release all of your music for free MP3 download? The best incentive to get your music heard is to give it out for free. You won't be making any money off your music, but you'll gain an audience.

They will (2, Informative)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 6 years ago | (#19598611)

They are slowly expanding the set of DRM free songs, and have said they will allow anyone that wants to use this to do so - contact them.

I didn't have any songs that were DRM free at launch of iTunes+, but just recently two came up as upgradeable.

Sweet. (1)

n1hilist (997601) | more than 6 years ago | (#19598443)

Now maybe I'll start buying music online.

All I want is the rights to copy it to my laptop and/or portable music player and/or the media center PC that's hooked up to the sound system.

Oh and back it up onto DVD/tape/toilet paper/papyrus.

So only about 5 copies will be made but it will be used by me and the immediate family, is that okay Mr MegaCorp CEO.. Sir?

And just out of interest:

I asked the company that develope the commercial music software I use and they say it's okay to install it onto my laptop and home PC and use it at the same time, I bought it, they say I can do what I want with it as long as I'm the only one that use it. I'm pretty sure they won't mind if I use it and maybe teach my girlfriend how to use it at the same time.

I'm just saying this because I feel like I could be a criminal or something! :meek:

Slashdotters, please go buy something (3, Insightful)

metamatic (202216) | more than 6 years ago | (#19598815)

This is the single biggest, highest profile way we can get the message to the industry that DRM doesn't pay.

So please, find a Mac or Windows box if you have to, but go buy something from the iTunes music store. Even if it's just one album and you then shunt the AAC files back to Linux to listen to.

Personally, I recommend something from the Mute back-catalog.

(And yes, I've bought 2 albums so far, I plan to keep buying preferentially from iTMS at least until the other labels get the message.)
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