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Music Media The Almighty Buck

EFF Releases Music DRM Guide 300

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the pay-to-play dept.
Chris Chiasson writes "The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) recently created a plain English guide to several fair use restrictions that major online music services, such as Apple's iTunes, force on their customers via Digital Rights Management (DRM) laden music files and End User License Agreements (EULAs). An excerpt from the guide follows: 'Forget about breaking the DRM to make traditional uses like CD burning and so forth. Breaking the DRM or distributing the tools to break DRM may expose you to liability under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) even if you're not making any illegal uses.' The EFF also lists four alternative music services which sell unrestricted files."
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EFF Releases Music DRM Guide

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  • Missing from list (Score:5, Informative)

    by overshoot (39700) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @11:44AM (#13470628)
    They missed at least one unrestricted-music site: MagnaTune [magnatune.com] -- nice people. Don't miss the founder's comments.
    • by rebeka thomas (673264) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @11:56AM (#13470690)
      The best bit about magnatune is you get to download their entire catalog without paying. Best few weeks I've spent on the net.
    • Thanks for the tip. This has some great classical music, right out of the gate! I'm downloading my first CD right now!

      The site is: Magnatune! [magnatune.com] Even if you don't think their selection is good enough (translation, doesn't have Hilary, Britney, et. al.?), if you like sampling new artists, this is a good place to look, and I love the business model. As the parent posted, read the founder's philosophy and business model.

    • Re:Missing from list (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Usually when you first hear that a music download service doesn't have big name musicians, you figure that the music must suck. Magnatune has really, really great music and some of the most talented musicians I've ever heard.

      I've bought a few Magnatune albums and downloaded them as WAV files so that I can write them to CD, then compress them into OGG/Vorbis for local hard drive storage. Perfect.
    • emusic.com! (Score:2, Informative)

      by FatSean (18753)
      I signed up when it was unlimited downloads...now you get a certain number a month depending on your subscription...I have the cheapest one and it's $10 a month for 40 downloads.

      Best part? 192kbps+ MP3s! No protection! And even if you cancel your subscription...if your harddrive dies you can just sign up again (for as little as a month) and they'll let you re-download your whole library for free.

      Granted, you lose some fidelity as it is MP3 and not CD-quality...and there are very few 'brand new' or 'popul
    • An excellent online music store for all those of you who are interested in dance/house/trance music is Audiojelly:

      http://www.audiojelly.com/ [audiojelly.com]

      They offer downloads with no DRM in MP3 format, encoded at 192kbps and 320kbps. Charges are normally GBP 1.00 for 192kbps tracks and GBP 1.25 for 320kbps tracks.

      Highly recommended.
  • DRM (Score:5, Insightful)

    by eneville (745111) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @11:45AM (#13470629) Homepage
    Any form of DRM sucks, and I'll do whatever I can to avoid entering into any DRM agreement.
    • by drgonzo59 (747139) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @12:18PM (#13470811)
      My brother gave me an iTunes gift certificate. So bought some albums. After my windows hard drive died with a "click-o-death" I just re-installed Linux by itself and am using that now for about a year. But the problem is when I went to play the music that _I bought_ from the iTunes, I couldn't! I payed money for the freakin' songs, I want to play them. Why do I have to install windows or buy an Apple computer to play the music that I bought?

      I found Jon L. Johansen's site and his two programs :

      1. FairKeys - to get the keys from Apple's site

      2. DeDRMS - uses the keys to DeDRM the files.

      The site is here (no html hyperlink, copy and paste if you want):

      nanocrew.net/?page_id=59

      You also need to install mono for linux as the programs are in C#. After that just run with "mono programname options". No I can play my albums again. Thanks Jon!

      • The site is here (no html hyperlink, copy and paste if you want):

        nanocrew.net/?page_id=59


        WTF?! it took you longer to type that disclaimer than it would have to wrap the link in html tags. Here, I'll do it:

        nanocrew.net/?page_id=59 [nanocrew.net]
        • Hatta,
          You said WTF!?. The 'F' is that I didn't contact Jon to ask him if I can posting the link to his program in a slashdot post.

          You might say "WTF!? You don't have to ask permission to link". I would respond that the 'F' is that it is not illegal to link to his site, but it is not very nice if he has to pay for the bandwidth. So by not providing a click-able link I thought I was making sure that only those who really want to get his program will get there as opposed to having tens of thousands of slash

    • Like not buying DVDs, right?
  • The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) recently created a plain English guide to several fair use restrictions that major online music services, such as Apple's iTunes, force on their customers via Digital Rights Management (DRM) laden music files and End User License Agreements (EULAs). An excerpt from the guide follows: 'Forget about breaking the DRM to make traditional uses like CD burning and so forth.

    Yeah forget about trying to break the DRM in iTunes cos like... uhh. you don't need to, to burn CDs.
    • by TheSpoom (715771) * <slashdot@@@uberm00...net> on Saturday September 03, 2005 @12:02PM (#13470721) Homepage Journal
      But see, I don't want to burn CDs. I want music that will play anywhere. And I don't want to have to go through some complicated process like burning to CDs first then ripping the CDs, or using some obscure program to strip the DRM.

      This is not a flame; this is simply why I won't buy something from a service encumbered by DRM restrictions.
  • by RAMMS+EIN (578166) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @11:49AM (#13470653) Homepage Journal
    Ok, so I've had it with the musicians who have sold their souls to the corporations. With the advert of the Internet, they don't need anyone else to publish and distribute their music to the world. So now I want to get my music from independent artists. The problem is: I know what kind of music I like, and I know which mainstream bands make this kind of music, but I don't have time to go listening to every indie artist to find out what they make.

    What I'm looking for is a site where I can enter or select names of bands or songs that I like, and get independent music recommended to me. You like Alanis Morisette? Try Jen Pitch. That sort of thing. Does anybody know of such sites?

    By the way: the example above is just an association I know from the top of my head; I'm not very much into the kind of music at all.
  • Derek Slater (Score:5, Interesting)

    by turnstyle (588788) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @11:50AM (#13470659) Homepage
    fwiw, the DRM guide was written party/mostly (I don't know) by hard working blogger, Derek Slater [harvard.edu].

    Oddly, I couldn't seem to find credits on that EFF page.

  • It's a choice (Score:2, Interesting)

    by dirk (87083)
    I've never understood why so many people are against DRM in any format for anyone. I personally am not a fan of it, so I usually don't but anything with DRM. But I understand that if I want the benefits of buying from someplace like iTunes (lower price, being able to buy individual songs, etc), then that is the trade-off. If I don't want DRM, I will buy from someplace that doesn't use it, buy the CD (assuming it isn't broken), or not buy it at all. If you don't want DRM, don't buy it. But accept that t
    • Now you have the choice in not buying it, but if millions of other people do buy it they essentially give the power to those services to make our law makers forbid any non DRM solution.

      You wanna make a very expensive bet?

      No? then stop talking like this.
    • by sound+vision (884283) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @12:24PM (#13470852) Journal
      Sure, you can go out and buy a CD today, but what about in 10 years? 5? CDs will eventually be replaced by SACD or DVD-A, both of which have DRM schemes. If we don't stop DRM now, there will be no alternative.

      Sure, DRM can and will be cracked, but that's not what it's about. The iTunes DRM can be cracked, too. It provides a major inconvenience, many hurdles for us to jump over just to use something we already bought & payed for.

      About DVD-A's encryption being cracked, it wasn't What happened was a patch was released for WinDVD to redirect the output to a file instead of a sound card. You can bet the RIAA is working on a way to neutralize this.
      • Sure, you can go out and buy a CD today, but what about in 10 years? 5? CDs will eventually be replaced by SACD or DVD-A, both of which have DRM schemes.

        But surely they don't have mandatory DRM schemes? The DVD video format specifies both an encryption and a region-coding scheme. You don't have to use either. Unless they're going to enforce some kind of mandatory restrictions on future formats (which seems kind of silly) then the same bands who choose to deliver DRM-free MP3s now will be able to sell yo

        • My experience is that avoiding buying into things like this isn't a solution. Don't like Microsoft's lack of standards compliance? Don't buy Windows. Whoops, a decent chunk of the Web is now unuseable due to shoddy frontpage-based design (less of an issue now than it used to be, but only due to sterling work by the Mozilla Foundation et al).

          Don't like software DRM? Don't buy from companies that use it in their software. Whoops, you've just been sent an important document in MS's latest AllYourRightsAreBe
      • You mean if we don't stop DRM 20 years ago, there will be no alternative now, right?

        Where were you when everyone started buying CSS region coded DVDs?
      • Worst case, you just take the output of your 'authorized' sound card, and feed it into a 'unencumbered' PC ( or other digital recording device that hasn't been attacked by the DRM-beast ) to record it.

        Sure, eventually 'unencumbered' devices will fade into a distant memory, but it gives us a few more decades of 'freedom' at least.

        And yes, i also realize that the hard core among us will *always* get around these silly limitations, but the common man wont have a chance in hell in another 10 years..
    • Re:It's a choice (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      "It's a choice"

      No, it's not a choice. It stopped being a choice when they passed the DMCA.

      "If I don't want DRM, I will buy from someplace that doesn't use it, buy the CD (assuming it isn't broken), or not buy it at all."

      What, then, will you do when everything is distributed via DRM?

      I'll tell you: you'll either 1) Buy things with DRM and basically live a rental-based existence where you cannot create without purchasing a "distribution license," 2) Become a felon for buying things with DRM then breaking it
  • Bad reporting (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Have Blue (616) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @11:54AM (#13470678) Homepage
    The EFF dings Apple for cutting the number of identical playlist burns from 10 to 7, while conveniently neglecting to point out that Apple simultaneously raised the number of authorizable computers from 3 to 5. If they're going to give "the real deal rather than spin" they should refrain from inserting spin themselves.
    • Re:Bad reporting (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Lord Byron II (671689) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @12:06PM (#13470739)
      All they were doing was giving an example of how Apple could change your rights. The argument was not "Apple is bad because they lowered the burn rights from 10 to 7", but "Apple is bad because they *can* lower the burn rights from 10 to 7".

      If they were attempting to provide complete details on how iTunes works, then yes, things like the number of authorizable computers would have been important to have. But since they were only trying to show how the consumer can have a purchased product taken away from them, the example they provided was sufficient.

    • The focus in the guide is about warning how the services restrict music. They correctly state that Apple limits copies to 5 computers, and that is indeed the unspinned, real deal truth. Why should they for all companies examined write a detailed history of how their offers have changed? That's not too interesting to know in the eyes of a consumer, but rather how the music that person buys now won't be able to be played.
    • The point they were trying to make was that Apple *could* do whatever the hell they liked, which was aptly demonstrated by the modification they mentioned. Discussing whether the particular change was good or bad for consumers wasn't the issue; the fact that Apple could make the change was.
  • by RAMMS+EIN (578166) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @11:55AM (#13470684) Homepage Journal
    ``Breaking the DRM or distributing the tools to break DRM may expose you to liability under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) even if you're not making any illegal uses.''

    So, does that mean fair use is not protected by law in the USA? I'm pretty sure that where I live, fair use is allowed even if the EULA forbids it or the technology prevents it. You can reverse-engineer the technology (a right protected by law), and an EULA that restricts your rights too far is not valid, even if you signed it.
    • Not quite right - you have the right to free speech, and therefore can technically speak on any subject you wish - however if you've signed an NDA - you're restricted, by choice. You violate that, you're screwed, just as reverse engineering a protected technology would be.
    • IANAL, this is just how I understand it. The DMCA prohibits the act of circumventing a technological measure used by copyright owners to control access to their works (from EFF DMCA page [eff.org]). So basically, if the fair uses that you want require you to go through some sort of encryption (of which DRM is almost always an example), it is illegal because you have to break the DMCA to use your rights.

      (Again, I am thankful I am Canadian.)
    • an EULA that restricts your rights too far is not valid, even if you signed it

      That seems to me to prevent people from voluntarily entering into binding contracts, and as such is a government interference in freedom and commerce.

      I, for one, don't want to government walking around declaring contracts I've made with another party as void because something is "too far." What if I sell my house to someone, and then the government comes back and says I charged too much (even though the person agreed to pay th

      • ``What if I sell my house to someone, and then the government comes back and says I charged too much''

        I don't know about selling houses, but I'm pretty sure the government restricts the rent you can charge where I live (which is not the US).
      • I've got news for you: the government has already made all kinds of restrictions on what kinds of contracts you can enter into.

        - Non-compete employment clauses aren't valid in California.

        - You can't sign yourself into slavery.

        - Homeowner's association contract clauses that prohibit small satellite dish antennas are all invalid.

        - Attempts to put an EULA on a paper book are null and void.

        - There are very specific rules on how the interest and payments section on a loan are to be worded and formatted

        • Some are even less obvious than that. For example, a contract where a bank absolutely agrees to pay a minimum interest rate on ivestments is void as a matter of publlic policy if market conditions make it impractical to pay that rate (rationale is that we don't want banks failing like in the 30s). Or if you agree to liquidate damages and a court finds there was no rational basis for the number agreed to, the court may assess more contractually sound damages. There is an entire body of contract law that d
    • "So, does that mean fair use is not protected by law in the USA?" - yes, fair use is defined (very, very vaguely) in Title 17, section 107. In practice, fair use is defined by in court decisions as whatever-the-hell-we-think-it-should-be. Caselaw is inconsistent, and there are precious few rules.

      Also, fair use is not a license, it's a defense in court. But by the time you actually win, you've already paid $100,000+ in legal fees, so you lose anyway.
      • ``Also, fair use is not a license, it's a defense in court. But by the time you actually win, you've already paid $100,000+ in legal fees, so you lose anyway.''

        Again, that's in the US. In the EU, it's customary to make the losing party pay the court costs and (reasonable) lawyer fees.

        Also, it seems to me that most countries that have civil law (most countries in the EU, but not the UK), it's a lot clearer what's allowed and what isn't. Precedent still plays a role, but I sometimes get the impression that pr
    • So, does that mean fair use is not protected by law in the USA?

      It's protected to the degree the law protects it. And in the USA (and many other nations now), "fair use" has been greatly limited.

      You can reverse-engineer the technology (a right protected by law), and an EULA that restricts your rights too far is not valid, even if you signed it.

      The DCMA is a law, not a EULA. It modifies previous copyright law, so things that you used to be able to do under "fair use" provisions, you can't do anymore. Elect
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 03, 2005 @11:56AM (#13470688)

    the EFF need to get their guides printed onto paper and distributed to the public, buses, trains, in the street , through doors, offices, trams, subways, parking lots, schools , youth clubs, community centers ,even TV (get those cheques written) basically anywhere the public might see it and read it and understand it

    otherwise nothing will change, we (technologists/gurus/nerds etc) all know the ramifications of DRM and the threat it poses to society, but society doesnt know or even care about what they dont understand sick profiteers are trying to do

    educate people, lots of them, quickly, using traditional methods, because this inteweb is not the answer to this problem

    • You can't educate all people unless the media wants to. You'll hardly convince them.
      IMO pushing for national culture freedom laws is the most promising approach. In other words, culture needs to be published using open standards.
  • because I just load up Tunebite (it's cheap, go buy it!) and now all my DRMed files are unDRMed and I can do with them what I want. All on a $5 a month plan. It may not be 100% what they want, but I'm not sharing those files and I find it more convienient than worrying about my stupid licenses.
  • So...what's the state of DRM circumvention tools? I recall stories here about tools that circumvent Apple's DRM...what about DRM on WMA files?
    • Re:DRM Circumvention (Score:4, Interesting)

      by servoled (174239) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @12:24PM (#13470849)
      Both are still illegal, their use still requires some kind of Robin Hood/civil disobedience line of reasoning to properly operate.
      • Re:DRM Circumvention (Score:3, Interesting)

        by RAMMS+EIN (578166)
        ``Both are still illegal'' ...in the US. What about Europe? Canada? Russia? New-Zealand? Brazil? I'd like to have these questions answered, so that I get an idea of how the situation is in various corners of the world. Is there some site that monitors this?
      • The thing to note about Hymn (a tool you can use to convert AAC files with DRM into plain AAC files) is that is DOES NOT break the DRM Apple uses. It uses YOUR OWN KEY to extract the data.

        That is why Hymn still stands out in the open (relativley), while WMV crackers are more low-profile.

        That is the difference, the Apple tools leans toward the side of Fair Use (legally at least) while the WIndows Media breakers looks much more like pure copyright bypass mechanisms as defined by the DMCA.

        Consider that the fi
  • Fair and unbiased (Score:5, Insightful)

    by shmlco (594907) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @12:26PM (#13470861) Homepage
    "... fair use restrictions that major online music services, such as Apple's iTunes, force on their customers via Digital Rights Management (DRM) laden music files..."

    Wow. Sounds like a balanced, fair, and unbiased review of the issues to me.

    • Consider the source. This isn't an independent news organization attempting to create a "fair and balanced" account of DRM, its pros/cons etc. It's the EFF discussing how DRM reduces a user's rights to listen to music they have paid for.

      Some words may appear to intentionally attack, but let's consider the ramifications of the words you chose.

      (Sidenote: Merriam-Webster is my source)

      • force: n. violence, compulsion, or constraint exerted upon or against a person or thing. Given that if one wants to use iTun
  • Good. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Captain Scurvy (818996) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @12:36PM (#13470904) Homepage
    As others have pointed out, we presently have a choice as to whether or not we do business with people who sell DRM media. If the laws do not change to require DRM (and that is a really big if), then you just don't have to give your money to people who sell DRM. It is good that the EFF has pointed out some alternative choices. If people don't want DRM, then the marketplace will decide whether or not it'll stick around.

    However, I'm pretty cynical, so I instead expect laws to change to make restricted media the norm.

  • Wow... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by rampant mac (561036) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @12:37PM (#13470908)
    "...force on their customers via Digital Rights Management (DRM) laden music files and End User License Agreements (EULAs)"

    Force onto their customer? They held me up at gunpoint so I had no choice but to buy from the iTMS? If you buy music from iTunes, you're going to have DRM'ed files. Don't like it? Don't buy it.

    It's not like music isn't available from other sources (both brick and mortar and online). But remember, those "easily" converted music CDs are starting to include DRM mechanisms as well.

    • "...force on their customers via Digital Rights Management (DRM) laden music files and End User License Agreements (EULAs)"

      "Force onto their customer? They held me up at gunpoint so I had no choice but to buy from the iTMS?"

      Almost. They trick you into buying music, thinking the DRM is just a technical restriction. And then they make decrypting your own data illegal with laws like DMCA. That's where the gunpoint comes in. Does it really matter if they force you to cede control of your own computer by law bef
    • DRMed CDs (Score:3, Funny)

      by spisska (796395)

      But remember, those "easily" converted music CDs are starting to include DRM mechanisms as well.

      What follows is most of a post I sent to a mailing list not long ago about copy protected CDs, and what (if anything) you can do about it:

      The only real answer is to stop buying, and let the record stores and production companies know why you've stopped buying.

      I actually had a fairly amusing experience not too long ago along these lines. I was at the mall waiting for my wife to finish looking for somethin

  • by Snaller (147050) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @12:38PM (#13470914) Journal
    Its Digital Restrictions Management, get it right Slashdot ;)
  • Just use Gnutella. It has no DRM, and works on any platform. And if you don't upload, you are very very unlikely to be gone after.
  • by TRRosen (720617) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @01:22PM (#13471154)
    enough already with the iTunes bashing just because its the most popular. iTunes has by far the least restrictive DRM of any of the (drm) services. And lying about those who are fighting to keep as many rights available to the consumer as possible accomplish nothing.

    how many of these articles come out and say iTunes is bad because it has DRM and DRM prevents you from burning CDs (but failing to mention that iTunes does not do this).

    and adding misinformation such as this-

    "Restricts back-up copies: Song can only be copied to 5 computers"

    You can copy iTunes song to a billion computers if you want but you can only play them on 5 computers at a time. It should be noted that with a CD you can only legally use one copy at a time (first sale doctrine says you have a license for ONE COPY). In this instance iTunes actually expands the rights of its users.

    PS changing the number of times IN A ROW one can burn a PLAYLIST is a nonissue - if your making more than 7 copys of a song your not backing up your pirating. and if you really need to have 60 copies just recreate the playlist and start over.

    • It doesn't matter how kind and good-natured iTMS' DRM is -- it's the camel's nose underneath the tent. And as the EFF pointed out, these vendors reserve the right to further contract the rights/expand the restrictions at any time. And Apple has already done this several times.
  • That the people that need to read and understand this stuff wont even know the document exists: The 'average joe' on the street.

  • THIS JUST IN: (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Twid (67847) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @01:53PM (#13471320) Homepage
    Many public foundations employ "copyright" and "licenses" -- also known as "legal restrictions" -- that prevent you from doing things like reproducing or distributing their works. Forget about breaking the license with a copy machine. Breaking the license is a violation of the law and could expose you to prosecution.

    The EFF says:
    "EFF is a nonprofit group of passionate people -- lawyers, technologists, volunteers, and visionaries -- working to protect your digital rights."

    But buried in the source to this very article is the following secret code:
    License rdf:about="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by- nc/1.0/"
    requires rdf:resource="http://web.resource.org/cc/Attributi on"
    permits rdf:resource="http://web.resource.org/cc/Reproduct ion"
    permits rdf:resource="http://web.resource.org/cc/Distribut ion"
    permits rdf:resource="http://web.resource.org/cc/Derivativ eWorks"
    prohibits rdf:resource="http://web.resource.org/cc/Commercia lUse"
    requires rdf:resource="http://web.resource.org/cc/Notice"

    This "code" restricts your rights to use the article. Even worse, each article might have a different license! Future articles might change their license at any time!

    The facts: you read it, they still own it. Sounds like 1984? Read on.

    Additional EFF article restrictions:
    - Prohibits commercial re-use or re-mixing into a new article.
    - Requires that the license and copyright be reproduced with the article.
    - Requires that you credit the copyright holder and/or author.

    Other articles using this same "licensing" could be even more restrictive!

    Looking for alternatives? Here are some sites that don't use restrictive "copyright" and "licensing".
    - Project Gutenberg http://promo.net/pg/ [promo.net]
    - Public Domain Music http://www.pdinfo.com/ [pdinfo.com]

    • Yes, but these "prohibitions" are enforced through normal court proceedings, not DRM. Judges and Courts are impartial bodies which will weigh the law and the interests of both parties. DRM is a completely biased mechanism used by copyright holders to subvert the consumer protections inherent in the laws, and subvert the will of congress by essentially imposing their own version of copyright independent of constitutional requirements for elected officials and open debate. I very much prefer the EFF method
    • Re:THIS JUST IN: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by sean23007 (143364)
      Man, I hope you're kidding. In your tirade against the EFF's use of 'restrictive licensing,' you failed to notice that they licensed it under a Creative Commons license. Now, let me explain something to you. When you put something online, you are automatically assigned the copyright for that content. This means that legally, you can pursue anyone who quotes it, puts it on their own site, or does anything with it without your permission. By licensing it under the Creative Commons, you can choose what extra r
  • DRM forks pop music (Score:3, Informative)

    by Simonetta (207550) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @01:55PM (#13471326)
    The most probable consequence of having DRM on CDs and download MP3s is that there will be a fork in the popularity of music. Music with DRM will have one clique or group of followers and non-DRM (or pre-DRM) will have a different group. These groups will generally be unaware of each other's music (because less and less music is being exposed to a general audience through broadcast radio).
        The non-DRM and pre-DRM (albums released before the widespread implementation of unbreakable DRM on CDs) will not appeal to the DRM crowd because it will have a 'old' or 'amateur' character to it.
    DRM music will not appeal to the sharers because it will be too expensive to buy and it will seem 'plastic' or 'corporate'.
        This split may develop not unlike the traditional splits in American pop music along racial and class lines. In the 20th century musical trends would all eventually cross lines and there would be the occasional crossover recording between black pop music (originally called "Rhythm'n'Blues" in order to allow the records to be sold in white stores in the days of racial segregation) and middle-class white "Top40" music. This probably won't happen as much in the coming music legality segregation era (where people who trade the non-DRM music can and will be put in prison for their activities).

        The file sharers won't associate with the corporate poppers because they won't be able to trust that the more monied people who can afford to buy the DRM recordings won't turn them into the Copyright police for a reward. (Or to keep themselves out of prison if they get offered a '3 years or 3 names' deal should they get caught doing their own file sharing.) The file sharers will make much effort to keep their own culture (their own 'illegal' recordings) secret. That would be completely opposite of the situation today, where everyone tries to make others aware of especially interesting recordings.

          The file share community in the future will have many of their favorite recordings come from albums that were released on CD in years before unbreakable DRM when it was easy to convert CDs to MP3s and distribute them. They (the file sharers) will not be engrossed in the current corporate pop culture trends. This will become one of the ways that the copyright police (or bounty hunters) will identify file sharers. They won't know who the latest corporate pop stars are. They have a parallel culture that will have been defined as illegal, and therefore kept secret.

          Needless to say, the entertainment corporations will covertly allow the illegal 'parallel' file sharing culture to remain in place because whenever a recording appears that is good enough to crossover to the corporate culture, it can be released without paying any royalities to the musicians. This would be similar in manner to the way that record companies in the 1950's and 1960's would pay black entertainers next to nothing for the rights to their recordings and then collect millions of dollars for decades from record sales and broadcast fees.

        I'm rather intrigued that no one is exploring the consequences that the coming unbreakable DRM will have on popular culture.
  • How to kill DRM (Score:3, Insightful)

    by spaceyhackerlady (462530) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @02:33PM (#13471549)

    Like all brain-damaged products, the way to kill DRM is not to buy it. If the manufacturers can't make any money with it, they will drop it. That's how business works.

    Sadly, few people have any idea of what's going on. I rmember trying to explain the Dmitry Sklyarov case to somebody and failing miserably.

    I have several CDs that claim to be copy protected, but this seems to range from nasty warnings only, to CDs that refuse to play on windows boxes unless you play them with their player. My Linux boxes play them without comment.

    Only one copy-protected CD (Face A Face B by Axelle Red) in my collection is in any way difficult to play - on my portable CD player, where it plays the first few seconds of each track, over and over. My car CD player plays it without comment, and my Linux boxes play it and will rip tracks from it until the cows come home.

    I've never bought a DRMed tune from an online vendor, and never will. If enough people did this, all this nonsense would come to an end. When the marketplace speaks, business has no choice but to listen.

    ...laura

  • by aristotle-dude (626586) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @08:40PM (#13473590)
    Additional iTunes Music Store Restrictions
    Restricts back-up copies: Song can only be copied to 5 computers

    False. Songs can only be authorized for playback on up to 5 computers but you can make as many backups as you like.

    Restricts converting to other formats: Songs only sold in AAC with Apple DRM
    False. You have been given the right to burn and export songs for personal use.

    Limits portable player compatibility: iPod and other Apple devices only
    Partially true, however, you can burn and rip for personal use.

    No remixing: Cannot edit, excerpt, or otherwise sample songs
    False. You can do all of those things for personal use. I've done so many times with iMovie and iDVD. It is no different than the rights you get with CDs unless you explicitly purchase as commercial license for a recording.

    Here are the terms of service [apple.com].

A CONS is an object which cares. -- Bernie Greenberg.

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