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Yahoo Exec Says "Enough DRM" 391

Posted by kdawson
from the content-is-not-context dept.
bogess writes "Yahoo! Music General Manager Ian Rogers recently gave a speech to some music executives about the future of the Internet music business and promised his company will not be involved in Digital Rights Management anymore." Another straw in the wind: Nine Inch Nails has now followed Radiohead in ridding themselves of the labels and going independent.
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Yahoo Exec Says "Enough DRM"

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  • Poor MAFIAA (Score:2, Interesting)

    by CoolVibe (11466)
    Everyone is jumping ship on DRM. Boo-hoo. The consumer wins!
    • Re:Poor MAFIAA (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Romancer (19668) <romancer@de3.141 ... oor.com minus pi> on Wednesday October 10, 2007 @02:52AM (#20923225) Journal
      I will gladly pay the protection money to Yahoo to keep DRM away. Give me high bitrate and lossless choices and watch my downloads soar!
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by h4rm0ny (722443)

        Amen! I'm over in the UK and I'm just waiting for Amazon or Yahoo or someone to start selling me quality downloads. I'll spend £40.00 on the service the first night it goes live, I have no doubt. I've bought a few albums from 7digital.com but a good portion of their stuff is still in WMA and they're also more set up as an online music service than a store for streaming your music wherever you are. (Everything you buy sits in an online basket that you can never get rid of and for Linux there's no conv
    • Re:Poor MAFIAA (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Korveck (1145695) on Wednesday October 10, 2007 @03:16AM (#20923361)
      Not so fast, but RIAA and its beloved DRM will fail, within the next few years. RIAA still has control over majority of the music market. Not everyone is well-informed to know and seek for better alternatives. Some are happy to follow whatever the record labels throw at them. Only through words of mouth and coverage by media will people learn, and ditch the record labels for the better services. What RIAA fails to realize is that a successful business is all about what the customers want, not what the company wants. There are countless examples of failures because the company lost touch with the people. And here we are just witnessing another failure in making.
      • Re:Poor MAFIAA (Score:4, Insightful)

        by dotgain (630123) on Wednesday October 10, 2007 @07:02AM (#20924413) Homepage Journal
        Not everyone is well-informed to know and seek for better alternatives. Some are happy to follow whatever the record labels throw at them. Only through words of mouth and coverage by media will people learn, and ditch the record labels for the better services. Most of them are bound by contract to the labels for a certain time or number of releases. It's not that they don't know to switch, but that they can't.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by griffjon (14945)
        We'll see what happens. Yahoo has enough clout and a big enough war chest to stay afloat where others (AudioGalaxy) have failed, even though they focused on independent labels and contracts with RIAA companies (but still ended up getting sued to pieces). Yahoo of course will have full control over the content they post, so while they have to foot the bandwidth bill, they'll be in the clean (unlike AG, despite its fingerprinting technology).

        The long-term question will be if Yahoo can get through the iPod
    • Re:Poor MAFIAA (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Stormx2 (1003260) on Wednesday October 10, 2007 @03:26AM (#20923395)
      Nine Inch Nails were never on the "other ship". Trent Reznor (Nine Inch Nails) publicly hates his label, and has leaked every NiN release so far. This isn't some sudden turn about. Check out quoteunquoterecords.com for another example (donations based).

      I hear a lot of shit on the radio that "this would never work for lesser-known artists", which is a total load of rubbish. The independent artists have been doing this more than the big bands. Of course I'm happy that we're moving away from the fat cats to a clearer artist/listener relationship, and I'm also a radiohead fan, but this whole thing is totally overegged.
      • by maillemaker (924053) on Wednesday October 10, 2007 @08:30AM (#20924951)
        Let's have a vote. You can even AC it if you want.

        How many people have ever bought music direct-from-the-artist over the web or in person?
        • by dlim (928138) on Wednesday October 10, 2007 @10:56AM (#20926771) Journal
          Other than my subscription to eMusic [emusic.com], I pretty much only buy music direct-from-the-artist. This usually includes getting a record (on vinyl) at shows, which hopefully includes mp3 downloads that labels like Merge [mergerecords.com] and Sub Pop [subpop.com] include with their LPs. I also bought the Radiohead record (at $5) online.

          I see 2 benefits to this approach:

          1. (I like to think) artists get more from the sale than they would if I bought it from a shop.
          2. The labels that make up the RIAA get less (if any) money from the sale. (I usually only go to shows of bands on independent labels - "safe" on the RIAA Radar [riaaradar.com]).
    • Re:Poor MAFIAA (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Hymer (856453) on Wednesday October 10, 2007 @04:11AM (#20923605)
      ...and poor Microsoft who has totally fucked up Vista (and delayed it several times) just to implement a "unbreakable" DRM system... instead of fixing some of Windows' real problems.
      • by tsa (15680)
        Haha that's a very good point. Poor MS. ;)
      • Re:Poor MAFIAA (Score:5, Interesting)

        by eric2hill (33085) <[ten.kcaji] [ta] [cire]> on Wednesday October 10, 2007 @10:07AM (#20926045) Homepage
        I just configured a new Lenovo Thinkpad T60 with Vista and the first thing my client asked me to do was to play a movie. I popped a DVD into the drive, media player started automatically, then Windows threw up an error message that it couldn't validate the video path with DRM.

        I found out that the graphics driver that shipped with the laptop wasn't "ceritified" to run with Vista. I had to download the 30MB+ graphics driver update before I could play a DVD.

        Microsoft, you're really fucking your users over with Vista.
    • by Petrushka (815171)

      The consumer wins!

      Speak for yourself! For my part, I am a customer. Potentially.

  • Labels Wising Up? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wdr1 (31310) * <.moc.xobop. .ta. .1rdw.> on Wednesday October 10, 2007 @02:19AM (#20923019) Homepage Journal
    What record labels are finally learning is that just because they can steal, doesn't mean the majority of people will.

    -Bill
    • by arivanov (12034) on Wednesday October 10, 2007 @03:14AM (#20923345) Homepage
      Actually, it even more pronounced than this:

      Some people will always steal and you are not going to succeed selling to them. They will always find a way to cheat even if you force them to buy the product through legislation. The percentage depends on geographic location, society, culture, etc. Usually these are a minority.

      The rest will avoid stealing if they can. They will however steal if you force them by making the "legitimate" product unusable for them. These are the majority.
      • Re:Labels Wising Up? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Technician (215283) on Wednesday October 10, 2007 @06:27AM (#20924237)
        The rest will avoid stealing if they can. They will however steal if you force them by making the "legitimate" product unusable for them. These are the majority.

        Well put. For those who don't get what he said, let me give examples...

        You are asked by a bride to put together a slide show, here are my photos and here is the music I want played.. Now try to get permission from the school photographer to scan and project the images on the screen. Now get permission to play the show with a public performance music soundtrack. Now get permission to burn the show to DVD and give them to the bride and extended family. Now get all the permissions (photo, music, songwriter, ASCAP etc) to put the mess on YouTube or MySpace.

        Most of us can't do any one of the tasks to do any of the above required steps. We don't ask. We just do the show and hope nobody cares enough to sue. Unless you are a pro-video production company, your chances as an individual of not intentionally breaking someone's copyright is pretty slim. If you took the copyright violations in my last wedding slideshow and charged me $5,000 for each violation, the total would be in the mega millions. There was copying the music (bride provided, I didn't own) copying the photos (lots of school and sports photos done by a studio), public performance of the resulting package, and duplication and distribution for putting it on DVD. The show ran 15 minutes and used 4 songs.

        When will the industry learn that outdated copyright is preventing use of the product. There is no outlet of the industries providing anyplace where I can obtain the license to use the products. As a result, I no longer use photographers who won't sign my work for hire contract which gives me the copyright. They either adapt or lose the job to someone who will. Copyright reform is required. It does not recognise how the products are typically used anymore.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by m2bord (781676)
          actually...according to Sony's lead counsel in the Thomas trial, making one single copy of any recorded music/video is stealing and that includes copying a cd you own for your personal use.

          they believe in the microsoft model of licensing. you must buy a seperate piece of media for every device you own.

          so in your copying anylog, permission would not be given because Ms. Pariser believes that there are available copies of most titles available at competitive prices for you to purchase.

          so in sony's perfect wor
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by mpe (36238)
        The rest will avoid stealing if they can. They will however steal if you force them by making the "legitimate" product unusable for them. These are the majority.

        The same holds if you make the "legitimate product" over complex/difficult to buy. e.g. Telling people you don't want their money because they live in the wrong country does tend to build good business relations.
    • What record labels are finally learning is that just because they can steal
      No, as soon as the record labels get a chance to steal from the artists, they will.
    • by DigitAl56K (805623) on Wednesday October 10, 2007 @03:57AM (#20923541)
      I don't agree with that completely, Bill, but I think you're heading in the right direction.

      I think that given the opportunity most people will take something for free if they can and there isn't much risk involved. The real point is that the people who [i]would[/i] have paid for the content originally are still likely to pay for the content regardless of what everyone else is doing. Maybe they enjoyed the content enough to want to support it's creators. Maybe for this group of people having the opportunity to access the content using a nice interface that's reliable (in terms of service level and making accessible what they're searching for) is worth the expenditure versus the effort involved in other methods. Maybe they just want to stick to the law.

      I think many of us would make the argument, for example, that we have a) used the Internet to discover content that we've later gone on to pay for, but also b) we've also downloaded some content "for free" that really we would have never seen enough value in to pay for anyway (although perhaps we might have, if we could have chosen to pay less for it than was asked). So for certain pieces of content we fall into category A, and category B shouldn't really have much impact on a business - if I wasn't going to pay anyway who cares? The only impact is if the number of people in category A decreases.

      And that's where I think the problem lies. The recording industry in particular has shot itself in the foot repeatedly over the years. Many of us simply do not believe that the artists get a real share of revenues these days, diminishing some of the reason that might cause people to fall into category A. Some of us don't want manufactured pop pushed on us all the time, and this means less content in category A because that's mainly what the industry spits out (as far as what is considered "mainstream" and well known). If we're smart, none of us want to be locked into a platform via DRM that limits where we can take our music and what we can do with it (again, fewer people in category A). And most importantly, the RIAA can [i]not[/i] cause people to psychologically move content from category B into category A via lawsuits.

      This all goes back to what we've all been saying for a long time:
      * Compensate creators well so that as a consumer I know that when I spend my money I am really supporting the creator
      * Build many platforms competing for my business. I shouldn't be locked into iTunes if I want a wide selection, and I should be able to choose a platform that serves my needs.
      * Territory restrictions need to go away. If we want to get our hands on a piece of music and you refuse to sell it to us legally, guess what is going to happen?
      * Don't use DRM. Why do I want to pay money for content I really only have the option to use with your permission, and that I can't load onto any kind of playback device I might own?
      * Allow me to contribute to an artist at less than retail price if I want to. In the past few days we've seen certain artists trying this out. It's better than a category B (aka "I wouldn't pay retail for this anyway") decision.

      Finally, remember that each of us has a finite amount of disposable income to spend on music, and a finite ability to discover new music over time. The act of adding DRM does not suddenly make these problems go away. Even if you killed 100% of all piracy tomorrow that does not mean that we'd all suddenly buy more music. Which takes us back to where I started - it's all about making sure the people who are buying now still see the value in buying tomorrow. Look after category A and you'll be fine.

      I'm really tired. I hope this post made sense.
      • Finally, remember that each of us has a finite amount of disposable income to spend on music, and a finite ability to discover new music over time.

        Further thought: The more you combat piracy (remembering that category B is not a real loss), the more you inhibit discovery, one of the two key factors that influences our spending. How many DVD box sets do you think get sold because people get addicted to watching series on YouTube, or albums because fans get to link their friends to their idols performing?
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by tzjanii (1170411)
        --The recording industry in particular has shot itself in the foot repeatedly over the years.

        It's worse than that. By this point, they may as well be wearing lead prosthetics.
    • since when was copyright infringement stealing?
  • Lesson for Apple: (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) * <whineymacfanboy@gmail.com> on Wednesday October 10, 2007 @02:20AM (#20923023) Homepage Journal
    If the licensing labels offer their content to Yahoo! put more barriers in front of the users, I'm not interested. Do what you feel you need to do for your business, I'll be polite, say thank you, and decline to sign. I won't let Yahoo! invest any more money in consumer inconvenience.

    Let's hope Apple starts following this line too. iTunes/iPod domination allowed DRMd music to be accepted by far too many.

    Let's leave it to MS to attempt to legitimize DRM.
    • by suv4x4 (956391)
      Let's hope Apple starts following this line too. iTunes/iPod domination allowed DRMd music to be accepted by far too many.

      Let's leave it to MS to attempt to legitimize DRM.


      Yea, let's let's. But fitting Apple and Microsoft to prebuilt models in your head won't change reality. Apple has at least as (if not more ) interest than Microsoft in keeping the DRM on iTunes for most of the tracks.

      Jobs wants more market control and more money. The rest is just the means he uses to get those two.
  • Some big names are willing to comment on the emperor's sartorial choices...
  • by DragonTHC (208439) <Dragon@NoSPAM.gamerslastwill.com> on Wednesday October 10, 2007 @02:23AM (#20923047) Homepage Journal
    How about removing the DRM on video content?
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by rucs_hack (784150)
      hahaha!

      You crack me up. Oh wait, you're serious?

      That is so far from happening its not even funny. Never mind that almost all leaks and interweb releases of films are from cinema's, pre release versions or rips from already decoded dvd's

      The thing is that so few people have even the slightest inclination to rip their dvd collections that people aren't feeling the inconvenience that music users felt over the drm currently in dvds. They won't until it becomes standard to store movies etc in electronic form only
  • you... (Score:5, Informative)

    by cosmocain (1060326) on Wednesday October 10, 2007 @02:24AM (#20923049)
    ...never can have enough DRM. really! see... you can have a mp3 for 0.99 or a value added wma with protection against EVERYTHING. even listening! how great is that?

    i, for one, would prefer the newest single by britney spears in a totally unplayable format.
  • The 'No DRM' card (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Gopal.V (532678) on Wednesday October 10, 2007 @02:28AM (#20923079) Homepage Journal

    As much as the No DRM makes sense from a political & ethical point of view, the fact that people are recognizing DRM as a bad thing is starting to dawn on people. When Apple iTunes wanted DRM out of the way (for audio, though not for video), I thought of it as a win-win-win [dotgnu.info] situation for everyone including the artists, APPL and the users (screw the RIAA).

    Now Y! is doing the same thing and very intelligent of them too. Yahoo! music engine is not something I would use (or *could* use) despite getting a promotional offer (*disclaimer* as an employee) and tying down people to such idiotic client lockins (*cough* jukebox) is not working out well for it at all. If it would work well with Amarok or even the less popular Songbird [songbirdnest.com], I'd happily use it over Last.fm (which streams directly into amarok happily).

    Finally, it is a good thing that Y! is realizing that Convenience is a Feature++ - one way or the other.

  • Won the battle... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 10, 2007 @02:41AM (#20923165)
    It seems that in recent days, the draconian overlords of music (RIAA) have won a local battle, suing and winning from a poor woman over $240,000 for about a dozen songs, and lost the entire war. Consumers kicked them to the curb 5 years ago. Now artists are starting to do it. Artists know how much companies take and how much they get. Its very likely that artists getting paid directly by fans for music on the web may have a better payday than if they stayed with the company. In general, it seems they won the battle and lost the war.
  • by rucs_hack (784150) on Wednesday October 10, 2007 @02:42AM (#20923175)
    I haven't purchased music for years because of the behavior of the labels, and nope, I haven't been downloading illegally either. If some of the big groups are going to divest themselves of their overlords, I'll be starting up with the purchasing again.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mochan_s (536939)

      Actually, Radiohead in their interview are very supportive of large labels.

      When their first album came out ( and before Creep blew-up ), they made no money but the label paid for a full tour of Europe even though the labels would lose a lot of money for doing the tour.

      Basically, the label paid for a young band to play music and tour, sort of paid for their education.

      They say that if they weren't on a rich label, the tour wouldn't have been possible, the exposure to get the song Creep heard wouldn't ha

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        I just don't see how there can be a mega-band without a major record label company.

        Sure, but do we really want mega-bands in the first place?

    • I haven't purchased music for years because of the behavior of the labels

      Geez, you've really been depriving yourself unnecessarily. One word: emusic [emusic.com].

    • I haven't purchased music for years because of the behavior of the labels

      Which makes me wonder. If you don't participate in the market, how do you cast your economic vote?

      Choosing not to vote doesn't even come close to being as powerful as supporting the entities that you agree with.

      • by rucs_hack (784150)
        I vote the only way I can, by active non participation, They do not get my custom, where they would if they dropped drm, I used to buy a lot of music. What other way is there? buying their stuff doesn't help.

        • Active non-participation? WTF is that? Self-disenfranchisement.

          You have to participate to get a say.

          See my other comment about emusic. There are things about them that some don't like, but they have non-DRM tracks for a reasonable price (two of my big problems with iTunes), so they get my vote.

          I used to buy tons of CDs (5-10 per week). Then the shit really started with the labels and I stopped, took a look around and supported someone else. Just abstaining doesn't do the job, the drop in sales is j

    • If some of the big groups are going to divest themselves of their overlords, I'll be starting up with the purchasing again.


      You didn't have to stop. Just let the buyer beware.
      http://www.riaaradar.com/ [riaaradar.com]

      My most recent purchase was from here.
      http://www.riaaradar.com/search.asp?searchtype=ArtistSearch&keyword=Christopher+Peacock [riaaradar.com]
  • interesting indeed. (Score:4, Informative)

    by apodyopsis (1048476) on Wednesday October 10, 2007 @02:44AM (#20923185)
    this is truly an interesting read.

    shame I cannot get MP3 from Amazon yet as I am in the UK. :-( Boo!

    but I will be buying NIN and Radiohead albums - not only do I like the music its very important that the artist and the RIAA get the message.

    though I suspect (and hope) they will be getting two very different messages.

    the important thing to realize is that there will be no quick change here - the RIAA has the majority of artists by the short and curlies because they are mostly currently locked into draconian contracts for fixed duration and no. of albums. currently only the lucky few who are nearing the end of their terms (or should that be sentences) can escape to artistic and hopefully monetary freedom.

    truly, we live in interesting times.
  • by rossz (67331) <ogre@@@geekbiker...net> on Wednesday October 10, 2007 @02:46AM (#20923197) Homepage Journal
    Everyone, the retailers, the talent, the consumers, are starting to realize that when the record industry bent them over the desk for a serious buggering, it turned out to not be as nice as they promised. It is, in fact, a bit of a pain.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by jimicus (737525)
      when the record industry bent them over the desk for a serious buggering, it turned out to not be as nice as they promised. It is, in fact, a bit of a pain.

      A pain in the arse, in fact.
  • by foo fighter (151863) on Wednesday October 10, 2007 @03:06AM (#20923305) Homepage
    It is great news that established artists are able to leave the big labels behind.

    But has any music artist achieved anything like their success without the marketing power of a major label behind them?

    I do understand that making enough money by playing music to have a decent standard of living and support a family should be enough for a real artist.

    But is there even a remote possibility for an independent artist to win the lottery and make it to the big time without a major label?

    If this has happened already, please enlighten me because I've missed it (I know who NIN and Radiohead are, but haven't heard of any, so you have some serious convincing to do.)
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      Try Fugazi [wikipedia.org]. I know most people have at least heard of them. Kick ass tunes.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by cliveholloway (132299)
      I think the Bastard [myspace.com] Fairies [thebastardfairies.com] are doing rather well. It's been interesting watching them grow over the last year. Though they're not exactly after the stereotypical stardom level, so i don't know if they qualify for your criteria...
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by WarwickRyan (780794)
      > But is there even a remote possibility for an independent artist
      > to win the lottery and make it to the big time without a major label?

      Yes, the Artic Monkeys have certainly done well and they have never been involved with the majors.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arctic_monkeys [wikipedia.org]

      Signed to a fairly big indie label now.
    • New Order did quite well at it, and own every note they ever recorded.
  • Guys like NIN and Radiohead can go independent now because they already have made money. Prince can give away his music because he is already rich. What we need is new good acts that can stand outside of the horror that is the RIAA and still succeed. That will have some real impact. That will make way for changes. It shouldn't be about greed, it should be about music and fairness.
    • No doubt such bands already exist (and sometimes [wikipedia.org] make a reasonable break into the "mainstream" and a boatload of cash in the process).

      However in general they must struggle to make a mainstream impact when the big labels are spending a boatload of cash on saturation marketing for their artists (and then clawing the money back off the artists).

      Perhaps the best thing about major artists leaving their stables will be a reduction of funds wasted on marketing so that new artists stand a chance of being seen
  • If you all would switch to listening to electronic music, especially from netlabels like Thinner http://www.thinner.cc/ [thinner.cc] you wouldn't need to worry about DRM. :-) Except that you probably don't enjoy free, and fascinating electronic music.... no you want David Hasselhof's new band "singing about love" - you know the neat band they play when your inside McDonalds, or ordering a coffee at Starbucks, or passing by a sexy shot of a model on MTV - oh wait that was a tampon ad.... yeah the lyrics are so unique th
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by dave1791 (315728)
      Popular music that sucks gets DRM'ed. Music that sucks that nobody listens to... why even bother?
    • If you all would switch to listening to electronic music, especially from netlabels like Thinner http://www.thinner.cc/ [thinner.cc] [thinner.cc] you wouldn't need to worry about DRM. :-)

      Which is all well and good if you're willing to merely exchange cliches. Some of us judge music on artistic merits rather than how well it assumes a genre-centric posture and don't have the option. Though that's probably better: less bad pseudo-political punk choruses and less samples of bad third rate soul vocals to give otherwise

  • by Potor (658520)

    Another straw in the wind: Nine Inch Nails has now ...
    and the enemy of my enemy is my ... friend? damn you, NIN!
  • Radiohead's album will be out in the shops in 2008. I know I could get it now for free*, but I think I'd rather wait for the CD and rip it in the format that I want (it's available as 10 x 160kbps MP3s, probably encoded in the wrong version of LAME that leaves gaps between the songs).

    *You can opt to pay nothing, but you still have to pay a 45p bank charge.
  • ...can't really conclude if this is good or bad, but one thing for sure is that the next up and coming 'big' act will need to sign away their life if they want to be on major label.
  • by joshuaes (1035088) on Wednesday October 10, 2007 @04:24AM (#20923675)
    It seems Oasis and Jamiroquai are to join the label free trend.

    Article. [telegraph.co.uk]
  • I heard that on the 20 euros that most CD cost, artists only see 2 or 3 euros...
    I suppose that when they sell on their website, more than 80% of the selling price goes into their pocket, so it is not an idealist fight anymore, it is just a matter of making profit. 5 euros for a CD is cheap by today standard and would earn the artists more money, it will be a hard year for middle-men
  • I keep hearing the phrase "bands make most of their money from touring etc not from CD sales".

    If this is true, then Radiohead aren't losing any money by giving away their music. They're just building a fan base by giving away music instead of building a fan base by getting a label to sell CDs. It also means that DRM protects the label and actively damages the band.

    Has the internet finally created a world in which the bands don't need labels any more? Perhaps in 5 or ten years time, we'll see that the labels
  • Pretty soon, MS Vista will be the only thing left that is ruined by DRM...
  • Just in time for this story, Radiohead's new album [inrainbows.com] is now available for download for the price you name.

    Only downside is they are 160 kbps mp3:s, which may not make everybody happy.
  • Dropping DRM and basically opening up the album to the masses is something we all want to see. That said my initial enthusiasm stemmed from being surprised by another Radiohead album rather than being told about it many months before it shows up as normal.

    More relevantly for this discussion, the really cool digital distribution mechanism has been marred somewhat by the patchy way the whole thing has been delivered. 160kbps CBR MP3 rip (well below par quality wise) is causing expected waves but, in my view

  • I have a question (Score:4, Insightful)

    by nysus (162232) on Wednesday October 10, 2007 @05:55AM (#20924075)
    As the guy in the article points out, it is trivially easy to move bits from one person to another.

    If I amass a 1,000 song collection with mp3s, won't it be trivially easy for me to "share" my music with all my friends? Wouldn't that really help build my reputation with them? And wouldn't those who received the free music be inclined to give away their music to others as well to help build their reputation?

    It's good that the record companies now understand the scourge of DRM, but I don't see how the artists win in this scenario.
  • by thbb (200684) on Wednesday October 10, 2007 @06:01AM (#20924105) Homepage
    > Another straw in the wind: Nine Inch Nails has now followed Radiohead in ridding themselves of the labels
    > and going independent.

    Since 2001, Einstürzende Neubauten [neubauten.org] has been exploring new ways to produce records and interact with their public while producing the album. Their last 3 albums were produced by a subscription. As supporters, we could attend the recording sessions via webcam, chat online with the band members, or use the forums to discuss about the directions taken by the band ; we obtained early versions of the songs, and attended private concerts. Unanimously agreed as a great experience!

    They've been fairly successful so far, though they still want to polish their formula. There is
    a nice interview about their latest album and the issues they face in going "label-free" [neubauten.org].
  • by ColourlessGreenIdeas (711076) on Wednesday October 10, 2007 @06:01AM (#20924107)
    ...seems to be largely because the record labels keep it all. If a band sells a CD, the record company gets most of the money. If they sell a t-shirt, they've bought the shirt wholesale and keep the rest.
    Some friends of mine [loverselectric.com] were touring as the support act with a largeish (reformed '80s) band recently. The main band wasn't selling albums at the gigs, as the wholesale price the record company wanted for the CDs was too high. My friends were making quite good money, as they were unsigned so just had to pay the CD making factory.
  • by jefreyisnotzen (1091273) on Wednesday October 10, 2007 @06:38AM (#20924297) Homepage
    I'm sick of the RIAA!!! I just paid $11.08 total to download the new Radiohead...CD, no, it's not CD anymore.:P But yes, the whole album. Well, whatever it's called these days. I'm a bit old school...I listened to LP's and even had an 8-track back in the day...Queen, News of the World...on 8 track...yuck, but oh the memories. Now NIN?!! Yes. I hadn't even heard any music off of the new Radiohead, but I love 'em. I didn't care if I didn't like the music, but I wanted to make a point to the RIAA, and perhaps even the MPAA or anyone else interested in DRM or IP. I will pay, but I don't want to pay for something that's restricted because you're afraid I will steal, and what DRM entails, or EULA's may or may not entail. Restrict all you want xxAA or whoever, if I don't want it, I won't buy. And no, I'm not going to steal it either. Simple economics. Radiohead and their current musical or financial allies, not the RIAA anymore, will get my money, because I don't want to buy what the RIAA has to offer. I still do though, but I don't like it. I bought Radioheads new release though, with passion...freedom! And it's their music to do with what they want now, how they want to sell it. And, since I like their music, and it's DRM free, and doesn't have the usual EULA stuff that goes with other sites like Amazon, I'm more than happy to even to pains with currency conversion stuff. What a breath of fresh air this is!!! I love this! And, I'm listening to the new release...it's good, BTW.:) Namyohorengekyo.
  • by Qwavel (733416) on Wednesday October 10, 2007 @12:24PM (#20928123)
    Is this really good?

    When they say no more DRM, I doubt their plan is to 'sell' songs without DRM. I think this means that songs will be distributed as a service and that the service will be supported by advertising.

    And I, for one, am sorry that everything we do has to be supported by advertising. I don't like advertising. I prefer to pay a reasonable fee.

    I don't blame Yahoo. They came out with a great music subscription service that went absolutely nowhere in the market. And, regarding DRM, they have been consistent in their rhetoric against it, but have not had the power to do anything about it.

If a thing's worth having, it's worth cheating for. -- W.C. Fields

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