Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Music Media Your Rights Online

Universal and Sony Plan "Free" Music Service 98

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the get-what-you-pay-for dept.
Damon Tog writes "Macworld reports that Universal Music Group has enlisted the help of Sony to join forces in a new music service. The price of the subscription is expected to be built-in to the cost of digital music players, leaving the music 'free' to the consumer. 'The plan is still in flux and faces several hurdles, BusinessWeek notes. Among them is finding a business model that allows the hardware makers to subsidize the cost of the music. In addition, the labels have tried to develop their own online music services before without success.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Universal and Sony Plan "Free" Music Service

Comments Filter:
  • How is the music from this service going to be tied to the particular player that is paying for it, and what obscure file format will it be? It would be foolish to think that the RIAA would be generous enough to distribute MP3 files that will play with anything.
    • by whoever57 (658626) on Saturday October 13, 2007 @01:54AM (#20963965) Journal

      How is the music from this service going to be tied to the particular player that is paying for it,
      It doesn't need to be tied to a particular player, as long as it it tied to a class of players, all of which include the royalty payment as part of the purchase. Thus, all that is required is an encryption or encoding format that is only licensed to those particular players. Additional measures could include proprietary communication formats between the player and the PC (and between the PC and the music store), combined with the requirement that a player is connected to the PC before the PC is allowed to download anything. The real question is: how long will it take DVD Jon to break the encryption?

      The most important question is the one that the major labels always forget to ask: what value does this bring to consumers? With Amazon selling MP3s, why pay $100 extra for a player, which is designed to break in 18 months?
      • Better Question (Score:4, Insightful)

        by shmlco (594907) on Saturday October 13, 2007 @02:38AM (#20964089) Homepage
        First, anyone who thinks it's "free" is nuts. Any price "bundled" into the player or phone service will per passed along to the end user.

        And as such, here's a better question: What happens to the music when you stop paying the subscription?

        Most subscription services of that type cancel all of your music when you're done. Are you going to want to pay two or three years worth of subscription fees and end up with nothing?

        • by Phurge (1112105)
          "Are you going to want to pay two or three years worth of subscription fees and end up with nothing?" If the price is right then I won't be too bothered. A couple of years ago I would buy a cd a week, thats £500/year. Plus in total I owned about 600 cds. If I could have subscription service that gives me access to a virtually unlimited back catalogue, for a fee of say £5 or even £10/month then financially I am way way ahead and have a greater music choice. If the subscription site is ba
      • by bigjarom (950328)

        It doesn't need to be tied to a particular player, as long as it it tied to a class of players, all of which include the royalty payment as part of the purchase.
        This is what they do in Canada, but without any tyrannical proprietary players or formats. Canadians are trusted to get content (that they've paid for through player and medium 'taxes') from either of the standard sources, be it Limewire OR Bittorrent. It's hard to knock the system they've got.
      • It doesn't need to be tied to a particular player, as long as it it tied to a class of players, all of which include the royalty payment as part of the purchase. Thus, all that is required is an encryption or encoding format that is only licensed to those particular players.

        Yeah, that's the intent. And I for one don't see any way this could fail *cough*CHINA*cough*, none at all.
      • The real question is: how long will it take DVD Jon to break the encryption?
        I bet I could break the encryption right now [impactacoustics.com]
      • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward
        The referenced Business Week article contains this quote: "Under one scenario industry insiders figure the cost per player would amount to about $90."

        Soon, the average consumer will belive the cost of music is $0. And the XXAA will have defined the total value of their catalogs at $90, considerably less than $9800 per song...
    • by Spasemunki (63473) on Saturday October 13, 2007 @01:58AM (#20963987) Homepage
      ... and the other question that immediately presents itself: when the partners involved in this deal lose interest after a couple years of lackluster sales, what will become of that nice device that you paid for- probably paid a lot for, given the "built in" subscription cost? Will you be able to load music onto it from other sources, or will it be bricked once the associated service is shut down?
    • Business Model? (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Ed_1024 (744566)
      What manufacturer would take on an open ended commitment of $60/yr? Even with Apple's legendary profit margins, they would be losing money by absorbing a $60 levy on their low-end iPods ($79 Shuffle, $149 Nano) and that's just in the first year! I can't see the situation being any better for other MP3 player makers.

      From TFA, Apple allegedly get $0.29 from every $0.99 iTunes sale, i.e. the record companies get $0.70; I'd bet that $0.29 has to fund the credit card charges and infrastructure costs while the $
      • I think we're witnessing the beginning of the end of the 'traditional' music company and these sort of suggestions are just spasms from a body that doesn't know it's head has been cut off...

        You got that right. Within these companies the people who were supposed to come up with ideas and haven't, have to put something out to save their jobs, so they mention something ridiculous like this. I can't imagine there are 6 people left in the US who would have enough trust in these companies to plunk down the kind of money that would be needed to give this any chance whatsoever of making a profit.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by davester666 (731373)
      This is the ideal system for the major labels:

      Large amount of fairly steady, predictable revenue every month, no matter what people actually want
      -they get monthly fees whether or not you use a device or the associated service [say, if the device is lost or broken]
      -they are also paid PER DEVICE, so you wind up paying multiple times for the same music [cuz they'll want you to buy a second 'player' for your car, another for your home, and one for each of your household to walk around with (sharing devices is V
      • Ideal for the majors, shitty for everyone else. This is a clusterfuck of an idea (one that could only have come from Big Record Labels). Apple won't go for it; I think that's a given. So that leaves the remaining 15% or so of the personal music-player market, for which the increased cost will drive down their market-share even further.

        Brought to you from the industry that actually hates it customers....
    • This has little if anything to do with the RIAA: they're just a just the enforcement arm of the big studios, and they will do what they're told. The question is whether the studios will release their music in an unencumbered format: they might, if that involves getting a cut of hardware profits. Personally, I think that would be a bad precedent, since it would give them even more influence over hardware design and implementation (look how well that worked for Sony's product line.) This could be a ploy to do
      • This has little if anything to do with the RIAA: they're just a just the enforcement arm of the big studios, and they will do what they're told.

        In a sense, the RIAA has nothing to do with the RIAA.

        The RIAA is a trade association.

        Its four biggest members decided to combine together and pool their copyrights in a way that would violate antitrust law, so they decided to use their trade association as a "protective shield" for their otherwise unlawful activity. No other members of the RIAA have anything to do with the litigation campaign. And the RIAA is not an "enforcement" organization at all. If you look at its charter I doubt you'll see anythi

  • by creativeHavoc (1052138) on Saturday October 13, 2007 @01:47AM (#20963941) Homepage
    The reason there have been so many failed music stores, especially when they have been built by the root content distributers themselves, is they don't want to take the time (and therefore money) to sit down and develop (not just build) an easy to use, intuitive, open music distribution software. They are marketing driven, and as such, this software it looked at from a marketing stand point. Full of buzzwords and trends, but no strong basis on what people want.

    People want music in several formats.
    People want music that plays over all devices they own.
    People want music in varying quality, and are willing to scale the pay of a song to the quality.
    People are not willing to pay more than a song is worth. (This is the biggest issue for the labels)

    If a service is build instead of a program, the company will be successful.

    /rant
    • What the *AAs need to accept is that the model of printing media and selling it at a giant markup is as obsolete as
      selling horse carriages. When they forced the original napster out of business, they then took it's model (and name)
      and made it legit. The same now has to happen with bittorrent trackers. Charge a reasonable subscription,
      set up dedicated seeds so you only have to upload while you download, ???, profit, though not nearly as much
      as before. People will pay to be legit, and have all the old son
    • What. You mean like AllOfMp3? Somebody should just buy them and their technology and run the same system in the west with real royalty payments. But then it wouldn't be so cheap. And I wouldn't be able to use the Russian service.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by hyfe (641811)
      Arg, Parent is so technocratic it hurts.

      People want music in several formats.

      Of course they don't! The wast majority of people who buy music want to listen it. If formats get in the way, that's bad. If they don't, it's good.

      People want music in varying quality, and are willing to scale the pay of a song to the quality.

      They do? Most people have no concept whatsoever of file-size, and file-size to quality ratios.. and nor should they have. They want music, they want to listen to it and as long as they don't

    • by PMBjornerud (947233) on Saturday October 13, 2007 @07:35AM (#20965095)
      Ok, ok. So I'm not really a music industry exec. But I think like one:

      People want music in several formats.
      People want music that plays over all devices they own.
      People want music in varying quality, and are willing to scale the pay of a song to the quality.
      People are not willing to pay more than a song is worth. (This is the biggest issue for the labels)
      No, no, no. Nono. No!

      We've figured it out now. People want free (as in beer) music! That's why we have rampant piracy and such lackluster sales. Right? Duh. Those mindless buggers care for nothing but free. But since these music-playing handheld machines still are selling like hotcakes, there must be some way we can get money from them instead!

      Obviously we just have to make music "free", and people will buy... erm, rent... er, hang on... enjoy (yes!) our music again!

      Trust us, our plans are brilliant this time!

      Oh... and I shouldn't write this... It's supposed to be a secret, but here goes: Since this "free" service obviously needs to be limited to the specific devices that are paying us, there must be some DRM involved. That means that we can at any time change this into a pay-per-play scheme. See how clever we are!!!

      We should have done this sooner! World domination! We've learned now! Those selfish consumers want nothing but free, so we'll give them "free", all right. Ha! this time, we cannot loose! Brilliant, I tell you!
  • by sh3l1 (981741)
    Personally, I think that this plan is great, I hope it works well, because I am fed up with the music industry at large.
    • you're fed up with the industry, so you want to buy straight from the industry?
      hope this is sarcastic....
    • by anagama (611277)

      Personally, I think that this plan is great, I hope it works well, because I am fed up with the music industry at large.

      Yeah -- since this is by the industry, wait till you see the price. It'll probably be something like $150 + ($1.50 * song_capacity). So for a 1gb device (240 songs), expect to pay $510. The next question to answer is whether you can replace songs. I'd expect it would be a one-way deal -- once you load it, you own it, and can't replace it. If the songs are replaceable, they'd soon run

  • Good Sign (Score:2, Insightful)

    by detain (687995)
    This is a sign that more of the labels are starting to realize they need to change with the times and will (hopefully) stop blaiming the lack of interest in buying CDs on piracy alone. With any luck more things like this will start to happen soon as companies start to test the waters of new business models.

    This could be a great thing for both consumers and corperations, if they are willing to start trying new business models, it means we as customers could very well wind up with new innovative ways to enjo
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Dachannien (617929)
      On the other hand, it's a bad sign because the music industry is just finding new ways (or, perhaps, rediscovering old ways) to exert unnecessary control over their product. Hardware lock-in is bad for the consumer, because it limits consumer choice, but it's good for the music and electronics industries, for the same reason.

      • by rucs_hack (784150)
        They can control it all they want, but the pool of people who are willing to be subjected to that control is going to get smaller over time.

        They might even have a few years of success with such a model, but as soon as the first groups of consumers who quit starting complaining about not having their music any more, support will wane, and their grand scheme will flop.

    • > "...new innovative ways to enjoy media that doesnt leave you feeling like you just got ripped off."

      What about this scenario: you subscribe for some songs you really like, but as revenue starts flowing, labels publish as much crap as possible, because they know you would like to hold onto the content you like. If you rebelled, the songs you like either expire at the end of subscription, or would be tied to one particular player which is gonna get obsolete/less functional in 3 years or less and with rest
      • The scenario in the article assumed that people would replace their players after 18 months (After all, that's how long an iPod's battery lasts [ipodsdirtysecret.com] ;^). Personally--and maybe I'm not into music or players--I can't see replacing a music player after 18 months, short of planned obsolescence (ie, replacing the battery in the device costs more than a new device would) unless something really new and cool comes along.

        For example, I have a 2G iPod nano which works great. I don't see any reason to spend money on a 3
  • I'm surprised at this move - I would have thought that they would go for a yearly subscription model with the first year free.

  • by User 956 (568564) on Saturday October 13, 2007 @01:55AM (#20963973) Homepage
    Macworld reports that Universal Music Group has enlisted the help of Sony to join forces in a new music service.

    Initial reports indicate this offer is really "heating up", but that's only because the music players use Sony batteries.
  • Record execs: "blah blah blah, blah blah blah"
  • by kawabago (551139)
    The label's business model isn't needed any more. These are their death throes.
  • by CleverNickName (129189) * <wil@wilw[ ]ton.net ['hea' in gap]> on Saturday October 13, 2007 @02:05AM (#20964023) Homepage Journal
    So we have:
    • Free as in speech (you're free to do what you want with it)
    • Free as in beer (you get it for free)
    • And now there's free as in Sony (we're free to fuck you after we have your money)
    No thanks, Sony and UMG. Fool me once, can't get fooled again.
    • You forgot
      • ...Sony (And watch the battery explode in your player)
    • by Nazmun (590998)
      Is that like a variation of the Bush butchering of the, "Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me" saying?

      IF so you forgot the unusuals pauses. I don't understand why people are so emotionally charged on this site. Before passing down judgement we need know how this will actually be implemented. While I doubt that this will be painless to use theres still a chance it might actually work out really well.
      • I don't understand why people are so emotionally charged on this site. Before passing down judgement we need know how this will actually be implemented.

        It doesn't matter how it's implemented if the companies doing it can't be trusted. These companies can't be trusted.

        Case in point: on the issue of ripping one's own cd for personal use, at the oral argument before the US Supreme Court in MGM v. Grokster, when it suited their advantage, they said that that type of copying was fine. Then, on the witness stand in Capitol v. Thomas last week, they said it was not fine, it was a copyright infringement.

        It doesn't matter how they say they will "implement" it; t

  • by SuperKendall (25149) on Saturday October 13, 2007 @02:07AM (#20964027)
    So, would said player let you load any of your own music on it? Or is this a device where you get to hear how great whatever artists a limited set of studios thinks are good enough for you?

    It's like radio, but with more room to roam in your cage.

    The problem is that selling cages to consumers has traditionally led to them escaping, or not entering in the first place in great numbers...
    • by edavid (1045092)
      This kind of scheme is only a way for majors to make people pay for the music the major choose, and not the music the people choose.

      And make it more difficult for artists t quit the majors, like some begin to do.
    • by langelgjm (860756)
      This would give a whole new meaning to things like the "U2 iPod".
  • Among them is finding a business model that allows the hardware makers to subsidize the cost of the music.

    Er, right.

    The music industry has an even worse problem coming up. The music player industry will probably be eaten by the phone industry. Most newer phones have some music player capability. And the phone guys have a network in place that can distribute the music. The problem for the labels is that the telcos want a much bigger piece of the revenue than iTunes takes. Sprint started at $2.50

    • The music industry has an even worse problem coming up. The music player industry will probably be eaten by the phone industry. Most newer phones have some music player capability.

      As convienent as a all-in-one device is, sometimes I don't want to bring something that expensive with me. If I'm going to work out, all I want is the music player. I don't want to get interrupted, and I don't want to risk damaging a much more expensive piece of equipment. There's always going to be a market for an mp3 pl

  • Among them is finding a business model that allows the hardware makers to subsidize the cost of the music

    We have already seen that most of those that pirate music still purchase CD's - in fact we consistently see that those that pirate music are the *highest* purchasers of music. Why do they need to incorporate this - it is already subsidized in the outrageous cost for a CD?

    Allow it to play anything and make your money off 15 dollar CD's like they always have. Put lyrics, art, higher quality recordings (tha
    • by shark72 (702619)

      "We have already seen that most of those that pirate music still purchase CD's - in fact we consistently see that those that pirate music are the *highest* purchasers of music."

      Yet piracy is exploding, while CD sales are dropping.

      I think there's a bit of confirmation bias going on here -- we want to feel good about piracy, so we keep repeating stuff like the above. When somebody tells us that their piracy has led them to purchase more music, we remember it. When we meet somebody who (like many of my f

    • by billsoxs (637329)
      Here is the one major item that I think everyone overlooks:

      The last couple of years the Movie companies have moved toward sequels as a way of life. They are afraid of messing up - so they take the 'safe' route. (Pirates 1, 2 and 3 Shrek 1,2 and 3) Note for the most part sequels make less money each time. The record companies have been doing this even longer and I believe that this is why sales are dropping for the record industry. They are so afraid of failure that each new song is really a remake of

  • where I can download an album in a lossless format so I can convert it myself.

    Playing Let's Pretend for a minute, if I owned an online music store I would offer music in MP3 format and also FLAC for the advanced users.

    People could then download the FLAC versions and use some crappy tool that I provide to convert it into a selection of different formats.

    Oh, and albums would be downloaded in a single zip file. If Radiohead can do it then so can I.
    • by gronofer (838299)

      "Advanced users" using FLAC don't need you to provide some crappy tool.

      Magnatune [magnatune.com] already does what you suggest, including the optional FLAC downloads. Presumably the typical musician isn't impressed with the concept, or it would have conquered the market by now.

    • by Belial6 (794905)
      I don't want it in flac. I want a zip file that contains an ISO and images for packaging. I then want a discount for doing the manufacturing myself instead of paying extra for it. I can rip to flac myself, but I want to know that when I make a CD and put it in a player, it can go out to the CDDB and get all of the details.

      The other option I want is downloads via flac that is followed up by a physical disk in the mail. This would give me all of the professionally produced packaging and pressed disk, w
      • I don't understand why going to CDDB to get metadata from an iso is better than having the metadata already present in a FLAC. You can burn a CD with CD Text from the FLAC files using any of a large number of existing tools, convert them to some lossy format preserving the metadata, or play them as they are. What can you do with an ISO that you can't do with FLAC, or which of these can you do better?
  • For this to actually work they'd need not only to have a sufficient number of these players in the hands of listeners, they'd also need to have more material available than just Sony and Universal stuff. It's not even clear if Sony Records is on board for this ill-fated venture.

    First (and fatal) flaw: if you're going to roll the cost of the music into the price of the player then it's going to be far more expensive than any other portable player. Even a "minimal" 4 GB player holds about 800 tunes - even i

  • all this means is you'll pay through the nose for the player, it'll be locked in to their service and some where down the track they will turn it into a subscription based system to milk you.
  • Will this be included also in the price of these players or will it be waived?
  • sorry SONY, I no longer need you.
    • sorry SONY, I no longer need you.
      Well said; they must be confusing the American public with someone who gives a damn what hairbrained scheme these corporations can come up with.
  • by Budenny (888916) on Saturday October 13, 2007 @03:54AM (#20964321)
    This is a great move, because it will reveal the absurdity of the present locked player situation. Its a classic stage in industry evolution. Stage one is, some company (Apple) comes out with a format for purchased tunes which will only play on its own player.

    This creates two incentives. The first is to increase the sale of tunes, since the other players depend on the tunes not the player as their main business. So they want more tunes sold. But as long as there is an Apple monopoly of sold tunes, this isn't going to happen, and there is nothing they can do about it.

    The second incentive is to compete with Apple as a retailer.

    So, because of the success so far of the Apple strategy, all they can really do is emulate it: come up with another store, another player, a different format, and tunes locked to it. Since they have to overcome an incumbent, they will be reduced to making his attractive by initially lowering the price of the tunes and using a different locked format, to make people use their player. This will be a replay of competing format wars that we have seen with hardware formats in the past.

    We will then move to the stage, which we have seen previously in media with different consumer formats, where consumers still refuse to buy the stuff because they hate incompatible formats. After a while of this an unlocked standard will emerge. I don't mean a standard that is not copy protected, but one does not lock purchased tunes to players from one particular vendor, or make them be purchased by one specialised bit of software or currency. It will work just like CDs and DVDs do now: buy your content wherever you want from one of a variety of independent outlets, using whatever payment means you want, and play it on the player of your choice, from one of several manufacturers.

    The Apple strategy has worked well for a while, but it has within it, like all DRM based attempts to tie up your use of what you buy, the seeds of its own destruction. It is not a sustainable business model longer term. The present model for music and CDs was. The only thing that is destroying it is overpricing from the content publishers.

    Apple is far better placed to deal with the implosion of the business model. Its trivial to take locking off the iPod and iTunes store. And if the money falls out of the tunes market, it hardly affects them. For the content owners, their whole model is falling to bits in well defined stages that we have previously seen in other format wars. It is what is coming towards us.
  • A local music store has a special on now, 4 CDs for $20 (Canadian, about two-fifty [snopes.com] American). Now that's more like it. I spent $40 there this week but on old, crappy stuff that today's listener wouldn't care for. I'm still expecting the now-ripped songs to self-destruct or something in 12 months.
  • Headline: We're offering MP3's for free!

    Very very small print: You need to install this rootkit software to make the MP3's work, but we're telling you in advance this time, so you can't sue us.

    Copyright enforcement: If you do something we don't allow to our MP3's, we reserve the right to make that Li-ion battery in your MP3 player go up in smoke. Just see all those laptop batteries as examples of how to enforce copyright!

    [not aiming comments at specific companies mind]
  • This one's for free.

    Create your music DRM free. Distribute it via your own tracker. Create some software for it that encorporates some PGP key exchange so "free" software can't access it. Load that software with P2P worked ads.

    Effect: Since P2P software is usually notoriously slow and/or long running, people will see your ads. This will cover for the losses due to DRM freeness. Good PR is a given, even and especially amongst geeks, who have been criticising DRM for ages now and who are generally the loudest
  • IDDIIIIIOOOOOTS (Score:5, Insightful)

    by eiapoce (1049910) on Saturday October 13, 2007 @05:20AM (#20964597)
    My reply comes late and will be short. By reading the article you can get clear hints that iTunes is going to be the market leader for a very long time. I summarize them:

    • "Sony said recently that it would abandon its proprietary ATRAC copy-protection technology, and add Microsoft's Windows Media ... close its Connect Music Store". Translation - Fucking customers who bought previous players and registered the service.
    • "MTV Networks said it would abandon its own digital music service, called Urge, and pool its efforts with RealNetworks' Rhapsody" They fare even better, close the store screwing registered users and then as if this was not enought join forces with the most unsuccessful, worse DRMd and worse marketed player of all times
    • "get hardware makers to absorb the cost of a $5 monthly subscription" Selling hardware that works only on a rent basis!!! This is funny, I don't know anyone willing to buy somethin like that.
    • "CEO of Universal Music's [says] the share of revenue that Apple collects for each song sold on iTunes is "indecent,"" Labelling competition bad names instead of competing.
    • "the labels would like to charge different prices for new and older music" Now in economics this has actually a name. It is called market segmentation and is the most known way of screwing costumers by raping their surplus.
    • "nurture the adoption of other music players such as Microsoft's Zune": History teaches us that any business that made deals with microsoft has to face 2 quests. The first is to win the market. The second is avoiding MS to take over using anticompetitive practices and lawyers. By judging how they are dealing to the iTunes quest I guess those idiotic CEOs are deemed to fail both.

    The real question is: who put them in charge? Their proposed exit strategy for media distribution sounds as "shoot us in the leg". If I had any stok or option on those companies I would consider selling them now before is too late.
    • by doctor_no (214917)
      Honestly, please stop using bolds everywhere and words like "IDDIIIIIOOOOOTS" (negates the point of bolds when half your submission is bolded). You're comments should be strong enough on the value of your words not by shoving them down everyone's throats by over the top formatting.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        Honestly, please stop using bolds everywhere and words like "IDDIIIIIOOOOOTS" (negates the point of bolds when half your submission is bolded). You're comments should be strong enough on the value of your words not by shoving them down everyone's throats by over the top formatting.
        And to me I thought "IDDIIIIIOOOOOTS" was an understatement.
    • This is one of the most hilariously funny parodies of over-the-top hypocrisy I have ever read --

      CEO of Universal Music's [says] the share of revenue that Apple collects for each song sold on iTunes is "indecent,"

      He's got to be aware of how outrageous it is for a music industry executive to be saying anything like that, doesn't he? Apparently not.

      I think most everyone else had best not be drinking anything when they read his plaintive cry, though. Bad for keyboards and monitors...

    • If I had any stok or option on those companies I would consider selling them now before is too late.
      I think the Motley Fool investor web site agrees with you [blogspot.com].
  • 1. Alienate your customers by refusing to alter your business model
    2. Once they all hate you, alter your business model
    ...
    3. Profit
  • this is all very good for the consumer but what about artists, i'd like to know how this would be included in royalties for each end every artist in the world, i cant see how they are going to make that work! there's more to it than just saying its free, but hey, record companies already screw the artists. Will they have a log of who downloads what then they dip into the bank of cash that the mp3 players make and pay them? Questions Questions!
    • this is all very good for the consumer but what about artists, i'd like to know how this would be included in royalties for each end every artist in the world, i cant see how they are going to make that work!

      I don't think they care much about that. They say they don't even know [blogspot.com] how much royalties they owe the artists. (See Oct. 11th letter of Richard L. Gabriel).

  • no sir, no can do. a corporate giant's credibility depends on its behavior towards customers in all its branches. if i get screwed over by some corp in any of its services or products, i dont go idiotically buying another of their product. and im not even talking about the rootkit gig.
  • by supabeast! (84658) on Saturday October 13, 2007 @08:28AM (#20965329)
    If some real investigative journalism were going on, the article would be titled "How Sony and Universal plan to lobby Congress to force hardware makers to pay the record companies for a crappy music subscription service that consumers don't want."
  • Spiralfrog [spiralfrog.com] already offers 'DRM' tied downloads supported by advertising for some major labels, the downloads can be copied to 'plays for sure' media players but not burned to CD. Of course because it uses windows DRM its Windows + Internet Explorer only Meanwhile imeem AKA 'youtube for music' [imeem.com] lets you stream music uploaded by its users, providing the music is licensed from Sony, BMG, Warners or one of their other partners, it's a cooler approach in some ways because the user generated side of things gives
  • Universal is really trying to get control of the music business back from Apple. Looks like they're willing to use any means necessary to do so.

    There's a huge Catch 22 here. I'm all for competition, but if they win, and crush the iPod, do you think we'll be better off? They're the music business after all. Out to screw the customer and the artist. In the end, we'll all lose out.

    Andy
    • Universal is really trying to get control of the music business back from Apple. Looks like they're willing to use any means necessary to do so. There's a huge Catch 22 here. I'm all for competition, but if they win, and crush the iPod, do you think we'll be better off? They're the music business after all. Out to screw the customer and the artist. In the end, we'll all lose out.

      Exactly. And we all know that by now. So why would anyone in his or her right mind buy into it?

      By the way how could you call it "competition"... competitors joining forces to try to defeat someone else's business. Isn't that what you would call "anticompetitive"?

  • I don't trust UMG any further than I can throw them. Then offering free music is like a fox offering 'free meals' for hens. At this point, there is only one thing Universal Music Group could do that would make me happy - and that would be GO BANKRUPT. On the day they finally fall apart, I'll be the first person dancing on their proverbial grave and rejoicing.
    • I don't trust UMG any further than I can throw them. Then offering free music is like a fox offering 'free meals' for hens. At this point, there is only one thing Universal Music Group could do that would make me happy - and that would be GO BANKRUPT. On the day they finally fall apart, I'll be the first person dancing on their proverbial grave and rejoicing.

      Let me give you fair warning, Lunar. I'm going to try to get there ahead of you. I want to be the first. May the best man win.

  • What I want is the option to buy an MP3 player that will indemnify me ("legal exemption from liability for damages") from any repercussions from MP3 downloads. If I buy this player, I have purchased the right to play whatever MP3 files I find online from RIAA member labels.

    Or not even purchase the player, but just a certificate or something. Why don't they offer this so people who want to be honest can be? Your only real option is to buy music on CD to have a legal copy of it. Why isn't there a web site

    • Technically that statement is wrong.

      By the definitions set forth in print and media by the law teams for the RIAA, just ripping a copy of a CD in a computer constitutes theft. Thats their words.

      It apparently doesn't matter that the "fair use" doctrine is in play here either. They are attempting to rewrite law as they go along and waiting for someone high up to challenge them on it.

      They will ultimately kill the traditional business model of the record/CD medium, and also the rights by any human to hear any o
      • By the definitions set forth in print and media by the law teams for the RIAA, just ripping a copy of a CD in a computer constitutes theft. Thats their words. It apparently doesn't matter that the "fair use" doctrine is in play here either. They are attempting to rewrite law as they go along and waiting for someone high up to challenge them on it. They will ultimately kill the traditional business model of the record/CD medium, and also the rights by any human to hear any of the legacy music until they decide when and where.

        You have accurately described the Law According to these record companies.

        Your only remaining music WILL come from new artists writing and performing songs by which the RIAA cannot come by and park on.

        Which is correct, except that old artists are dumping them also. See, e.g., Nine Inch Nails, Radiohead, Madonna. Now that the lawsuits have received so much publicity, and now that it's clear that these record companies are vestiges, I believe you're going to see many or most major artists decline to renew as their contracts run out. There is simply no reason any more to sign the oppressive recording agreements that have been the li

  • Right now with the album sale model (and even the iTunes per-song sale model), the more popular a group is, the more money it brings in and the band and label each get a cut. Under this model, the labels get pretty much a flat fee and decide which groups to budget it to. There is absolutely zero incentive for a band who wants to make it big to buy into this load of garbage.
  • Steve Jobs
    February 6, 2007

    With the stunning global success of Apple's iPod music player and iTunes online music store, some have called for Apple to "open" the digital rights management (DRM) system that Apple uses to protect its music against theft, so that music purchased from iTunes can be played on digital devices purchased from other companies, and protected music purchased from other online music stores can play on iPods. Let's examine the current situation and how we got here, then look at three poss
  • Unbelievable (Score:4, Insightful)

    by NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) * <ray.beckermanlegal@com> on Saturday October 13, 2007 @11:37PM (#20971153) Homepage Journal
    1. Have these guys ever heard of antitrust laws?

    2. Don't they realize that their antitrust combination to try to defeat Apple would be a flagrant violation of antitrust law?

    3. Why are they incapable of just trying to compete with someone in a fair and open way?

    4. Who in the US would be stupid enough to patronize their new venture and thus subsidize their RIAA lawsuits against the American people.

    5. SONY BMG are the guys who just testified in Capitol v. Thomas [blogspot.com] that it is illegal for people to copy their cd's onto their computers for personal use.

    Anyone who would buy anything from these companies is an idiot.
  • I have been screwed by Sony before, and won't buy their craptastic overpriced proprietary junk again. This is the Sony that is pushing ARCOSS, BD+ and every other DRM-poisoned abomination known to man on us. Does anyone think they are doing this bec1ause they want to - its a desperation move because their multiple attempts to fall back on their tried and true strategy of ass-raping their paying customers has failed them in this market. Even if this worked, as soon as the got c1ritic1al mass they would c1ome

Genius is ten percent inspiration and fifty percent capital gains.

Working...