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MacRumors
Feb 8, 2007, 03:56 PM
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Since Apple released Steve Jobs' article entitled "Thoughts On Music (http://www.macrumors.com/2007/02/06/steve-jobs-thoughts-on-music/)" in which he calls on record companies to allow Apple to sell DRM free content on the iTunes Store, various parties have voiced their reactions.

In an Associated Press article published by Forbes (http://www.forbes.com/feeds/ap/2007/02/07/ap3406189.html), Mitch Bainwol, chairman and chief executive of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) suggested that Apple rather license FairPlay to other companies to allow interoperability.

"We have no doubt that a technology company as sophisticated and smart as Apple could work with the music community to make that happen," Bainwol said in a prepared statement.

Mr. Jobs addressed such a possibility in his article, however stated that "Apple has concluded that if it licenses FairPlay to others, it can no longer guarantee to protect the music it licenses from the big four music companies."

However, Jon Lech Johansen, who has successfully reverse-engineered FairPlay in the past and has since formed DoubleTwist ventures (http://www.macrumors.com/2006/10/25/doubletwist-licensing-fairplay-apple-itunes-drm/) in an attempt to sell FairPlay compatible DRM to content providers, points out in a blog post (http://nanocrew.net/2007/02/06/steve-on-licensing-fairplay/) that Microsoft's decision to license Microsoft’s Windows Media DRM 10 (PlaysForSure) to multiple companies has not had any more security breaches than FairPlay.

European consumer groups appear to be coming out with a mixed reaction. Norway's Consumer Counsel appears to not be satisfied (http://www.macnn.com/articles/07/02/06/norway.responds.to.jobs/) with Jobs' comments, however one French consumer group (http://www.hardmac.com/news/2007-02-08/#6407) fully agrees with Jobs, and has refocused their efforts on pressuring the music labels.

Reaction to Jobs' article remains extremely positive in MacRumors forums. Also of note, Britain's EMI Music has been experimenting with DRM-free music digital music distribution via MP3, reportedly gaining extremely positive feedback from customers.



mashinhead
Feb 8, 2007, 04:01 PM
interesting, i love that the French fight for consumer protection. But Jobs is right in this case, i'm sure he just pissed off the big 4 royally, Risky move, I wonder how long their contracts with apple are for?

chicagdan
Feb 8, 2007, 04:04 PM
Call me crazy, but i think Apple's looking for a way out of this business. Selling songs isn't terribly profitable for them and the iPod has reached such a maturity level that they no longer need a dedicated store to drive hardware sales. If the music companies want to pull the plug on the iTunes Store, I think Apple's inclined to say, fine, we'll encourage our customers to buy CDs and rip them.

Sherlock Holmes
Feb 8, 2007, 04:07 PM
The Big 4 aren't happy with Steve Jobs...but have nowhere else to turn. CD sales are flat and will begin to decline soon. The ONLY future for "Record" Company revenue is digital online sales, and right now iTunes in the biggest channel. Jobs knows this and is urging them towards the only real option they have.

zigziggityzoo
Feb 8, 2007, 04:10 PM
Apples share of all music sold is roughly equated to $70M for every 1B songs sold. Over the course of the ~4-5 years iTunes Store has been online, that's all the money they have to work with to keep it operational. Call me crazy, but I doubt they're doing anything more than breaking even with their iTunes Store (considering bandwidth and those keeping the place online).

That said, I'm sure that without DRM, there would be less cost (though not considerable) to keeping the iTunes store online, and more people drawn to the store. This means more iPods sold, and more iPod halo effect. This also means more downloaded songs (a + for the labels, artists).

Too bad this probably won't happen.

ChrisA
Feb 8, 2007, 04:10 PM
If Jobs was sincere in his comments he could prove it today by putting at least a few non-DRM'd tracks on iTunes. There are any number in indy band that have asked that their music by DRM free. All he'd have to do is say "Yes" to one of the smaller labels that does not want DRM. He can't blame ALL the labels. Heck, if he REALLY wanted to publish DRM free content he could sign a few artists himself,

Until iTunes does this I don't believe what jobs said

sportsfanMAW
Feb 8, 2007, 04:10 PM
Call me crazy, but i think Apple's looking for a way out of this business. Selling songs isn't terribly profitable for them and the iPod has reached such a maturity level that they no longer need a dedicated store to drive hardware sales. If the music companies want to pull the plug on the iTunes Store, I think Apple's inclined to say, fine, we'll encourage our customers to buy CDs and rip them.


not profitable? come on they're like what number 4 now on the top selling online music? I think that's pretty profitable, plus with all their movies and tv shows i'm guessing there making a lot of money

chicagdan
Feb 8, 2007, 04:14 PM
not profitable? come on they're like what number 4 now on the top selling online music? I think that's pretty profitable, plus with all their movies and tv shows i'm guessing there making a lot of money

But Apple is not getting a lot of money per sale and they have all of the infrastructure costs. The iTunes store is a vehicle to sell more iPods, it's not a big money maker itself.

conradzoo
Feb 8, 2007, 04:17 PM
If Jobs was sincere in his comments he could prove it today by putting at least a few non-DRM'd on iTunes. There are any number in indy band that have asked that their music by DRM free. All he's have to do is say "Yes" to one of the smaller labels that does not want DRM. He can't blame ALL the labels. Heck, if he REALLY wanted to publish DRM free content he could sign a few artists himself,

Until iTunes does this I don't believe what jobs said

I fully agree. Lotta idependent bands that are at Emusic (DRM free) also are for sale at iTunes. It doesn't seem the artist insist the DRM on iTunes...

So mr Job, give us some proof of right intent.

MacVault
Feb 8, 2007, 04:18 PM
...In an Associated Press article published by Forbes (http://www.forbes.com/feeds/ap/2007/02/07/ap3406189.html), Mitch Bainwol, chairman and chief executive of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) suggested that Apple rather license FairPlay to other companies to allow interoperability....

Mitch Bainwol JUST DOESN'T GET IT! Hey Mitch, listen 2 ME: WE DO NOT WANT ANY FRICKIN DRM! WE WANT FREEDOM FOR OUR MUSIC. WE DON'T WANT TO BE RULED BY YOU. I WILL RULE MYSELF. THANK YOU VERY MUCH! DOWN WITH DRM! DOWN WITH DRM! DOWN WITH DRM! You will get way more money from me if I can legally buy the music online with NO DRM! NO FAIRPLAY! NO PLAYSFORSURE! NONE OF THAT CRAP!

Now, what don't you understand about that, Mitch??? Steve Jobs seems to (finally) understand it!

roland.g
Feb 8, 2007, 04:18 PM
Regardless of DRM and Fairplay, I don't think Apple should really ever allow any non-Apple devices to operate with iTunes.

It is one thing to make the music DRM free or to license Fairplay so that an off brand mp3/aac player, something like an iRiver, SanDisk Sansa or SwiMP3 player, can play iTMS songs. But that is as far as Apple should have to go. Drag and Drop or create their own Manager/Interface for playlists and transfers.

I wouldn't want Apple to have to create plugs-ins or any other way for other companies players to list in the devices section for updating. I just see that as fraught with bugs and ultimately backlashing on Apple. Apple produces vertical integration of Software and Hardware for a reason: seamless operation. And that works (at least most of the time).

shalghamz
Feb 8, 2007, 04:18 PM
But Apple is not getting a lot of money per sale and they have all of the infrastructure costs. The iTunes store is a vehicle to sell more iPods, it's not a big money maker itself.

I dont believe you...show me proof.

itnaanti
Feb 8, 2007, 04:19 PM
I agree with Steve that DRM is a complete waste. The only people that it impedes are the honest people who are legally purchasing their music. Personally, I hope they completely scrap DRM as a failed experiment, but I also understand the labels’ misgivings about selling freely distributable music. I would offer this as a compromise: encrypt owner information into downloaded songs, but leave the songs themselves free from DRM. This way, we could play our songs on any given player, but the labels would have a way to track music piracy. Granted, that opens a whole new can of litigation worms that frankly scares me just thinking about it – but at least I could play my legally purchased CDs on another player without having to burn them and re-rip them to remove the protection.

heyisa
Feb 8, 2007, 04:28 PM
I would buy all my music off itunes if it was drm free and a little higher quality (160k aac would be fine for me). Until then, I prefer to buy cds for the higher quality, but if those two things were changed I would buy 4 times as much music on itunes.

MacVault
Feb 8, 2007, 04:29 PM
I would buy all my music off itunes if it was drm free and a little higher quality (160k aac would be fine for me). Until then, I prefer to buy cds for the higher quality, but if those two things were changed I would buy 4 times as much music on itunes.

Ditto! Mega Ditto! Until then, I'm more than happy to go to the store, buy the CD and rip it myself!

deputy_doofy
Feb 8, 2007, 04:31 PM
Now that the Apple v. Apple thing is settled, I'd love to see Apple Inc. spin off its own music label division..... hmmmm, maybe even Apple Records itself..... and allow musicians to come onboard, leaving those other 4 guys behind.


*turns and waves to the big 4*
Say hi to the dinosaurs for me.

:p

Object-X
Feb 8, 2007, 04:31 PM
This is a power play between Apple and the music industry. Apple's position is strong and they don't need DRM to maintain it. Apple could license Fairplay, but why should they go to all the trouble to do it? Furthermore, the music industry could rework their agreement with Apple so as to not threaten pulling all their music if a cracked DRM couldn't be patched in time. As long as Apple is forced to take all the risk and responsibility it's in Apple's best interest to keep Fairplay propietary.

I hear a lot of people claiming the music industry are a bunch of idiots since most of their music is sold on unprotected CDs; like their too stupid to figure that out. They are not stupid. DRM is a forward thinking strategy to protect their music. I think the music industry believes, as we all do, that digital downloading is the distribution model of the future. By putting DRM in place now they will eventually achieve protection of all their content.

This is becoming a power play, because of Apple's position. They want Apple to take all the risk and deal with all the headaches. Why should Apple do this? Because they have been so successful? Apple could make money at it, but not enough to make it worth the trouble. Apple benefits by having DRM, so there is no incentive for them to do this.

So, who will blink first? Apple is staying put. All the music industry can do now is threaten to pull out of Apple's music service, but since Apple has 80% market share and digital downloading is extremely successful, they can't really do that either. So, Apple has essentially drawn a line in the sand and now the music industry is going to either let things remain as they are or remove the DRM.

My guess is things will stay as they are.

therandthem
Feb 8, 2007, 04:46 PM
It is possible that Steve Jobs is creating the beginnings of a narrative for why Apple Inc. will some day be forced to become a major record label. With the recent agreement between the Beatles' Apple Corps and Apple Inc. the groundwork may already be laid. Everyone knows that the major record labels will react defensively toward any suggestion that they stop using digital copy restrictions. So what does Steve Jobs do? He stokes the flames. Later he can say the Apple Inc. and Apple Corps are uniting as the premiere music store and record label to give consumers what the major labels will not. Then, Apple signs up artists who will be attracted by a bigger cut of the online sales.

russellb
Feb 8, 2007, 04:51 PM
People just dont get it

Other than the fact that Apple has every right to a closed system , no one forces you to use Ipods or itunes people choose to. If you dont like it go somewhere else .. but people do like it. If the competition cant come up with an as good solution then suck eggs.

BUT my main comment:

One of the main reason that Macs are such a great system (other than the great OS) is that they are a relatively closed system. Apple controls all the hardware and all the OS software and that lets them deliver a first class user experience. Half of PC's problems come from the fact that they are not a closed system and you have 101 hardware manufacturers and 101 sofware companies delivering hardware and drivers etc.

If you opened up the Itunes and Ipod to 3rd party hardware and 3rd party software Apple would be unable to control the system and hence users would be complaining about problems that would be the fault of 3rd parties ... you get my drift.

GO APPLE keep a closed system and keep delivering us the best system out there.

nemaslov
Feb 8, 2007, 04:57 PM
Call me crazy, but i think Apple's looking for a way out of this business. Selling songs isn't terribly profitable for them and the iPod has reached such a maturity level that they no longer need a dedicated store to drive hardware sales. If the music companies want to pull the plug on the iTunes Store, I think Apple's inclined to say, fine, we'll encourage our customers to buy CDs and rip them.

I would love for Apple to stand up and say..ok we are going all DRM FREE. Those who want to play..stay, and other can walk. The Majors will lose online Market share and the indies will GROW and new acts will florish. Major label music will be pirated more and more and more.

EMI is the only major that seems to be open to it. Let the others go to the ZUNE store and see their sales plunge...or squirt. The Beatles are an EMI act and their addition to iTunes at the same time they get rid of DRM, would give iTunes a another kick, with or without the other three majors.

Data
Feb 8, 2007, 05:00 PM
...is what does it for me , i think all the iTMS ( or any other online store ) buys are way to low in quailty, if you compare them to a regular cd, so i say buy cedees and rip them your selfs ,if you have the room for it with the aiff or apple lossless codec, then you get close to the "real thing".
Then again, if you only listen to your music on your ipod you would not even notice the quality diffrence, so maybe it just best to forget all i said above :rolleyes: , ;-) .

thirdhand
Feb 8, 2007, 05:00 PM
While I don't know whether Apple is not licensing FairPlay to others for the technical reasons Steve claimed, or for keeping control over the iTunes/iPod combo, it still leaves Apple in a position of power over the record companies, as they're the dominant online music store. This might eventually force the companies to abandon DRM. Meanwhile Microsoft are involuntarily doing their best to kill DRM by leaving PlaysForSure for a new exclusive Zune DRM (or they would be if anybody bought Zunes).

Peace
Feb 8, 2007, 05:02 PM
I said it the other day.The only solution is "OpenDRM" a cross-platform DRM.Open source.ALL stores including MICROSOFT and Apple MUST embrace this or DRM will fail more than it will.

xVeinx
Feb 8, 2007, 05:23 PM
I find it interesting that the RIAA response completely ignores Steve's analysis on the leakage of DRM information. The essential response is that Apple needs to license out their Fairplay DRM to other companies. This places a lot of burden on Apple because they now have to try and do damage control when a) leaks occur, b) MS, SONY, Creative, Craptastic Hardware INC., have a poor implementation of the DRM in their firmware. There is just too much at stake for Apple. Until this point however, the RIAA has been able to make any demands it wants, and have them met--and it will likely continue to have them met. In this case, Apple will likely have to give in and license out Fairplay because it would be easy enough for a company such as MS to go and offer to do this. If they do, then the RIAA may choose to pull it's catalog from Apple in favor of MS. Of course, there are market share issues, the fact that the Zune is the laughing stock of the galaxy, etc. it may not happen right away. European legislation could be very problematic for Apple in the end however. They don't want the same fines that MS has had to endure for its issues, and it might end up being better to either 1. license out Fairplay, or 2. pull out of parts of the European market for the time being.

I honestly don't know that the RIAA/labels will budge on this issue. They are looking to get as much money as they can, but they may also choose to stop selling music to Apple anyway. Their actions suggest a lack of common sense recently, and I wouldn't be surprised to see them continue in this until it's too late.

theBB
Feb 8, 2007, 05:30 PM
I dont believe you...show me proof.
Hard to tell how much Apple gets paid. My web search came up with an estimate of 4 cents per song for Apple's cut based on Slate.com. Out of 2 billion songs, that makes it 80 million dollars. If true, that is not much considering the server farm, bandwidth costs and employee pay to keep it up. However, I don't know the accuracy of this 4 cent number.

Object-X
Feb 8, 2007, 05:43 PM
I said it the other day.The only solution is "OpenDRM" a cross-platform DRM.Open source.ALL stores including MICROSOFT and Apple MUST embrace this or DRM will fail more than it will.

How can you "force" the use of an "open source" technology? That's like an Oxymoron. :rolleyes:

Fairplay would become the defacto DRM technology if Apple licensed it. As per my previous post, why should Apple do this? Why should Apple become an accomplice in screwing the consumer?

EagerDragon
Feb 8, 2007, 06:02 PM
Now that Steve droped the first shoe, it is time to make deals with independant firms for DRM free music, then put them up on iTunes and see what the big 4 do. Steve needs to do this quick or he is going to have to close some stores in the EU.
This way he demostrates his willingness to sell DRM free content and again point the finger at the big 4 for the DRM muusic.

As for the RIAA, someone out to take them to court for mafia like practices. That, I would love to see.

TheBobcat
Feb 8, 2007, 06:49 PM
Whatever. :rolleyes:

*unminimizes LimeWire.

pounce
Feb 8, 2007, 07:28 PM
Whatever. :rolleyes:

*unminimizes LimeWire.

what a bunch of *********.

i am in the music industry. i'd prefer non drm material. but the above post is pretty much why labels wanted drm in the first place. don't forget the cause of drm for music downloads, limewire and other p2p stealing software. i'm just saying there is a cause and reaction in play, and stealing material via p2p isn't helping foster arguments for removing drm. quite the contrary, it's fueling the reluctance of the industry to open up the material.

thejadedmonkey
Feb 8, 2007, 07:58 PM
what a bunch of *********.

i am in the music industry. i'd prefer non drm material. but the above post is pretty much why labels wanted drm in the first place. don't forget the cause of drm for music downloads, limewire and other p2p stealing software. i'm just saying there is a cause and reaction in play, and stealing material via p2p isn't helping foster arguments for removing drm. quite the contrary, it's fueling the reluctance of the industry to open up the material.

If you believe what you just said, you're just as bad as the RIAA. I've downloaded something like 40 songs off of iTunes, and then had to go RE-download them off of p2p because the DRM was preventing me from using them in iMovie* I would much rather have DRMless songs, and I might even end up legally buying if I didn't have to worry about where I'd be able to play MY** music.

*It might not have been iMovie, it was a while ago and I don't remember.
**Yes, I just own a license to the music, just like when I buy a CD I only own a license of play it.. but there's no reason why my CD should have a different license than my iTMS downloaded song.

Dale_Nx26
Feb 8, 2007, 07:59 PM
maybe Apple should make a new section of the itunes store titled "DRM-free music."

twoodcc
Feb 8, 2007, 08:09 PM
well i believed what he said was pretty good. but i guess it doesn't matter what i believe. hopefully others will agree though

Rocketman
Feb 8, 2007, 08:26 PM
If Microsoft is already licensing DRM, then they should license the playback codec to Apple for iPods, and dominate the DRM market and tell those european countries to get off Apple's arse (you know what word I really meant).

Rocketman

zim
Feb 8, 2007, 08:31 PM
I agreed with Steve's post and my thoughts would be for him, Apple, to encourage music providers to go DRM free. Maybe the iTunes store could sell both fairplay and when available by the record company DRM free. Maybe Apple could some how give an incentive to the labels that go DRM free too. One idea, as already stated here would be a special category featuring DRM free music.

Rocketman
Feb 8, 2007, 08:45 PM
The main takeaway I got from Steve's latter is he is agnostic on DRM, leaning toward preferring to not have it, but is "persuaded" to have it by major record labels. Remember, this is the first successful grand experiment on selling music rather than facilitating the massive pirating of it.

As the market "matures" and other companies try other approaches, we wil see if any get any traction, but so far, let's at least be honest, they have not.

Apple makes money on the hardware, not the iTunes music markup. So the 3-15% of the North American music market Apple transacts, which ia unprofitable, gives Aple bragging rights of having the largest LEGAL download service. That has value in the western world. It is mere annoyance in Europe and Asia.

Rocketman

theheadguy
Feb 8, 2007, 08:48 PM
I said it the other day.The only solution is "OpenDRM" a cross-platform DRM.Open source.ALL stores including MICROSOFT and Apple MUST embrace this or DRM will fail more than it will.
:: puts on my glasses ::
"Open source" DRM?
I love a good chuckle once in a while!

MikeTheC
Feb 8, 2007, 09:59 PM
There is one quote in particular from Babylon 5 that Steve's letter reminds me of. It's from Ambassador Kosh:

"The avalanche has already started. It is too late for the pebbles to vote."

I'm not sure if we've reached the threshold of the "avalanche" yet in the music industry (specifically), however I can't imagine it's too far off, both based on my own passively self-collected anecdotal data and that which is presented in Steve's letter.

For my part, even though I own to 1 GB iPods (Shuffle and Nano) not one song that I possess have I obtained from iTMS. Both of my players are, most of the time, somewhere upwards of 60-70% full, and sometimes even more than that. It also goes without saying that none of my music is DRM'd, and my own opinions and "politics" aside from the moment, if past behavior is any indicator of future action, then there's no reason for me to believe this is going to change any time in the future.

Someone else said that DRM only affects, and largely only impacts, law-abiding, decent people. Steve's said that the super-majority of music being distributed today is, by definition, non-DRM'd. And that's the real irony, isn't it?

And as for Steve being DRM/non-DRM "agnostic", I think his comments throughout, and especially towards the end, contradict this. Steve is personally clearly pro-non-DRM; he merely has been going along with it because he's had no practical choice, especially where getting Apple established in the music business was/is concerned. However, one does have to wonder how much more "established" Apple needs to get at this point, and therefore what more reason they have to bend over and drop 'em for the entertainment industry.

I'm not saying there wouldn't be reprocussions; clearly any decision that Apple makes will involve some degree of risk. Another possible approach, provided that Apple's license with the Big 4 doesn't preclude it (and it would have been interesting to see Steve comment in his letter on this) would be to introduce, as others have suggested, other labels and artists who are willing to go DRM-less on their music. However, when it comes to this, I believe there are some issues.

First, though, I need to say the following: I do not regard myself as being a perfect person in any sense of the word, and while not personally egotistical, part of what I'm about to say cannot be said simply without sounding egotistical.

1. Most people (of the ones I know and/or have met over the years) are any combination of the following: too stupid, too lazy, too busy, too uninvolved, too uninterested, too unsavvy, to explore a tool they're given beyond the basics needed to operate that tool, and that's assuming they operate it "at all".

2. The I.Q. of many of the intelligent posters here, myself included, blows (or comes damn near to blowing) the bell curve. In my own experience, most of the people I meet who surround me on this planet are little more than ignorant, self-absorbed, mentally inferrior sheep. To expect them to stand up for themselves in any but the most immediate of senses is, quite frankly, to delude one's self. They won't, and they don't.

3. Putting I.Q. aside, the education system in this country (the U.S.A.) is horrible and does less and less every year to actually teach people anything. Through no fault of their own, the average education of people is on the decline.

4. It's only the voice of the screaming super-minority in this country which gets anything done, when it gets done at all. Anyone here can go on and on and sound oh-so-righteous and pious about liberty and rights and free-will determination to do things. However, most people in this country (and maybe even around the world) seem to go on in blithe ignorance of this and, to all appearances, are little affected by it. I think the record companies basically know that, other than a little bit of bad press that they can usually spin as being from people who are just rabble-rousers, they can do whatever they want and the "dumb, fat and happy" majority out there will just automatically go along with it.

5. There's no way that Apple can replace their content (either voluntarily or involuntarily) with non-mainstream stuff. Mind you, I'd hapilly buy Sam Pacetti or Acoustic Eidolon or Mindy Simmons or Mark Cairn's new Airwolf Themes II or any of a number of other artists' CDs from iTMS if they offered them, and offered them DRM-free. But I'm the exception.

6. What Apple should do (as an adjunct to their overall plan) is to make as big a stride as they can in getting as many willing people as possible savvy about alternative choices in music. And in that respect, I support the prior poster and some of the online talking heads who have suggested Apple promote small label/indie artists in a big way. Of course, there's no way to know whether Apple's contract with the Big 4 allows this or not.

Peace
Feb 8, 2007, 10:00 PM
:: puts on my glasses ::
"Open source" DRM?
I love a good chuckle once in a while!

That may sound funny but it's the only solution.Maybe not open source as it's normally understood.Perhaps a better term would be one DRM design for the whole industry instead of MS and Apple et.al. having different schemes.

SheriffParker
Feb 8, 2007, 10:23 PM
what a bunch of *********.

i am in the music industry. i'd prefer non drm material. but the above post is pretty much why labels wanted drm in the first place. don't forget the cause of drm for music downloads, limewire and other p2p stealing software. i'm just saying there is a cause and reaction in play, and stealing material via p2p isn't helping foster arguments for removing drm. quite the contrary, it's fueling the reluctance of the industry to open up the material.

But downloading tracks via p2p doesn't have anything to do with digital purchases or DRM. Either you steal it or you pay for it. That choice is up to the consumer. DRM doesn't do ***** against piracy since most music is sold DRM-free anyways. How many times have you heard people say: "Oh I'd really like to download that album, but DRM is stopping me." People who buy their music do it to support the artist. I highly doubt iTunes sales would take a hit if the music was DRM-free. If anything, sales would go up because it would actually be convenient to buy there. Who knows, if they started selling lossless DRM-free files, I'd be tempted to buy stuff too. (from iTunes. CD is my current purchase format)

MikeTheC
Feb 8, 2007, 10:29 PM
That may sound funny but it's the only solution.Maybe not open source as it's normally understood.Perhaps a better term would be one DRM design for the whole industry instead of MS and Apple et.al. having different schemes.

No, it would *need* to be OSS, because that's the only way it would ever have a chance in hell of being free and open.

Otherwise, you're giving one company or one government organization incredible power. And we all know the old saw about "Power corrupts".

stephenli
Feb 8, 2007, 10:43 PM
mm, the big 4 license their music to Apple with the condition of using DRM.
Those who want iTS's music to be DRM-free, they should first go to the big 4 but not Apple...
this is what steve means, i suppose.

Arnel
Feb 8, 2007, 11:20 PM
One reason I can see for Apple not wanting to put up some DRM-free tracks right now is that it will set the precedent for a mix of rights on the iTMS. If they do that then there's no pressure on the labels to cave, as they'd just say "well, you can sell everyone else's stuff DRM free, but keep it on our stuff please". Right now, if a few labels get on board then Apple can use that leverage to tell the stalling labels "make your stuff DRM-free with everyone else or get off the store - we won't mix and match".

This kind of leverage is precisely what's got the recording industry scared. When they insisted on DRM, they expected it to be a magic bullet that gave them all the bargaining chips. They didn't see a store rising to become such a dominant force. To be honest, I don't think Apple saw it happening, either.

Twice now, the record companies have got greedy and expected to be able to just force their requests on the market, both times to be rebuffed by Apple. First, they wanted to increase the price of tracks to whatever they felt like on a track-by-track basis, and then again by trying to claim a percentage of player hardware sales revenues.

Note that the industry managed to wrangle both of these concessions from Microsoft for the Zune store, as well as being able to set extra restrictions to the DRM on a track-by-track basis (disabling Zune sharing). So much for "wanting interoperability".

gwangung
Feb 9, 2007, 12:28 AM
One reason I can see for Apple not wanting to put up some DRM-free tracks right now is that it will set the precedent for a mix of rights on the iTMS. If they do that then there's no pressure on the labels to cave, as they'd just say "well, you can sell everyone else's stuff DRM free, but keep it on our stuff please". Right now, if a few labels get on board then Apple can use that leverage to tell the stalling labels "make your stuff DRM-free with everyone else or get off the store - we won't mix and match".

That can't possibly be right. That would make Apple a Good Guy.

Arnel
Feb 9, 2007, 01:06 AM
Erk! Sorry... momentary lapse of concentration I guess.

Lemme see, how does it goes again? APPLE IS TEH EVIL!!1!one!

:)

Sharewaredemon
Feb 9, 2007, 01:18 AM
One reason I can see for Apple not wanting to put up some DRM-free tracks right now is that it will set the precedent for a mix of rights on the iTMS. If they do that then there's no pressure on the labels to cave, as they'd just say "well, you can sell everyone else's stuff DRM free, but keep it on our stuff please". Right now, if a few labels get on board then Apple can use that leverage to tell the stalling labels "make your stuff DRM-free with everyone else or get off the store - we won't mix and match".

This kind of leverage is precisely what's got the recording industry scared. When they insisted on DRM, they expected it to be a magic bullet that gave them all the bargaining chips. They didn't see a store rising to become such a dominant force. To be honest, I don't think Apple saw it happening, either.

Twice now, the record companies have got greedy and expected to be able to just force their requests on the market, both times to be rebuffed by Apple. First, they wanted to increase the price of tracks to whatever they felt like on a track-by-track basis, and then again by trying to claim a percentage of player hardware sales revenues.

Note that the industry managed to wrangle both of these concessions from Microsoft for the Zune store, as well as being able to set extra restrictions to the DRM on a track-by-track basis (disabling Zune sharing). So much for "wanting interoperability".

This is a great post, I'm quoting it in the hopes that it is more likely that people will read it.

Reading through this thread I see a lot of good ideas being bounced around.

Personally, the only two things I can see working, are a DRM for the entire online music store industry.
OR no DRMs.
When you think about it like Steve has said the majority of music sold is DRMless, so do you think the songs in file sharing sites are hacked DRM songs? or ripped cds?
People have been pirating music for years, the internet has made that "worse" although many argue that they purchase more music because of it (albeit they neglect to say that the "steal" more music because of it as well).

I had another point, but alas I have forgotten it.

Evangelion
Feb 9, 2007, 02:15 AM
If Jobs was sincere in his comments he could prove it today by putting at least a few non-DRM'd tracks on iTunes. There are any number in indy band that have asked that their music by DRM free. All he'd have to do is say "Yes" to one of the smaller labels that does not want DRM. He can't blame ALL the labels. Heck, if he REALLY wanted to publish DRM free content he could sign a few artists himself,

Until iTunes does this I don't believe what jobs said

That would ruin the consistency of the store. Right now the customer knows exactly what he can and can't do with ITMS-content. Variable DRM would ruin that. If Apple started to sell some DRM-free content in ITMS; labels would start to insist on variable DRM.

Swift
Feb 9, 2007, 02:17 AM
Bite me.

They're in league with the Norwegian "Consumer" Association in generously offering Apple's copy protection and iTunes store to Microsoft. Illegal collusion, no? Look, I'm getting more and more serious here: this is typical behavior when Microsoft money is being passed around in bribes. Remember SCO? When you can't beat somebody, pay somebody to spread stories? Sure looks suspicious to me.

Evangelion
Feb 9, 2007, 02:22 AM
what a bunch of *********.

i am in the music industry. i'd prefer non drm material. but the above post is pretty much why labels wanted drm in the first place.

So they could make the music sold through online-stores less appealing than P2P? O..... K.... Want to eliminate P2P-piracy? Here's how to do it: Make the legal music more appealing than pirated music. How to do that?

- Hi-quality and consistent encoding
- Reliable downloads
- Album-art etc.

P2P-music has no DRM, so you are free to do whatever you want with it. Now, does usage-limitations on legal content make it more appealing to consumers, or less appealing to consumers? What do I, as a consumer get from DRM? How does it benefit me? With P2P I get music that is not limited in any shape or form, why should I pay for music that has all kinds of usage-limitations on it?

Note: I do not use P2P, I'm speaking hypothetically.

don't forget the cause of drm for music downloads, limewire and other p2p stealing software.

It's not "stealing". And the reason for DRM is not piracy, it's control.

Swift
Feb 9, 2007, 02:23 AM
Replying to myself.

Additional thought: one way that Apple could do it it this: nestled into the Apple Corps peace treaty is the news that Apple can now enter music publishing. So maybe they sign some bands, and distribute them DRM-free. How would that be?

I don't know what Jobs will do next. But the fact is, he's an interesting character. You never really know. Would Gates have published that open letter? Not in a gazilllion years. He's brainy, but he has this much imagination: 0. And this much sympathy for the people: -1.

The Stig
Feb 9, 2007, 02:23 AM
I Love You Steve Jobs!!!!

Will You Have My Baby!!!

Evangelion
Feb 9, 2007, 02:24 AM
That may sound funny but it's the only solution.Maybe not open source as it's normally understood.Perhaps a better term would be one DRM design for the whole industry instead of MS and Apple et.al. having different schemes.

Only solution is no DRM at all. Period.

Swift
Feb 9, 2007, 02:42 AM
So they could make the music sold through online-stores less appealing than P2P? O..... K.... Want to eliminate P2P-piracy? Here's how to do it: Make the legal music more appealing than pirated music. How to do that?

- Hi-quality and consistent encoding
- Reliable downloads
- Album-art etc.


I agree 100%. Since you don't know, let me tell you: what you find on the pirate boards in a usable fashion -- for torrents, there has to be a cloud of people who want that same music at that moment -- is very small. Maybe a thousand on any given day, I don't know. The low thousands. The quality has a huge range, too. What the stores can give you? Access to millions of cuts, as simply as typing out its name.

I think that if you offered cuts from a quarter to a couple of bucks for maybe DVD Audio quality, or 5.1 sound, with a video, you'd reach the point where the price and the usefulness cross.

Maybe, if they licensed resale on what are now pirate boards, you'd see kind of a flea market starting. Anybody got 1920's Louis Armstrong? At 320 kbps? In AAC? Flac? I'll pay 1.00. And so on. Like a flea market, it would take time. Then the pirates make money, the users will pay, and if you have a rare track or know something about encoding, you can make a few bucks supplying. The labels split the monthly profits.

But if you want a pristine copy, NOW, with videos or interviews or free tickets to a show, get it at the big e-stores. That's where you can get the preference services, or the all-you-can-eat subscriptions.

Hey, the Beatles agreement means that Apple can get into music publishing. Interesting?

gnasher729
Feb 9, 2007, 04:58 AM
Source #1 is Mitch Bainwol from the RIAA, who in his reply to Steve Jobs' essay proves nothing but a regrettable lack of reading comprehension. He says "Oh great, Apple can make this work" in response to Steve Jobs who just said "We could do this, but it would not work and there is no way it could possibly work and even if it could work we have no interest in making it work."

Source #2 is "DVD-Jon" who is on a more and more desperate crusade to extend his 15 minutes of fame. Unfortunately, he is not very good at maths (the "three percent of music on iPods come from iTMS" estimate is actually _too high_, not tool low), and it seems he doesn't have the slightest clue how to deliver _reliable_ software.

He also doesn't understand how Apple is running its business, and that Steve Jobs' essay is purely political.

gnasher729
Feb 9, 2007, 05:03 AM
If Microsoft is already licensing DRM, then they should license the playback codec to Apple for iPods, and dominate the DRM market and tell those european countries to get off Apple's arse (you know what word I really meant).

Apple _could_ license Microsoft's DRM. To do that, they would have to accept Microsoft's license agreement. These license agreements contain terms like informing Microsoft about planned future products. Do you think it would be in Apple's best interest to do that?

gnasher729
Feb 9, 2007, 05:17 AM
IThe essential response is that Apple needs to license out their Fairplay DRM to other companies. This places a lot of burden on Apple because they now have to try and do damage control when a) leaks occur, b) MS, SONY, Creative, Craptastic Hardware INC., have a poor implementation of the DRM in their firmware.

Microsoft is a control freak. They love DRM. Sony suffers from a severe case of schizophrenia. The parts of Sony producing music players have suffered at the hands of the parts that try to sell music. If Sony had been able to build MP3 players instead of having to listen to their brain damaged content parts in the company, they might be today where Apple is (not saying they would have been, but they had a chance and threw it away).

Creative, Sandisk, iRiver and all the others however, they get no benefit whatsoever from DRM. For them, it is just additional work that slows down development of new products, and additional cost that will be passed on to the consumer eventually. They don't _want_ Fairplay. They would much prefer if they could just play the music without having to bother about DRM.

And they probably would fear a situation like today, where a DVD player that doesn't enforce region coding is much more useful to the customer than one that does, so broken DRM is actually a competitive advantage.

NOV
Feb 9, 2007, 05:35 AM
To really take off digital downloads should be:
* drm free
* losless format (flac/ apple etc.)

SJ could make a start by offering DRM-free songs from indies labels. My music is being sold on iTunes, and it's also DRM protected.

willybNL
Feb 9, 2007, 05:41 AM
Dutch news today tells EMI wants to quit with DRM..... so... good movement is comming.

MacVault
Feb 9, 2007, 06:32 AM
Let's all email Mitch Bainwol and tell him to cut the crap and wake up and realize DRM is BAD and should be abolished altogether! I am going to email him right now! His email address is: mitch.bainwol@riaa.com

Let's ENLIGHTEN this dude!

Uragon
Feb 9, 2007, 07:03 AM
RIAA: eh, eh, ah ok, no DRM then, but can we change the price scheme, no
more .99/song, ok?

Mitch Brainwol's statement confirms that the BIG 4, wanted all its digital music/songs thru iTunes with DRM. But l think, let's not forget how iTunes started (a small mac community), it was more or less an experiment and nobody seem to have imagine that it will be very successful.

Now, with success, it clearly shows there are really big numbers of honest to goodness consumers who are willing to buy/download the legal way, and I hope the big 4 consider this and will go for DRMless.

SPUY767
Feb 9, 2007, 07:25 AM
"Eliminating online DRM appears to us to be an overly risky move that eliminates the potential for a future digital-only distribution model free of piracy,"

I love that Gem. An overly utopian ideal spewed from the foul mouth of an industry analyst. Bottom line is, there is NO POTENTIAL whatsoever for a digital distribution model free of piracy. Piracy will always exist, but we cannot make the alternative to piracy more difficult to live with than the guilt of stealing.

BPG074
Feb 9, 2007, 08:06 AM
It is possible that Steve Jobs is creating the beginnings of a narrative for why Apple Inc. will some day be forced to become a major record label. With the recent agreement between the Beatles' Apple Corps and Apple Inc. the groundwork may already be laid. Everyone knows that the major record labels will react defensively toward any suggestion that they stop using digital copy restrictions. So what does Steve Jobs do? He stokes the flames. Later he can say the Apple Inc. and Apple Corps are uniting as the premiere music store and record label to give consumers what the major labels will not. Then, Apple signs up artists who will be attracted by a bigger cut of the online sales.

Steve loves the Beatles and is probably emotionally motivated toward making their label work. I agree completely with therandthem, that the two Apple's could work together to create a far more attractive business model for musicians than the Big 4 currently offer. Perhaps a direct link to Garage Band and Logic Pro? I'd love to see something like this work. It would be far better for the musicians, and end users alike. Apple Corps and Apple Inc. need to work together on this and create an entirely new way to produce content that embraces Indie groups rather than shunning them.

Rocketman
Feb 9, 2007, 08:50 AM
Apple _could_ license Microsoft's DRM. To do that, they would have to accept Microsoft's license agreement. These license agreements contain terms like informing Microsoft about planned future products. Do you think it would be in Apple's best interest to do that?

Of course not. We all know Microsoft uses unreasonable terms to BORG the world, hence the Microsoft slashdot avatar.

IF Microsoft were to limit the license agreement to DRM issues alone, which we all know they refuse to do, then Apple could adopt it as yet another standard in their long list of standards. But then they could also have Windows Media 6,7,8,9,10, Microsoft word file format I/O and a variety of other Microsoft specific formats they keep secret precisely so others cannot interact with them easily. I would love to have coverflow/piles to show all my macpaint, macdraw, MS word 4.0 files, etc from the past. Time Machine IS supposed to go to the past, right?

So this issue is clearly at an impasse because of Microsoft, not Apple. And in this particular example not even because of the record labels.

I concur with the folks who simply ask, why are not SOME iTunes content already NOT DRM'ed? Any artist willing to offer the content that way certainly should be allowed to, since Steve humself claims he believes in it.

Rocketman

Evangelion
Feb 9, 2007, 08:56 AM
To really take off digital downloads should be:
* drm free
* losless format (flac/ apple etc.)

Well, it HAS already "taken off". And for 95% of people, lossy encoding is "good enough". Lossless encoding would increase the filesizes considerably (whereas lossy is around 1:10 of the size of the uncompressed file, lossless is around 1:2 the size) and make the downloads longer.

mambodancer
Feb 9, 2007, 08:57 AM
not profitable? come on they're like what number 4 now on the top selling online music? I think that's pretty profitable, plus with all their movies and tv shows i'm guessing there making a lot of money

You're assuming market share equals greater profitability. Companies like Walmart and Target use CD and DVD's as a loss leader to get customers into the door to buy higher margin products. They make little or no money on the sale of those products unless you also end up buying batteries, accessories, etc. When I owned a computer store we used to joke about the big box mover philosophy of sales. "Sell it below cost, make it up in volume." A sure recipe for bankruptcy.

mambodancer
Feb 9, 2007, 09:03 AM
Let's all email Mitch Bainwol and tell him to cut the crap and wake up and realize DRM is BAD and should be abolished altogether! I am going to email him right now! His email address is: mitch.bainwol@riaa.com

Let's ENLIGHTEN this dude!

Actually, this is a great idea. Could someone write up a form letter and post it in this forum? That way you can copy it, add your own comments if you want and send it. Kinda like a "Moveon.org" approach. In fact, it is past time for the RIAA, music and movie industries to just "move on" when it comes to DRM!

MacVault
Feb 9, 2007, 09:30 AM
Actually, this is a great idea. Could someone write up a form letter and post it in this forum? That way you can copy it, add your own comments if you want and send it. Kinda like a "Moveon.org" approach. In fact, it is past time for the RIAA, music and movie industries to just "move on" when it comes to DRM!

Yea - it's time for them to "move on" into history's trash can! We don't need those mafias anymore! Let the iTunes, eMusic, etc deal directly with the artists! NO MORE DRM!

Yes, if someone better at composing letters would right up a form letter for us each to send to the RIAA Mitch meister that would be gR8!

rahrens
Feb 9, 2007, 09:33 AM
It is possible that Steve Jobs is creating the beginnings of a narrative for why Apple Inc. will some day be forced to become a major record label. With the recent agreement between the Beatles' Apple Corps and Apple Inc. the groundwork may already be laid. Everyone knows that the major record labels will react defensively toward any suggestion that they stop using digital copy restrictions. So what does Steve Jobs do? He stokes the flames. Later he can say the Apple Inc. and Apple Corps are uniting as the premiere music store and record label to give consumers what the major labels will not. Then, Apple signs up artists who will be attracted by a bigger cut of the online sales.

Actually, since the agreement with Apple Corps, Apple, Inc. now owns the rights to the Apple Label. So if they want to do this, Apple Corps now has no basis to sue, since the agreement did not restrict Apple, Inc. from the music business.

They now have the ability to begin signing artists directly on the ITS.

So I think you are right, and this will eventually force the other labels to follow suit.

A downside is that it will only strengthen Apple's stranglehold on the music market.

gwangung
Feb 9, 2007, 09:50 AM
To really take off digital downloads should be:
* drm free
* losless format (flac/ apple etc.)

SJ could make a start by offering DRM-free songs from indies labels. My music is being sold on iTunes, and it's also DRM protected.

Um, have you read some of the scenarios above? Where that sort of strategy would pretty much INSURE that the big lables will never drop DRM?

morespce54
Feb 9, 2007, 12:41 PM
But downloading tracks via p2p doesn't have anything to do with digital purchases or DRM. Either you steal it or you pay for it. That choice is up to the consumer. DRM doesn't do ***** against piracy since most music is sold DRM-free anyways. How many times have you heard people say: "Oh I'd really like to download that album, but DRM is stopping me." People who buy their music do it to support the artist. I highly doubt iTunes sales would take a hit if the music was DRM-free. If anything, sales would go up because it would actually be convenient to buy there. Who knows, if they started selling lossless DRM-free files, I'd be tempted to buy stuff too. (from iTunes. CD is my current purchase format)

That goes along my thoughts. I'm in!!! ;)

seashellz2
Feb 9, 2007, 01:04 PM
I was reading that DISNEY is allowing downloads of their films.
While their DVD sales are steady, if not rising.

Oposite the key fear of content providers here, is that they are NOT DROPPING.
-----
The Major labels are shooting themselves in the foot.
They are too dumb to see that:
1. Demographics are changing-there are fewer Gen Z buying music because they are now making babies and paying
for homes.
2. Music has gotten so bland and homogenized-even in the alt-indie group, that people have just lost interest.
3. Entertainment spending is dropping, as more and more folks take $15/hour jobs.
The economy is not quite as rosy as they would have you beleive.
4. Even though the big 4 (soon likely to be the big 2) lost a lawsuit over their monopoly pricing stucture, most new
CDs remain in the $15-18 range
They still want to blame the internet for poor sales.
Like their cousins in the music industry, when VCRs came out-the movie companies screamed that they would be bankrupt in no time.
But movie attentance continued to rise (back then) and now they have a vast Home Video market to feed-and they still want more.

iMikeT
Feb 9, 2007, 04:36 PM
Not everone can be satisfied even if the company is as successful as Apple, Inc.

non-prophet
Feb 9, 2007, 05:17 PM
Mitch Bainwol JUST DOESN'T GET IT! Hey Mitch, listen 2 ME: WE DO NOT WANT ANY FRICKIN DRM! WE WANT FREEDOM FOR OUR MUSIC. WE DON'T WANT TO BE RULED BY YOU. I WILL RULE MYSELF. THANK YOU VERY MUCH! DOWN WITH DRM! DOWN WITH DRM! DOWN WITH DRM! You will get way more money from me if I can legally buy the music online with NO DRM! NO FAIRPLAY! NO PLAYSFORSURE! NONE OF THAT CRAP!

Now, what don't you understand about that, Mitch??? Steve Jobs seems to (finally) understand it!

Hi MacVault. I think you don't get it. If you could be trusted not to duplicate the music in mass quantities and pass it along to anyone who asked, then there would be no need for DRM. It is not arrogance or stupidity that is driving the the record industry to support DRM. It is the behaviour of the consumer.

Do you think, for one instant, that if it were as easy for you to copy and distribute a printed book as it is for you to copy and distribute music that the book industry would not be looking for a solution?

When video tapes first came out they had no copy protection. People were renting the movies from the corner video store and then made copies for themselves and their friends. Some of those people, enough to get industry and media attention, even packaged and tried to sell or rent the copies. There has to be protection for this property. You say that the industry will get more money from you without DRM. How? Why?

Yes, I know: "DRM doesn't stop piracy". Wake up. At the MacWorld keynote Steve told us that Apple sells five million tracks a day, that's 58 tracks per second. Do you think that if people had an equally easy way to get DRM-free music that they would stop by the iTunes store just because they like Apple? Maybe a few, but most of them would be over at the other place, or calling up their friends for copies.

You seem very sincere in your opinion, but every criminal who ever stole anything from anyone felt in some way entitled to what it was they were stealing. You can download music from iTunes and play it on up to five computers and on any number of iPods. That is very generous. If you want to use the music in other ways, buy the CD, or better yet - contact the label and get a license.

:rolleyes:

MacVault
Feb 9, 2007, 09:25 PM
Hi MacVault. I think you don't get it. If you could be trusted not to duplicate the music in mass quantities and pass it along to anyone who asked, then there would be no need for DRM. It is not arrogance or stupidity that is driving the the record industry to support DRM. It is the behaviour of the consumer.

Hey, non-prophet, why do you assume you know what I will do with the music I buy? How errogant of you to suggest I cannot be trusted. See if you can drive this into your head: I, MACVAULT, JUST WANT TO OWN THE FRICKIN MUSIC I PAY FOR - WITHOUT DRM! I WANT IT FOR MY OWN, PERSONAL USE! I WILL NOT MASS PRODUCE IT, UPLOAD IT TO SHARING SITES, BITTORENT, ETC. I JUST WANT MY MUSIC LIBRARY TO BE FREE AND NOT LOCKED DOWN BY ANY FRICKIN SELF-SERVING CORPORATION OR GROUP! You DO NOT GET IT, non-prophet!

Do you think, for one instant, that if it were as easy for you to copy and distribute a printed book as it is for you to copy and distribute music that the book industry would not be looking for a solution?


I'm not into books much. And if I was, NO, I would not be mass-copying them and selling/sharing them illegally.

...You say that the industry will get more money from you without DRM. How? Why?

Because, here's why... I refuse to buy ANY more media with DRM. So, at this point the industry is getting $0 from me. Take away the DRM and I will start buying from them... and they will be getting hundreds of $$ from me every year. Isn't that simple enough??? AND, AGAIN, I AM NOT THE LEAST BIT INTERESTED IN ILEGALLY SHARING/SELLING MY MUSIC!

Yes, I know: "DRM doesn't stop piracy". Wake up. At the MacWorld keynote Steve told us that Apple sells five million tracks a day, that's 58 tracks per second. Do you think that if people had an equally easy way to get DRM-free music that they would stop by the iTunes store just because they like Apple? Maybe a few, but most of them would be over at the other place, or calling up their friends for copies.

Yea, you have a point. But I sure know I would be buying the music legally because I don't want viruses on my machine and don't want the RIAA gastopos at my door. Someone needs to hit the RIAA in the head with a 2x4. They think they are GOD or something.

You seem very sincere in your opinion, but every criminal who ever stole anything from anyone felt in some way entitled to what it was they were stealing.

HOW DARE YOU INSINUATE THAT I AM INTERESTED IN STEALING!!! I NEVER MADE ANY INDICATION OF THAT IN ANY OF MY POSTS! I JUST WANT MY MEDIA FILES TO BE FREED - AS IN NOT UNDER CONTROL OF ANY CORPORATION OR ANYONE FOR THAT MATTER, NOT EVEN APPLE/ITUNES!

You can download music from iTunes and play it on up to five computers and on any number of iPods. That is very generous. If you want to use the music in other ways, buy the CD, or better yet - contact the label and get a license.


Are you one of those people who say, "Why should I worry about the Patriot Act? I'm not doing anything wrong."?????

gwangung
Feb 9, 2007, 11:36 PM
Hi MacVault. I think you don't get it. If you could be trusted not to duplicate the music in mass quantities and pass it along to anyone who asked, then there would be no need for DRM. It is not arrogance or stupidity that is driving the the record industry to support DRM. It is the behaviour of the consumer.

Do you think, for one instant, that if it were as easy for you to copy and distribute a printed book as it is for you to copy and distribute music that the book industry would not be looking for a solution?

When video tapes first came out they had no copy protection. People were renting the movies from the corner video store and then made copies for themselves and their friends. Some of those people, enough to get industry and media attention, even packaged and tried to sell or rent the copies. There has to be protection for this property. You say that the industry will get more money from you without DRM. How? Why?

Yes, I know: "DRM doesn't stop piracy". Wake up. At the MacWorld keynote Steve told us that Apple sells five million tracks a day, that's 58 tracks per second. Do you think that if people had an equally easy way to get DRM-free music that they would stop by the iTunes store just because they like Apple? Maybe a few, but most of them would be over at the other place, or calling up their friends for copies.

You seem very sincere in your opinion, but every criminal who ever stole anything from anyone felt in some way entitled to what it was they were stealing. You can download music from iTunes and play it on up to five computers and on any number of iPods. That is very generous. If you want to use the music in other ways, buy the CD, or better yet - contact the label and get a license.

:rolleyes:

I really wouldn't roll my eyes.

www.baen.com

They put whole books online without DRM. Sales for their authors have gone UP since they've done that.

It may not translate entirely over, but there is SOME empirical evidence, conducted by an intellectual rights owner, that dropping DRM (in certain cases) will cause sales to go up. You've been asserting that the consumer's behavior determines what a copyright holder does...well does increased sales tell you anything?

Why is that not a relevant case for this discussion?

non-prophet
Feb 10, 2007, 12:14 AM
Hey, non-prophet, why do you assume you know what I will do with the music I buy? How errogant of you to suggest I cannot be trusted. See if you can drive this into your head: I, MACVAULT, JUST WANT TO OWN THE FRICKIN MUSIC I PAY FOR - WITHOUT DRM! I WANT IT FOR MY OWN, PERSONAL USE! I WILL NOT MASS PRODUCE IT, UPLOAD IT TO SHARING SITES, BITTORENT, ETC. I JUST WANT MY MUSIC LIBRARY TO BE FREE AND NOT LOCKED DOWN BY ANY FRICKIN SELF-SERVING CORPORATION OR GROUP! You DO NOT GET IT, non-prophet!



I'm not into books much. And if I was, NO, I would not be mass-copying them and selling/sharing them illegally.



Because, here's why... I refuse to buy ANY more media with DRM. So, at this point the industry is getting $0 from me. Take away the DRM and I will start buying from them... and they will be getting hundreds of $$ from me every year. Isn't that simple enough??? AND, AGAIN, I AM NOT THE LEAST BIT INTERESTED IN ILEGALLY SHARING/SELLING MY MUSIC!



Yea, you have a point. But I sure know I would be buying the music legally because I don't want viruses on my machine and don't want the RIAA gastopos at my door. Someone needs to hit the RIAA in the head with a 2x4. They think they are GOD or something.



HOW DARE YOU INSINUATE THAT I AM INTERESTED IN STEALING!!! I NEVER MADE ANY INDICATION OF THAT IN ANY OF MY POSTS! I JUST WANT MY MEDIA FILES TO BE FREED - AS IN NOT UNDER CONTROL OF ANY CORPORATION OR ANYONE FOR THAT MATTER, NOT EVEN APPLE/ITUNES!



Are you one of those people who say, "Why should I worry about the Patriot Act? I'm not doing anything wrong."?????


Well, let's start at the bottom of your post and work up.

No, I am pretty worried about the Patriot Act. So I do think we agree on that point.

I was not meaning to suggest that you personally were a criminal, and am sorry it sounded that way. But many, many people did and do illegally copy and distribute music tracks. And they are criminals. Not the same caliber criminal as a murderer or bank robber, granted. More like a purse snatcher, I would think.

Let's say you invited me into your home (not likely after this exchange, but let's imagine it). And as I walked around your living room I noticed your iPod and decided I wanted it. Do I have the right to take it just because I want it? Of course not. It's yours. You own it. You labored to some degree to earn enough to buy it. You paid for the gas to get you to the Apple store or for the ISP that allowed you order online.

If you look at the license you get when you buy or download music, the music is not yours. You do not own it. The label or the artist or, more likely, a publisher, owns the music. It belongs to them in much the same way that iPod is yours. They paid for the engineering, for marketing, for distribution, perhaps an advance to the artist. Those companies labored to some degree to earn enough to buy that music from the artist. And all of those people, including the artist, get hurt when consumers copy the work without paying for it, just as much as you would get hurt if I took your iPod.

Now current implementation of DRM sucks. We all know that. But WHY does DRM suck? Because it makes it inconvenient for consumers to use the music outside the scope of the license they were granted when they bought the music? Okay. Wait a minute. I go to McDonalds and get pissed at them when they won't serve me pizza? Of course not! If I want pizza, I go to the Pizza Palace. So why be pissed at folks encoding DRM when you know, up front, and in advance of the purchase, that there are restrictions to the use of the music?

Well, it sound like many of us (notice I stayed away from saying "you") are pissed because we want to use the music on some MP3 player other than the iPod or we want to be able to copy the music in some way that we weren't issued a license to do. So your solution is reasonable. Don't buy DRM encoded music if you don't want to be restricted in terms of use. Don't go to McDonalds for a pizza.

Another option would be to remove the DRM code and raise the price enough to cover potential duplication and other uses. But the high price would probably keep you from buying the music, too.

So what's right? I honestly don't know, and I honestly don't presume that what is right for me would be right for you. But the record industry, the book industry, the food industry, the computer industry, you and even me ... we all have the right to protect our property (just try getting the spice recipe for the taco filling at Taco Bell).

I suppose I probably sound as arrogant in my position on DRM as you do in yours. I recognize that I may not get it but, as an artist whose music sells on iTunes, I am much happier getting my few cents for each track. And with Apple selling five million tracks a day, I would have to imagine they are not too concerned that some folks might not buy DRM encoded tracks. There seem to be plenty out there who will. Thank goodness.

:rolleyes:

non-prophet
Feb 10, 2007, 12:55 AM
I really wouldn't roll my eyes.

www.baen.com

They put whole books online without DRM. Sales for their authors have gone UP since they've done that.

It may not translate entirely over, but there is SOME empirical evidence, conducted by an intellectual rights owner, that dropping DRM (in certain cases) will cause sales to go up. You've been asserting that the consumer's behavior determines what a copyright holder does...well does increased sales tell you anything?

Why is that not a relevant case for this discussion?


Hi gwangung,

Can you site your source for this? The URL you posted seems to go to a SCI-FI site with links to order books through Amazon and other retailers.

Yeah, Google has hundreds (thousands?) of books online that you can download as a PDF. That is really cool. I downloaded an 1878 Harvard edition of Shakespeare's Richard III a few weeks ago. It is so cool having a digital edition of this, but I don't think Oxford press or Folger's has anything much to worry about. And Shakespeare is long dead, so his work is in the public domain. Oh, but it did have a Google digital watermark on each page.

I am a little sarcastic about this because the popular position seems so absurd. Not you personally, or even your position. But some. I remember when the tobacco companies produced studies showing that cigarettes did not cause cancer. That is laughable now, but for years cigarette smokers fought loudly and aggressively for their right to smoke in public. Even after the Surgeon General's reports showed that second hand smoke kills.

It all makes you a bit of a cynic. :rolleyes:

I think ultimately we must find a position that is right for us, and be open to other ideas while holding that position. My life experience has taught me that people are by and large considerate and thinking folk, but when presented with an easy opportunity to set consideration off to the side for a moment, many, many, many will do just that.

So I roll my eyes and smile. Because what you and I think is not important. What is important is what "the people" do. And I can't get beyond the fact that every day a bunch of us go and buy a collective total of five million DRM encoded tracks from Apple.

martinf
Feb 10, 2007, 06:41 AM
Making the copy protection available for other companies.. What a waste of time. It's like he says, I mean.. I might as well just copy a CD and share it.

MacVault
Feb 10, 2007, 10:16 AM
Well, let's start at the bottom of your post and work up.

No, I am pretty worried about the Patriot Act. So I do think we agree on that point.

I was not meaning to suggest that you personally were a criminal, and am sorry it sounded that way. But many, many people did and do illegally copy and distribute music tracks. And they are criminals. Not the same caliber criminal as a murderer or bank robber, granted. More like a purse snatcher, I would think.

Let's say you invited me into your home (not likely after this exchange, but let's imagine it). And as I walked around your living room I noticed your iPod and decided I wanted it. Do I have the right to take it just because I want it? Of course not. It's yours. You own it. You labored to some degree to earn enough to buy it. You paid for the gas to get you to the Apple store or for the ISP that allowed you order online.

If you look at the license you get when you buy or download music, the music is not yours. You do not own it. The label or the artist or, more likely, a publisher, owns the music. It belongs to them in much the same way that iPod is yours. They paid for the engineering, for marketing, for distribution, perhaps an advance to the artist. Those companies labored to some degree to earn enough to buy that music from the artist. And all of those people, including the artist, get hurt when consumers copy the work without paying for it, just as much as you would get hurt if I took your iPod.

Now current implementation of DRM sucks. We all know that. But WHY does DRM suck? Because it makes it inconvenient for consumers to use the music outside the scope of the license they were granted when they bought the music? Okay. Wait a minute. I go to McDonalds and get pissed at them when they won't serve me pizza? Of course not! If I want pizza, I go to the Pizza Palace. So why be pissed at folks encoding DRM when you know, up front, and in advance of the purchase, that there are restrictions to the use of the music?

Well, it sound like many of us (notice I stayed away from saying "you") are pissed because we want to use the music on some MP3 player other than the iPod or we want to be able to copy the music in some way that we weren't issued a license to do. So your solution is reasonable. Don't buy DRM encoded music if you don't want to be restricted in terms of use. Don't go to McDonalds for a pizza.

Another option would be to remove the DRM code and raise the price enough to cover potential duplication and other uses. But the high price would probably keep you from buying the music, too.

So what's right? I honestly don't know, and I honestly don't presume that what is right for me would be right for you. But the record industry, the book industry, the food industry, the computer industry, you and even me ... we all have the right to protect our property (just try getting the spice recipe for the taco filling at Taco Bell).

I suppose I probably sound as arrogant in my position on DRM as you do in yours. I recognize that I may not get it but, as an artist whose music sells on iTunes, I am much happier getting my few cents for each track. And with Apple selling five million tracks a day, I would have to imagine they are not too concerned that some folks might not buy DRM encoded tracks. There seem to be plenty out there who will. Thank goodness.

:rolleyes:

I think you missunderstood my point about the patriot act. If you are worried about it then that makes two of us. At least we agree on something ;)

Ok, so you're an artist who sells music on iTunes so I can understand you having some interest in DRM to help preserve your revenues. Now and then it does cross my mind the thought of how or IF I might look at this differently if I was an artist. I haven't decided. Maybe I would. Maybe I would not.

Yea, It's possible I would invite you into my house even after this exchange. You could play me some tunes on my guitar or baby grand ;) But I think the stealing-my-iPod analogy is a little different in that I would not have my iPod anymore. Information (music files) is different in that it can be copied, leaving me with what I had in the first place. If you had an atomic duplicator when you came to my house I could say, sure, duplicate my iPod if you want. And I would still have my iPod. Except I'm sure atomic duplication of iPods would be illegal.

As for those who do illegally mass distribute media files - ok, catch them and "fine" them. But don't put DRM on my media files. I would like my great great grandchildren to be able to listen to my music library in 50-100 years. Well, say Apple and iTunes are not around anymore for my music files to be "authorized" to play. Get my point?

Yea, I agree about not getting mad at McDonalds for not selling me a pizza. And yes, when I buy music I'm basically just buying a license to use it however the license allows. But I want to be in control of whether I abide by that license or not. So I guess I'll be buying a lot from eMusic from now on instead of from iTunes. And I'll be buying CDs at WalMart so I can rip them to have without having to deal with DRM. Not to do anything illegal. But just to, for example, play them on any player I want.

gwangung
Feb 10, 2007, 12:37 PM
Hi gwangung,

Can you site your source for this? The URL you posted seems to go to a SCI-FI site with links to order books through Amazon and other retailers.

Yes, it has that. But if you'll look in the Baen Library, you'll find a fair number of whole books that they've made available for download. You know, that part that says FREE LIBRARY, hm?

Now, of course they have links for ordering books that you pay for, but the point remains is that a publisher has put up books for free, without DRM, on their website.

One of their main authors, Eric Flint, has consistently pointed out (on Usenet and in the forums on Baen) that the free books had no impact on sales (i.e., his royalty checks). An early article on this was published in 2002 at http://www.counterpunch.org/flint0419.html. And since the Library has expanded its offerings since then, in both titles and authors, I doubt anything of significance has changed.

Also, Charles Stross has put the text for his recent (2005) Hugo nominated book Accellerando on line. I'll be interested in seeing how sales of that have been impacted.

I understand your position; I held it initially. But when there's empirical evidence that contradicts it, then the position HAS to be modified. It may be that it applies only to certain material, or for only a limited time. But when authors report that they see their royalties go up, you really have to stop and rethink your assumptions.

Highland
Feb 11, 2007, 03:28 AM
I understand your position; I held it initially.
Same here. Until I realised that every DRM can be broken (no exceptions in the history of DRM exist) and that DRM hurts the people you care about most... the people who have bought your music legally (ie. thanks for being a fan, now please lie down while I kick sand in your face, thanks).

For the first time in the history of the world, the illegal copy is actually BETTER than the legal original (ie. they sound the same and have less restrictions... in the past copies have usually sounded identical with identical restrictions [CD copies] or sounded worse [analogue copies] with identical restrictions). Is it any wonder some people are choosing p2p alternatives?

I think there's only one way this can go... DRM *will* die. And it won't take too long.

Edit: I'm sure Apple make enough from iTunes to warrant keeping it alive. To suggest otherwise is a little insane. If you can't build a successful online business around 2 billion sales, then... well... you probably don't deserve to have the business.

ortuno2k
Feb 15, 2007, 12:15 AM
Ditto! Mega Ditto! Until then, I'm more than happy to go to the store, buy the CD and rip it myself!

Yea up 'till today, this is what I do. I still prefer to purchase my CDs and rip them to my library myself.
I have purchased a few songs from the iTunes Store, a few singles here and there, but it's not my main source for music.

Lord Blackadder
Feb 21, 2007, 10:25 AM
Tom's Hardware Guide has posted an op-ed (http://www.tgdaily.com/2007/02/20/opinion_on_apple_drm_thoughts/index.html) about Steve's comments.

It starts out with the usual tow-the-party-line, ridiculous ad-hominem attack on Mac users we expect from Tom's, but the rest of the article is not bad.

MikeTheC
Feb 22, 2007, 11:47 PM
Yeah, actually most of it is not bad at all, and perhaps being in a more mainstream place will attract more attention. However, that can be hard to substantiate.

The only thing I'd add to what's been said in the Tom's piece is that I spend money on music to show support for artists. And these days I normally only show support for indie artists. So for me and for others who feel the same way I do, even if the music industry 86'd DRM altogether, I still wouldn't be buying their stuff, both because most of what the produce is stuff I don't want to hear and because DRM has, as the Tom's article brilliantly pointed out, nothing whatsoever to do with compensation making it's way to the artist.