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[P]
DRM - The recorded music industry's big lie

By D Jade in Media
Sat May 05, 2007 at 07:06:35 PM EST
Tags: (all tags)

Forbes published this article conveying the sentiments of BIG RECORDED MUSIC (TM) in response to Apple and EMI's decision to scrap DRM systems on their releases. All of their arguments for DRM systems are based on false assumptions and misconceptions that they have fostered within their industry and their consumer base.

It is important that people understand the facts. There is no doom courtesy of piracy. There is no destruction around the corner. BIG MUSIC (TM) has become lazy and use these, and any other excuses, to avoid actually having to work.


In response I'll quote from the article:

Other online music retailers say they're worried that following Apple's lead will confuse customers who may already be baffled by a crazy quilt of restrictions that envelop the industry.

This logic is unsound to the extreme. The baffling aspect of this "quilt of restrictions" are the restrictions themselves. Removing them would remove all of the problems that the numerous DRM technologies available have created. What gets me most is that they tried copy protection a few years ago on CDs. CD copy protection scams would only work on certain players. The industry scrapped the idea because they believed that copy protection could only be used if it was compatible on all players. I cannot understand how the same logic does not apply here.

Just because the music industry has already been hit harder by digital piracy than other entertainment businesses doesn't mean it should give up the fight to protect its content, said Michael Nash, Warner's senior vice president of digital strategy and business development, speaking at the National Association of Recording Merchandisers annual convention.

This simply is not true. The major distinction that BIG MUSIC (TM) doesn't want you to make is that the recording industry is not the music industry. It is a minor facet of the music industry, which provides the end user with a copy of a musical recording. It is also the facet of the industry that has consistently not made money for the recording artists. Only one in thirty thousand releases will ever see artists recoup their royalty costs; 1 in 30K! The real money is in live performance, licensing and publishing; which never feel any major affects of piracy. Why? Because they do not provide any avenues for piracy. How do you pirate a club night, a live show, a mass-media advertisement or a film soundtrack?

The recording industry is all too happy to blame its recession on piracy while ignoring the fact that the live music industry is constantly growing each year and licensing publishing is booming. More importantly, they happily ignore that the personal computing software industry continues to grow despite a 57% piracy rate each year. If piracy really was the cause, why is the software market so healthy? It is probably because software vendors are constantly upgrading their products, mode of delivery, and services to fill the needs and wants of the consumer.

In much the same way, the recording industry needs to reinvent its service to meet consumers' needs. The first place they could start is by scrapping DRM systems. Instead of responding to the obvious need for more innovative and portable distribution methods, they label consumers, who choose file sharing over DRM infested files, as vicious criminals.

"No intellectual property business is going to cross the digital divide without figuring out how to protect its content and to ensure that transactions are associated with the acquisition of content,'' Once again, not true. They are doing so every day.

No console games ship with copy protection. Consoles do sure, but people modify them all of the time and with the increased functionality of console OS's it is becoming easier to do with each generation. Many software packages ship with nothing but a serial number, something that can be written on the face of the copied disk, thus allowing other people to install it. The majority of DVDs released ship without CSS included.

All of the above only ever really make symbolic gestures when it comes to protecting their IP and using them as an example for the music industry's stubbornness is a complete farce. The simple fact is that as soon as you create a digital file and put it online, it's going to be copied; whether you give permission or not.

"We don't want the whole world to be a college dorm. Because that's what a no-DRM world looks like--it's a world in which all product can just be cloned without limitation."

By that logic, the world has been a college dorm since the introduction of domestic compact disk recorders. I had not noticed this shift over the last couple of decades. Obviously the air is thick with bong smoke and the biggest problem our world leaders are facing now is who's going to do the next beer run. I'd really like to know how Iraq and global warming fit into Hesse's vision.

Apple's iTunes plans to provide customers a choice of purchasing EMI tracks as either 99-cent restricted downloads or $1.29 restriction-free downloads that feature better sound quality. Providing two different versions of the same music will complicate iTunes' famously easy to use interface, but the relative simplicity of the rest of the service will likely give it a continued edge over its competitors.

This rationale is simply astounding. People will not have much trouble with an extra button and a price option. When cassettes were introduced into the market, you did not see consumers walking out of record stores empty handed because they were unable to understand which format they wanted and how they bought them. In fact, it was quite common to see people walking out with a copy on vinyl for the lounge room AND cassette for the car.

The introduction of new audio formats have been the largest patron of the recording industry over the last 30 years. Record companies have reaped massive rewards by taking advantage of the replacement cycle that always follows. The reality is that the replacement cycle ended with the compact disk. It is not necessary to pay to download an mp3 version of music you already own on CD. Users can rip CD's to mp3 with the click of a button and it's all legal.

Essentially, BIG MUSIC (TM) has been able to sit on it's arse lining its pockets thanks to the replacement cycle. Now that it's over for good, they choose to target consumers - the fans of their artists - for all kinds of punishment. They should be focusing on ways to better deliver us with the music in the ways we desire it. They should be responding to the desire we all have to patronise the artists we love by buying their music. But they don't, and we can only assume it's because they want to keep their artists on 25% after recuperation of royalties.

Many of those competitors, including RealNetworks' Rhapsody, Yahoo! Music Unlimited, Napster and Viacom's Urge market far more complicated services. Their subscription plans allow users to download unlimited numbers of songs, but the tracks become unplayable once a subscription lapses. Some of their subscription plans allow customers to transfer music to portable music players, while others don't. And none of their tracks can be transferred to Apple's iPod players.

Subscriptions are definitely a step in the right direction. The simple fact is that nobody wants to own music, they just want to hear it and subscriptions should allow this to happen. However, they are still stuck between the old paradigm as music as a product and the new one of music as a ubiquitous resource. They need to provide dynamic media in these subscription services. Friend referrals and charts, micro-payments to artists per song play, additional media such as artist news, video clips, interviews and live recordings - just to name a few.

BIG MUSIC (TM) will not die. It holds a very important place in the recording industry. However, targeting piracy as the source of all of their problems will only alienate the consumer even further and eventually drive away what little support they have left. Their biggest problems are their own fault. The simple fact is that they have thrived on mediocrity for the last 20-30 years and now they are totally out of touch with their markets. They have failed to provide the service that the market continually demands.

What is resoundingly clear in their response to EMI's decision is that BIG MUSIC (TM) at large is unwilling to accept its failure to provide for the needs of their market. In order for the recording industry to sustain itself, it has to accept that music is not a commercial product. Consumers are not lovers of pop music. The long tail far outstrips the shortsighted pop music industry and makes up 80% of all music sales. Those artists are the ones who stand to be harmed most by the threat of piracy yet they are continuing to thrive.

It's time BIG MUSIC (TM) turned around and followed their lead.

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DRM - The recorded music industry's big lie | 56 comments (41 topical, 15 editorial, 0 hidden)
-1, refutations are boring. (2.00 / 8) (#5)
by creature on Fri May 04, 2007 at 07:55:40 AM EST

It'd be boring enough if you'd just said "I think you're wrong" at the top, but no - you had to pull it to pieces and say "I think you're wrong" all over it. You're not adding anything to it. This article deserves to die.

Mkay... (1.33 / 3) (#6)
by D Jade on Fri May 04, 2007 at 08:10:19 AM EST

... sometimes I don't feel like reading the articles before voting either.

You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive
[ Parent ]
I read it. It sucked. (3.00 / 5) (#19)
by creature on Fri May 04, 2007 at 10:22:41 AM EST

Seriously. No discussion, no balancing, just "LALALALA BIG MUSIC IS WRONG" over and over. You're not meant to be writing a usenet post, and yet that's exactly what you've produced.

[ Parent ]
And giving him a zero for pointing it out (2.00 / 3) (#23)
by spasticfraggle on Fri May 04, 2007 at 02:32:12 PM EST

is pretty sad; lolothon

--
I'm the straw that broke the camel's back!
[ Parent ]
Well (1.00 / 3) (#29)
by D Jade on Fri May 04, 2007 at 08:19:50 PM EST

People keep asking for -1 and it only goes to zero.

You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive
[ Parent ]
You're my hero! (none / 0) (#34)
by spasticfraggle on Sat May 05, 2007 at 02:59:11 AM EST

I mean it!

--
I'm the straw that broke the camel's back!
[ Parent ]
Well that's good... (1.50 / 2) (#42)
by D Jade on Mon May 07, 2007 at 11:59:54 PM EST

... I wouldn't have 0'ed him if he had posted his editorial comment as an editorial comment.

Maybe you should be calling bad form on that one too...

You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive
[ Parent ]

Lollerskates... (none / 1) (#28)
by D Jade on Fri May 04, 2007 at 08:19:17 PM EST

Balance?

So essentially you're saying that I'm no worse than big music?

You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive
[ Parent ]

iPhone (none / 0) (#54)
by Jackson123r on Wed Jun 20, 2007 at 07:24:03 AM EST

iPhone is a revolutionary new mobile phone that allows you to make a call by simply pointing your finger at a name or number in your address book, a favorites list, or a call log

http://www.iphone-video-converter.org

[ Parent ]

iphone (none / 0) (#56)
by noahjose on Fri Aug 17, 2007 at 03:51:40 AM EST

The only iPhone story I will be digging.

http://www.dvdtoiphoneconverter.org/

[ Parent ]

+1 fp drm is fucking stupid nt (1.00 / 3) (#8)
by circletimessquare on Fri May 04, 2007 at 08:13:30 AM EST



The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

OH YEAH?!? (1.50 / 6) (#12)
by the spins on Fri May 04, 2007 at 09:26:37 AM EST


 _
( )
 X
/ \ SUPPORT THE DEL GRIFFITH MODBOMBING CAMPAIGN

No yuo (none / 1) (#17)
by D Jade on Fri May 04, 2007 at 09:34:26 AM EST



You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive
[ Parent ]
MINUS ONE (TM) (1.42 / 7) (#18)
by dongs on Fri May 04, 2007 at 10:11:18 AM EST



I tried... (1.00 / 3) (#25)
by D Jade on Fri May 04, 2007 at 08:04:38 PM EST

... but comment rating only go as low as zero.

You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive
[ Parent ]
ok so if live music is acceptable (2.50 / 4) (#20)
by blackbart on Fri May 04, 2007 at 10:37:16 AM EST

why is DRM wrong? You can't play live music over and over right? One of the arguments against DRM is that fair use considerations like backup are lost, but with DRM you still get some number of playbacks, yet people bitch about DRM but are happy to pay upwards of $50 or more for a live performance.

Granted, the live performance has a certain social aspect to it.

"I use this dupe for modbombing and impersonating a highly paid government worker"
- army of phred

Adds mechanicals to the equation (none / 0) (#26)
by D Jade on Fri May 04, 2007 at 08:10:06 PM EST

Thus taking more cash from the artist.

The low mechanical costs of digital formats are what has made them so attractive to up-and-coming artists. DRM is quite costly (consider Beatport royalties @ 70% to iTunes 45%) and quite unnecessary.

You can't play live music over and over right? One of the arguments against DRM is that fair use considerations like backup are lost, but with DRM you still get some number of playbacks, yet people bitch about DRM but are happy to pay upwards of $50 or more for a live performance.

Yeah good logic. If you buy your tickets from store X and I buy mine from store Y and we both go to the show, what's going to happen when we get to the door?

If live music was protected by DRM, one of us would not be able to get in because the software on the ticket is not compatible with the door man.

You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive
[ Parent ]

I didn't like the argument (none / 1) (#30)
by blackbart on Fri May 04, 2007 at 09:34:32 PM EST

live music is already protected from piracy ie., you can't replay the live performance. The best you can get is obviously a bootleg recording, and I'm not saying thats altogether undesireable, but the more you have to sneak, the poorer your recording will be.

The store x vs store y, I didn't get that argument at all. Even if DRM were required by concerts, nothing stops multiple stores from selling DRM protected products except the product producers, for instance I can pick up windows vista at any convenient retailer.

While at a certain level we want to hold our purchased (or downloaded) music forever, ultimately we actually want the experience of listening to it. The perfect DRM would make this always available to us, but it would still prevent us from republishing (filesharing) it.

I prefer DRM free tracks, but I always consider the other side when discussing issues like this.

"I use this dupe for modbombing and impersonating a highly paid government worker"
- army of phred
[ Parent ]

You don't get it? (none / 0) (#31)
by D Jade on Fri May 04, 2007 at 11:07:18 PM EST

Okay, go and buy a DRM protected tune from iTunes and try playing it on a portable device other than an iPod and then go and buy something from MS and try playing it on anything other than a Zune.

All ticket vendors could sell DRM protected tickets. But if they followed the model they've set for digital recordings they would not be cross compatible. It's not that hard to understand.

You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive
[ Parent ]

I had mentioned this (none / 0) (#37)
by blackbart on Sat May 05, 2007 at 11:28:26 AM EST

These DRM's don't have to be monopolistic as I had mentioned, "nothing stops multiple stores from selling DRM protected products except the product producers."

For example there are plenty of dvd players despite the content protection system. What would be interesting to consider is whether the DVD (and subsequent HD-DVD) protection breaks were based on the non monopolistic nature of these devices? Ie., that they were licensed tech available to multiple producers? HD-DVD DRM breakage from what I've read used the XBOX interface to an HD-DVD drive to help in getting the breakage, so would this have happened if the HD-DVD were produced by one manufacturer?

Whats the state of WMV DRM, a technology thats generally available to content producers and runs on many devices (albeit under one OS family)? I have read that there have been some cracks here too, for unencumbering licensed material.

Despite Apples monopolistic approach to Fairplay, apparently there have been some hacks through its history too. So maybe DRM is not monpolistic by nature?

"I use this dupe for modbombing and impersonating a highly paid government worker"
- army of phred
[ Parent ]

CSS is used by a handful... (none / 0) (#47)
by D Jade on Wed May 09, 2007 at 09:53:41 PM EST

For example there are plenty of dvd players despite the content protection system.

Yes there are. They employ a system that was developed by four companies who have been driving the format since the get-go. If you buy a CSS protected DVD and play it on a player made earlier than 2003 guess what? It won't work, thus forcing the user to upgrade.

And not all DVD's are protected by CSS. Particularly independent releases which would never hope to afford to license the technology for commercial use.

What would be interesting to consider is whether the DVD (and subsequent HD-DVD) protection breaks were based on the non monopolistic nature of these devices? Ie., that they were licensed tech available to multiple producers?

Well given that there are a handful of corporations driving the technology, it stands to reason that it would be in their best interests to make it available to DVD player manufacturers don't you think? However, if each studio had its own format and its own player, you would see a much similar issue arising in the film industry as well.

You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive
[ Parent ]

i play live music over and over again (3.00 / 2) (#39)
by horny smurf on Sat May 05, 2007 at 05:49:26 PM EST

bootleg recordings ftw!

[ Parent ]
preach-1ng to the choir (2.00 / 6) (#22)
by l1ttledrummerb0y2 on Fri May 04, 2007 at 01:30:57 PM EST

it's all in teh subject

Who Cares? (2.50 / 4) (#24)
by QuantumFoam on Fri May 04, 2007 at 04:25:53 PM EST

It's entertainment. You don't need music to live.

Furthermore, DRM won't work until the *IAAs have bought a law that mandates that every human be fitted with implants that block the brain from interpreting sound or images that are copyrighted. The analog hole will always exist, though the incompetence of people who make DRM methods has made that unnecessary up to this point. If it can be viewed, it must be decoded. If it can be decoded, it can be transcoded and stripped of restrictions.

Even if next-gen DRM won't play on anything that isn't running on a machine with a palladium-like chip in secure mode or specialized devices like Zunes or iPods, it still just takes one guy somewhere to crack it and transcode it to a proper format.

In the days of the Dreamcast, it was a pain in the ass to copy a GD-ROM for a normal person. As far as I could tell, the pirated games came from two or three groups that had completely dissected a Dreamcast and turned it into a disc reader. The pirated copies got really good toward the end, with the pirates even mp3ing the .wav files on the disc to lower the file size, and you decompressed them back to .wav before burning.

And anyway, the tide is turning on DRM. Apple is getting away from it, with the distributers' blessing.

- Barack Obama: Because it will work this time. Honest!

Exactly. (none / 0) (#27)
by D Jade on Fri May 04, 2007 at 08:16:40 PM EST

Furthermore, DRM won't work until the *IAAs have bought a law that mandates that every human be fitted with implants that block the brain from interpreting sound or images that are copyrighted. The analog hole will always exist, though the incompetence of people who make DRM methods has made that unnecessary up to this point. If it can be viewed, it must be decoded. If it can be decoded, it can be transcoded and stripped of restrictions.

Another good reason why it should be canned altogether.

And anyway, the tide is turning on DRM. Apple is getting away from it, with the distributers' blessing.

No, EMI's the only major giving them their blessing. It's clear that others are considering this. EMI's sales will not suffer as a result of their decision and in 6-12 months the other labels will see that and, in turn, follow suit. However, if they want to sustain themselves and keep riding the long tail, they need to be come less reactionary about using technology. This is especially true now given the mounting pressure in the EU to force them to dump DRM - and they're bigger than USia.

You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive
[ Parent ]

I just don't see how it matters (3.00 / 3) (#32)
by QuantumFoam on Fri May 04, 2007 at 11:47:19 PM EST

to moderately intelligent people. If you can chew gum and walk at the same time, you can get around DRM. Maybe my perspective is skewed. I got all the music I could ever want back in the days when Napster reigned. I was in the largest dorm in the country at the time, and everything was on the local network. Any song you could think of had a ping of 0 since everything was somewhere locally.

I know studios want to ride the long tail, but they've been trying lock this down for what, like ten years now? I don't have the greatest opinion of their intelligence, but even a retarded monkey would have figured out that this isn't going to work, and that they really can't squeeze the customer for every penny as they did in the past. Here's what I see: EMI or other companies release the music DRM-free at a price slightly above the DRMed version. The DRM-free music is still just competing with free copies of the music online, so there's really no compelling reason to share it or eDonkey or Bittorrent. Then, in a modern version of format upgrading they can just keep on releasing better versions of songs as sales wane. They have the masters, they can make better quality copies than can come from CDs. So it's 256 kbps AAC today, 512 tomorrow, then ultra-high-fidelity versions equivalent to HDCD or SACD, and finally losslessly encoded versions at ever-increasing bitrates.

I bought a few albums off of iTunes when it first came out. Big mistake. The computer that they were on died, and I lost the password and had switched e-mail addresses since I'd made the account. Thirty or so bucks down the drain. Even when the Mac in question was alive, it was a pain in the ass to play them since my good speakers were hooked up to my big PC server. So, if I ever need to buy music again, it will be in a format that I can encode in the format of my choice with a minumum of loss. Why pay $10 for a CD on iTunes when you can buy an album used for $5 or borrow i from a friend and encode at 256 kbps VBR with LAME? Even if they're DRMed, CDs can just be encoded through the analog channel.

So the market should can it. Music is a commodity; there's only so much you can charge for it before trivial circumvention methods get used and the distributer get no money at all.

- Barack Obama: Because it will work this time. Honest!
[ Parent ]

Exactly (none / 0) (#33)
by D Jade on Sat May 05, 2007 at 02:09:09 AM EST

Sorry to repeat the subject again. But your experience with iTunes is exactly what I am talking about. Instead of restricting the use of their digital media, they should be exploiting it. They should offer a range of open formats and allow the consumer to choose the one that best suits their needs.

Some independents are already doing this, offering the choice of bit-rate on mp3, flacs and wav files for downloads with no DRM.

Why pay $10 for a CD on iTunes when you can buy an album used for $5 or borrow i from a friend and encode at 256 kbps VBR with LAME?

Where would you get a used copy of a new release? You could go and rip the music from a friend sure. But that would depend on your friend actually having it and it would also mean that you're not showing patronage to the artist (which if you like their music, you should be).

You make a fair argument which only serves to highlight that the recording industry needs to create distribution channels that are more attractive to the user.

You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive
[ Parent ]

Big Music is Dead, plz fx thx (2.00 / 2) (#38)
by HackerCracker on Sat May 05, 2007 at 05:25:45 PM EST

At least according to Michael Wolff. He's a guy who should know, since he's in the media business.

Of course, he could be full of shit but he seems to make a compelling argument in that piece. Here's a good snippet:
And it is the question. There is a set of answers. One is the existential answer: You're dead but you don't know it. The other answer is the perfectly human, practical response, which is that the industry is dying, but industries take a long time to die and we all will actually be dead before the industry finally expires. Or there's the third thing, which is just, you know, the industrial revolution happens and people are still left on the farm.

Do you wake up at night thinking that the value of information is going down while you hold information? It's a scary thing. It's always interesting to look at the purest and most comical example of the devaluation of information, and that's the music business. Which you think is different than your business, but it's not really different from your business because the music business just had one business model -- sell information in units. It's interesting to look at because not only did it become the most devalued information, it was also prior to that the most overvalued information. It was so overvalued that it provided nearly unlimited limousines, drugs, and teenaged girls (not one's daughters).

And the music business is interesting because it really maintained two models. It maintained this free ubiquity model: music was everywhere, you didn't have to pay for it, it felt like your birthright. At the same time, you did have to pay for it. I mean, if you wanted to hold it in your hand then you had to pay for it. So that was the model. And then along came the technological wherewithal to take it. So all of a sudden people have this ability to take what they believe they own. And the music business tried to make everyone out to be thieves. But nobody bought that because the industry had effectively already given away the product, and there was just now this technological solution to taking actual possession of it.

And that in some way is the situation that purveyors of other kinds of information are in, too. So it's interesting to look at what has happened to the music business, and what will happen.

In one little interesting poetic turn, what will happen to the music business is that it will become the book business. So it will come from the most glamorous part of the information entertainment industry to the least glamorous. That if you're in the music business instead of making a business by selling platinum, millions of copies of a single product you will have to make your same business by selling 20,000 copies or 40,000, if you're lucky, 60,000. It's still a business, but there are no limousines and drugs and teenage girls. And that may well be in some sense good. But in some sense also it takes away the reason for being in the business itself. We are on the farm. We're just in this struggling, low-margin enterprise.

The alternative is to look at the music business in a different way -- the way in which everyone in the music business desperate not to be in the book business is trying to do. They're trying to look at the music business as the media business. The music business was never really the media business before. It was the information business. It was just selling units. Now there is this new conception of the music business, which is a perfect media conception. We can't monetize our product by selling information, but we can bring an audience together, and we can partner with you and your marketing needs. This is the media business. And they have all kinds of plans for doing this, which are all more or less cockamamie. But they are nevertheless a vision of music as media.


Music as Media? Please no! There's another way! (none / 1) (#40)
by OzJuggler on Sun May 06, 2007 at 09:26:34 PM EST

That's just so wrong on so many levels, I'm not sure where to begin. Correct in a forward-looking sense perhaps, but still wrong.

The appeal of music is that it firstly must sound good and it has to resonate with people, be helpful, or at least lead them away from their harsh reality. What is absolutely required is the belief by the audience that the musician is being genuine - that the music is heartfelt. I don't see how someone paid to write music to promote particular commercial or political interests can hope to convince anyone that they are anything but a sell-out.

Secondly, if music goes the same way as all other media, when we turn on the radio how would we be able to tell the difference between the music and the advertisements? Seriously. It would be like movies that have product placement, only much much worse because there's no downplaying or ignoring a product name in the linear format of sound. And it really screws with the advertiser-funded business model of radio when your suppliers have turned all your content into advertising, so no-one wants to listen to you any more.

This all sounds like a mu$ic indu$try con$piracy. They're trying to pretend that the music industry will die without DRM, but this doesn't change the fact that it is only a small fraction of dishonest people who copy artworks without permission. Even those people probably use the black market because the legitimate market has failed to move with the times and give people what they want.

I'll tell you what the end of the music industry is: when people want to buy music on a single-track basis and have NO options for doing so legally. It's either buy the whole overpriced album for AU$30 or pay a few dollars for one decent track on it that you like but which you can't play anywhere or anywhen you like because of DRM.

Speaking as an occasional pirate, I have heard so many nice tunes that I _wanted_ to buy because the artist should be thanked and compensated for making music that makes me feel so good. Bzzt! Sorry, that song is not available. Except as a vinyl LP (wtf!), or as a CD imported from Europe for $30, or ... on eDonkey P2P for free. Oh I see. I like the song, BUT IT'S NOT WORTH THIRTY BUCKS.

When the public is faced with the choice of not getting what they want, or else cutting into the profit margins of nameless faceless media barons, did the media barons really think we'd care about them? There is another way in which the artists can be compensated as they should and the public can have the music they want, and the barons in the middle can either take a pay cut or get cut out of the equation entirely. With all this DRM encryption bullshit it seems they are tending towards an early retirement.

There is another way: a free market in music. And DRM can be a part of that! Digital signatures could be unobtrusively added to MP3 files in the ID3v2 tag, and this would allow honest people to determine that the music they paid for was from the artist's trusted retailer - which in a free market could be run by the artists themselves. If you find the same song somewhere else for less, well you buy it and if their signature doesn't match then you report the retailer to the cops. You still got the music you wanted at a good price and there is always a money trail leading back to the pirates, so the probable threat of prosecution serves as a deterrent. And everybody wins. Even the stupid teenagers that want to spend their pocket money on stupid teenage pop songs. But at least in a free market the music I like isn't subsidising theirs.

-OzJuggler.
"And I will not rest until every year families gather to spend December 25th together
at Osama's homo abortion pot and commie jizzporium." - Jon Stewart's gift to Bill O'Reilly, 7 Dec 2005.
[ Parent ]

Good points (none / 1) (#41)
by D Jade on Mon May 07, 2007 at 11:58:00 PM EST

I don't see how someone paid to write music to promote particular commercial or political interests can hope to convince anyone that they are anything but a sell-out.

What we've seen is the rise and rise of the pop star. I think you'll find a lot of people are already so disillusioned with the recording industry because most of the artists that get put in our face every day are total sell outs.

if music goes the same way as all other media, when we turn on the radio how would we be able to tell the difference between the music and the advertisements

This is already the case. That's why I don't listen to the radio at all. Most stations are merely engines for the big guys to try and promote their artists. Other than community stations, it's very rare to hear anything but an extended commercial for crappy music.

This all sounds like a mu$ic indu$try con$piracy. They're trying to pretend that the music industry will die without DRM, but this doesn't change the fact that it is only a small fraction of dishonest people who copy artworks without permission. Even those people probably use the black market because the legitimate market has failed to move with the times and give people what they want.

No, it's a recording industry conspiracy and this is an important distinction to make. The recording industry wants to obscure this distinction so that the consumer believes that if they don't buy recordings, they are hurting the music industry as a whole. This is not true though because the music industry gets stronger and stronger every day. Unfortunately though, the recording industry wants to continue running the show like they have since the 1960s and it won't work.

In the western world you will find that nobody uses the black market to obtain music (unless travelling to Asia). They would use p2p sure, but this is not a market, nor is it black. There is hardly any music piracy in the west today. For p2p to actually be piracy, users would have to be paying a fee for access to music (like allofmp3). In India, pirated recordings are a billion dollar industry. It's largely unopposed because it has led to a massive growth in the music industry at large.

Speaking as an occasional pirate, I have heard so many nice tunes that I _wanted_ to buy because the artist should be thanked and compensated for making music that makes me feel so good.

But did you pay for those copies you downloaded? I'm guessing no; so you're not a pirate.

The best way to compensate an artists is to go to a live show or contact them directly and paypal or whatever. Buying digital music is a step in the right direction. However, big music is stalling the migration to this technology because it means giving the majority of income to the artists - where previously big music enjoyed 75% of the income.

There is another way in which the artists can be compensated as they should and the public can have the music they want, and the barons in the middle can either take a pay cut or get cut out of the equation entirely. With all this DRM encryption bullshit it seems they are tending towards an early retirement.

Hear hear!

There is another way: a free market in music. And DRM can be a part of that! Digital signatures could be unobtrusively added to MP3 files in the ID3v2 tag, and this would allow honest people to determine that the music they paid for was from the artist's trusted retailer - which in a free market could be run by the artists themselves. If you find the same song somewhere else for less, well you buy it and if their signature doesn't match then you report the retailer to the cops.

What about taking P2P and merging it with the digital download store and a media player? Everyone pays a subscription, with various fees for level of service. People search other users' files for music, if they download a file, the artist is compensated, and then if they play the file a slightly lower fee is paid. If they get a file and there is missing info or it's not up to scratch, they flag it as faulty and it no longer gets shared. . .

That kind of a system is going to be most beneficial to the artists and whoever sets it up is going to find themselves in a very good position.

You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive
[ Parent ]

Here's what I don't get. (3.00 / 2) (#43)
by Egil Skallagrimson on Wed May 09, 2007 at 11:10:48 AM EST

Musicians make more money now than they ever have. One single can set you up for life in the present climate. It wasn't really like that before.

So, why are they complaining so much?

----------------

Enterobacteria phage T2 is a virulent bacteriophage of the T4-like viruses genus, in the family Myoviridae. It infects E. coli and is the best known of the T-even phages. Its virion contains linear double-stranded DNA, terminally redundant and circularly permuted.

Because that's simply not true... (none / 1) (#45)
by D Jade on Wed May 09, 2007 at 09:27:28 PM EST

... Musicians who are in a good position to earn aren't doing so off recording sales. They are doing it from live performance and publishing deals. You'll find that people were in a position to make much more money back in the 70s and 80s than now. One single has no hope of setting you up for life in this day and age because music is so disposable.

The complaint comes from big music's attempts to continue to dominate an industry that they've played little part of in the last 40 years. Consider the long tail, for example. Big music is wanting to adapt an archaic business model to the digital realm which is quite obviously impossible to do. Instead of accepting this and adapting their practices, they spend millions attempting to squash any attempt at innovation.

You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive
[ Parent ]

Not a chance, dude. (none / 1) (#48)
by Egil Skallagrimson on Thu May 10, 2007 at 10:23:16 AM EST

People these days earn more than ever. You didn't see the level of wealth for the average band or the level of sales for the average band that you do now.

There are bands you've never heard of, from North america or England, selling 1 - 2 million records per album and living like kings.

In the Seventies, concerts paid for themselves, but did not make much more. Since the 1990's, concerts have become the major revenue stream for many bands. So, not only do they make a ton on album sales, they make a ton on shows.

I think you'll find that fewer and fewer bands will tend to rely on album sales anymore. It's easier to sell 5000 records and make a bunch touring than it is to sell 100,000 records.

----------------

Enterobacteria phage T2 is a virulent bacteriophage of the T4-like viruses genus, in the family Myoviridae. It infects E. coli and is the best known of the T-even phages. Its virion contains linear double-stranded DNA, terminally redundant and circularly permuted.
[ Parent ]

Lol (none / 0) (#49)
by D Jade on Thu May 10, 2007 at 10:08:34 PM EST

So you're basing your whole argument on a minority of bands (the 1 in 30,000)?

I think you'll find that fewer and fewer bands will tend to rely on album sales anymore. It's easier to sell 5000 records and make a bunch touring than it is to sell 100,000 records.

Uh yeah. Way to repeat what the author was saying.

You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive
[ Parent ]

No, I'm basing my argument on the fact that most (none / 1) (#50)
by Egil Skallagrimson on Fri May 11, 2007 at 07:35:57 AM EST

bands don't sell any records, but make money from touring. Also, I didn't read the article. I never read the article. I even forgot there was one.

Either way, your argument is idiotic and being shown to be so by th way the economics of being in a band is shifting like crazy.

Oh, you meant that 1 in 30,000 is mega-rich. Maybe so, but 30,000 would be a highly inflated number. 1 in 30,000 might get a record contract. 1 in 100 might make a solid living off of music. 1 in 50 might make a of cash off a single and not have to work anymore if they don't want to. I'd say maybe 1 in 1000 are the Brit Spears types.

Either way, the playing field gets extremely narrow, and the ratios much higher once you factor out your uncle's garage-band and your little brother's New Wave band that sometimes plays the church picnics for 'practice'.

----------------

Enterobacteria phage T2 is a virulent bacteriophage of the T4-like viruses genus, in the family Myoviridae. It infects E. coli and is the best known of the T-even phages. Its virion contains linear double-stranded DNA, terminally redundant and circularly permuted.
[ Parent ]

Meh (none / 0) (#52)
by D Jade on Sun May 13, 2007 at 08:22:35 PM EST

1 in 30,000 ever recovers their royalties.

Either way, your argument is idiotic and being shown to be so by th way the economics of being in a band is shifting like crazy.

So you think that what you're saying is idiotic? Does that make you an idiot?

You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive
[ Parent ]

Artists direct to the purchaser (3.00 / 3) (#44)
by greenisagoodcolor on Wed May 09, 2007 at 01:09:07 PM EST

"Only one in thirty thousand releases will ever see artists recoup their royalty costs; 1 in 30K!"
This is because BIG MUSIC (TM) has created an intricate machine of worker cogs needing to be payed - marketers, distributors, ceos, scouts,etc, but most importantly:recording.

With the advent of home recording (i.e. open source audacity and a microphone) bands can record limitless songs for free, exporting them as mp3s and upload them for the world to obtain.  
Why can't each band have its own website, directly distributing albumlike "packages" (anywhere from 1-10,20+) songs for like 5 bucks?

The initial investment for recording equipment is easily payable if each package of songs (direct from the creators) was purchased a hundred or thousand times.

Why should I pay 18 dollars for a CD (of recording industry approved and designed radiopop) to fuel BIG MUSIC TM's cogs? I'd rather directly support and fund the creator, the artist who gives me such auditory pleasure!

The distribution model is flawed... (none / 1) (#46)
by D Jade on Wed May 09, 2007 at 09:43:39 PM EST

This is because BIG MUSIC (TM) has created an intricate machine of worker cogs needing to be payed - marketers, distributors, ceos, scouts,etc, but most importantly:recording.

No, it's because the traditional record deal involves an advance on royalties to cover production costs or sweeten the deal. If an artist accepts an advance, they will not see another cent until royalties are recouped, or the term of license has expired.

Why can't each band have its own website, directly distributing albumlike "packages" (anywhere from 1-10,20+) songs for like 5 bucks?

This model would require that every fan visit the website which isn't always possible. It would also mean that the consumer MUST have prior knowledge of the artist before visiting the site, which limits the potential sales that could be achieved.

Selling music directly via an artist website is definitely a sound business plan. However, this needs to be coordinated with other distribution channels that are becoming available. Having access to a service like iTunes, Beatport or the host of other download sites is far more desirable because you also have the ability to reach artists through referrals ("other people also bought..."), tailored charts ("top ten INSERT_GENRE releases"), and promotions ("Free download etc"). Using these distribution channels could serve as a way of generating future traffic to your own site. For example, increased META information included with the file could direct consumers to your site for their next purchase.

The initial investment for recording equipment is easily payable if each package of songs (direct from the creators) was purchased a hundred or thousand times.

Indeed it could. However, 500 copies at 5 dollars for a four piece band is not necessarily going to provide them enough for food, rent and utilities on top of that investment. This is why the current models are flawed, because there is too much focus on volume of record sales as the main income stream of artists.

At this point in time we're conditioned to equate the value of the music industry into this formula:

TOTAL CD SALES = VALUE OF MUSIC INDUSTRY

The problem with this equation is that it ignores all of the other services that an artist can provide.Music tuition, live performance, composition (for ads, film, tv etc), licensing and publishing and a whole range of services yet to be thought up account for much more of an artist's income than the number of CDs they've sold. Consider, for a moment, that a band might pull in $500 for a live performance, and that they could do two or three shows in a week and you can see that gigging solid for three months is going to bring in much more money than even 2,500 sales under your proposed money.

You can see why record sales mean nothing to the artist in terms of REAL income. Artists should thus begin treating their recordings as a promotional tool rather than an income stream.

You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive
[ Parent ]

Professional vs. enthusiast (3.00 / 3) (#51)
by cdguru on Sun May 13, 2007 at 12:45:22 AM EST

Where we are today is watching the impending death of most of what we could call "professional music".  My daughter's husband plays in a band.  They get paid for playing local bars and such.  Other than this, they get no money from music.  It is a hobby at best.  They do not sell CDs or MP3 files or anything - they aren't writing music or paying people to write it for them.

This is what 98% of the "music industry" in the US is composed of.  The remaining 2% have record contracts and hundreds of people involved with the authoring, production, recording, promotion and distribution of their music.  This is what most people consider the music business to be.

It relies on their being a high value to recorded music as it is the only thing that can keep all those people employed.  And it is just about dead.

Today, I can download anything I want for free.  Pre-Internet I belonged to CD clubs and such and paid for CDs.  Why would I do that today?  It is all available for free.  I suppose there might be some that feel they should reward the folks that created the music they are listening to.  How?  Paying the artist some trivial amount isn't going to do much, especially since they are just the final step in the whole authoring-production process.

I am pretty sure in 24 months we are going to see some pretty big changes.  Without DRM in the distribution, we are going see people doing more sharing,  so much that the RIAA can't possibly sue the distributors.  Sure, it was possible to strip the DRM-stuff before and share it, but it wasn't convenient.  Now it will be easier.  The people selling recorded music know this and the profits are going to drop.  So you can't pay the author $100,000 for a song for your new pop band.  So they are going to have to cut back.  I'd say we are going to see lots of really cheap-to-produce music coming along.  Think American Idol tryouts - they sell and cost nothing.

iPhone (none / 0) (#55)
by Jackson123r on Thu Jun 21, 2007 at 02:09:35 AM EST

Sweet, glorious specs of the 11.6 millimeter device (that's frickin' thin, by the way) include a 3.5-inch 480 x 320 touchscreen display with multi-touch support and a proximity sensor to turn off the screen when it's close to your face

http://www.dvdtoiphoneconverter.org

[ Parent ]

share music&videos (none / 0) (#57)
by seagull11 on Sun Nov 11, 2007 at 08:58:29 AM EST

3gp videos site.

DRM - The recorded music industry's big lie | 56 comments (41 topical, 15 editorial, 0 hidden)
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