Tag Archives: DRM

eMusic Earned My $9.99

I have searched the internet high and low, but I could not locate a DRM free Bob Weir’s “Ace” album for download on the internet. The only place I could find it was from eMusic.com. eMusic offers an amazing deal – sign up, you get 25 free MP3s. Then you go onto a subscription plan, $9.99 per month for 30 songs to more expensive plans that offer more downloads.

So I signed up for my two week trial with the intention of downloading a few of the Wier songs and then cancelling. But I still had about 20 downloads left. So I downloaded the entire EP “The Tain,” by the Decemberists, but instead of the five parts being individual songs, the entire EP is offered as one 18 minute song. So I downloaded some other random songs. While the selection is far from limitless, it’s certainly very deep and incredibly varied.

So, 24 songs later, despite my intention to rip off eMusic, I decided that they have earned my $9.99. The downloads go through the eMusic manager, which is really fast and really easy to use, and it’s cross platform. Also, did I mention the downloads are non-DRM, fully-portable, already-tagged MP3 files?

It’s easy to use services like mp3sparks and the like to get songs for cheap, but I don’t mind supporting my favorite artists when the price is right and I get to own a copy of the music that doesn’t impose random limits on me.

So, eMusic earned my $9.99 for what will eventually be 55 songs; I firmly believe that $9.99 for 30 songs is a reasonable price. So, if you’re so inclined, I encourage you to support eMusic. They are approaching things in a way that is actually right for the consumer.

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MLB Rips Off Fans, Proves Once Again DRM Sucks

If you purchased content from MLB in the last several years, you’re screwed. It’s gone. It’s disappeared, it ceases to exist.

I feel, even for this Red Sox fan, who purchased over $250 of content from Major League Baseball, who in turn, revoked DRM and made his content worthless. BoingBoing covered the MLB DRM fiasco too.

The fact is, DRM is for suckers. It’s BAD for the consumer, and it only benefits the content provider, who rarely has the best interest of the customer in mind. I am a big baseball fan, but thanks to this, I will never purchase content from MLB. Then again, I wouldn’t have anyway if it was tangled in DRM.

Either way, shame on you, Major League Baseball!

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Madonna Gives the Music Industry the Finger

The time draws nigh, my friends. Madonna dumped Warner, her record label of more than 20 years in favor of a deal with Live Nation, who will promote her concerts and release her albums. Last month, Radiohead announced a “name-your-price” download option for their new album. Amazon.com now offers DRM free MP3 downloads, and even Apple, the creators and maintainers of the world’s most common DRM, have rolled out iTunes Plus, which is DRM-free.

The record industry is crumbling, as it should, and music is slowly coming back around. If artists make only a few cents per recording, why wouldn’t they prefer to charge 25 cents a song and take home almost 100% of that? If “internet piracy” is such a problem, why not reward the true artists who can compel us to see them live, buy their merchandise, etc?

Yes, the days of DRM, the RIAA, in fact all record labels are drawing to a close. Mark my words: the music landscape will be dramatically different in a decade.

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Americans and Innovation: You Fail It!

9to5mac is featuring a fantastic article on lack of innovation by big companies. This particular article is about Microsoft, but ultimately, it’s a bigger statement about the United States of America. In fact, it reveals everything that is wrong with American business.

The concept of “distrust the customer” is growing, and it’s forcing people to do the “wrong” thing more often. Who is most inconvenienced by anti-skip technology, FBI warnings, and CSS, the DVD content protection technology? There is no doubt: it’s the legit DVD consumers! Because pirates crack that in seconds, so only the real, paying customers even have to see it. Who is put out by the online activation of Microsoft products? Not the pirates – the real customers!

How do big dinsaur companies like AOL and Verizon and Discover Card, who have lost their ability to innovate and serve, gain customers? They don’t, they just refuse to let their customers leave. And that is what’s missing from life today: no one gives a shit about their customers anymore.

Yes, these are the days of restrictive cell phone contracts, where military men leaving for duty abroad are fined $200 by their carriers for terminating their contracts. These are the days when voting machine manufacturers, those doing the work of the nation, refuse to allow their software to be audited. This is the age where police, who once served at the pleasure of the public, scare law-abiding citizens like we’re in the Commuist Block.

Because in place of customer satisfaction, we have inflexible rules.
And, as a result, in place of protection, we have proactive litigation.
And, as a result, in place of common sense, we have strong government lobbies.
And, as a result, in place of the USA, we have a shell of liberty.

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…And Jerry Rolled Over in His Grave

In the age of DRM and software patents, almost nothing can suprise me anymore, at least when it comes to people claiming to “own” ideas or “intellectual property.” The world is screwed up, and the government serves only corporations.

So it’s all the more disarming and alarming when it comes from your own circle. David “Dawg” Grisman, a mandolin player who moonlighted with the Dead for a period, has apparently sued Google, Inc and YouTube for copyright infrigement. The Grateful Dead! The ones who stood for free taping. The ones who insisted that their music was best enjoyed live, who built a mega-following not from selling their tapes, but from playing great music and presenting a show.

This is a sad day, as “Dawg” has truly cashed in a little of the overflowingly positive Grateful Dead karma; karma that was already bruised from the scuffle the Dead had with the live music archive, archive.org.

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Vista: To Get or Not To Get

Thom posted a series of articles on OSNews about Windows Vista, first 10 Reasons Not to Get Vista, then a rebuttal on his own blog, then another and another and another. Seriously. But none mentions the main reason I don’t want Vista: because I’m just not interested in supporting Microsoft any longer. More within.
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Why You Probably Should NOT Buy a Zune

If you’re finding this on Google or another search engine and you’re considering a Zune, it’s really important that you read this. There is information that I believe definitely proves that a Zune is a dangerous investment. I’m going to explain to you why investing in a Zune may be a huge, and ultimately very costly, mistake.

If you’ve read my blog over any period of time (and I’m relatively certain that no one has), you’ve probably noticed my not so subtle conversion from Windows to Linux back to Windows and then firmly to a Mac. We are all Mac at my house now, and I don’t try to cover that up. At work, where I choose everything from a technology standpoint, we are Windows 2003 and Microsoft SQL Server, so I’m not especially anti-Microsoft. Anyway, fair disclosure.

Read on for the details.
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What We Learned From AllOfMP3

After reading an article on The Reg that claims that the Danes have blocked access to AllOfMP3.com, I decided to spout off a bit about this. The RIAA and record labels need to wake the heck up and listen to consumers. And they are speaking VERY loudly. Continued…
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Yes, DRM Matters!!!

I have never really gotten into the whole debate over Digital Rights Management, or “DRM,” as it’s usually called. In general, I’m not against the concept: if a product has value and is “for sale,” it’s within the rights of the salesman to take steps to ensure the item is used properly. So long as the technology was unobtrusive, it didn’t bother me. Recently, I’ve been reconsidering. Read on for more.
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