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Universal wants to test DRM-free music downloads

Written by Dave Horvath @ 08 Jun 2007 20:34 User comments (14)

Universal wants to test DRM-free music downloads In an interesting turn of events, the world's largest music label Universal Music thinks that it can get a better market share for legally downloaded music if it drops their current DRM practices. In a business study, Universal wants to dabble with the idea that financial gains from the sell of unprotected music just might outweigh the production costs and slump of sales in DRM encrypted downloads.
This experiment from Universal comes just two months after EMI decided to bed with digital giant Apple. This could be a good move on their part to combat competition in the music industry, but rivals such as Warner Music feel that a move like this would just open the floodgates on piracy.

Universal's experiment will last for only a short time, in which they will gather data and come to a conclusion on whether or not this is a good move later this year. Other companies such as the second ranked SonyBMG stated that if the music conglomerate decides to drop its current copy protection standards that it and other companies will be forced to do the same to stay competitive in the market.

In contrast, Warner has inked a deal with Lala.com to provide copy protection free music available for share, provided the company gets royalties on a per-play basis. Warner has also stressed that other means such as this need to be put in place, but DRM should not be taken away.

To add steam to Universal's idea, EMI launched copy protection free songs on iTunes in the UK for just 99p per song. Although there hasn't been any official sales releases, Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon raced to number 10 in overall sales in the US and number 5 in the UK.

There is still a lot to look out for in the way of DRM-less music available through legal means, but it appears that record companies just might be finally seeing the overall restrictiveness of DRM as whole.

Source:
Times Online

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14 user comments

18.6.2007 21:55

Finally some big companies are starting to see the light, DRM is nothing but a waste of time, money, and energy.

They first used it to prevent "piracy" but it didn't work. They implimented it on CDs but that was worked around and lawsuits were filed due to the potential security risks on many computers.

Finally, when it comes to "pirated" music, I would say 100% of them are from CDs. They are obtained a few days in advance of their retail release and uploaded to various places for various reasons.

I think music companies are starting to realise that you can't stop piracy, which was the reason for DRM, you can only slow it.

28.6.2007 22:49

Do you think maybe the Labels are beginning to see the light? Maybe the labels are starting to find out it's cheaper for them run a few servers. Maybe they figured out it lowers their operating costs and ups their bottom line. Maybe they are starting to figure out that's what the consumer wants. Who are they kidding they see their market share slipping because someone opened the gate to DRM less music!

It's a simple formula CEO's. Give the consumer what they want at a fair price. When you do that you stay in business longer!

39.6.2007 0:53

Dont forget the new protection scheme is putting account and tracking info into the MP3 you "buy"...

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 09 Jun 2007 @ 0:54

49.6.2007 1:31

Originally posted by ZIppyDSM:
Dont forget the new protection scheme is putting account and tracking info into the MP3 you "buy"...
This is the only glitch in the whole deal. I love the fact that their DRM free but they do not need my details via the file cause i think once i sign up and purchase the music files they should just have my details for billing purpose nothing else really/

59.6.2007 1:35

Quote:
Originally posted by ZIppyDSM:
Dont forget the new protection scheme is putting account and tracking info into the MP3 you "buy"...
This is the only glitch in the whole deal. I love the fact that their DRM free but they do not need my details via the file cause i think once i sign up and purchase the music files they should just have my details for billing purpose nothing else really/
*L* wait till the 3rd party MP3 wipers start coming out to remove that nasty tracking info :X

frankly they should stick with that and any fool dumb enough to get hacked or whatever by it is his own fault for not removing that info first :P

I guess the fastest way is to recompress it LOL

69.6.2007 4:55

Quote:
*L* wait till the 3rd party MP3 wipers start coming out to remove that nasty tracking info :X
Its already out. its called Jhymn...

79.6.2007 5:20

Quote:
[quote]*L* wait till the 3rd party MP3 wipers start coming out to remove that nasty tracking info :X
Its already out. its called Jhymn...[/quote]OOOoooooooooooooooooooooooooo :X

89.6.2007 6:49
hughjars
Inactive

If they target actual commercial 'pirates' then I could care less.

If they target file sharing then they already lost long ago.

I don't really mind a form of 'managed copy' (which allows me to use the stuff I bought how I want.....including taking it round to a family & friends and playing it on ther kit - or even, good God no-one fall down dead in shock now, doing them a copy of it......no point pretending we won't cos we always have done now & again).

But I don't want DRM systems making my kit fail or having compatability problems and generally any of the cr@p we've seen to date with the various DRM attempts.

I certainly will be avoiding any 'system' that expects me to periodically pay for 'security' updates......like Plextor have said their Blu-ray users will have to after a freebie period.

Quote:
BD-MV playback at HD quality has very strict copy protection integrated and managed by the Advanced
Access Content System License Administrator (AACS LA), and software manufacturers are required to
include the AACS key management in the play back software.
These AACS play back keys are only valid for a predefined and limited period of time. Customers
generally have to buy new AACS keys every 15 months.


With the Plextor PX-B900A/T3KB the customer can playback BD movies produced until April 2009.
To play back movies produced after April 2009, the customer has to purchase a renewal of the key.





link to pdf press release from plextor: http://www.plextor.be/press/datasheets/Plextor_AACS.pdf

99.6.2007 7:00

Quote:
If they target actual commercial 'pirates' then I could care less.

If they target file sharing then they already lost long ago.

I don't really mind a form of 'managed copy' (which allows me to use the stuff I bought how I want.....including taking it round to a family & friends and playing it on ther kit - or even, good God no-one fall down dead in shock now, doing them a copy of it......no point pretending we won't cos we always have done now & again).

But I don't want DRM systems making my kit fail or having compatability problems and generally any of the cr@p we've seen to date with the various DRM attempts.

I certainly will be avoiding any 'system' that expects me to periodically pay for 'security' updates......like Plextor have said their Blu-ray users will have to after a freebie period.

[quote]BD-MV playback at HD quality has very strict copy protection integrated and managed by the Advanced
Access Content System License Administrator (AACS LA), and software manufacturers are required to
include the AACS key management in the play back software.
These AACS play back keys are only valid for a predefined and limited period of time. Customers
generally have to buy new AACS keys every 15 months.


With the Plextor PX-B900A/T3KB the customer can playback BD movies produced until April 2009.
To play back movies produced after April 2009, the customer has to purchase a renewal of the key.





link to pdf press release from plextor: http://www.plextor.be/press/datasheets/Plextor_AACS.pdf[/quote]
=======================================
any setup like that will be fixed by downlaodable firmware.

they ahve to be kidding them selfs with some of the setups they are putting out.

109.6.2007 7:14
hughjars
Inactive

I'm sure anything they do will be countered zippy.

But as I said I don't expect them not to go after the commercial pirates, people faking other people's work & selling for huge gain is never really going to be ok......and as I said before I sure as hell don't want to be driving my car with faked brakes etc!

But sharing is always going to be different & they're really just blowing smoke out their a$$es if they honestly think they'll ever put an end to that.

What makes it all even more absurd is that private sharers always end up finding a way around the most expensive & sophisticated 'systems'......so how much easier is it for the kind of counterfeit operations making serious money out of this stuff?

It seems to me that it's just the regular story of the little guys always getting clobbered as the industry poses and postures in that pointless way they do.

119.6.2007 20:37
duckNrun
Inactive

Does jHymm ALREADY remove the personal data that the new files will carry? I do not mean the data that it already removed that ties it to your iTunes account but the NEW data such as name and email address?

1210.6.2007 12:57

You can just use JHymn to strip out the ID info.

Be sure to remove the following atoms:

(apID)
(cprt)
(iods)

1330.7.2007 21:23

Why don't they actually ask the customer what they would be willing to pay for? Consumer feedback beats market research any day of the week.

1431.7.2007 10:57

Originally posted by Unfocused:
Why don't they actually ask the customer what they would be willing to pay for? Consumer feedback beats market research any day of the week.
the consumers are shepple they have no one to translate the baa baa baa baaaa :P

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