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Music execs criticize digital rights management

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 14 Feb 2007 11:13 User comments (11)

Music execs criticize digital rights management According to a survey conducted by Jupiter Research, almost two thirds of music industry executives believe that removing Digital Rights Management (DRM) from music downloads would lead to increases in downloading. The firm studied the attitudes to DRM systems in Europe music firms. Many believed the the current DRM systems were not fit for their purpose.
Analyst Mark Mulligan, one of the authors of the report, said that the study was carried out between December and January, before Apple CEO Steve Jobs published an open letter encouraging record companies to drop the need for digital rights management. Mulligan said he was surprised with the responses received from large and small record companies, rights bodies and digital stores.

About 54% of executives questioned thought that current digital restrictions on music downloads were too harsh. About 62% believed that if DRM was dropped, music download sales would rise due to interoperability. Of all questions, 70% believed that the future of music downloads depends on making tracks playable on as many players as possible.

Mulligan however, does not believe record companies will drop DRM now. "Despite everything that has been happening the record labels are not about to drop DRM," said Mr Mulligan. "Even though all they are doing is making themselves look even less compelling by using it."

BBC News

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11 user comments

114.2.2007 12:07

Not that they'll do the slightest thing about it of course.

The truth is that we, the consumer, are paying for these useless (but exceptionally expensive) security systems.

Not one of which has ever survived being cracked or avoided.

A quality product (not the laughably cr@p sub 100kbps) at a low price is a combination that seems to work in every other walk of life - not this absurd race to spend more time and effort layering upon more layers this expensive and thoroughly pointless 'security'.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 14 Feb 2007 @ 12:08

214.2.2007 15:34

To me all this DRM talk is making me feel that DRM is a type of virus or spyware. Just unwanted crapp apart of the music file ypu are getting.

314.2.2007 15:46

Jeez, after almost 5 years it's finally starting to sink in? Where were the "common sense" pills before this?

414.2.2007 22:17

Inresting even the suits think DRM is a foolish money wasting endeavor but I bet the lawyers trump the suits 0-o

514.2.2007 22:19

Originally posted by borhan9:
To me all this DRM talk is making me feel that DRM is a type of virus or spyware. Just unwanted crapp apart of the music file ypu are getting.
god tell me about it game copy protection is worse it is spy ware that can crash and slow the system ><

615.2.2007 6:26

The truth will out......

File sharing has no impact on CD sales - research 2:03PM, Thursday 15th February 2007

File sharing has had a negligible effect on the decline in CD sales over the past five years, according to a detailed study by two academics, Felix Oberholzer-Gee of Harvard University and Koleman Strumpf of the University of Kansas.
Their statistical analysis of file sharing activity in 2002 found that contrary to music industry claims, there is no evidence that sharers would have bought CDs containing the music that they had downloaded over p2p networks.

According to p2p research firm Big Champagne, there were an average of 10 million simultaneously active file sharers in 2006. By contrast, the researchers note that prior to 1999, when Napster, the first popular p2p network was established, file sharing activity was virtually non-existent. This huge increase corresponded to a 25 per cent fall in CD shipments in the US. The automatic conclusion is to blame the decline on sharing.

Not so, say Oberholzer-Gee and Strumpf.
'While concerns about P2P are widespread, the theoretical effect of file sharing on record sales and industry profits is ambiguous,' they found. 'Participants could substitute downloads for legal purchases, thus reducing sales. The inferior sound quality of downloads and the lack of features such as liner notes or cover art perhaps limit such substitution.'

Moreover, by exposing users to new music, sharing may actually have increased sales.

'File sharing allows users to learn about music they would not otherwise be exposed to,' they wrote. 'In the file-sharing community, it is common practice to browse the files of others and discuss music in file server chat rooms. This learning may promote new sales.'

The two researchers compared 1.75 million file transfers from the last third of 2002, a period of rapid growth in file sharing to a 'representative' set of albums for which they had concurrent weekly sales, matching the 260,889 songs that US file sharers successfully transferred during the period to the 10,271 songs on the 680 albums in their sample. They found no correlation between the particular songs that were downloaded and the sales of the albums that contained those songs.

So there we have it, DRM and all this so-called 'intellectual property' law is exposed for what it really is, an expensive, pointless and (when it comes to wrecking people's lives for it) a nasty and evil vindictive abuse of the law.

715.2.2007 8:13

It doesn't seem to matter what they say, they will continue to spend more and more on encryption schemes. Then they will price themselves out of the market. When this happens they will say it is because of pirates, even though they are at the helm. And when they drive their company into the ground it won't be their fault.

Now if they were truly smart they would give up all of that protection baloney and price their product accordingly which would stimulate the market and they would make more money, even with all those poor pirates. Before encryption crap they made plenty of money and everyone was buying albums even though they could record on reel-to-reel, 8-track and cassette tapes. How did they survive then? I realize that it is a lot easier to share on the internet but if the price is right why would I screw around with that?

815.2.2007 8:19

true,you have thos that think draconian rules help sales when they don't (suits and dark legamancers) until "normal" suits can over ride the laywers they will waste money on OTT protections that will just wind up pissing everyone off.

915.2.2007 10:39

There is a possibility that DRM on music will go away... There was time (long ago) when software on floppy discs was copy-protected. That went-away for awhile. You can (illegally) copy Win95, Win98, WinNT, and Win2K CDs. And, you can (illegally) install them on several computers. Now, Microsoft is using "product activation", but 90% of the software you find in the computer store is not copy protected or DRM'd in any way!

1016.2.2007 2:03

"Common sense" pills???!!! Hey, even if there was such a thing and they opted to used them they would put them in the wrong hole! These folks have no sense what so ever. In the 60s vinyl LPs cost about $3 and you could have up to a dozen songs on one. That is 25 cents per song. 40 years later after getting revenue for all that time they can't afford to down load the same songs for less than $1. They obviously did not stay in school after the third grade! The only way these folks will wise up if there was competition that was making huge sums of money. Greed is the only thing those pigs understand. The fact is, they have built this little empire to protect the music industry. I dont think they will gracefully step aside even if the industry thinks they can do with out them.

1116.2.2007 12:27

I don't think it will go away until itunes sales drop. As long as people keep buying music there, the execs will think it's okay to keep DRM around. I can hear them thinking, 'People don't care because they keep buying the protected tracks so why should we get rid of it?' Until the average person complains and this hits the major news networks it won't go away. I thought the Sony rootkit was the beginning of the end but no such luck.

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