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Miscellaneous

Can music companies be more annoying?

Probably not.

Now I’m not in favour of illigal downloading via whatever p2p networks people use now. I’m personally a big itunes and sometimes emusic customer and I don’t buy CDs anymore and I like it. Everything except DRM that is. I hate it and despite rumours apple will start licencing the fairplay drm (to made for iPod partners) I have no faith in itunes music being synched to your iriver clix or sansa connect anytime soon. I’m not saying this because I don’t like iPods because I have two and want a third. I’m saying that Apple definitely overestimate how many people buy iPods because of the iTunes store. It’s already been said that most people just dabble with iTunes and get the rest of their content from ripped CDs from their collection and other more shady sources (which like I said I don’t support). The point is even if they opened itunes to work with any MP3 player they would still sell the same amount of iPods or maybe just less. However the sales of iTunes music and other content would increase by a substantial amount to counter any lack in sales.

I’m not sure why I brought up emusic because it doesn’t have DRM so lets concentrate on DRMd music from major labels. Going back to the question in the title of this post, no they can’t be more annoying or clueless. It’s been announced that legal downloads of music have doubled and the same day they start threatening ISPs with legal action if they don’t stop illegal filesharing.

You want to know why suing everyone doesn’t help and why people pirate music in the firstplace? You’re all obsessed with locking down content and you’re not treating it in the same way you used to treat CDs. I don’t remeber ever being told I couldn’t play a CD on more than one computer, Hi-Fi or walkman so why should things change now when things were like that for so long? People don’t want to get used to buying music online and being thought of as potential criminals.

If you were more trusting of people then the piracy issue probably wouldn’t be anywhere near as bad. It’s not people pirating just for the sake of it, its mostly people just demonstrating against DRM.

It’s really just the greedyness of the labels that I hate, combined with the people in power who thought that ripping a CD to your computer to play on your own personal iPod or other player wasn’t fair use.

Now although we won’t see itunes music being DRM free by the end of 07 (because they have no need to if they are selling music so well), I hope some big online service takes the initiative and delivers DRM free music from major labels.

I guess a slightly more faesable hope for the following year is Apple to at least offer double the number of authorised computers to 10 or something or even abolish the limit. Even though there is a chance people will download loads of music using donated money and give people access to the username and password of the itunes account (after putting in a fake credit card number after purchasing) I doubt this would really happen. I mean I doubt that many people really think about it like that and just want to preserve all the authorisations they can as a precaution, plus it’s already possible to do that a couple of times and although it’s probably been done it won’t be widespread. I’ve already lost one of my authorised computers permenantly due to a windows reinstall I had to do where I couldn’t unauthorise it before I wiped the drive with the new install because it was in such bad shape.

Anyway, for the music industry to really move forward, they have to fully embrace digital in a more open way and stop DRM. They really need to start to see the correlation between decreased CD sales, DRM and pirating music and go back to the days of no restrictions and no one knew what DRM was.