February 6, 2007

Need some thoughts on music?

by Chris Randall

Here's some: blah, blah, blah.

Now, with the caveat that I happily purchase music from iTunes, and own the top-of-the-current-line iPod, and that their DRM scheme doesn't really bother me, it's worth noting that a finer line I've not seen in some time. This guy could sell sand to a Bedouin, I swear to christ.

As someone that sells music digitally (and software, for that matter) I'm of the firm opinion that is better to do without abusive DRM, and rely on the good graces of people and try to earn their respect, rather than assuming every single customer is a criminal from the word "go." Apple paints a pretty picture over this whole process, and to be fair, the only way they could get the catalog they have (which is by no means comprehensive, I'll add) was to do what they did, but nevertheless, my own personal fiscal success proves to me (and me alone; I don't expect it to prove anything to anyone else) that there are other ways. Mr. Jobs does nicely to put this burden on the consumer at the end of his open letter.

Now, all that said, I'm not one of the BoingBoing faithful (In fact, I would dearly love to spend ten minutes alone in a room with Cory Doctorow, beating him over the head with the ASCAP charter) and I'm not going to run around waving an "Information Must Be Free" banner. I follow the Gibson ethos: the street finds its own uses for things. Ultimately, it's up to the artist how he best wants to present his art to the world, and it's up to the consumer whether he wants to deal with whatever the artist decides to burden said art with. The marketplace has a magical ability to smooth such things out over time.



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Feb.07.2007 @ 12:26 PM
It doesn't matter... what Jobs says is true - No major record company will licence music without some sort of DRM. That much is a fact. All the speculation about Apple using DRM for "user lock in" is moot, when using DRM is the only way they will be allowed to do buisness.

As for purchasing music online, I will only do it if it is DRM free. Even then, I only purchase music that is hard to find in Canada and that I don't want to pay the government import snake fee to have shipped. If I buy music, I want a physical object to go with it though, so I try to avoid purchasing music downloads.

And as for Cory Doctrow and Boing Boing - When they started printing obvious urban myths as news stories (glass and addictive chemicals in chapstick? Please read snopes.com dude! We didn't believe that one back in 1982, let alone in the internet age.), I kind of lost respect for the site.


Feb.07.2007 @ 12:55 PM
"Now, all that said, I'm not one of the BoingBoing faithful (In fact, I would dearly love to spend ten minutes alone in a room with Cory Doctorow, beating him over the head with the ASCAP charter)..."

A-fucking-men to that.


Feb.07.2007 @ 1:09 PM
Chris Randall
I don't understand how he has a job, quite frankly. I have an immense respect for what EFF does, but I don't understand how they can expect to be taken seriously when their main spokesman has little to no understanding of copyright and what it is used for, especially as it relates to music.

Since he is a published author (using that term liberally to mean "someone that puts words in a row and manages to sell the result") I'll give him the benefit of the doubt in regards to the written word, but he should just stay away from the music industry, because he literally and demonstrably makes things worse.



Feb.07.2007 @ 3:07 PM
I think the biggest problem is that everybody seems to be working toward this supposed utopia of a single all-inclusive licensing scheme. I think the goal itself is flawed. Just because we can get all sorts of content via the internet doesn't mean the rights for all those content types can or should be handled in the same way.

Feb.07.2007 @ 3:38 PM
Chris Randall
I fully agree with you there. I've released all my music under a CC Sampling+ license since that license came in to existence (if you own a Positron album from the last few years, you'll note that in the legal lines on the back, it says "some rights reserved." This is my way of accepting the Internet for what it is, and at the same time retaining the rights I need to get paid from ASCAP and the licensing entities I work with.

The distinction rests with this: to the vast majority of us, music is a means to express ourselves. To the Big Four, it is a way to give shareholders a dividend. I'm fine with a certain amount of piracy as long as I can pay my rent. I figure if someone cares about my shit enough to steal it, they'll either eventually come around to my side of things, or they're worthless and I would have never got their money any damned ways.



Feb.10.2007 @ 4:30 AM

as for as for Cory making things worse, you hit the nail on the head again. He is in fact the reason I never dontated to the EFF. 1) I dont want my yen in his pocket, 2) he is about the worst represtative I can think of short of Richard Stallman to persuade the powers that be. The CC is a nice innovation, its a step forward. Its a damn shame that morons like Cory seem to be its leading advocates.


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