Click Here to Download the Song (MP3)
To a melody quite reminiscent of "We are the World" (hum… any copyright violations there?), the irreverent Weird Al Yankovic has come out with a new single entitled: "Don't Download this Song" and promptly makes it available for download without any DRM/TPM restrictions. Some choice lyrics:
"Cause you'll start out stealing songs, but then you're robbing liquor stores and selling crack and running over school kids with your car"
"It doesn’t matter if you’re a grandma or a seven year-old girl, they’ll treat you like the evil, hard bitten criminal scum you are."
Sources: Don't Download this Song Website | Wired Blog | MP3.com | Cinema Blend | MP3 Newswire | P2PNet
- Steve Jobs Calls for the End of DRM for Online Music Sales (February 7, 2007)
- Wired Article: Signs Music Industry May be Abandoning DRM (January 8, 2007)
- EMusic Sells 100 Millionth Song without DRM (December 15, 2006)
- EMI's Blue Note & Yahoo! Music Sell a Few More Songs DRM Free (December 6, 2006)
- ifpi Board Member Quoted as Saying Major Labels About to Abandon DRM (November 27, 2006)
- First a Song, Now a DRM-Free Album – Yahoo! (September 19, 2006)
- Weird Al Yankovic's New Single: Don't Download this Song (August 23, 2006)
- Yahoo! Offers DRM-Free Jessica Simpson Song (July 20, 2006)
- Yahoo! Exec Says Labels Should Sell Music Without DRM (February 24, 2006)
500+ members of Canada’s art community have formed a new coalition, the Coalition of Art Professionals, arguing for three principles to be enshrined in Canada’s copyright policy: (i) fair access to copyrighted material lies at the heart of copyright; (ii) artist and other creators require certainty of access; and (iii) anti-circumvention laws should not outlaw creative access.
Sources: Coalition’s Press Release | Michael Geist | Digital Copyright Canada | P2PNet
Note: The Canadian Music Creators Coalition was also recently formed with a similar copyright policy reform agenda.
Steven Page of Barenaked Ladies was interviewed about the new Canadian Music Creators Coalition on the TV program Canada A.M. this morning. Click on the picture to watch the interview. To quote Steven from the interview:
The other thing that we are seeing happening a lot with the major labels is they are putting what is called DRM, digital rights management, on their tracks. So if you download a track from the iTunes music store or you buy a CD, quite often there is copy protection, which stops you from listening to your music in the way that you want to listen to it. That’s really frustrating as a musician and as a fan. So if I buy a CD and its doesn’t work on my car stereo or I can’t listen to it on my computer at work, that’s messed up!
Source: CMCC Website | Stephen Page Op Ed in National Post (May 1, 2006)
Many of Canada’s most prominent recording artists, including the Barenaked Ladies, Avril Lavigne and Sarah McLachlan have formed the CMCC to have their “voices heard about the laws and policies that affect our livelihoods”. Contrary to the lobbying efforts of the CRIA/RIAA, the CMCC believes that: (i) suing fans, as is done by CRIA and the RIAA, is destructive and hypocritical – “the government should repeal provisions of the Copyright Act that allow labels to unfairly punish fans who share music for non-commercial purposes with statutory damages of $500 to $20,000 per song”; and (ii) digital locks enforced by DMCA-like laws are risky and counterproductive – “laws should protect artists and consumers, not restrictive technologies – consumers should be able to transfer the music they buy to other formats under a right of fair use, without having to pay twice.”
Sources: CMCC Press Release | CMCC Website | Michael Geist | Howard Knopf | Globe & Mail | ars technica | P2PNet | Digital Copyright Canada | Wired Bogs | Tech News World | Linux Electrons | CD Freaks | EFF
Canadian-based artist label and management company Nettwerk Music Group (representing Avril Lavigne, Sarah McLachlan and others) has joined the fight against the RIAA on behalf of consumers who wish to download music.
Sources: CBC | ars technica | Toronto Star | Information Week | MTV.com | Marketwire | Hour | The Gate | top40-charts.com | Canada.com
Coldplay’s new CD comes with onerous DRM limitations
Sources: Consumer Affairs | Murmurs | Red Herring | PC Pro | CD Freaks | DVD-Recordable
Rock Group My Morning Jacket is taking matters in its own hands by providing burned replacement CDs to its fans that had purchased its CDs with Sony's controversial rootkit software.
Sources: MTV | ContactMusic.com | NME | Murmors | Aversion
- Sony Settles Rootkit Lawsuit with 40+ U.S. States for $5.75M (and Climbing) (December 27, 2006)
- Sony Rootkit Settlement Faces Opposition in Canada (September 19, 2006)
- Sony Rootkit DRM Settlement Passes Final Legal Hurdle (May 23, 2006)
- Sony Settles Class Action Law Suits over Rootkit DRM (December 29, 2005)
- Texas Saddles Another Claim on Sony (December 23, 2005)
- My Morning Jacket Burns New CDs for Fans Replacing Sony's CDs with Rootkits (December 15, 2005)
- Texas Sues Sony BMG for 'spyware' on CDs (November 21, 2005)
- Sony folds Tent, Recalls CDs (November 16, 2005)
- Fallout from Sony CD Flap Getting Worse (November 15, 2005)
- Sony Bows to Pressure and Abandons DRM Rootkit Technology (November 11, 2005)
- Sony Faces Class Action Law Suit over Rootkit DRM (November 10, 2005)
- Sony Caught using Rootkit DRM (November 3, 2005)
A few brave musicians similarly post free copies of their albums online and allow people to record and distribute their concerts for free. In most cases, the creators retain copyright to the books or recordings, but they permit fans to make copies for their own use. Many other works–books, music, and even films–are in the public domain. This means that you can download them, upload them, package and sell them–whatever. They’re free, period.