Online music seller eMusic is second only to DRM-laden iTunes for legitimate online music sales. Most of its library of 2 million songs comes from independent labels. It's success proves that consumers are more than willing to pay fair prices for DRM-free music. While it took the eMusic two years to sell its first 50 million songs, it has taken less than a year to sell the next 50 million.
Dales Comment: While I applaud eMusic, it too has a business model that I don't like. While individual songs can be purchased, their business model requires the user to pay a minimal subscription fee every month. Song purchases are deducted from the monthly fee. If you spend more than the fee, then you have to pay extra. My perfect world of music sales is to buy DRM-free songs with no minimum monthly commitment. I would be able to buy as many or as few as I want. Frankly, I'd like eMusic service to mimic that of AllofMP3.com's. Charge a fair per song price, allow me to purchase whatever I want in whatever format I want. That is a service I'd use!
Sources: Washington Post | MacWorld | Sydney Morning Herald | TopTechNews| Tech Dirt | MP3.com | CNet Blogs | PC-Pro | Pocket-Lint
- 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)
Amidst growing complaints of potentially harmful security breaches and the recent filing of a class action lawsuit, French publisher Ubisoft has officially ceased its use of Starforce copy protection.
Sources: GameIndustry.biz | ars technica | MoneyControl.com | PALGN | afterdawn.com | Legit Reviews | neo seeker
Six major studios are starting U.S.-based Internet services to sell movies that buyers can download and keep for watching at any time. New movies will cost about $20 to $30 to download; older titles will cost as little as $10. The downloads will be available on the same day that the DVD is released – quicker than rentals, which are put online about 45 days later and cost $2 to $5. Customers will be able to store movies for as long as they like on computers, as well as transfer them to two other computers and burn them on DVD, but only for copying to the two other PCs. Note: Regrettably, burned DVDs will not be playable on conventional DVD players. These DVD’s will be protected with Microsoft’s Windows Digital Rights Management software.
Sources: Herold Tribune | New York Times | L.A. Times | CNet | BBC | MSNBC | Times Online | Fox News | FT.com | Washington Post | Business Week | USA Today | MovieWeb | Red Herring | MSN Money | ABC News | Forbes | CNN Money | Reuters | Engadget | China Daily | San Jose Mercury News | Hollywood.com | SiliconValley.com | Examiner.com
Bush signed into law legislation setting February 17, 2009, as the date U.S. broadcasters must end transmission of analog television signals and move to all-digital broadcasts. The move from the upper-700-MHz spectrum band will free 60 MHz of wave space for auction to mobile wireless carriers and 24 MHz for emergency response agencies.
Sources: PC World | joystiq | HDTV Magazine | Multi-Channel News | RCR News | Network World | DTV Design Line | Digital Connect | Telecomweb
The movie is Oscar-winning director Steven Soderbergh's "Bubble." But the persistent buzz around its release has less to do with the film's artistic merits than with the fact that it will be broadcast on the high-definition network HDNet the night of its full theatrical release, Jan. 27, and also made available on DVD just four days later.
Sources: CNet | RealTechNews | Spokesman Reveiw | USA Today | ars technica | The Ledger
Note: This is not unprecedented. Mark Cuban-produced "Good Night and Good Luck" was also released on Cuban's HDNet simultaneously with it theatrical release.
The cable industry’s tough stance against à la carte pricing is crumbling rapidly as more operators say they will support a version of à la carte pricing for families concerned about their children’s access to adult programming.
Sources: Red Herring | Red Herring (Related Nov. 30 Article) | CNet | ZDNet | Salon.com | Business Week | Washington Post | Reuters | Waco Tribune Herold
How Steve Jobs can put a hammerlock on digital video.
Note: Within 3 months of launch, Apple sold over 3 million TV shows/videos through iTunes.
BitTorrent and the MPAA reach an agreement under which unlicensed copyright movies will be expeditiously removed from BitTorrent.com's recently launched search engine
Sources: Wired | ZDNet | Reuters | BBC | The Register | Los Angeles Times | Forbes
Microsoft and CableLabs have announced an agreement to bring CableCard access to the PC, along with the ability to share it with connected devices (like the Xbox 360).
Dale's Comment: This will, of course, only work in jurisdictions where cable providers use cable-card technology in their headends. While required of all major cable companies in the U.S., Canada does not yet (nor will it ever likely) mandate such cable-card compatibility.
Sources: Yahoo! News | HD Beat | PC World | Multichannel News | CED Magazine | Cable Digital News
A $1,990,000 new revenue stream in just 19 days (at $1.99 per video), sounds like a winning business model to me – particularly since their initial content is so limited.
Sources: ZDNet | engadget | Red Herring
Text of RIAA v. DMS
D&M Sells off the remaining Rio IP. The Diamond Rio was the first MP3 player. Without the Diamond Rio and its successful defence against the RIAA’s lawsuit, we may not have iPods / iTunes, downloadable music and portable music players today.
Text of Decision
Grokster is held to be contributorily liable for inducing/encouraging its users to directly infringe the copyright in content shared through the Grokster peer-to-peer file sharing network.
Sources: Wikipedia Entry | PDF version | EFF Page | DRM Watch