Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop


Forgot your password?
Music Media Your Rights Online Technology

EMI — Ditching DRM is Going To Cost You 220

33rpm writes "EMI has told online music stores that selling its catalog without DRM is going to cost them a lot of money. 'EMI is the only major record label to seriously consider abandoning the disaster that is DRM, but earlier reports that focused on the company's reformist attitude apparently missed the mark: EMI is willing to lose the DRM, but they demand a considerable advance payment to make it happen. EMI has backed out of talks for now because no one will pay what they're asking.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

EMI — Ditching DRM is Going To Cost You

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 26, 2007 @01:50PM (#18155402)
    So this basically proves that DRM exists for the sole purpose of providing record companies with silly amounts of longterm income by reselling stuff we already own? Excellent news.
  • Until I see... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by beckerist ( 985855 ) on Monday February 26, 2007 @01:52PM (#18155452) Homepage
    Someone needs to show me a study that incorporates similar (if not identical) stores and similar (again, if not identical) pricing on a DRM version and DRM-free version of the SAME song. My money is that the DRM-free version makes a lot more money, simply because of its ease-of-use. Hell, I'd even be willing to fork up that extra $.99 [] (if the song they did this with didn't SUCK.)
  • by ThatsNotFunny ( 775189 ) on Monday February 26, 2007 @02:23PM (#18155924)
    Or they were idiots and purchased phones that, at least in the US, you're unable to upload your own ringtones and can only purchase the ones provided by the mobile carrier. I'm looking at you, Sidekick!
  • Ah.. Right... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by 91degrees ( 207121 ) on Monday February 26, 2007 @02:24PM (#18155966) Journal
    So they have a strategy of unknown risk and reward, and they're quite happy to go about it if someone else takes the risk but doesn't benefit from the reward.

    Here's my counter proposal. I'll pay the upfront cost. I get to choose how much I charge. My cut is double what they pay Apple.
  • by danpsmith ( 922127 ) on Monday February 26, 2007 @02:30PM (#18156062)

    Funny, considering one of the main reasons I won't buy DRM products is it already costs more to do so. If I want my favorite Britney song from Itunes, it costs 99 cents. If I want a ringtone of the same thing, Verizon charges me up to a couple bucks for a much smaller clip of exactly the same song. Why would I pay twice for something I can rip from my (wifes') CD and create myself anyway? Don't they see it's costing THEM more money in the long run to include this garbage?

    Exactly. And if the prices were sane, I would definitely buy DRM-Free MP3s. Definitely. But they'd have to be DRM free. I'm not buying .wmas and putting them with the rest of my collection, it's just not happening.

    I think what companies don't yet realize is that, look, we already have collections of MP3s. Everyone under 30 probably has a large collection, and I'm one of the few that has a HUGE collection. However, there are times when I want an album and you can't find it on bittorrent and it's not available other than going to the CD store. Honestly, I don't feel like ripping CDs, and there's a lot of times when I just don't even buy the track rather than having to go and buy a CD and rip it to my hard drive. And it has NOTHING to do with cost. It did, at one point when I was a college student money was an issue. Nowadays, it definitely isn't. But when you have a large collection of high quality MP3s that you know will work on your player, in your DVD player, or any number of other devices you simply aren't going to buy a track and break the DRM to have it mesh well with the rest of your collection.

    Yes, I'm notorious for downloading a lot of MP3s, but I would be willing to buy legitimate, if only companies would give me the chance to do so. Stop trying to change how we store our music and just mix with what we have. It's the only way you'll survive.

    Yours truly,

    A kind of average downloader.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 26, 2007 @03:47PM (#18157380)
    At the risk of sounding like the geezer I am - you kids today are fucking lazy! "Honestly, I don't feel like ripping CDs, and there's a lot of times when I just don't even buy the track rather than having to go and buy a CD and rip it to my hard drive"

    I, too, have a huge collection of MP3s. Most of them started life not as CDs, but were ripped from CDs that were burned from sampled LPs and cassettes! But you're too lazy to click a mouse twice. Do you have your mom open your pepsi for you because it's too much trouble? Gees!

    I've been buying music for decades. But strangely, I've bought damned little this decade, and what I've bought has been mostly from local bands. I've been too busy sampling (and thereby rediscovering) some great stuff I hadn't listened to in years, from my collection and my friend's collection (yeah, I'm a thief for BUYING something and sharing a COPY and so is he... according to some of you dimwits).

    If the labels want me to download tracks, theye're going to have to change a few things:

    1. I want QUALITY sound. I have a pair of three way JBLs with twelve inch woofers, and Mike's speakers are even better. The difference between a high quality MP3 and a CD is pronounced; they're good enough that with certain records (ones that were originally recorded analog), the LP is far better sounding than the CD (e.g., Led Zepplin's Presence). In short, MP3 won't cut it unless I need a small file size (thousands of songs on a hard drive, or hundreds on an MP3 player). I need FLAC or some other lossless compression. Like Long John Baldry sang in Boogie Woogie, "Don't feed me no TV dinner when you know I'm used to steak". You kids are not only lazy, your ears suck, too.

    2. I want QUALITY music. I do NOT want to hear anything that Simon Cowell produced! Jesus, the guy has no musical taste whatever, nor does that Randy guy, nor (from listening to the radio) do any other of today's record producers! Today's music sounds like the worst of '50s pop music. I don't want to hear Paul Anka, I want the Big Bopper or the Trashmen (Surfin' Bird). I don't want the Monkees, I want Jimi Hendrix or Blue Cheer. I don't want the Eagles, I want Led Zepplin or Ted Nugent. I don't want Milli Vanilli, I want Van Halen or Poison. I don't want Madonna, I want Alice in Chains or Nirvana. I don't want Stayned, I want Buckcherry or... uh, oh, hell, I can't think of another 21st century band that doesn't suck. Which is where the problem stems from. After fifty years of ass-kicking rock, the record companies are putting out minor key whiney pap and calling it "rock". And the bars are full of folks in their twenties listening to local bands covering Zepplin and Hendrix and Van Halen, while the record companies say sales are down because of "piracy". The established recording industry is obviously doomed, as it's obviously run by utter morons who don't have a single clue what their customers (NOT "comsumers") want.

    3. I want far, far lower prices. 99 cents per song is outrageous, unless you're talking about Quicksilver Messenger Services' version of Who Do You Love, the live version of Whippin' Post, or Alice's Restaraunt, or... say, why DO they charge by the song, anyway? Shouldn't they charge by the megabyte? But I digress... I'm paying less per song for music on a physical medium, and uncompressed. You're charging me more for a TV dinner than I'm paying at a nice restaraunt! Only a fool or a twelve year old would fall for that!

    Speaking of downloading (and a bit off-topic) I fucking HATE the internet jukeboxes they've got in bars these days! Instead of three for a dollar you only get two for a dollar, and if you pick the wrong song it costs a dollar to just PLAY ONE SONG! I mean, the idea of a jukebox itself is bad enough.

    But what's worse, none of the internet jukeboxes have Led Zepplin! A jukebox without Led Zepplin is like a bar without alcohol! WTF???
  • Re:People will do it (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Deagol ( 323173 ) on Monday February 26, 2007 @04:00PM (#18157550) Homepage
    but I'm not aware of too many average consumers who have much opposition at all to DRM, generally because they aren't aware

    I think they are aware of the *problems* of DRM, but they just don't know to label it as such. Just ask any person who's had to sit through the 20 minutes of commercials on Disney DVDs that they can't skip through. That annoys the shit out of nearly everyone I know, and DRM is the cause. They just don't recognize it as such.

    As for flocking towards alternatives... just look at the client list of your favorite P2P client. Not every IP in your bittorrent client is some punk kid "putting it to The Man". Sure, they're not *legal*, but they are non-DRM alternatives. When asshat companies like Maxis are still requiring the CD to be present for The Sims to run (in this age of half-TB drives), they can kiss my ass -- I'll go download the version with the No-CD crack.

  • by Kalriath ( 849904 ) on Monday February 26, 2007 @04:15PM (#18157754)
    I'm gonna split hairs here and point out that under Russian law, allofmp3 is quite legal (for now) because Russia does NOT require an agreement be executed in advance to be licensed to sell works. Russian law also says that all they do need to do is pay a royalty to a rights management group (for lack of a better name), such as ROMS, who they DO pay, to be held in escrow until the rights holder requests payment. No rights holder has requested this money from ROMS. So you aren't quite correct there, what they have done IS enough.

    Also, bear in mind that the site isn't actually targeted at the US (I know, technicality, and of course the INTENT is to get US and other countries to buy there) and so far as I know, US citizens buying your products over the internet does NOT bring you under the jurisdiction of US law. Russian law is the only one that applies to the sale. US law only applies when you receive the file.

    Why do you think AllOfMp3 laughs at the US court's judgement in favour of the RIAA to the tune of "Russia" (or, $1,600,000,000,000 US)? Or why it persists in doing exactly what the US court decided is illegal? The RIAA (interchangeably used with "Major Labels" in this case) is only bitching because the songs there are so cheap, so the royalties they are entitled to collect from ROMS is not enough to line their wallets. Which of course is why they wont collect from ROMS - doing so would validate AllOfMP3's position, and destroy their argument.
  • Re:People will do it (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Beardo the Bearded ( 321478 ) on Monday February 26, 2007 @05:10PM (#18158550)
    Applying the patch to a game or program you own is legal. After all, they've been telling us for years that we don't own the media - we own one (1) licence to run the software.

    One of my professors at school had a legitimate, licenced copy of MATLAB. The damn thing wouldn't work on his MacBook 1/2 the time. The pirated version he downloaded worked great, every time. It loaded faster, too.

    I think the same sort of thing happened in GTA3 for the PC. If you applied the no CD crack, then your performance went WAY up. In that case, Rockstar applied some parts of the patch to the next official release.
  • A tax? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by dorianh49 ( 988940 ) on Monday February 26, 2007 @05:16PM (#18158654)
    "... the charge is a tax/levy." Anyone else think it's about time to dress up as Indians or one of the other Village People and start throwing 1's and 0's into the Boston Harbor?
  • Re:People will do it (Score:2, Interesting)

    by stokessd ( 89903 ) on Monday February 26, 2007 @05:34PM (#18158918) Homepage

    "Do you have any sources on this?"

    Well CD sales are still the most popular method to get music, and that is DRM free (and mostly rootkit free).

    So the statement is more that we have been DRM free, and we put a toe in the DRM waters and said "no thanks" in many cases. This really isn't a case where we are throwing off the long-standing chains of oppression. DRM is a new thing, and a fairly limited thing (in audio), that we as a geeky segment of society are railing against.

    Now movies have a lot more heritage with the DRM thing...

  • by Stevecrox ( 962208 ) on Monday February 26, 2007 @05:49PM (#18159130) Journal
    Your working on the assumption that everyone is a theif. Your not actually thinking about how people think.I don't pirate music, I even used the Itune Music store when it came out, but after a week I realised that none of the song I had purchased were playable on anything but my PC. I switched to the great WMP's MSN store and playsforsure and started getting flaky playing (believe it or not it would only play sometimes on WMP9 but everytime on my sync'd device.) After two bad expearences I gave up on online music, it wasn't cheaper (we're talking £7.99 an album when I could buy it for £9.97) it gave me less choice and generally put me off. So I went back to my old habits of simply waiting until a album fell from popular interest or looking out for lesser known artists before they were big and getting the albums on the cheap.

    The first music store which can offer me music without DRM and actually be cheaper than retail stores (ITMS has been more expensive in some cases) will have my business I like owning legitmate copies of disks most people do, but most people don't like to feel like their being ripped off. When a DVD first comes out it can be as much as £17.99 5 months later that samew dvd is £4.99. Music is much the same, so people pirate.

    If filesharering and piracy is so prolific perhaps this suggests that the price of music/films doesn't match the price the demand (consumer) expects to pay. The fact that no music/film company adjusts their pricing to take advantage of this simply screams of price fixing. There will always be some priacy as there is always a blackmarket for any good for any other service, but give consumers the product/service they want at a price they are happy paying (competitiveness always helps here) you'll never stop all piracy its an impossible goal. My idea is based on the principle of "This is how the world works" the nice music companies seem to be working on the principle of "this is how the world should be"
  • Re:People will do it (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ArtDent ( 83554 ) on Monday February 26, 2007 @10:35PM (#18162374)
    It's early days yet, but here's a very interesting indication.

    Last week, as reported here, Puretracks began offering DRM-free MP3s []. They have 50,000 tracks, just 3.8% of their total catalog, available in this format. None of it is from the major labels.

    Currently, a DRM-free album, Barenaked Ladies are Men [], is at number 2 on Puretracks' top 100 chart [] (sorry, those last two links work in Canada only). It has been moving up steadily since Puretracks announced its MP3 offerings last week. By comparison, the album is at number 45 on the traditional Canadian albums charts []. No other song in Puretracks' top 10 sits below number 15 on the SoundScan chart.
  • by elrous0 ( 869638 ) * on Monday February 26, 2007 @10:50PM (#18162478)
    Because, believe it or not, many people actually WANT to be honest and not cheat artists out of their royalties. If there were a simple way to get DRM-free, high quality music at $.99 a song with a decent selection, you might be surprised at how many people would use it. Take as an example. People weren't just going there because they were cheap. A lot of people just liked their huge selection and the fact that you could get your songs there as high-quality mp3's that could be played on any player or transfered across networks/between computers, etc.

    A lot of people don't have an alternative that even LETS them be honest. For example, I listen to a lot of my music on my networked Tivo. Tivo will only play mp3's over the network. It won't play wma's or protected aac files. So, what are my options even if I *WANT* to pay? I can either buy a full CD for one song (and have to go through the hassle of waiting for it to ship and ripping it to boot), go to a site with a VERY limited selection like emusic, or pirate.

    If someone is just a cheap-ass who is determined to pirate, nothing is ever going to stop them. But it seems like the studios are stupid to pass up on those honest people who actually WANT to pay, but who just don't want to deal with the hassle and risk of DRM.


Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it is too dark to read.