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RIAA Spokesman Says DRM Is Dead 154

TorrentFreak is reporting an on-the-record remark by the main RIAA spokesman acknowledging what has been obvious to the rest of the world for some time now. Let's see whether their actions going forward align with the words. "Jonathan Lamy, chief spokesperson for the RIAA[,] declared DRM dead, when he was asked about the RIAA's view on DRM for an upcoming SCMagazine article. "DRM is dead, isn't it?" Lamy said, referring to the DRM-less iTunes store and other online outfits that now offer music without restrictions." Update: 07/21 01:16 GMT by KD : InformationWeek is now reporting that Jonathan Lamy says he never said "dead." TorrentFreak, which originally reported Lamy's remark, has also backtracked.
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RIAA Spokesman Says DRM Is Dead

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  • by noidentity ( 188756 ) on Monday July 20, 2009 @08:05AM (#28754783)
    DRM is dead, huh? Apparently Amazon didn't get the memo [slashdot.org].
  • Re:DRM is dead? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Artifakt ( 700173 ) on Monday July 20, 2009 @09:45AM (#28755561)

    I know you meant that as a rhetorical question, but actually, there's a sort of answer. Looking at the media industries, there's been a real pattern of people putting kinds of abstract scoring ahead of profits.

    Here's a few examples:
    1. Roger Corman - this director made a huge number of very low budget films, all of which made substantial profits. There were several periods where you could take the financials on Corman's last 10 films, compare them with the same numbers for every director in the entire studio system, and for every single Hollywood studio, it would have made a lot more sense to hire Corman and hand him 30 million dollars with very loose, few strings attached contracts, and most likely get 10 more films out of it that would probably gross 100 million plus at the box office, than to risk that 30 million on a single big budget epic with any other director, given those director's reputation for expensive flops. But that didn't happen.

    2. Gold and Platinum records - as sales have declined, the number of copies needed to score a gold or platinum has been repeatedly changed so the studios can brag (maybe to their stockholders, since these figures invariably get quoted in the stock prospectus) that they are getting more platinum sales than ever, even though the actual sales numbers are down.

    3. Planet of the Apes (the original films): Hollywood dropped the budget lower on each one of the four sequels, and all still made a huge truckload of money. That money went to fund big budget epics (Cleopatra for one), which got Oscars but didn't make their costs back. Despite the sequels making as much money as the original or more, the 'wisdom' of the industry was that sequels never make as much as the original picture, even with the Apes counterexample starting them in the face. The industry didn't revise this position until after Cameron's Aliens.

    4. The Monkees: When these four actors responded to criticism that they weren't real musicians by learning to play at least moderately well and trying to do live performances for the press to prove it, their industry handlers didn't recognize this was the four being team players. The industry inside reps made public statements that their own clients couldn't play a note, which was both untrue and practically a guarantee of lost record sales, but as those same people actually wrote, 'it kept them in line for a time'. The Monkees final period, with the film 'Head' and the open statements about LSD on an album back cover, seem pretty solidly anti profit. But, the period before that seems to about be the band focusing on the bottom line, and the studio heads losing all sight of it until the band got burned out.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 20, 2009 @12:05PM (#28757139)

    If something is off the shelf, it loses a potential sale.


    If something is not under print, it loses a potential sale.


    If something dies undercopyright, it loses a potential sale AND steals from the public domain.


  • Re:DRM is dead? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by skeeto ( 1138903 ) on Monday July 20, 2009 @01:03PM (#28758039)
    They might be trying to abandon the name "DRM" because it has become so stained, and replace it with a new name. Stardock was trying to do this [slashdot.org], saying they don't use DRM, but something called "Goo" (just DRM by another name). Valve too, claiming "DRM is obsolete [slashdot.org]", then using something called CEG, which is just more DRM.
  • Re:DRM is dead? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by nine-times ( 778537 ) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Monday July 20, 2009 @02:37PM (#28759719) Homepage
    Actually that's not a great example. There are rated R movies that out-earn PG movies all the time. What's more, even if that weren't the case, you could explain it via market segmentation [wikipedia.org]. If everyone only released PG movies, then there would be a huge market for more adult entertainment that would be going untapped.

    Now you may be right that media companies aren't exploiting children's entertainment in the most profitable way-- I don't know. I'm not really a businessman or a parent, but kids stuff seems way over-exposed to me. There doesn't seem to be a lack of children's entertainment, but rather it just seems like a lot of it is bad.

    But I'm not sure it matters anyway. Even if you want to sit your kids in front of a TV all day, my experience is that most children will happily watch the same things over and over again. They'll go through periods where a single 2 hour movie can provide 20 hours of entertainment in a given week. (not much of an exaggeration)

Disks travel in packs.