This is the website of Abulsme Noibatno Itramne, also known as Sam Minter. In addition to the blog below, be sure to check out the other sections of the site above and to the left! IM me on AIM as Abulsme or email me at Comments are always appreciated! Thanks!


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Mon 02 Apr 2007

Freeing the Music

The rumors of this got to a fevered pace over the weekend, but the offiial confirmation was at 12 UTC today.

EMI Music launches DRM-free superior sound quality downloads across its entire digital repertoire

EMI Music today announced that it is launching new premium downloads for retail on a global basis, making all of its digital repertoire available at a much higher sound quality than existing downloads and free of digital rights management (DRM) restrictions.

The new higher quality DRM-free music will complement EMI's existing range of standard DRM-protected downloads already available. From today, EMI's retailers will be offered downloads of tracks and albums in the DRM-free audio format of their choice in a variety of bit rates up to CD quality. EMI is releasing the premium downloads in response to consumer demand for high fidelity digital music for use on home music systems, mobile phones and digital music players. EMI's new DRM-free products will enable full interoperability of digital music across all devices and platforms.
(via Digg and dozens of other places)

DRM is stupid and counter productive. And as people have been finding out time and time again over the last few years, eventually futile. And attempts to make it work by law where the technology won't do it just result in draconian laws that are completely out of line with the potential offenses.

People will still buy instead of pirating if the service you are providing for the money is quicker, more convienent, and of better quality than the alternitives. But people have to get over the idea that you are paying for the content. Like it or not, content is going to be free. Not as some sort of philosophic dogma that it should be, but simply as a result of old fashioned supply and demand curves. When making a copy of something (without destorying the original) is effectively free, the supply becomes essentially to infinite, and therefore the equilibrium price drops close to zero. The only way to prop that price up is by using laws to try to enforce a price floor through artificial means.

What people will pay for however is a delivery mechanism that does what they want and has the capabilities they want. And some people (not most) will still pay for creation of new content that they want. But the ballgame has changed. And the ways you can make money off it will be completely different.

There are still going to be many many attempts to preserve the old business models, but it will just take time. Those old business models will go away and be replaced by new and better mechanisms.

This might be a good first step. Everything sold this way will be pirated within seconds of the first sale. Might EMI still make money? Maybe. They still have the problem of being a middle man that essentially adds no additional value. But they might still be able to make good money because this will be an easier way to get their stuff than other methods.

In the long run though, these middleman companies like EMI are going to end up morphing into completely new forms where they figure out how to add value in this new world, or they will go away completely. Based on history, they will probably figure it out... just many years later than they should have.

Abulsme - Mon, 2 Apr 2007, 08:51:13 PDT - Tech
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