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28 November, 2008

Apple iTunes to launch DRM free music from Universal, Sony and Warner

Filed under: copyright, intellectual property, music, news, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — Enrico @ 8:26 am

drm-orwell-street-500x350We talked about the relationship between drm and music-lovers many many times, both on our blog and during conferences and events: DRM, as such, is a loosing war.

So Apple is about to sell DRM-free music from Universal, Sony and Warner on its iTunes online store, something that both Wall-Mart and Amazon have been able to do for months.

At last, what we said already since 2004 and also on the IP Faber blog is becoming real: the majors are beginning to recognize that a DRM-free market is far bigger and lucrative than a store controlled with a (loosing) DRM system.

This is the confirmation that music Majors are beginning to understand their customers and give them what they want (a clear concept that was understood a long time ago by delivery-platforms providers and tech giants, and by some wise guy).

So it’s now time to move on and see how consumers react.

But we still have to make some points and try to open a debate:

– is this strategy a (late) reaction to the deep economic crisis of the traditional music industry?

– is the change a clear recognition of the fact that controlling and fighting for a  DRM protected world is useless and painful?

– is this move a strong signal of a new trend toward licensing, and try to squeeze every single cent of value from a product?

We know for sure that this DRM-free move on iTunes is a big improvement for customers (as it has been for Amazon amd Wall-Mart) and that this will be a big revenues bumper both for Apple and for its partners.

(IP Faber focuses on new music platforms and technology innovationContact us)

Creative Commons License Photo: “1984…meet DRM” by jbonnain

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25 September, 2008

A new vision is born: meet the new Digital Music Experience

Filed under: internet, IT, marketing, thoughts — Tags: , , , , — Enrico @ 11:10 am

 Creative Commons LicensePhoto credit: Petr Urbancik

In one of the most compelling and intriguing articles ever appeared on a blog, Ian Rogers, a well regarded Yahoo! executive, urges the music industry to find out a new vision.

The blog, titled “CONVENIENCE WINS, HUBRIS LOSES AND CONTENT VS. CONTEXT” is also a brief history of the music industry as seen from a techno geek of the last 10 years and we want to thank Mr. Rogers for sharing with us his thoughts, and a vision that at IP Faber we are continously proposing since our inception.

Roger’s statement “it’s time we pay closer attention to consumer” is both revolutionary and strategic. Back in 1999 Recording Labels got to know what was Napster, but instead of understanding a changing life phenomenon and offering some kind of alterative, they started suing Napster and other P2P sites and their users.

But P2P is a technology platform, inherent to tcp/ip protocol and is therefore not good or bad in itself, but hey, is so easy to sue a company for infringing copyright! Technology changes at a fast pace, so after Napster and a pletora of other P2P websites, it was the time for Gnutella and P2P software (that actually doesn’t use the website for storing music). Gnutella is basically a way for sharing bits (any kind of electronic data) between 2 computers connected to one or more networks.

Mr. Rogers correctly says that this is “trivial, is physics and unstoppable”. 

It’s physics, it’s unstoppable. Period.

That’s why you need to put your energy elsewhere. So he urged music labels to sell their content to their users in the format they were asking for: MP3Make it easy, he wrote, and convenience will beat free. This was in 1999.

The convenience beats free.  They did the opposite: instead of creating a blue ocean, they went for the old-fashioned way and decided to sell music via internet protected with DRM (SDMI, Liquid Audio, Pressplay, Coral, etc). Any success? None. Any hope they’ll ever make it? Nope.

So, the question is: what do costumer want? A nice, fast and secure experience.

Hum, let me think… oh yes, I’ve got it, this is iTunes: friendly interface, easy to use (and buy) platform, good price on quality ratio (well, almost).

Amazon is doing it also better, because it is adding the first DRM free music experience working on any digital player. Music is becoming what it was at the beginning: copyrighted art without Digital Right Management. Ian Rogers acknowledges the same: “Amazon’s finally doing what was clearly the right solution in 1999. Music in the format that people actually want it in, with a Web-based experience that’s simple and works with any device.”

Now let’s go back back to the people who have the power to change things (if they ever want to): what are you guys still waiting for?

(IP Faber: solutions for copyright which makes sense. Contact Us)

Il pensiero di Ian Rogers, responsabile dell’area media di Yahoo! , sollecita l’industria musicale a trovare una nuova dimensione, più attenta a cogliere i segnali che arrivano direttamente dai consumatori. Quando nel 99 scoppiò il caso Napster – scrive Rogers dal proprio blog – non ci si interrogò se qualcosa stava cambiando e che cosa occorreva cambiare, ma si iniziarono una serie di cause contro quei soggetti che si servivano del peer-to-peer per lo scambio di musica digitale non autorizzata. Il P2P è una tecnologia, è qualcosa di fisico… rappresentava un fenomeno inevitabile ed inarrestabile. Eppure le Major – osserva Rogers – non capirono di trovarsi di fronte ad un’opportunità senza precedenti, un mercato vergine da esplorare.

La risposta ai “rischi” del P2P, da parte delle major musicali, fu l’introduzione dei DRM sulla musica fruita daI consumatore. Ma il consumatore vuole veramente musica protetta da DRM? – si interroga Rogers. Il mercato ora sta dando una chiara risposta in senso assolutamente opposto. Tant’è che sia iTunes (iTunes plus) che Amazon  (Amazon Mp3)già stanno mettendo a disposizione degli users quello che gli users da tempo cercano: musica senza DRM, scaricabile in modo facile e sicuro ed utilizzabile su apparecchiature diverse.

E non stiamo parlando di musica piratata.  Stiamo parlando del mercato musicale del futuro.

(IP Faber: soluzioni per il copyright nel mercato. Contatti)

11 July, 2008

Music = Copyright – DRM

Filed under: copyright, internet, marketing, thoughts — Tags: , , , — Enrico @ 8:45 am

Creative Commons License Photo credit: Travelin Librarian

Consumers don’t care for Digital Rights Management (DRM), they just care for Music.

DRM technology has been cracked many times and has prooven not to be the holy barrier it was meant.

Recent cases against consumers infringing copyright issues are turning to be short victories for the major labels.

EMI and Universal Music are selling unprotected music on Amazon and Wall-Mart, Apple has started a new market by selling DRM tracks for less than a dollar and unprotected music for 30% more (iTunes Plus), Amazon is prooving to be on trask with its brand new music store by selling DRM free music.

What are creators doing? Radio Head started to sell their brand new album through its own website and at a pay-as-much-as-you-want price. And now more bands are following suit. They just launched a new campaign to give more power to music’ authors and performers (see our post here on )

Let’s face it: the music industry is changing at a very fast pace. And perhaps people that should have the closer view (music industry executives) are the only ones who still don’t understand this: how to invent, develop and exploit a new booming market. Ian Rogers, Yahoo! music general manager, told in a presentation before a group of music executives that they need to re think the copy protection system. And he is not alone.

At IP Faber we believe Ian Rogers went on target when he said “I won’t let Yahoo! invest any more money in consumer inconvenience… I can’t bear to see any more money spent on pathetic attempts for control instead of building consumer value…. I want to delight consumers, not bum them out.”

He urges the industry to focus on consumer and consumer’s experience, saying that anything else is off-target. Consumer is king. Content (music) is king.

If this is not yet a new vision, it is for sure the end of an era where old fashioned technology has translated into old fashioned control techniques. According to Rogers, we need “to move toward a new media experience and drive there as quickly as possible. We should not wasting time and efforts by stopping what is obvious today. We should be creating the tools of a Web and Media entertaining and intriguing experience and reward music-lovers for being a part of it”.

(IP Faber is at the forefront of open innovation and copyrighted works. Contact us))

18 June, 2008

Is drm music like tasteless food?

Filed under: copyright, internet, news, thoughts — Tags: , , — Enrico @ 9:57 am

Creative Commons License Photo credit: Vrogy

 There are different opinions on how DRMs are impacting on music industry.

While Media Executives fear the fact that DRMless music will become like a gigantic legal P2P network, Software, Hardware, and Telecom Executives are signing big contracts to enter into one of the most promising market of the future.

What did Apple to the music industry is now under everyone’s eyes: its iTunes store has become the first music store in the world, selling files at a faster pace than any other (internet or brick-and-wall) store.

The thing is: how big is the market for drm music and for not-drm music?

People usually tend to think that drm has the same meaning of copyright, but it is not.

DRM is a technical system for protecting copyrighted work (music, video or other digital media) but since its inception there have been a plethora of ways for breaking protected files.

To us there are 3 important points that have to be discussed about DRM:

– user experience

– technical issues

– commercial issues

A clear view on these 3 points can put some more lights into the DRM debate.

27 November, 2007

DRM Patent Infringement against Microsoft, Hustler, Sony & Apple.

Filed under: brevetti, copyright, internet, IT, news, patent — Tags: , , , , , , , , — Enrico @ 6:23 pm

iTunes drm incorporated

Digital Reg of Texas, is suing Microsoft, Sony, Hustler (Playboy) and Apple for a patent infringement related to DRM Technology, in particular “by making, using, providing, offering to sell, and selling (directly or through intermediaries), digital content incorporating DRM technology“.

The patent, dated 1998, is not exclusive to music data, and describes a system where “digital content such as text, video, and music are stored as part of a compressed and encrypted data file. Said content remains inaccessible until a user purchases or arranges for authorization of the content.”

THE POINT> We are talking about a patented technology that is covering what is now a very hot business model on the web: selling DRM protected data via internet.

IP FABER OPINION> It’s not a problem regarding only a small company: this is, or could turn out to be, a major case of patent infringement. Digital Reg is facing a tough battle against these giants, but in case of success…

(iTunes Plus, photo courtesy of Uninen at Flickr)

30 January, 2007

Vento gelato dal Nord Europa su iTunes

Filed under: copyright, news — Tags: , , — Eva Callegari @ 11:40 am

Un difensore civico norvegese ha puntato il dito sulla tecnologia Fairplay della Apple che permette di far girare la musica scaricata da iTunes sui soli lettori Apple ed impedisce di riprodurre musica scaricata da iTunes su lettori mp3 diversi dall’iPod. Secondo questo “giudice di pace venuto dal nord” questa tecnologia violerebbe i principi antitrust. L’ordine alla Apple emesso dal difensore civico norvegese le impone di mettere a disposizione i codici di protezione entro il prossimo ottobre, pena l’oscuramento del sito iTunes.  Analoga azione, promossa dalle associazioni dei consumatori, è stata avviata in California. La Apple – che ha diffuso un comunicato appellandosi alla necessità di dare protezione ad un sistema innovativo qual è quello che combina l’iPod e iTunes attraverso Fairplay – sembra punita del suo stesso successo. E’ tale la rivoluzione che ha creato nella musica digitale che la collettività ha già deciso di espropriarle i diritti di proprietà intelletuale che le spettebbero, prima che scada un periodo di escusiva a suo favore, o il suo sistema Fairplay non è sufficientemente Fair da potersi considerare una protezione dell’innovazione, ma solo un ingiustificato controllo del mercato?

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