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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)

6 March, 2008

Apple TV re enters the video rental market

Filed under: internet, news, thoughts — Tags: , , — Enrico @ 3:12 pm

Creative Commons License Photo credit: Flickrich

THE FACT

Apple is trying to enter (for the second time) in a high profitable market: movie and video rentals via internet.

It’s not the first try and it’s not the first company doing this, but the fact that the maker of the very fashionable iPod & iPhone is focusing on video rental is particularly interesting.
 
ANALYSIS
Apple is becoming (like Microsoft and Sony) a multi-product electronic company (well, it still lacks some serious attempt to enter the gaming scene), and its business model is becoming more structured.
From Apple Computers, the company profits from hardware high margins (bundle software is not that important unless Apple buys Adobe or some other big sw giant), iPod gives nice revenues both from the hardware and the iTunes music downloads (4 billions songs downloaded in the last few years) and iPhone is more a revenue sharing product (with Telecom companies as partners) than a high margin hot selling hardware gadget.
Now what?
They start renting videos (well, they started one year ago, but we can say it hasn’t been a huge success) for few bucks a piece.
Let’s take a short break and see how things are developing for consumers and businesses. 
 
Why video internet rental is a (potential) huge market:
– broadband is everywhere (and becoming a commodity)
– people prefer on-demand video (watch what you want, where you want, on the device you choose and when you want it!) 
– devices capable of digital video  playing are cheap (set top box, computers, iPods…)
– TVs are becoming large video walls (and 32″ to 42″ lcd TVs where last Christmas top priority for families)
 
How is the Film industry changing:
Movie companies executives don’t want to make the same mistake made by their colleagues in the music sector
– new media equals new revenues, so why don’t you try to exploit that?
– if you don’t do it, your competitor will!
– you have the product, now let’s start unpacking and sell it through the most possible wide area of different devices, markets 
 
Apple signed an agreement with almost every big movie company, and even if we haven’t been able to examine figures for that agreement, we still believe it made some good deals. 
OPINION
The next future will prove if Apple is right, but it seems that as more and more companies are entering into this (plenty of competitors) market, Apple with is unique hardware-software-users platform has a big competitive advantage.
 
(IP Faber has a reputation for giving independent opinion on IP related matters)

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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