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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)

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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)

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