Yahoo Music Exec Who Pushed To Get Rid Of DRM Leaves Yahoo

from the so-much-for-that-plan dept

While Steve Jobs is getting all sorts of credit for his sudden claim to want to ditch DRM, much more credit should go to David Goldberg, who was one of the first major company execs to push for music labels to ditch DRM entirely nearly a year ago, as head of Yahoo Music. He's been pushing the labels to offer up DRM-free music for quite some time, and has even had a few minor successes. While he's been banging the drum for quite some time, it appears some folks just noticed his position -- just in time to find out that he's quit Yahoo to start something new. While it's unfortunate that he wasn't able to convince the labels to move more strongly towards a DRM-free world at Yahoo, here's hoping that whatever new entrepreneurial venture he has in mind will help show the entertainment industry why they've been foolishly holding back their own market by insisting on ridiculous, useless, limiting copy protection technologies that simply make their content less valuable.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 14th, 2007 @ 6:34am

    I think all it's going to take is for one DRM-free startup to start raking in the profits, and everybody will be forced to jump on the bandwagon.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Harumph, Feb 14th, 2007 @ 7:17am

    DRM Free and Profits...Hmmm

    How would DRM free music files be profitable for a music site?
    I don't think the revenue would be coming from sales.

    Ex:
    A friend has music. I take my iPod with me everywhere. Attach iPod to friends computer. Now I have his music. DRM free enables this. I don't have to buy music anymore.

    Of course I would Love for this to happen.
    Ex 2:
    I could start a group purchasing organization with a couple of my buddies or a couple of my co-workers.
    We could each contribute money to a fund...purchase the songs we want...and copy from the download folder to EVERYONE's iPods.

    DRM free music is AWESOME for the general public...if you exclude people trying to make money off of music.

    I'm ALL FOR IT!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Noooo!!!, Feb 14th, 2007 @ 7:21am

    Re: DRM Free and Profits...Hmmm

    That would just be plain WRONG!

    With DRM free music, we, as consumers would have to be on the honor system. We would have to promise not to set up these "group purchasing organisations" as you describe, and we have to promise not to share music files with people who didn't pay for them.

    DRM free files would be there to benefit the consumer. It would enable us to play our music on multiple devices and in multiple environments.

    It is not intended to allow consumers to abuse technology.

    You should be ashamed of yourself. With the possible advent of DRM free music files, consumers will have to be on an honor system, and let their conscience be their guides.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Matthew, Feb 14th, 2007 @ 7:37am

    Ashamed?

    Where was the self-restraint and honor-system when the RIAA ... well nevermind that all speaks for itself.

    DRM free music can amount to I share song with friend, friend love song and goes to buy album. My CD spending increased 3,000% after ripping several tracks off the original Napster. Tunes I would otherwise have not been exposed to were so alluring and incredible that I had to have the disks to support them.

    It may be that all the negative press and feelings towards *AA that there would be some rampant sharing, but once there is a reason to shell out for the media they will come. That includes fair pricing, good material, and interesting hardware.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    hmmz?, Feb 14th, 2007 @ 7:49am

    Re: Re: DRM Free and Profits...Hmmm

    you call US consumers, yet you do not mention yourself as one....do you happen to work for the RIAA by chance?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Harumph, Feb 14th, 2007 @ 8:05am

    3,000% increase in spending

    Matthew,
    Your spending may have increased whatever percent. I'm sure thats what the record companies would love to see...

    My spending would DRASTICALLY drop. In fact, I think it would be safe to say, I would never again have to pay full retail price for music.

    I would either share the purchase price of music with a group of friends who all wanted some of the same music, or simply copy tracks from someone else's iPod.

    I think there are some evangelists out there whose personal agendas would have them try to convince people that I am the exception to the rule. But I think more people would be doing what I would do, as opposed to actually increasing their spending as you have done.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    TheDock22, Feb 14th, 2007 @ 8:12am

    Companies

    Hey I got an idea, why not tax MP3 players and software you buy for downloading songs. Then that money could go to the music company as long as they agree to get rid of DRM restrictions. They get money to cover lost costs and the community gets to enjoy freely sharing music.

    Lawsuits could continue for free PSP sharing programs, as no one would pay for those and therefore money is lost.

    In a perfect world, this would work. Now if I could only convince Apple...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Tyshaun, Feb 14th, 2007 @ 8:23am

    Re: Re: DRM Free and Profits...Hmmm

    That would just be plain WRONG! With DRM free music, we, as consumers would have to be on the honor system. We would have to promise not to set up these "group purchasing organisations" as you describe, and we have to promise not to share music files with people who didn't pay for them. DRM free files would be there to benefit the consumer. It would enable us to play our music on multiple devices and in multiple environments. It is not intended to allow consumers to abuse technology. You should be ashamed of yourself. With the possible advent of DRM free music files, consumers will have to be on an honor system, and let their conscience be their guides.

    Uhh, no, the previous poster was not wrong, I think you are incredibly naive for thinking that most of the general population will follow your "honor system". I keep banging on this drum time and time again but aside from ONE, SINGLE, SOLITARY company, eMusic, no one has been able to show me how this honor system based model would be profitable on the whole. One could easily argue is the only reason why eMusic is profitable is because it concentrates on a lot of fringe stuff that sites like iTunes just don't have. In essance, they are selling to the people who pay for music already, just a different product. I would also imagine the amount of material people are willing to buy that isn't already represented by the combined portfolios of eMusic and "traditonal" DRM laden outfits like iTunes is pretty small so there isn't a whole lot more room in the market (except for pricing wars I guess).

    Don't get me wrong, I definately think DRM sucks hard, but I think it's naive to ignore the reality of the real world. In the real world, most people don't purchase shareware products unless they have a mechanism to shut off after a certain time or are so crippled in functionality that buying it makes sense. In the real world, most people would rather use the bloated costly WinOS as opposed to a free linux distro, primarily because WinOS is ubiquitous and it has a user interface people understand. In the real world, I will assert that MOST people download lots and lots of music with no intent of ever purchasing it. I will go out on a limb and say that the reason sites like iTunes are doing such a brisk business is because the RIAA are such jerks about litigation and copyright infringement and the average layperson has actually been basically bullied into using these sites as opposed to P2P (think about it, iTunes doesn't offer anuything more than a P2P site other than a receipt that says you legally purchased a song). So yes, there are some (most of which apparently frequent techDirt), who are honorable people and do the right thing by purchsing content if they use a free version and like it, but I don't see that as a viable model for sustainable corporate business models.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    DC, Feb 14th, 2007 @ 8:35am

    Profit for DRM Free Downloads

    Offer a range of download qualities at different prices. Something like:

    lossless format for $3 per song
    high quality mp3 for $1
    low quality mp3 for $0.25
    Same sturcture for albums ...

    real music lovers will be willing to pay the higher price to get better quality music than they can from a CD and would love the ability to put it on anything they want. Casual listener would be happy to pay a quarter to 2 or 3 bucks for albums they are mildly interested in, and a little bit mroe for the higher quality of songs they really like.

    The argument against DRM free downloads suddenly enabling sharing is ridiculus. I can download 90% of what i want in a medium quality mp3 file very easily. and for the added security of a buying pool ... just buy a CD, rip to mp3 and share with your budies ... no problem and RIAA has no idea.

    This plain and simple fact is that DRM is a slight deterrant to some people sharing their songs, but it is easilly circumvented by anyone willing to put forth a little effort.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    A Musician, Feb 14th, 2007 @ 8:51am

    Indie Artist hates DRM

    DRMed music is wonderful for the "big" established bands but DRM-less music sales would definately find it's own niche with smaller upstart groups who are primarily concerned with getting themselves known but may want to make a few bucks on the side. It is far easier than setting up a stand on the side of a street downtown and selling CD's that you've burned...trust me.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Alan, Feb 14th, 2007 @ 9:24am

    DRM free

    Harumph:

    What's to stop you from starting a group organization, one person buying the CD with group money, ripping it and distributing the DRM-free MP3s to your associates?

    Nothing.

    If you're not doing it with DRM-free music now, then why would you start doing it later?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    Tyshaun, Feb 14th, 2007 @ 9:43am

    Re: DRM free

    Harumph: What's to stop you from starting a group organization, one person buying the CD with group money, ripping it and distributing the DRM-free MP3s to your associates? Nothing. If you're not doing it with DRM-free music now, then why would you start doing it later?

    I think part of that answer lies in the fact that the current download model emphasizes the fact that DRM based downloaded music is legal, and that any sharing of it with friends isn't legal. Once you move to a DRM free model, theirs really nothing holding consumers to the download sites, there's no "receipt" or other validation that using DRM free MP3's downloaded from a site is any different than if MP3's were shared between friends directly.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    LOL, Feb 14th, 2007 @ 10:12am

    just a thought...

    if they do make DRM-free media a reality... you think RIAA will have a more justifiable reason to extensively crop out all the bit torrent and file sharing server out there?!...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    Harumph, Feb 14th, 2007 @ 10:19am

    Re: Re: DRM free

    Alan

    You ask, "What's to stop you from starting a group organization, one person buying the CD with group money, ripping it and distributing the DRM-free MP3s to your associates?"

    The answer is simple.

    What is easy? What is really, really, really easy to do. Once you swap one mp3, its really simple to swap a bunch of them. For ripping CD's...you have to do each one individually.

    It may be easy to do one, but its really really easy to get an entire music collection (or at least the current most popular songs) for free via file sharing software.

    So, to sum it up, whats stopping me from sharing the ripped cd's...its not quite as easy as sharing .mp3's.

    It's easy...just not as easy.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Anonomous Coward, Feb 14th, 2007 @ 10:30am

    The plot thickens.

    The DRM-Free execs (Gates, Jobs, Gary Shapiro) should get together and devise a strategy. I imagine it would include collecting signatures, and ultimately lobby Congress for changes. I see a web site to help facilitate it.

    They could leverage this as a grass-roots effort, ask us to write our Congressional Represenatives, and create the buzz necessary for Congress to understand that this "Unauthorized Use" is not piracy, and should be considered under the umbrella of "Fair Use".

    The customerbase has expressed that this is what they want, but it's going to require a team effort, and for these groups to concentrate their efforts, and be vocal about it.

    This is the way the Music Industry has played for years, and is the gameplan necessary to see this come to fruition.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    iAgree, Feb 14th, 2007 @ 10:36am

    Re: The Plot thickens

    I agree with your statements.
    I think they should also write to their congressmen and lobby for free cars, free houses, free computers and free iPods.
    Since this is what the customer base has stated that they want.

    I agree 100%

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    Joe Schmoe, Feb 14th, 2007 @ 10:36am

    Whole lot of shilling for the man goin on here today...

    "...So, to sum it up, whats stopping me from sharing the ripped cd's...its not quite as easy as sharing .mp3's..."

    What's so hard about it??? All I have to do is put the CD into my drive and iTunes (which can be told to rip as mp3 instead of AAC) slurps the tunes, lables them, and ejects the disc - all by ITSELF.

    The arguement that the unprotected mp3's make anything that much easier does not hold any water. We've had nonDRM music for more than 20 years - they're called CD's.

    That all being said, I don't trade music other than one or two tracks here and there to a friend to introduce them to something new.

    They petty'ness of the *AA's and the crap they produce reduces my dollars spent on their product more than sharing ever would...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    Joe Schmoe, Feb 14th, 2007 @ 10:45am

    "...The DRM-Free execs (Gates, Jobs, Gary Shapiro) should get together and devise a strategy..."

    No strategy needed. They just need to not play along...

    No one is requiring them to add or support DRM. They are sucking up to the industry on their own accord.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    J, Feb 14th, 2007 @ 10:58am

    I didn't really pirate until I got treated like a criminal with DRM and lawsuits and so forth. I refuse to buy DRM music. I refuse to listen to a CD if I find out I can't rip it how I want, I'll toss it and go get the pirated version.

    Obviously, I'd be all for DRM free music. But then Harumph here demonstrates that Record Labels should treat us as criminals because that's what we've demonstrated we are. As long as there are jackasses like Harumph, I can hate the RIAA but I can't blame them.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    identicon
    Tyshaun, Feb 14th, 2007 @ 11:35am

    Re:

    "J" said:
    I didn't really pirate until I got treated like a criminal with DRM and lawsuits and so forth. I refuse to buy DRM music. I refuse to listen to a CD if I find out I can't rip it how I want, I'll toss it and go get the pirated version. Obviously, I'd be all for DRM free music. But then Harumph here demonstrates that Record Labels should treat us as criminals because that's what we've demonstrated we are. As long as there are jackasses like Harumph, I can hate the RIAA but I can't blame them.

    1. I don't think that calling harumph a jackass is quite called for in this case.

    2.So you are saying that because someone enforces a no copying system on music that gives you the right to pirate music? Perhaps I can understand this arguement if we were talking about food or medicine or something else necessary for life (using the I had to steal it defense), but are music files for your MP3 player/computer/CD player in the same league?

    In the end, I have to call foul on anyone that uses the "DRM forced me into pirating/ripping music bit". It's a sadly weak argument who's response, in my mind, is why didn't you just buy the DRM free CD (which most of them are)?

    See ya, I'm on my way to steal a Mercedez because their policy of installing car locks has forced me to do it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    identicon
    TheDock22, Feb 14th, 2007 @ 12:49pm

    Re:

    Really, people as incompetent J actually have the nerve to post?

    You're weak, you got no excuses other than that of a 2-year-old whining: "But mommy, I want it NOW and I want to do whatever I want with it!" Grow up J, in the real world nothing worth having is free.

    Also, how can you call yourself a pirate and you can't even work your way around a DRM restriction on a disc? It's possible, but you are too lame to do it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 14th, 2007 @ 3:17pm

    Beware of MPAA/RIAA fanboy posts.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    cheapname, Feb 14th, 2007 @ 4:09pm

    Have you guys ever heard of Emusic? They have subscribers who pay monthly for the ability to download 50 tracks. the thing is, people only download about half that much. So emusic only pays the lables for what the people end up downloading. Emusic makes money on "breakage" Piracy doesn't faze them because they take in more $ than people trade.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 14th, 2007 @ 5:08pm

    The whole point of DRM free media is so consumers are more willing to buy cheap, easy to download media rather then spend time and effort downloading pirated DRM free media. If your whole argument is that DRM is the only thing keeping people from downloading songs then you agree with the RIAA. And lets get the terms right... it's a usemonopoly not a copyright... hehe

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    identicon
    CD DRM Free, Feb 15th, 2007 @ 1:40am

    CDs are DRM free

    What sells?
    CD's sell!

    Do CD's have DRM?
    No.

    The only people pushing DRM are the DRM vendors, the rest of us know it doesn't work and makes the product unsaleable.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This