The Ridiculous Demands The Record Labels Want For Music Lockers

from the you-have-to-be-kidding-me dept

As there's been lots of talk lately about music lockers and whether or not they need to get licenses, it's great to see Michael Robertson, who runs the music locker MP3Tunes, provide a little background on just a few of the ridiculous demands from the record labels when it comes to music lockers. Remember, again, that music lockers are all about people taking the music that they already have, placing it on a different hard drive (a remote hard drive) and being able to stream (or possibly download) it. There's a very strong argument (and one that Robertson is fighting for in court) that the record labels really have no say in this matter whatsoever. There are no specific additional rights that they need to license here. The people already have the music, and it's just a question of where the hard drive is and how long the wire is between that hard drive and the listener.

Of course, the real issue is that (yet again) the record labels are more afraid of unauthorized copies than they are of trying to provide actual value to users. And that has become clear in the demands from the labels, including the insane argument from Universal Music that only specially marked files with digital receipts should be allowed in music lockers. That is, if you have legally purchased CDs and legally ripped the music from those CDs... too freaking bad. As someone who still buys most of my music on CD, that's pretty ridiculous. They're telling me that I can't store my legally purchased music on a server of my own choosing?
To combat this they [Universal Music] want only songs with digital receipts to be able to added to lockers. For some time UMG has been demanding that online music retailers embed personal information in every song they sell. They call it UITS. iTunes has been inserting email addresses into every song while other retailers like Napster are using a unique receipt number....

All songs without a proof of purchase would be assumed to be unauthorized and not accepted into the system. Songs ripped from CDs would not have unique identifiers and wouldn't be loaded. Any song purchased prior to retailers inserting personal identifiers or from retailers who have yet to personalize every song would also be excluded. (To date, Amazon's MP3 store does not put any unique identifiers in songs despite UMG's demand that they do so.) Promotional songs download online would also not work.
Of course, that's a complete nonstarter, and would make music lockers almost useless for most users, even those of us who do, in fact, legally purchase our music. Sony Music apparently has a slightly different concern, but an equally dumb idea:
Sony believes users will share lockers by visiting each others houses and syncing in each others music. To combat this Sony wants loading to happen from only one computer. Each locker owner would have to designate a single location from which they could upload songs. Users could load music from either their laptop or desktop or office computer but not all three. Their belief is that this will prevent friend to friend file sharing.
Can you imagine what a headache that would be? It kind of defeats the whole purpose of the music locker. It also would create a huge headache for any music locker service in terms of dealing with customer complaints and customer support when someone buys a new computer and dumps the "officially designated" uploader machine. It's a concept from someone who doesn't understand how people use computers these days.

And then there's Warner Music Group, which is so afraid of file sharing that it wants to make sure it can track you down and sue you if you use your locker in a way it doesn't like apparently:
Most worrisome to Warner Music Group is that users may setup multiple lockers and the distribute the extra lockers to friends. Imagine if a locker owner setup a locker at Apple and Amazon and then gave their less used locker away or maybe even sold it. What WMG would like to see happen is that a central locker authority would administer all locker assignments. For awhile they were pushing Catch Media as the solution. More recently they may have relaxed their demands in this area and insisted that locker identities be uniquely tied to a valid credit card or some other such verified identity.
This is so typical of the big record labels. Rather than looking at ways to provide more value and recognize how the world works, all they do is seek restrictions and annoyances. To be honest, I've still been hopeful that they'd eventually come around and figure out how to adapt, but these days I'm finally realizing that maybe they really do need to die off.


Reader Comments (rss)

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    Marcus Carab (profile), Apr 29th, 2011 @ 11:30am

    "Our main concern is that music lockers as they are currently envisioned may lead to widespread. What we recommend is a modification to the idea, wherein the music files will be stored on a small plastic disc that can be carried in a case or 'wallet' and played in a variety of devices."

     

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      chris, Apr 30th, 2011 @ 2:44pm

      Re:

      music files will be stored on a small plastic disc that can be carried in a case or 'wallet' and played in a variety of devices

      The sad thing is that this can be sold as a new idea today, when this is what was available for 20 years and might have been more widespread if not for things like DRM and engineering out interoperability for competitive advantage.

       

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    Beta (profile), Apr 29th, 2011 @ 11:43am

    the unshareable

    "Imagine if a locker owner setup a locker at Apple and Amazon and then gave their less used locker away or maybe even sold it."

    Oh... oh, God...

    Hours after reading that, my hands are still shaking. What fevered imagination could have conceived of such an idea? I seem to hear voices outside, young people telling each other to check it out, and thanking each other, but surely this can only be the whispering of my tortured brain. The very telephone wires in the room have taken on a sinister mien. And the sun will be setting soon.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 29th, 2011 @ 11:48am

    "Sony believes users will share lockers by visiting each others houses and syncing in each others music."

    If that were the case, users can simply go to each others houses and copy the music from one users hard drive to another. That would be much easier, especially since a single hard drive can store several years of non-stop, non-repetitive music.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 29th, 2011 @ 11:55am

      Re:

      and I'm not even being facetious either. A single hard drive can literally store several years of non-stop, non-repetitive music, I've done the computation.

      http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20110415/22402113917/funniestmost-insightful-commen ts-week-techdirt.shtml#c213

      Copy protection laws are already unenforceable when it comes to music. Even before modern data storage space and broadband Internet connections were ubiquitous, they were still unenforceable and piracy was still rampant sneakernet style. All the more impossible to stop it now.

       

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        Christopher (profile), Apr 30th, 2011 @ 2:20am

        Re: Re:

        Copy protection laws are unenforcable when it comes to ANYTHING that can be ripped from a disc and shared between people.

        That includes movies, games, etc.

         

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 29th, 2011 @ 11:56am

      Re:

      If that were the case, users can simply go to each others houses and copy the music from one users hard drive to another.

      This is the exact point I was going to make. What an assinine arguement that people can visit each others houses to download music from one person's cloud drive to another's. Was the idiot who made this statement summarily fired? If not, his company is doomed.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Apr 29th, 2011 @ 11:57am

        Re: Re:

        He was probably promoted.

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Apr 29th, 2011 @ 12:29pm

        Re: Re:

        These people need to get this through their head. Piracy was rampant before modern hard drives existed. When I was in high school years back, I knew people (highschoolers from my school no less) with CD burners who had huge CD collections and they would custom burn anyone a CD of music for like ~$5 - $10 each. That was back when hardly anyone ever had a CD burner. As CD burners became cheaper and more people got them, I saw the transition phase of having just a few people burning and selling custom CD's of pirated music to a high school where plenty of competition existed on this front. Before I knew it, it reached the point where enough people had CD burners such that people would just temporarily swap CD's, burn their own copies, and swap them back (that was around the time that Napster also started becoming popular as well, so some people also started downloading their own music, albeit via dial up connections).

        Now we've reached a point where storage space is so infinite that no one needs dozens of those huge bulky zippered CD cases to hold and distribute all of their pirated content anymore. No one needs to spend all of the time searching through hundreds of CD's to find the right song, which created huge inefficiencies back then. It can all be held onto a single hard drive that takes far less space and all of it can be searched for in seconds and transferred in minutes.

        (BTW, I didn't really participate in piracy much. To the extent that I did, I felt guilty about it and I've long since destroyed what pirated software/content that I have years ago. Not because I'm afraid of the law, not because I think piracy is inherently wrong, but mostly because I'm Christian and as a Christian I'm commanded to follow the law of the land, with few exceptions of course).

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Apr 29th, 2011 @ 12:39pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          pirated content/software that I had *

          It should also be noted that a huge limiting factor to piracy, besides the time it took to search for the right song, was the time that it took to copy songs. One had to find the right CD, place it in a CD burner, burn it to another CD, take out the CD, put in another CD if you want to copy another set of songs for the same person or for another person (more manual labor required), repeat the process over and over and over.

          Copying a whole collection of songs containing cases and cases of CD's took a LONG time and many CD's. Imagine having to do this for each and every person who wants that collection, time is a HUGE limiting factor.

          Not to mention the inconvenience of storing all of these CD's somewhere, which takes up tons of space (space is valuable) which could easily reduce everyone's content collection because not everyone wants to have a room full of CD's. and the inconvenience of finding the right song among all these CD's just to listen to that song is also a hassle and reduces the value of having all of that content and so many people only owned the content they valued the most to reduce clutter and search time.

          Most of those obstacles have been largely overcome.

           

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            Rekrul, Apr 29th, 2011 @ 2:16pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I would have just ripped all the songs so that I would have only needed to use the original CD once. :)

             

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            lostalaska (profile), Apr 29th, 2011 @ 5:24pm

            MP3 to Tapes... OMG I'm ooooooold

            Back in the Mid to late 90's when MP3's were just starting to show up on the primitive internet (B.N. before napster) I remember spending an entire evening on a dial up connection to barely download 60 minutes worth of music. Then I'd plug my cassette deck into my headphone output on my computer and record the MP3's to tapes to listen to in my car.

            Even before that I used to take CD's or tapes over to friends places and we'd copy them to blank tapes to share and listen to. According to the music industry and their views on piracy the entire music industry should have died out when blank tapes and dual high speed dubbing tape decks came out. I remember them raising holy hell back then in the early 80's about tape copying killing the music industry. I remember I used to do my homework with my tape deck next to me listening to the radio and I'd quickly hit record when a good song came on so i'd "have it" for listening to whenever.

             

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          Rab Simpson (profile), Apr 29th, 2011 @ 7:15pm

          Re: Re: Re: Anonymous Coward, Apr 29th, 2011 @ 12:29pm

          (BTW, I didn't really participate in piracy much. To the extent that I did, I felt guilty about it and I've long since destroyed what pirated software/content that I have years ago. Not because I'm afraid of the law, not because I think piracy is inherently wrong, but mostly because I'm Christian and as a Christian I'm commanded to follow the law of the land, with few exceptions of course).
          This translates as "I'm a Christian and therefore I'm better than you because you're a pirate."

          FYI Christians have raped and pillaged everywhere they've gone, and most of you are VERY quick to forget this. So, kindly take your pious attitude and fuck off.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Apr 30th, 2011 @ 12:18pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Anonymous Coward, Apr 29th, 2011 @ 12:29pm

            "This translates as "I'm a Christian and therefore I'm better than you because you're a pirate."

            That's not at all what I'm saying. I have nothing against those who do pirate. I do not consider myself any better than them. I do not consider piracy wrong outside of the fact that it's against the law. In fact, I do not judge those who do pirate, Christian or otherwise. and if you don't think the Bible is true then how can you be expected to know that you should follow its instructions.

            I do think IP laws are intentionally oppressive and the laws themselves are wrong. That's why I want them abolished.

             

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            Chargone (profile), May 1st, 2011 @ 8:26am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Anonymous Coward, Apr 29th, 2011 @ 12:29pm

            wow. majorly butthurt over nothing, much?

            where does this bitterness come from, and how does people claiming a lable and screwing up hundreds of years ago and/or in a compleatly different part of the world at all affect his current opinion on how he should behave based on the group he identifies with and his beleafs...

            and these are just the first questions your anger raises off the top of my head. yeesh.

             

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 29th, 2011 @ 11:57am

      Re:

      yeah but pirates are internet nerds and dont leave their house, so its not a concern. Only upright law abiding citizens have friends that they know on a physical plain.

       

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        Gwiz (profile), Apr 29th, 2011 @ 12:34pm

        Re: Re:

        yeah but pirates are internet nerds and dont leave their house, so its not a concern.

        I hope this is sarcasm.

        Only upright law abiding citizens have friends that they know on a physical plain.

        Well, some of my friends ARE physically plain, but I don't hold that against them, they are still friends regardless of how they look.

        All them are on the same plane as me though. (Well, except for my one friend who's a bit out there and we are not really sure which plane or planet or universe he resides in.)

         

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          HM, Apr 29th, 2011 @ 1:00pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          sorry i thought it reeked of sarcasm.

          "All them are on the same plane as me though"

          glad to know your a law abiding citizen

           

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            Gwiz (profile), Apr 29th, 2011 @ 1:29pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            sorry i thought it reeked of sarcasm.

            It did. But, I have seen comments like that for real and it's hard to tell sometimes. :)

            glad to know your a law abiding citizen

            I try to at least be a moral citizen and law abiding usually coincides with that (usually, but not always).

             

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        DH's Love Child (profile), May 2nd, 2011 @ 12:16pm

        Re: Re:

        Only upright law abiding citizens have friends that they know on a physical plain

        You me where the rain in Spain stays?

         

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      AndyD273 (profile), Apr 29th, 2011 @ 12:54pm

      Re:

      "a single hard drive can store several years of non-stop, non-repetitive music"

      This is only partly true; a hard drive can certianly hold several years worth of music, which could be played nonstop without any tracks repeating, but it would get very repetitive. Most musicians just aren't creative enough to come up with something totally original, that doesn't sound like someone else out there. Just saying.

       

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        JEDIDIAH, Apr 29th, 2011 @ 1:29pm

        Never mind the Music...

        Never mind Music.

        A modern hard drive can easily hold about half a years worth of video.

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Apr 29th, 2011 @ 1:46pm

        Re: Re:

        "Most musicians just aren't creative enough to come up with something totally original"

        All the more reason to abolish copy protection laws. After all, what constitutes a derivative? This text is a derivative of the English language.

         

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    Ben (profile), Apr 29th, 2011 @ 11:48am

    I must've forgotten to purchase my music enjoyment license; maybe I can swap it for my rational thinking license.

     

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    iveseenitall, Apr 29th, 2011 @ 11:49am

    It's like the music labels think that it's there right to have tentacles in anything and everything, forever, that has to do in any way shape or form with product they have already sold.
    How many bites at the apple are enough? When is it over?
    Good grief! Interference maximus!

     

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    Hephaestus (profile), Apr 29th, 2011 @ 11:53am

    "To be honest, I've still been hopeful that they'd eventually come around and figure out how to adapt,..."

    We have all seen them repeat the same mistakes, in the same and slightly different forms, for 20 years now. They have used the same sort of strategies for about 100 years. None of their strategies ever worked in the past, they were just unbelievably lucky in that no disruptive technology occured before. They are a monopoly and a bureaucracy. Bureaucracies do not change, do not adapt, and they can not compete. Any hope you have for them is wasted. Any advice you give will be shouted down. Any suggestions will be ignored.

    This is the really important part. They are a monopoly and a bureaucracy. Yeah I know I repeated myself but it is really important. They need a one size fits all, a cookie cutter, an assembly line sytle approach that can be fit in the mechanism of the bureaucracy. With out it they can not function.

    " ... but these days I'm finally realizing that maybe they really do need to die off."

    So what changed your mind? ACTA, the DEA, ICE domain siezures, HADOPI, the call for the death penality for infringement, the trashing of the 1st 4th 14th amendments, the prior restraint, 84000 sites wrongly being pointed to an ICE kiddie porn warning page, the ICE-disney news conference, the mis-use of DMCA take downs, or was it something else?

     

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    charliebrown (profile), Apr 29th, 2011 @ 11:57am

    "...these days I'm finally realizing that maybe they really do need to die off."

    I agree... except, as a lover of music, both live and recorded, if the record labels die, what would happen to all the recorded music that they own? I don't think any of us would like the majority of music from the last 85 years to suddenly disappear (not that much over 20 years old is widely available unless it was a mega-hit or by a mega-star). It would be nice if everything in the vaults was preserved and released, in lossless as well as lossy formats. But I'm just dreaming.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 29th, 2011 @ 12:06pm

      Re:

      "what would happen to all the recorded music that they own?" depends on who buys it, at least we know it wont be MJ

       

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      Christopher (profile), Apr 30th, 2011 @ 2:24am

      Re:

      They are already doing that. The Library of Congress has been doing that for years now, the recordings are just not yet publicly available because of lifetime copyright.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 29th, 2011 @ 11:58am

    The old moneybags fearing that "the uppity ones" will take away their unearned money. Its as classic as its cliched.

     

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    Jeff, Apr 29th, 2011 @ 12:04pm

    Or

    Or, I could just listen to the song, while it is streaming, record THAT to an audio file, save it as mp3, and TA-DA.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 29th, 2011 @ 12:09pm

      Re: Or

      if you know how to do all that you probably know a place to get music in an easier way already

       

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      Wildo, Apr 29th, 2011 @ 1:51pm

      Re: Or

      there are programs out there that allow you to do just that. often times the mp3 files ends up in your browsers cache, just have to know where to look.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 29th, 2011 @ 12:10pm

    Glad I don't listen to recorded music any more. The industry is becoming a complete clusterf**k.

     

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    chuck, Apr 29th, 2011 @ 12:18pm

    Why even use their cloud?
    I have access to a server, what is to stop me from uploading a ton of my music to it via FTP and sending my friends links?

    What is the status on say a joomla music player (most all PHP sites have some sort of music player available many of them free.) When does the BIG CRACKDOWN come to the simple MMO guild website that provides Raiding music to members via a web site or Teamspeak music channels?

     

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      Cody Jackson (profile), May 1st, 2011 @ 4:19pm

      Re:

      With the number of available streaming software tools available, there is very little need to use a music locker, especially one you have to pay for.

      Heck, even the Opera web browser has built-in streaming capabilities. And I believe there are even iPod-radios on the market that allow streaming.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 29th, 2011 @ 12:22pm

    OMG!?!?!?

    What if people loaned their music players to each other?!?!

    Obviously every MP3 player needs to come with biometric identifier to prevent unauthorised swapping. I'm thinking when you purchase your earbuds, you register them both with the intended media player, and a sample of your DNA. If they detect use on a different player or person, they refuse to work, and send an electric shock to the unauthorised device/wearer.

     

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    Richard (profile), Apr 29th, 2011 @ 12:22pm

    songs without a proof of purchase

    All songs without a proof of purchase would be assumed to be unauthorized and not accepted into the system.

    Right - so I can't use the system for my own songs written and performed by me and for which I hold the copyright, or for cc or public domain songs - really - are they serious?

     

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      PaulT (profile), Apr 29th, 2011 @ 12:41pm

      Re: songs without a proof of purchase

      "are they serious?"

      Yes. Which is why their businesses are failing in front of their eyes...

       

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      Rikuo (profile), Apr 29th, 2011 @ 1:00pm

      Re: songs without a proof of purchase

      Or you could put up your music on iTunes, input your credit card info, then purchase the song (bought by you, with money gong both to and from you).
      Except I heard a while back that this is considered fraud by iTunes, unless I'm wrong. Something to do with a "musician" uploading a track and using thousands of stolen credit card numbers to "buy" the music and iTunes automatically giving him a royalty.
      See! Another way copyright and the DMCA force you to be a criminal just to do something legal!

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 29th, 2011 @ 1:01pm

      Re: songs without a proof of purchase

      All songs without a proof of purchase would be assumed to be unauthorized and not accepted into the system.

      Right - so I can't use the system for my own songs written and performed by me and for which I hold the copyright, or for cc or public domain songs - really - are they serious?


      Of course they're serious! Since they are the ones who ultimately authorize that "proof of purchase" (i.e. just another form of DRM), it puts them right back into their favorite position as gatekeepers.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 29th, 2011 @ 1:06pm

      Re: songs without a proof of purchase

      so I can't use the system for my own songs written and performed by me and for which I hold the copyright, or for cc or public domain songs - really - are they serious?


      Of course they are. This is the *entire point* of their hatred of the internet and technology.

      If you can do it yourself, you don't need them to promote your music. They desperately want to put the internet genie back in the bottle.

       

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    Overcast (profile), Apr 29th, 2011 @ 12:25pm

    Sony believes users will share lockers by visiting each others houses and syncing in each others music.

    Use a USB Drive.

    But really - why on earth would you use the 'locker' when you could use File Sharing and do a copy over the LAN?

    Seriously... how stupid.

    And I too - buy CD's and rip them. I see no point in not having physical media. I've bought a few online, but the prices aren't low enough to warrant an online purchase when I can get piles of CD's used for $1-5$ each.

     

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      Christopher (profile), Apr 30th, 2011 @ 2:33am

      Re:

      I don't even bother buying CD's.... I just download the stuff using TOR and torrents from a private torrent site. Never had a letter from my ISP or anything.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Apr 30th, 2011 @ 5:04am

        Re: Re:

        shhh, you're not supposed to talk about what actually happens in real life on this blog.

         

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          PaulT (profile), May 1st, 2011 @ 7:06am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Awww... did somebody get called out on false accusations again?

          Christopher = admitted pirate. Other people like myself and Mike, that you and your ilk accuse of piracy because they dare to oppose the current status quo = not pirates.

          A shame that these simple concepts are beyond you.

           

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 29th, 2011 @ 12:28pm

    Users could load music from either their laptop or desktop or office computer but not all three.
    --------

    So when your computer craters, it means you have to buy all new music? Ya right, sure gonna do that...not.

    Rather than do that I have another solution that has surfaced here already in this thread. I will take a 4 gig set up and can visit many friends in the space of a couple of weeks and then why do I need to pay for a service as badly flawed as those today that when the retailer closes down it's servers kills the purchased music? I've never figured there was any on line music purchasing service that was worth it. I'm not spending any money on something that can vanish into thin air because the service was unsuccessful.
    ------------
    what would happen to all the recorded music that they own?
    ------------
    Maybe that should have been the question when the format changes came through because each time they changed lots of music and artists were dropped, never to be heard of again. Nothing new on that front at all. If you want something that is no longer being sold there is only one place to get it. You and I both know it because you can't buy it.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 29th, 2011 @ 12:32pm

    Subsonic

    I used Amazon for about 5 seconds before I found Subsonic. Streams to android and IOS and I am only limited by my bandwidth at home and the hdd my music is stored on.

     

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    pissedoffmonkeyboy, Apr 29th, 2011 @ 12:39pm

    F#% THEM!

    the music companies do not deserve a single penny more from any of us. what fucking year do they think we are in? how old are the CEOs of these entities?

    i've been very good the last 5 years in purchasing my music but i've decided that they don't deserve my money and i will be pirating all my music and also having iPod sharing parties where i will build a nice 5TB array of SATA drives and have each of my pals come over with their collection of music and then combine all music libraries into a share that i plan to let everyone that visits me have access to and a copy. FUCK YOU MUSIC INDUSTRY!

     

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    Jon B. (profile), Apr 29th, 2011 @ 12:40pm

    This is why we can't have nice things!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 29th, 2011 @ 12:41pm

    It's not streaming

    Remember, again, that music lockers are all about people taking the music that they already have, placing it on a different hard drive (a remote hard drive) and being able to stream (or possibly download) it.

    Part of the confusion comes from people misusing the term "stream". A true stream exists whether or not anyone is listening to it. One or more people can begin receiving the stream, already in progress. There is no fast forward, rewind, skip, etc. It's just like listening to the radio or watching TV, and the broadcaster pays for the right to stream that content.

    Storage lockers are not streams. The music is not constantly playing for any & all comers. You (and you alone) do in fact DOWNLOAD the file, it just begins playing as soon as the download starts. You can fast forward, rewind, skip, etc. It's just like listening to a CD or watching a DVD, and you have already payed for the right to consume that content.

    So no, you do not need a separate streaming license because you are not streaming the file, you are simply playing it. It shouldn't matter whether the content is stored on your local computer, some other computer on your home network, or some other computer on some other network. It's still just you consuming your content.

     

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      Jon B. (profile), Apr 29th, 2011 @ 1:23pm

      Re: It's not streaming

      You're accurate, but the distinction between "downloading" and "streaming" has always been silly.

      A "stream" is a "download" that's expected to start playing ASAP and is expected to be "deleted" from memory as soon as it's done. But it's the client's job to do the playing and the deleting, not the server. From the server's end, there's really no difference between a stream and a download.

      Ok, there are streaming protocols that make it easier to jump to the middle of a stream, or download continuous broadcasts, but the logical process is the same - the server sends the data that the client requests. It's up to the client to delete.

      The fact that we're now trying to make "legal" distinctions between the two is just silly.

      I know... just random bitching...

       

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        Ed C., Apr 30th, 2011 @ 2:34pm

        Re: Re: It's not streaming

        A stream and a download are both ways of transferring information, but they are two very different things. In a stream, the content has a minimum bandwidth requirement to be received and doesn't require the content to be exactly copied in its entirety; a download requires an exact copy, but doesn't matter how fast or slow it's received.

        The problem I think the music business can't grasp here is the distinction between a unicast and a broadcast. Unlike a broadcast, a unicast is only received by single recipient. They think that streaming is the same as broadcasting, and keep trying to frame it as such. In reality, a stream is only a unicast, because that's just the way the Internet is structured.

        The distinction that counts, in the legal sense, is who owns the copy, and how many users are allowed access to it. The files on Amazon's servers that belong to them are solely their responsibility. Since they're giving access to those files by selling copies, it has to pay license fees for each copy. The files uploaded to Amazon's servers by a user belongs to that user. As long a Amazon doesn't allow unauthorized access to those files, then Amazon absolutely does not have to pay license fees for those file because the user is solely responsible for how they are accessed.

         

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    Hiiragi Kagami (profile), Apr 29th, 2011 @ 12:42pm

    It's the big one! I'm comin' home!

    "...but these days I'm finally realizing that maybe they really do need to die off."
    I never thought I'd live long enough to ever read these words from Mike Masnick.

    Only one more step to go: outright state it. We're here for you, friend. Come on over to the side of Logic, Legality, and Worry our Rights Are Stripped Away Daily. Our arms are open.

    We, too, have tired of the fight that claims no victors other than those with deep pockets and stupid politicians. Admitting failure is nothing to be ashamed of here, as history clearly shows the battle is older than our country is.

    I hope these businesses are lost to time but, unfortunately, history is not on our side as having proof they'll leave us.

    I'm about to cry, so I'll stop here.

     

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    MrWilson, Apr 29th, 2011 @ 12:53pm

    This is yet another scenario in which the RIAA companies pretend they're the only show in town. They want to dictate rules to music locker sites that will affect the entire music locker system, but not all of the music that will be streamed is RIAA music. There are plenty of sources of CC-licensed music that users can stream from music lockers without concern for the legality of sharing that music with friends or running afoul of copyright enforcement.

     

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    Hephaestus (profile), Apr 29th, 2011 @ 1:07pm

    After reading the demands and the worries the record labels have. It seems like each one choose a specific item to hold as a priority. Each one designed to block a specific threat to the record labels.

    Weird that, its like they are working together to squash any competition and force people to re-purchase the same content again and again.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 29th, 2011 @ 1:42pm

    I keep asking - and have yet to get an answer - why can't people just stop feeding these assholes.
    Stop buying music. Starve them into submission.

    People rail and complain about the music industry but they keep shoveling money at them.

    Why?

     

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      PaulT (profile), Apr 29th, 2011 @ 2:00pm

      Re:

      Two main reasons IMHO...

      First of all is that those of us who complain are largely in a minority. Large chunks of the general populace are either unaware of the issues or don't care.

      Secondly, a lot of people are still brainwashed into thinking that whatever they're exposed to through the RIAA channels is somehow the best that's out there. Since they're not exposed to alternatives through radio, TV and other media, they spend the money anyway since they can't get a copy of the latest pop star through other legal channels.

      This further leads to the problems we have getting people to boycott - if you say "stop buying from major labels" to people that's the same as saying "stop listening to music". This is often why there's such a correlation between the most successful acts and the most pirated - many just don't look beyond what's being fed to them.

      The good news is that things are starting to change thanks to the internet. As people get exposed to more on-cartel choices, they start to buy more non-cartel product.

       

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        Ed C., Apr 30th, 2011 @ 2:43pm

        Re: Re:

        Sadly, as long as collection societies are allowed to collect fees for artist that they don't represent, and even withhold payments to those they do represent, then we will never be rid of these fucking leeches.

         

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    Rekrul, Apr 29th, 2011 @ 2:27pm

    This is a perfect example of how the entertainment industry holds back innovation. They expect companies to jump through hoops to place all sorts of artificial limits on something that's naturally unlimited.

    It's like asking everyone to wear a helmet so that they can charge you for the air you breathe.

     

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    Robothustra (profile), Apr 29th, 2011 @ 2:41pm

    Pathetic...

    I have 2 things to add:

    1 - I completely agree that this is reducible to childish complaining... Do mp3 players require additional licensing from record companies before I can sync my music library with it? Nope. So why should music lockers? Someone could take this further and create an mp3 player that has no HDD and streams your entire music collection from a remote server (This could connect via a wifi connection or through services similar to that offered by mobile providers).

    2 - The "digital receipt" argument is pathetic and laughable at best. As with all other similar concepts, this would be easy for hackers to work around... This means that as with all other DRM, the legitimate consumers are being punished for what alleged copyright infringers are doing.

    This is not the free market at work. This is not survival of the fittest. What's happening here is that the big dogs have run out of juice. They can't keep up and they can't innovate so instead of playing by the rules, they're throwing their money around to try to change the rules. It's an incredibly simply and sadly an incredibly effective tactic on their end. They have been doing this forever and without solving the underlying problem (allowing businesses with enough money to essentially change the rules of the game), this will never cease to happen.

    This ties in incredibly well with the post: "US On What Makes A Good Canadian Heritage Minister: Willing To Disappoint Canadians To Please Big Business" (http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20110428/17263314074/us-what-makes-good-canadian-heritage-minister -willing-to-disappoint-canadians-to-please-big-business.shtml), where the ominous quote goes:

    "Canadian Heritage ministers must be strong enough to disappoint that core constituency in order to strike compromises with other departments, primarily Industry Canada."

    This is the prevailing attitude. Most people aren't even blind to it anymore, they just feel that there is little they can do about it. At some point, we need to grow up and let ineffective businesses fail - hard. If you can't provide goods or services that people are willing to spend their hard-earned money on, then you should absolutely be allowed to fail.

     

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    Brad Hubbard, Apr 29th, 2011 @ 3:01pm

    You know who can solve this? Sony!

    Man, I'd love to see Sony (electronics and software) try and implement a service that actually lives up to these rules.

    If you can't do it when you're designing in a vacuum, you shouldn't be allowed to talk about it in public.

     

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    autonomous (profile), Apr 29th, 2011 @ 3:46pm

    Bored to death...

    Aren't these record labels issues as boring as leftovers on Thursday nights?

    1. We've stopped buying or copying music. Because, we're tired.
    2. We enjoy seeing the artists live. We go to concerts and have a great time out.
    3. We relive the experience on Pandora or other favorite music services, like radio stations.
    4. In bulletpoints so that hopefully you get the message. Pop-up books and charts will be supplied later.

    Goodbye record labels. It's been fun, but you need to go. I've got better things to do with my time.

    Sincerely,
    -We the people

     

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    big al, Apr 29th, 2011 @ 4:42pm

    a bit o money

    whisper softly.... google,amazon,ect..have a few dollars floating around and if these low life's keep it up "Someone May Get An Idea" and spend a few bucks and do away with ALL of the BS the record/movie co. are putting out... if you own it you need no licenses for anything.

    then a streaming music/movie service,that works, is a given ...money coming in every month..no fee's,no lawsuits,just money....

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 30th, 2011 @ 4:18am

    Just Say No To DRM

    All these crack-brained schemes by record companies rely on dumb consumers accepting DRM. They can't enforce anything if there is no DRM. There is a very simple answer -- never buy anything with DRM in it. Do not even accept it for free. Just say no. Then all content is just files. Copy it from anywhere to anywhere you please. Keep it for as long as you like. Play on any device at any time. Open public formats are your friend. Proprietary formats are your enemy.

    However, if you want to store files in places controlled by untrusted parties, then those files must be encrypted. Do not forget to encrypt the filenames as well. That is to prevent the untrusted parties from finding out anything when they snoop (which they will). Privacy legislation is your friend. Any company and any arm of any government have to be regarded as untrusted parties. Only you can decide which of your friends can be trusted and which not. Decide carefully, your freedom might depend on it.

    Swap unencrypted files face-to-face. Then you both know you have "got the goods" on the other. However, you still need to choose your friends wisely.

    The true answer is to only consume content from people with no record of consumer-hostile activity, ever. If they do anything consumer-hostile (suing, DRM, etc.), they get dropped. All suppliers have to understand -- any consumer-hostile activity at all is commercial suicide.

    We consumers need to do a better job of making it easy for other consumers to find out, "Is this supplier a good guy or a bad guy?" We need hate lists and love lists. Suppliers have to be desperate to stay on the love lists and terrified of getting on to a hate list.

     

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    Chris Chiesa, May 2nd, 2011 @ 11:24am

    Going to people's houses

    People have been going to others' houses to duplicate their music cassette tapes and record their album-and-45 collections since at least the early 1970s -- why should the music industry ONLY NOW choose to get up in arms over it? I say precedent -- maybe even common law -- is against them.

     

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    Guy, May 3rd, 2011 @ 6:14am

    Fantasy land

    Blah blah blah.

    The old paradigms don't work because everything everywhere is connected all the time, and there is so little difference between digital transmission and analog reproduction that the product becomes fully free to copy infinitely. So the old physical barriers to individuals borrowing 50 albums for their own use (at least they would have to take the time to burn them and buy blank CD's, which in some countries are artist-taxed).

    So what y'all really should be thinking about is that the companies are fleecing the artists, true, but companies are the main mechanism for artists to get paid. All artists want to be paid unless they are already rich, are trying to get exposure for free (which they would normally have to pay for), or are living the bad boy image (which eventually has to pay off or lead to heroin overdose or both). So how do we get the artists paid, and support a reasonable industry for doing that (remember, companies won't even be in the business if there is no way to invest and get ROI on it).

    You are going to have to live with the universal truth that 'value for money' usually exploits someone (chinese workers, etc.), and is usually a scam or a misdirection or marketing from some other way of monetizing. EVERYONE wants their 30% markup on digital data or they are better off in the beer business. 'Don't be evil' is a lie.

    The laws are outmoded, and new ones become outmoded as they are written. Identity information is about enforcement as a threat supporting monetizing, not about monetizing.

    Someone here can get rich if they figure out a secure piece of software that will fingerprint CDs and permit copying them Danny Vermin style....just Once. Or some other real way of getting every step the 30% markup they want and not making anyone pay twice.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 3rd, 2011 @ 7:02am

    WANTED
    Commuter seeks others with identical music purchase history to carpool SJ to SF.
    Willing to purchase streaming/sharing/broadcasting license ok. Deaf ok.

     

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    Billy Wenge-Murphy, May 21st, 2011 @ 11:47pm

    It'll be a very stupid and very damaging precedent if the courts do set it here. What about other personal backup services? If I upload executables, am I a software pirate? What about photos? Do I need to ask every single photographer or artist that may be involved in my saved JPEG files?

    The music industry needs to be dismantled. Its reach is too wide, and it extends it ever further. MP3 files are not special and I'm tired of the whole of society being shaped around them.

     

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