Collapse of Music DRM Continues; DRM Customers Still Screwed

from the we're-shocked dept

Support for DRM in the recording industry is in freefall. On Tuesday, Napster released a new version of its music store offering 6 million DRM-free tracks. Napster is a relative latecomer to this party, joining Apple, Amazon, and Wal-Mart, all of whom have had at least some DRM-free, major-label music available for about a year. One difference, though, is that Napster is coming out of the chute with support from all four major labels and thousands of smaller labels as well. At this point, any music store that doesn't offer DRM-free tracks is going to look like a real laggard. This story wasn't too surprising given the way things have been going over the last year. But even less surprising is the fact that customers who were foolish enough to purchase DRMed content from previous versions of Napster are stuck with their decision. They don't get to update their content to MP3 format, and while Napster has decided to continue running its "license servers" for now, it's only a matter of time before Napster decides running those servers is more trouble than it's worth and shuts them off, cutting customers off from their music libraries entirely.



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  •  
    identicon
    Cory, May 20th, 2008 @ 5:48pm

    music stores

    The Apple store and Rhapsody is so much easier to use than most music stores/sites due to its easy to use interface and friendly appeal, while people who are still using the old and stale Napster should move on and start on a fresh track in life.

     

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    kiba, May 20th, 2008 @ 6:17pm

    So the record companies changes their stance on DRM but will it be enough to save them?

     

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    identicon
    Lionel Mandrake, May 20th, 2008 @ 6:23pm

    The end of DRM?

    I guess we all shoulda known. But the line "Do you wanna get a 2nd mortgage on your house and give Steve Jobs 10 Grand of your money for 10K songs -OR- do you wanna pay 10 bucks a month for all the music you can eat?" was truly compelling to only a few people.

    Clearly the winning 10K songs solution has been give to Steve 100 bucks and then steal 9.9 grand worth of songs.

    The head of Janus had TWO faces. That should have been a clue.

    LM

     

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, May 21st, 2008 @ 7:20am

      Re: The end of DRM?

      I... don't understand what you just said. How'd Janus get into this discussion? Isn't he all about Time, not music?

      And $9900 in music? I'm fairly certain there aren't that many songs I like, total.

       

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    identicon
    Nate, May 20th, 2008 @ 6:23pm

    Sometimes, I am glad I never got on the Napster 2 bandwagon. Actually, I am still the guy that goes and buys the CD and rips the music at whatever bitrate/format I want. It may seem almost archaic these days, but guess what... I control my music that I paid for. http://www.custompcmax.com

     

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, May 21st, 2008 @ 7:21am

      Re:

      I stopped buying CDs because I don't want 80% of what was on them. I'm still unwilling to pay $18 for two songs.

       

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  •  
    identicon
    Scott, May 20th, 2008 @ 6:41pm

    Customer Service

    With the changes regarding DRM don't you think that these companies would offer a way for the customer to switch from DRM to non-DRM? It seems like a no-brainer for keeping customers happy with a purchase.

     

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      identicon
      Faceless Minion, May 20th, 2008 @ 6:54pm

      Re: Customer Service

      Since when do any of the record companies, or ANY of the companies pushing DRM, have brains?

       

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, May 21st, 2008 @ 7:23am

      Re: Customer Service

      No. It's a no-brainer that if people are unhappy with a past product, then they'll buy the new, better one. Giving them a way to up-convert their old purchace is a loss of a sale. And as they've been telling us for a decade, that's stealing.

       

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    DarrenTomlyn (profile), May 20th, 2008 @ 8:54pm

    Capitalism

    What we are seeing here, is that a capitalist society generally gets what they deserve... (And unfortunately we're not that much better over here in the UK, (though we are in some respects)).

    In short - if you're prepared to buy crap, thats what you'll be sold...

     

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    •  
      identicon
      Matt, May 20th, 2008 @ 9:40pm

      Re: Capitalism

      Hey... The UK is a capitalist nation too. You have a stock market and your government does not own your businesses.

       

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      •  
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        DarrenTomlyn (profile), May 20th, 2008 @ 10:45pm

        Re: Re: Capitalism

        Yep - Britian is a capitalist country - it's just our consumer protection laws are a little better than the US (ASAICT), aswell as mroe people who won't put up with crap - (well, usually). (There's quite a few things which are allowed/done in the US which you wouldn't get away with/work over here, as far as consumer-based goods and services are concerned - (though not all of them are because of the law - our national consumer association has TEETH)). (Though, yes, since music/film etc. are luxury goods, they don't really count).

         

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 20th, 2008 @ 9:15pm

    old DRM'd files

    There is some good news for the people with DRM'd files. There are plenty of decent programs out there for removing most types of DRM from the files.

     

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, May 21st, 2008 @ 12:30pm

      Re: old DRM'd files

      There is some good news for the people with DRM'd files. There are plenty of decent programs out there for removing most types of DRM from the files.
      And the other good news is that for those with limited funds there are plenty of banks out there that they can go rob. But if we're talking about LEGAL solutions, people with DRM'd music are still screwed.

       

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        Nasch, May 22nd, 2008 @ 3:22pm

        Re: Re: old DRM'd files

        Please do not equate violating the DMCA with robbing a bank. I'm tired enough of hearing it from the RIAA, I don't need to hear it from humans too.

         

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    identicon
    Overcast, May 20th, 2008 @ 9:21pm

    MY car Stereo uses a flash drive... but doesn't support DRM. It's obvious DRM is nothing but a kick in the knees to paying customers.

    It would be easier to just get content via Torrent.

     

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    Killer_Tofu (profile), May 21st, 2008 @ 5:34am

    Re to a couple

    Re: Main Article
    " .. it's only a matter of time before Napster decides running those servers is more trouble than it's worth and shuts them off, cutting customers off from their music libraries entirely."
    And that is where the media converting programs come in. Either that or downloading the songs off of torrent. After all, it is not illegal to own a backup of your legally purchased music.

    Re Overcast #9
    "It would be easier to just get content via Torrent."
    Oh, it is my friend, it is.

     

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, May 21st, 2008 @ 12:38pm

      Re: Re to a couple

      After all, it is not illegal to own a backup of your legally purchased music.
      But removing the DRM from it is.

       

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  •  
    identicon
    Michael Armstrong, May 21st, 2008 @ 6:52am

    Napster DRM

    Who's to say that Napster, at such time that they decide to turn off the DRM servers, won't offer some kind of deal to their former DRM customers? Just because they don't TODAY doesn't mean that won't TOMORROW.

    I'd still hate to have a large investment in DRM tracks though.

     

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, May 21st, 2008 @ 7:25am

      Re: Napster DRM

      You have way too much faith in these guys.

       

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, May 21st, 2008 @ 12:40pm

      Re: Napster DRM

      Who's to say that Napster, at such time that they decide to turn off the DRM servers, won't offer some kind of deal to their former DRM customers?
      Yeah, here's the deal: You can repurchase your music.

       

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