The image used is shared with an CC-BY 2.0 license.
The image used is shared with an CC-BY 2.0 license.
'If consumers even know there's a DRM, what it is, and how it works, we've already failed'
Now, what I found amazing on these two is that they really believe that DRM is good and needed. The arguments that were presented in favour of DRM were, basicly, these:
- Actual implementations of DRM suck but future ones can be better
- DRM isn't "copy restriction" technology
- DRM represents Author's Rights
- You might be able to buy a DRM-free version, for an extra cost
- We must have a way to protect authors from piracy
- Even if there are no perfect systems, DRM is getting better
- Bad DRM implementations get rejected by users
- This Internet Era is making piracy to reach really scary levels
OK, take in consideration that these are just some of those arguments, and believe me (or, if you know how to read Portuguese, check for yourself) that all arguements were refuted. For these:
- "Better" means "less annoying". I don't want to be annoyed, at all
- That doesn't mean anything, if DRM is an annoying piece of technology
- DRM does not represents the Author's Rights - laws do. DRM enforces a set of rights and restrictions
- I don't want to pay extra to get what I should in the first place. DRM takes me some freedoms, and then those who put there the DRM try to sell me those freedoms? No, thanks!
- As a consumer, I don't have to do nothing. As a consumer, I just don't want to be restricted from my freedoms. As an author, I don't feel vulnerable to piracy, like most authors. Don't call the intermediaries as "authors".
- Better is not enough. If DRM restricts me, an "almost perfect" DRM restricts me only a tiny bit. So, I'm still being restricted from my rights, just because some companies want DRM. That's no good - my freedom is not for sale.
- Bad DRM implementations flood the marked, and restrict consumers. I don't care what is their lifetime, if it restricts one person, one time, one little bit, it's bad.
- Piracy is getting bigger - so what? It's not a consumer problem, so the consumer must not suffer from it. If some companies in the industry have problems with that, well, they have to deal with it. They just can't do that by messing up with consumer's freedoms.
The big philosophical argument:
- [Pro-DRM:] Às vezes deve pagar o justo pelo pecador - roughly translated to "sometimes those without sins must pay for the sins of others";
- [Anti-DRM:] I don't care about the sins of the others, I don't want to pay with my freedom because of them!
Vote on this poll!
O voto Português quanto à adopção ou não do formato OOXML como standard vai ser decidido no próximo dia 16 de Julho. O conjunto de pessoas que podem actualmente votar a favor ou contra essa norma é composta por oito pessoas, uma delas que preside a comissão. São assim representadas as seguintes instituições:
- Microsoft (presidência);
- Inst. Informatica da Seg. Social;
- Poder Autárquico (Alentejo);
- Inst. Técn. Informação da Justiça.
Mas, o que é que isso interessa? O formato OOXML não deve ser adoptado por várias razões, entre as quais:
- Já existe um standard ISO26300 chamado Open Document Format (ODF): dois standards aumenta o custo, a incerteza e a confusão na indústria, no governo e nos cidadãos;
- Não existe nenhuma implementação provada da especificação OOXML: o Microsoft Office 2007 produz uma versão especial do OOXML, não um formato de ficheiro que cumpra com a especificação do OOXML;
- Existe falta de informação no documento de especificação, como por exemplo como fazer um autoSpaceLikeWord95 ou useWord97LineBreakRules;
- Mais de 10% dos exemplos mencionados no standard proposto não validam como XML;
- Não existe nenhuma garantia de que qualquer pessoa possa escrever software que implemente total ou parcialmente a especificação OOXML sem estar sujeito às patentes detidas pela Microsoft;
- Esta proposta a standard entra em conflito com outros standards ISO, como a ISO 8601 (Representation of dates and times), ISO 639 (Codes for the Representation of Names and Languages) ou ISO/IEC 10118-3 (cryptographic hash);
- Existe um erro no formato de folha de cálculo que impede a insersão de qualquer data anterior ao ano 1900: erros como estes afectam a especificação OOXM tal como software, como o Microsoft Excel 2000, XP, 2003 ou 2007;
- Esta proposta a standard não foi criada através da experiência e conhecimento de todas as partes interessadas (tais como produtores, vendedores, consumidores, utilizadores e reguladores), mas apenas pela Microsoft.
Bem, em Portugal temos duas frentes de acção: a primeira é tentar que hajam mais entidades representadas na comissão, e esse esforço já está a ser feito. A outra, talvez mais importante, é explicar qual é a nossa posição aos vários elementos da dita comissão.
Posso, até ao final do dia 12 do próximo mês, apresentar um documento que irá ser entregue aos elementos da dita comissão, para apreciação. Assim sendo, preparei um pequeno documento e estou a recolher assinaturas para mostrar qual é o sentido de voto dos Portugueses quanto a este assunto.
A tua assinatura é realmente importante.
Esta petição vai efectivamente ser lida e tomada em consideração.
Agir é fundamental! http://www.petitiononline.com/OOXMLPT/
Synthetic Worlds Initiative at Indiana University convened the second Ludium Conference this past weekend in Bloomington, and attendees were charged with hammering out a well-considered platform to guide virtual world policy. The result, unfortunately, is inoquous and says nothing:
A Declaration of Virtual World Policy
made by representatives of law, industry, and academia, assembled in full and free convention as the first Synthetic Worlds Congress.
Whereas virtual worlds are places with untapped potential, providing new and positive experiences and effects, we resolve that:
- A self-governance group of virtual world stakeholders should be formed
- A players’ bill of rights should be drafted
- A universal age verification system should be created to support the individual rights of all users
- Virtual world designers should have freedom of expression
- Virtual worlds should include plain-language End-User License Agreements (EULA) to enable all individuals to understand their rights
- There are different types of virtual worlds with different policy implications
- Access is critical to virtual worlds, so net neutrality must be maintained Game developers shall not be liable for the actions taken by players
- Fair use may apply in virtual worlds that enable amateur creation of original works
Now, lets see... I'll take as an example, my own little Virtual World:
A players’ bill of rights should be drafted. In my VW, players have the right to do whatever they want to, but if they piss me off, they'll suffer the consequences, like, for instance, the wrath of the GODs.
A universal age verification system should be created to support the individual rights of all users. In my VW, any user has the right to go there to do anything they have the right to do (check above), whatever its age. The verification is automatic: if it's logging in, then it has an age, and any age is suitable. Welcome :-)
Virtual world designers should have freedom of expression. Of course, in my VW anywone has freedom of expression. They have other freedoms also, like reacting in any way of their choice to what others express.
Virtual worlds should include plain-language End-User License Agreements (EULA) to enable all individuals to understand their rights. Yup, in my VW users have a plain-language "rules file" (simmilar to an EULA). The latest version, created a couple of years ago, says (free translation to English) "The are no defined rules at the moment".
There are different types of virtual worlds with different policy implications. Erm... Thanks for elucidating me. What's the point?
Access is critical to virtual worlds, so net neutrality must be maintained Game developers shall not be liable for the actions taken by player. Erm... Excuse me? Access is critical to VW's, yes, so VW developers should take that into account when developing their VW's, or else they'll suck. What has that to do with net neutrality or liability? And of course that people should be the ones liable to their own actions, duh...
Fair use may apply in virtual worlds that enable amateur creation of original works. May? May is the same as saying "Can", it's not a "Must" nor a "Should", so this sentence this nothing at all. Virtual Worlds may have between 1000 and 4000 users, for instance. So what?
The government should provide a comprehensive package of funding for educational games research, development, and literacy. Intriguing. I also think that Governments should provide funding for education, including that related to Virtual Worlds. But what does it have to do with anything?
OK, you might be a little confused now on what is this all about. My point here is that even my little VW complies with everything of this - ever complied - and that's not because it is a great of a thing (well, it's a successful VW, if you take into consideration that it has already 9 years, and no signs of dying). What I'm trying to say is that this is just an attempt to create hype about Virtual Worlds, instead of doing reall stuff to really enhance the VW's development...
I guess I'm just tired of allways seeing the same agenda, here, in the Metaverse Roadmap...
Do you know what I really think the VW's world need? Less comercial interests, more genuinity. Start working on that, and Virtual Worlds will see brighter and brighter days soon enough...
A Associação para a Promoção e o Desenvolvimento da Sociedade da Informação (APDSI), vai apresentar publicamente um estudo sobre Gestão de Direitos Digitais (DRM), no próximo dia 28 de Junho de 2007, em Lisboa.
O drm-pt está a organizar uma acção de sensibilização para esse dia. Vê como podes ajudar!
we have an Open Standard for such documents: ODF (OpenDocument Format). If you're into this issue, you may already know that Microsoft has their own new format, Office Open XML (OOXML), and they're trying to make it also an ISO standard.
Why is it bad?
- There is already a standard ISO26300 named Open Document Format (ODF): a dual standard adds costs, uncertainty and confusion to industry, government and citizens;
- There is no provable implementation of the OOXML specification: Microsoft Office 2007 produces a special version of OOXML, not a file format which complies with the OOXML specification;
- There is missing information from the specification document, for example how to do a autoSpaceLikeWord95 or useWord97LineBreakRules;
- More than 10% of the examples mentioned in the proposed standard do not validate as XML;
- There is no guarantee that anybody can write a software that fully or partially implements the OOXML specification without being liable to patent damages or patent license fees by Microsoft;
- This standard proposal conflicts with other ISO standards, such as ISO 8601 (Representation of dates and times), ISO 639 (Codes for the Representation of Names and Languages) or ISO/IEC 10118-3 (cryptographic hash);
- There is a bug in the spreadsheet file format which forbids to enter any date before the year 1900: such bugs affects the OOXML specification as well as software versions such as Microsoft Excel 2000, XP, 2003 or 2007.
- This standard proposal has not been created by bringing together the experience and expertise of all interested parties (such as the producers, sellers, buyers, users and regulators), but by Microsoft alone.
If you agree with me and also think that these are reasons enough for a rejection of OOXML as a standard, please sign this petition!
This WAS a picture I took from a Cisco magazine... The funny thing is that this is their latest issue, and the article is about nothing new... But their iPhone branded stuff. It's fun to see that they're using Apple's iPhone hype (the hype behind the brand iPhone) to try to cativate people to their stuff... ;-)
You don't see the picture there because the service hosting it decided to remove it without warning. BAH.
"Here we have a business that's dying. There won't be any major labels pretty soon."
That's right, I really believe that that's true, and I strongly believe that that's good news. Major Labels in the last decades told us what to listen, now we can choose for ourselves. Isn't that awsome?
>> How many programmers does it take to change a light bulb?
On Wed, 14 Jan 1998, Paul Bleisch wrote:
> What are light bulbs?
On Thu, 15 Jan 1998, Steve Baker replied:
Oh dear. I wish people would RTFM...
lightbulb - Convert electrons to photons
lightbulb [-wattage number]
lightbulb reads a stream of electrons from standard input and
produces photons on standard output.
lightbulb <110_volts_ac >light
The following options apply to lightbulb:
-wattage Sets the rate at which electrons are converted
xmas_tree_lights(1), streetlamp(1), led(2)
lightbulb is known to fail unexpectedly after some unknown
number of applications. Repeated complaints to the authors
of lightbulb have failed to come up with a fix for this
bug. The only known workaround for a crashed lightbulb is
re-installation from a fresh copy of the source media.
I believe M$ Windows is based on lighbulb because they
share the same bug - and the same workaround.
It is important to ensure that the input stream is correctly
formatted or the lightbulb may crash unexpectedly and with
Do not attempt to apply lightbulb's input files to other
UNIX tools (esp. 'finger(1)'), however, lightbulb's output
stream is fairly compatible with most other devices.
Consult a hardware engineer.
Your operating system must support sockets and switches.
Taken from here.
"they make widgets with songs submited by artists, and that widgets contain ads. That means that a blogger, for instance, can have a music player with songs of his choice in its website, and the revenue from the ads in there are splited between the blogger, the artist of the tracks presented there, and Poptopus, of course"
The service is actualy quite good for what they aim to do, even if they still have some technical issues, and some stuff should be added, like ways to change the widget style for a better integration with your blog (see screenshot of the widget).
All in all, I think that, without being a killer service, Poptopus is preety cool for its niche market: if you already see people embeding in their blogs music widgets, I only see advantages for them to use Poptopus instead of any other, specially because they can choose the music they want to air, do their own playlists, and there are few music playback widgets as usable as this one. For those bloggers, this would be the best choice I know of, even if just to use it as it is now - without getting money out of it. But then you use it and can even make money from it... Isn't it just great? For musicians this is preety cool too. You can stream the music you want, in mp3 format with the quality ratio you want (they aren't re-encoded), people will spread the word about your music, and if someone points to a track they'll see an image of the album cover and, if they click, they'll go to the page of your choice (your official website, or an online store... whatever you want!). Once again, here I can only see advantages even forgeting the fact that you'll end getting paid for it!
PS -> If you're pondering on using Poptopus' widget, please consider playing one of Merankorii's tracks (Merankorii being my own musical project) ;-)
BTW, Yahoo!'s market capitalization was $37 billion at close yesterday, meaning a quarter stake in the firm would be around $12.3 billion.
This publicity comes with the release of the beta version of Opera Mini 4. From the example videos of it, it seems that they took lots of ideas from Nokia's Mini Map, from which they heard about for the first time at XTech'06. Advantadge goes to Opera, even if they're late, since Opera Mini runs on (almost) every cellphone, while Mini Map only runs on Nokia's S60 phones...
Blogger in draft is a special version of Blogger where we try out new features before we release them to everyone.
Great to speed up your linux desktop instalation, homepage here.
Microsoft: wanting the world full of garbage since... ever.
Excelent tool if you want to see the aspect of your site in different browsers and operating systems... Here.
Download GNUnet 0.7.2 here. gnunet-gtk is a separate download and can be found here.
GNUnet 0.7.2 is largely compatible with GNUnet 0.7.1. Updating should be unproblematic, requireing only minor changes to the configuration file. Read the UPDATING file for details. GNUnet 0.7.2 peers should be able to communicate with 0.7.1-peers (but not with 0.7.0 peers). The compatibility transport, tcp_old, is no longer supported (you must update your configuration file to remove it). Please note that this is still a beta release; the first actually stable version will be called 1.0.0 and is likely to still be at least a year away.
The main change for 0.7.2 is the addition of support for non-anonymous downloads using direct connections and a distributed hash table (DHT). When you upload a file with anonymity-level zero this new method will be used if the user on the other side also specifies anonymity-level zero for search and download. Non-anonymous operations are also always used concurrently; shaing a file with anonymity-level zero will also make it available for anonymous download. Similarly, a file shared with non-zero anonymity-level will be found during a search with anonymity-level zero. In general, for any file the largest anonymity-level specified by both sender and receiver will be used for the transfer.
Most of the smaller changes made for 0.7.2 have focused on adding automatic testcases and improving stability and correctness. Furthermore, all features that were removed from gnunet-gtk as part of the major changes for the 0.7.0 release have been added back. Developers should note that there were some minor API changes and extensions (for example, to support gnunet-fuse).
Noteworthy improvements since GNUnet 0.7.1:
- Implemented non-anonymous file-sharing (anonymity-level zero) using DHT
- Implemented tracking of history of our interaction with a particular URI (this is used to highlight which files have been successfully downloaded in the past, or which downloads were aborted previously)
- Implemented heuristic for better packing of gnunet-directories
- Added new API to make it easier to start a dozen gnunetd processes when writing testcases
- Added support for namespaces to gnunet-gtk
- Added peer tab showing gnunet-peer-info-like information in gnunet-gtk
- Fixed many bugs in testcases
- Fixed issues with the handling of certain command-line options (-L, -H)
- Fixed various bugs causing problems with peers not connecting properly
- Fixed bug in routing algorithm that reduced its effectiveness
- Fixed (rare) deadlock in gnunet-gtk
Here's a small low-quality video of one of the songs...
The SDF Public Access UNIX System Celebrates 20 Years!
It was on June 16th, 1987 that the SDF-1 received its first caller at 300bps. This little Apple ][e BBS of the late 80s turned into a Public Access UNIX System with the demise of "killer.dallas.tx.us" during the "Operation Sundevil" raids. Since then it has grown to become the oldest and largest continually operating PUBNIX on the planet.
Over the years SDF has been a home to 2+ million people from all over the world and has been supported by donations and membership dues. SDFers pride themselves on the fact that theirs is one of the last bastions of "the real INTERNET", out of the reach and scope of the commercialism and advertising of the DOT COM entities. It is a proponent of SMTP greylisting as opposed to content filtering and offers that as an option to its members.
While access to basic services are free to everyone, lifetime membership can be obtained for a mere onetime donation of $36. And it is the members who decide which programs and features are available. The members communicate via a web free, google inaccessible, text bulletin board ('bboard') as well as an interactive chat ('com') where users battle each other in the integrated netris matches. The interface of these programs harks back to the days when TOPS-20 CMD J-SYS ruled the ARPANET.
SDF has also become home to well known hackers such as Bill Gosper, Tom Ellard (Severed Heads), Geoff Goodfellow, Carolyn Meinel and Ezra Buchla, son of the father of the Synthesizer. From this pool of talent you might expect more than just computing, and you'd be correct. An annual music compilation is published featuring original music ranging from electronic noise to improvised piano sonatinas. Gosper's puzzles which he has cut at his favorite laser shop are frequently given away as membership perks or through fundraising raffles.
There are always classes being taught on SDF as well, where instructors and students enjoy free access to the latest teaching and programming tools. Instructors manage their own classes in such a way as not to be encumbered by their own school's outdated utilities or computer security restrictions, which can hamper the learning process.
And where else would you expect to be able to locally dialup at 1200bps from just about anywhere in the USA and Canada with a Commodore 64 and get a login prompt? SDF! As well as direct login, SDF offers PPP and PPPoE via analogue dialup (1200bps - 56kbps), ISDN and DSL. Members also have access to the SDF VPN (Virtual Private Network) and Dynamic Domain Name Service.
One of the many interesting and esoteric aspects of life on the SDF-1 is GOPHER. All users have access to their own GOPHER space and a number of them continue to find it a useful way to share text and data. And if you don't want to relive that past, SDF's 'motd.org' project offers a collaboration amongst members to share source and security tweaks for the latest wikis, web forums, photo galleries and blogs.
SDF runs NetBSD on a cluster of 12 DEC alphas with 3 BGP'ed T1s linking it to the INTERNET. It is an annual supporter of the NetBSD foundation and the Computer History Museum (CA). One of its original incarnations, an AT&T 3B2/500, is displayed annually at the Vintage Computer Festival.
- Grooveshark - I've talked about it before, but I have to write more extensively about it. There are a number of reasons why I think it will fail, and it is not the best solutions for fans and artists... In this p2p service users share their music as they're used to in other p2p networks, but now it's supposedly legal to do so. Each time a shared file is downloaded the user gets money for it - but if you want to download music you also have to pay. From the transactions, Gooveshark takes a bite and copyright holders also get a share - if they sign a deal with GrooveShark.
- ReverbNation is a music social network, similar to those such as PureVolume, or MySpace Music. The thing is, they'll add "Fair Share" to the network in July. FairShare is basicly a system that makes artists recieve a share of the publicity revenue ReverbNation has when someone is listening to their music. People get music for free, artists get paid. I, for one, can't wait for July.
- Poptopus isn't a music social network, or something that lets bands have pages. Instead, they make widgets with songs submited by artists, and that widgets contain ads. That means that a blogger, for instance, can have a music player with songs of his choice in its website, and the revenue from the ads in there are splited between the blogger, the artist of the tracks presented there, and Poptopus, of course. Once again, yet another source of incoming. Their closed beta is going to start soon.
- We7, also yet to be launched, also lets users download music for free and pays artists, with ads revenue. The downside here is that the ads are audio ads inserted at the beginning of the music file, which kind of cuts off the music experience. It would be great if ReverbNation and Poptopus weren't in the field, this way... Nah.
- Playble is yet another to be released service that will "allow users to download music by artists for free and still support them financially. Playble.com will give companies with strong brands the opportunity to support music and artists directly". Unfortunately there are no more details about it yet...
- Finaly, yesterday the blogosphere started talking about RCRD LBL, a netlabel that will release its artists' music as free DRM-free mp3's and yet pay them with ads revenue. Not as good as ReverbNation's offering in the aspect that any artist can sign in into ReverbNation, but not into RCRD LBL. Yet, for an artist signed on this one, the revenue must be way bigger...
Do you feel there's something missing here? Please leave a comment and tell me. I can't but predict that we'll have interesting times in the music industry during the next months...
I've already signed the petition, and you?
Paulo Silva has an excelent introduction to the "W3C Mobile Web Best Practices". Since I find this an extremely important issue, and mostly disregarded, I took the liberty of translating his article from Portuguese to English. All kudos should go to him for the article, my job here is merely that of translation.
Those that nowadays produce web content must have in mind that lots of the accesses are made from mobile terminals, like cellphones, PDAs and such other devices, where limitations are big.
To reflect that, W3C has being compiling the “Mobile Web Best Practices” that gather a set of techniques to make the mobile devices experience more joyful.
MWBP Working Group's work can be followed at http://www.w3.org/blog/BPWG/ and the first documents are already available:
- Mobile Web Best Practices 1.0 - Basic Guidelines document
- “specifies best practices for Web content when accessed from mobile devices“
- MobileOK Basic Tests 1.0
- “defines machine tests based on the Best Practices to help identify Web content developed with mobile devices in mind; these tests fits in the larger mobileOK marks scheme“
At the moment there's a beta “validator” that, for curiosity, I used to test http://m.gmail.com with the following results. It's important to note that, besides being beta, this “validator” implements only 34 of the 60 directives.
I take the opportunity to leave you a link to a set of articles from Roger Johansson about developing content for mobile devices.
After some small vacations one month ago, now it's time for my second of four vacation waves for 2007. This vacations are also going to be spent in Coimbra. Time to get some rest, both mental and physical. I also expect to find some time to give a bump to several personal projects of mine, but the key things this time are going to be mostly to get some rest, free my mind from those things that are lately haunting it and spend quality time with Paula. The vacations will last until the 17th, so don't expect much online activity from me (including mail feedback) these days.
Three months ago I went to Moita to talk about DRM. The video is finaly online:
Please go easy on me: I was damn sick, so it didn't went as nice as I wanted to...
I found the text awsome, but, then, I'm a fan of dystopias, and also quite interested in the copyright freedom movement... But even for those who aren't, you should try and read it - a great literary piece, above all. Here's a translation to Portuguese.
Microsoft has announced a new deal with Linux outfit Xandros that is similar to the Microsoft-Novell tie-up of last year coming complete with Intellectual property assurance.So, who will be the next ones to sell their souls?
Went to Coimbra friday night, ate something on the way and ended the night talking with Paula, turning the hands dirty with the newspaper, talking about music and hearing Dwelling (that will make a showcase in Coimbra preety soon) and Tenhi (finally I have Kauan's edition with two bonus tracks).
While Oriente's CD fair isn't nice at all, my saturday was marked with a visit to the Quebra Costas market in Coimbra, looking to used books and a big load of used records...
A nice end of afternoon was passed in Tuttimedia's offices having a nice chat, and then getting ready for a travel to Porto, to attend to "Enough Dark Ambient" concert, where Falésia was going to be given. And so I went, it was a great event and in a great venue. Arriving after 5am, I was damn tired, and still am - I guess I'm getting old...
I took a lot of ideas for Merankorii from that concert, tho, so, Sunday, while heading to and on the train to Lisbon I started to make some ideas to start taking form. Also, I used that time to read some stuff on text-based virtual worlds, and also took some ideas from it.
Paula borrowed me the first season DVD of "My Family", and I wanted to see a couple of episodes of it on the train, but - guess what - while the DVD states that "This disc has been produced to meet or exceed all relevant DVD specifications", they keep going saying that "Should you experience playback problems, please contact your hardware manufacturer", which I won't. I plugged the DVD into my drive, and didn't manage to watch it because the DVD is corrupted (while they say they follow DVD specs, which they don't) and the justification is also written on the DVD box: a symbol saying "Copy Protected Macrovision", which is the same to say that this DVD has some sort of DRM that is keeping me from viewing it. Way to go, assholes, you just lost one potencial customer.
I just uploaded the gig's pictures, so, if you're interested, see part I and part II.
- Warner will make final offer to buy EMI in one week;
- Expectnation - an awsome web service to organize events/conferences;
- After my rant on the horrible article from the US Ambassador in Portugal, I understand. There's this draft of an agreement between Korea and USA that basicly ends with freedom in the name of Intelectual Property;
- In Germany you can't use any "hacker" tool. I wonder if they have a clue on the legit uses that tools like nmap can have...
- letsproveVO is yet another BaseCamp alternative;
- Plazes has a new version!
- Reboot started. Damn, I wish I was there...
- Tomorrow I'll attend to this concert. Three bands, one DJ, the offer of a 3CD compilation with one Merankorii track in it... all for 4€!
'If consumers even know there's a DRM, what it is, and how it works, we've already failed'Peter Lee, an executive at Disney
I've talked about memes on this blog before. One of them was about the use of memes on Planet Debian (an usual thing there), and how Planets can help the Open Source world. Another time it was a meme with my top ten unix shell commands. But those were not the only ones... Anyway, some memes are just that "units of information", while others are themed (like the top ten commands one), some are presented (I just write the meme and who wants follows the trend) while others are requested (you're asked to follow a meme chain, and when you do it you nominate others to do the same).
Paula just told me to follow a meme (post in Portuguese), and I decided to reply with that quote of a Disney executive simply claiming that DRM er... sucks. I chose this theme since it is about something I blog a lot about, and I chose this quote since it is not only from a DRM adopter but also telling that DRM is bad. A quote both shocking and amusing, unfortunately not as widespread as it should be. On the choice of people to reply to this post, I'll only choose people that blog in English (so readers of this blog can go fetch the replies) and that the chance of replying is big (I hope).
So, the call goes out to André Ribeirinho, Hugo Silva and Nuno Mariz. The choice was made in a simple way: I fetched three bloggers from this Planet that blog in English and that, while I don't know them IRL, their blogs make me curious about them.
AllofMP3.com is a small Russian company which has become the international poster child for attacks on independent music download sites.
By itself, it probably doesn't represent much of a genuine threat to the labels or studios. But if it's allowed to survive and prosper, its existence would certainly encourage other entrepreneurs to adopt the same marketing approach - DRM-free downloads at reasonable prices - which would result in serious competition for the corporate cartels which, until the Net became universally adopted, had been able to control virtually everything ordinary people saw or heard.
Competition is good: it promotes free choice. But neither 'choice' nor 'competition' are words found in cartel lexicons. So a massive, and ongoing, multi-million-dollar campaign has been mounted against AllofMP3.com by the cartels, with the record labels to the fore.
Leading it on behalf of the labels and other vested interests is the US administration, which has brought its full weight down on a handful of people in another country who dare to compete with Warner Music, EMI, Vivendi Universal and Sony BMG, with the major movie studios and software houses lurking darkly in the background.
In rich irony, only Warner Music can be said to be truly American. And even it's run by Canadian. The other three members of the Big 4 music cartel are EMI, Vivendi Universal and Sony BMG, based in Britain, France, Japan and Germany, respectively.
In other words, the US government is generously spending money provided by American tax payers to help four foreign companies maintain an iron grip on a market whose openness would benefit American artists as much, if not more, than artist in other countries.
Nor does it appear anyone in either the United States Trade Representative Office, which is behind much of the US-mounted pressure on AllofMP3.com, nor music industry 'trade' organizations, such as the IFPI (International Federation of Phonographic Industry), have made any effort to talk directly with AllofMP3.com executives to find a way to reach an accord.
But if you want to see how high they go, take a look at this: according to Reuters, US Trade Representative Susan Schwab said:
"I have a hard time imagining Russia becoming a member of the WTO and having a Web site like that [AllofMP3.com] up and running that is so clearly a violation of everyone's intellectual property rights"
Of course that what is legal and what is not all depends on the standing legislation, and AllOfMP3 are under Russian laws.
While DCC's Russell McOrmond (DCC is Digital Copyright Canada, Canada's RIAA) says that
While AllOfMP3.com may be perfectly legal for Russian customers, it is not legal for them to sell to foreign customers. Copyright and licensing need to be analysed domestically, and you can't say that what is legal in Russia allows you to do something in Canada or the USA
Any lawyer will tell you that that's not true: AllOfMP3 is legal on Russia, and their license lets them sell worldwide (according to their exportation laws). The only way you can make illegal for Canadian or American people to buy stuff from AllOfMP3 is for those countries to actively forbid those transactions. In that case, their citizens are forbidden to buy from AllOfMP3, but still AllOfMP3 have the right to sell their music to Americans or Canadians.
Anyway, nothing of that really matters, since Russia will change their laws today, to ilegalize AllOfMP3.
I thought of changing this blog's layout to a black theme for a day, or talking about sweet, nice and cool alternative online stores, like Amie Street. But that wouldn't really be an article that would piss RIAA off, if they were to read this, right?
So, I've searched and came out with a better music service to talk about: MP3 City. First of all, MP3 City sells mp3 files, no .wmv's and such. The files are all DRM-free, and untagged. Like in AllOfMP3, here you can find lot's of kinds of music, from underground stuff until major label's artists. Damn, you can already buy there Marilyn Manson's "Eat Me, Drink Me", an album that is only to be released in four days, or Paul McCartney's "Memory Almost Full", also to be released next week. And you know what? $1.76 is the price for Marilyn Manson's album, $2.08 for Paul McCartney's. No, I'm not talking about one track, I talking about the whole album, in DRM-free MP3 files encoded at 320kbps.
As cool as AllOfMP3, right? Cooler in fact, since MP3 City is also legal with Author's distribution rights granted by State Enterprise "Ukrainian Agency on Copyright and Related Rights" (UACRR), and, as far as I know, Ukrain isn't (still) being pressed to change their laws.
Eat this, suckers!