Science Addiction

A dormant blog by Devanshu Mehta

Tag: drm

The New DRM’ed Macbook, Now with Reduced Functionality

The new MacBook from Apple comes with the new digital video output connector. Great news, you say. What Apple has avoided mentioning is that these connectors allow movie studios to force the computer to authenticate any monitor or display you have connected. That is to say that if the movie studios haven’t approved your monitor, it won’t display HD content from iTunes.

Says Fred von Lohmann:

This is a remarkably short-sighted move for both Apple and Hollywood. This punishes existing iTunes customers: several have reported that iTunes purchases that played on external monitors on their old Macbooks no longer will play on their new Macbooks. In other words, thanks to the Macbook “upgrade,” Apple just “downgraded” everyone’s previous investment in iTunes content.

I’ve written about this many times before- but any DRM’ed content– like iTunes movies– is at the mercy of the vendor, a board room somewhere in California, back room deals or the crashing financial market. Basically, forces outside your control can snatch your investment from you at any time. And this is not some dystopian future- it has happened to many people already. Walmart, MSN Music, Yahoo! Music and Google Video have all decided to stop supporting the content of paying customers, rendering their videos and music in to junk bits.

Don’t Turn the DRM Lights Out

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before:

  • Major corporation launches music service with big PR blitz.
  • Music is sold with DRM that prevents the songs to be listened to in devices and software of the customers choice.
  • Customers buy said music- clearly the major corporation would never pull the plug on the service and so their music would live on for ever.
  • Major corporation pulls the plug on their music service.
  • The customers music turns to toxic digital pulp.

First it was MSN. Then Yahoo. And now WalMart. WalMart closed down its DRM-laden music service and told its customers that their DRM servers would be switched off, making the music they purchased unusable in the long run.

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before but there were an outcry and WalMart has now said the DRM servers will stay powered. Just as MSN and Yahoo did in the past.

Video and eBook DRM- you’re up next!

Radiohead Releases “In Rainbows” for Remixing

The band Radiohead is at it again. In a novel move earlier this year, they put their album In Rainbows on their site for download on a “pay what you want” basis.

They’re not done shaking up the way music is delivered to the people. From TUAW, we have this:

This week, they’ve done the same thing with the song “Reckoner” [iTunes link]. The six-track, DRM-free album costs $0.99US. Tracks cannot be purchased individually.

If you purchase the stems within the first two weeks of availability, you’ll receive an access code to a full GarageBand version of the song. When you’re done, you can upload your masterpiece here.

This is a fantastic idea to keep the fans involved and to keep the marketing buzz going. They already did something similar in the past with their song Nude, as did the band Nine Inch Nails earlier this year.