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DRM is Dead, Long Live DRM–Or So You Thought July 21, 2009

Posted by David W. King in Uncategorized.
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So you thought DRM was dead. According to a report written by Mehan Jayasuriya, a policy analyst for Public Knowledge (PK) as well as a Washington D.C.-based technology and music journalist and a regular columnist for PopMatters and DCist, this is not the case.

The “big four” major labels have not completely abandoned DRM protection schemes for CDs. Athough online music juggernaut iTunes now offers all of its music DRM-free, you might think that the era of restricted music files and rootkit fiascoes is now behind us. But you would be wrong.

Many labels–both major and independent–continue to utilize various forms of DRM and watermarking when distributing music in specific contexts and for certain purposes.

This is causing real head aches for music journalists and broadcasters everywhere.

For more on this matter;
http://www.publicknowledge.org/node/2556

You can visit his personal website at

Rumors Regarding the Death of the CD Premature July 21, 2009

Posted by David W. King in Uncategorized.
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According to the findings of a recently released report:

Most UK music fans are still happier buying a CD than downloading, according to The Leading Question, the specialist media and technology research agency, in conjunction with Music Ally.

Despite the growth of digital download sales, the research showed:

• 73% of music fans are still happy buying CDs rather than downloading
• 66% of 14-18 year olds prefer CDs
• 59% of all music fans still listen to CDs every day
• CD burning is top of all sharing activities (23%), above bluetoothing (18%), filesharing single tracks (17%) and filesharing albums (13%)

When it comes to music albums, fans still value a physical CD much more than digital downloads. For less tech savvy music fans their first experience of digital music often starts when they put a CD in their computer.

“Music fans have spoken and digital is evidently not the clear cut replacement to the physical CD.”

The Leading Question research shows that even the most digitally advanced music fans continue to buy CDs, with little evidence to show that digital music consumption is simply replacing physical consumption.

It’s particularly encouraging that those who are listening to streamed music on their computers are actually buying more music on both CDs and downloads than the average music fan.

Although these findings were based on the polling of 1000 individuals in the UK, it’s certain the same applies here in the states. Heve you got research findings that would reflect the same or different? Let’s hear from you.

Is Trent Reznor Stealing Ideas from Online Marketers? July 21, 2009

Posted by David W. King in Uncategorized.
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Are the ideas spouted by Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor really all that revolutionary? Or is he borrowing a page from the eBooks written by the gurus of online marketing?

Reznor has published a list of essential guidelines on how to be successful online. His advice focuses on the needs of aspiring newcomers. Here are five of his essential guidelines to establish yourself online:

“Forget thinking you are going to make any real money from record sales.“ Instead, he suggests, collect email addresses in exchange for free downloads and using these contacts to both advertise upcoming releases as well as merchandise sales.

“[G]et your music everywhere.“ Rather than limit your online presence to Myspace, create profiles on all of the social networking sites, then work to build alliances on these sites.

Well this is going to sound redundant, but he suggests “Have your MySpace page, but get a site outside MySpace.” Constantly update your site with content – pictures, blogs, whatever. Give people a reason to return to your site all the time.“ And forget those god awful embedded Flash video players. Optimize your download time by reducing the size of your photos, videos, etc. If a visitor has to wait one second longer than their patience allows, you have lost a visitor.

“Make cheap videos.“ If a picture is worth a thousand words, how much is a rapid succession of images supported by your music worth. Why, it’s priceless! Yeah, this is the reason why I am so big on video.

There is nothing here that even reads as being in-genius. If Trent Reznor, Amanda Palmer and others had not had the big corporate push that they enjoyed, would they have the fans they have worldwide?

If you want to learn more about marketing. READ the works of some of the best marketing minds in the world, then apply what you have read. After all, whether marketing music or software, videos or ebooks, or any of the other million plus items that are marketed online, marketing is marketing.. Why try to re-invent the wheel?

Here is a good source of available material on online marketing, much of it free:
http://www.surefirewealth.com

Remember, many of these authors realize the importance of establishing trusting relationships with their customers. For this reason, they work diligently to avoid tarnishing their reputations. They employ only what is termed “white hat” techniques, meaning they wish to be seen as good guys and not the snake oil salesmen of years gone by.

ASCAP Sues For Ringtone Use July 21, 2009

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File this under “some wrongheaded corporate shit:”

It seems that the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP) has sued for ringtone use insisting that each time a phone rings in a public place, the phone user has violated copyright law. Therefore, ASCAP argues, phone carriers must pay additional royalties or face legal liability for contributing to what they claim is cell phone users’ copyright infringement.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) urged a federal court to reject this bogus copyright claim in as this could raise costs for consumers and jeopardize consumer rights. Worse, these wrongheaded legal claims cast a pall over innovators who are building gadgets that help consumers get the most from their copyright privileges.

“This is an outlandish argument from ASCAP,” said EFF Senior Intellectual Property Attorney Fred von Lohmann. “Are the millions of people who have bought ringtones breaking the law if they forget to silence their phones in a restaurant? Under this reasoning from ASCAP, it would be a copyright violation for you to play your car radio with the window down!

“Because it is legal for consumers to play music in public, it’s also legal for my mobile phone carrier to sell me a ringtone and a phone to do it,” said von Lohmann. “Otherwise it would be illegal to sell all kinds of technologies that help us enjoy our fair use, first sale, and other copyright privileges.”

ASCAP responded by saying that it does not plan to charge mobile phone users, just mobile phone service providers. If ASCAP prevails, consumers could find themselves targeted by other copyright owners for “public performances.”

EFF points out that copyright law does not reach public performances “without any purpose of direct or indirect commercial advantage” — clearly the case with cell phone ringtones. If phone users are not infringing copyright law, then mobile phone service providers are not contributing to any infringement.