Tag Archives: DRM

Broadband Tax?

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The RIAA has recently settled a number of actions related to DRM issues.  However, don’t expect them to stop.  This blog has pointed out (and rightly so) that we should expect the RIAA to start to lobby the US government to impose a blanket broadband tax to penalize everyone for pirates.

A similar thing was tried by the Canadian version of the RIAA.  Here’s a Slashdot story (there are some great discussions there and are worth reading). Given that it was as late as Dec 2008, it’s obvious that SOCAN and ACTRA are still trying to make this work.  By the way, the core info source for all of this is Michael Geist .

I’m opposed to this kind of measure.  Once you agree to a tax on broadband use for the music industry, you immediate suffocate the use of the web.  More importantly, you provide precedent for every other whiner to say, ‘hey, I’m losing money to because of that damn interweb thingy.  Where do I line up for my hand out?’  Video game producers.  TV shows.  Music companies.  Journalists.  Newspaper publishers.  Thousands of other organizations will be knocking on the doors of government expecting a handout.

Let’s talk about the real issue for a moment.  All of the major publishers of content are suffering because people aren’t paying attention to them any more.  Whether you’re a big label selling new pop ‘idols’ or a newspaper or TV network that’s censoring important news, you’re suffering because you can’t shape opinion as easily as you used to.  This sucks for these folks because they’re no longer able to manipulate the public the way they want to.

So they lobby to have the Internet ‘shaped’.

The emergence of digital media as competition to analog thinking is a massive issue and will have an impact on how all of us use the Internet.  Copyright rules and content control are superficial arguments for keeping the cash-flow strong with Canada’s mainstream media.  We already see it with restrictions on access to sites like Hulu in order to appease the CTVs and Global’s of the world and we’ll see much, much more in the future.

One day, the RIAA, SOCAN and other publishers will realize that the gig is up and that they should try to find a different way to play with the public.

Until they do, I maintain that it’s really important that we all find ways to boycott traditional media outlets (and spread the word).

Last dig:  if we’re going to have a tax on anything, let’s start with a decent carbon tax, OK?

Link with Net Neutrality? Mukasey Says Piracy is Funding Terror

All you downloaders and file sharers: are you terrorists?

You might be, if you listen to US Attorney General Michael Mukasey, who recently stated that terrorists are generating huge profits from online piracy and counterfitting.

Full Article Here.

I like this quote from SFGate:

Before Friday’s speech, Mukasey met privately with representatives from companies including Apple Inc. and Adobe Systems Inc.

A day earlier, the attorney general also met with entertainment industry executives in Los Angeles during his three-day California trip.

I find it interesting that someone like Mukasey, with influence from the entertainment industry, is defining who’s a terrorist.

Is this yet another link that will be made in the case against folks that want to share information online, even it it’s free or part of a creative commons? Will this kind of rhetoric be used as the foundation to dump teens and grannies alike in jail because they’ve downloaded a copy of (insert new, favourite band here) latest tunes?

Reality Sandwich: Transcending Possessiveness in Love and Music

Another Reality Sandwich article.

In the article, the author explores the relationship between ‘free love’ and ‘free music’ and introduces us to this business model:

When I imagine the future of artist-label relationship, the first company that comes to mind is Magnatune, out of Berkeley, California. Flying the motto, “We are not evil,” Magnatune signs nonexclusive distribution agreements with its artists – and allows customers to pay what they think the music is worth, rather than arbitrarily assigning a market price. The result is that they have two charts: the best-selling music, and the music that has sold for the most money. For people who trust the voice of the crowd, the most valuable music is sifted into visibility – motivating artists to craft something evocative and enduring. What’s more, Magnatune offers three free copies of each download to all of its buyers:

“While other record labels are busy suing their customers for introducing their friends to great music… At Magnatune, we want you to copy our music for your friends.”

At the very root, possessiveness is what is undoing most of the traditional leaders in the community, and we’re once again seeing how the music industry is the classic ‘canary in a coalmine’ as it relates to how the industry has died and how it can be built up again.

Demand Net Neutrality

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The Internet business is just starting to get its foothold and it’s important that the entire business be treated equally to ensure that the best in product, innovation and services materalize for consumers and small/large businesses.

Net Neutrality is a critical backbone to the growth of this industry in Canada.


If you are aware of ISPs and connection services that provide ‘throttle-free’ services, please let me know as I’m compiling a list for users of this and other blogs as well as other media sources.

If you have different views on this issue, please post them here. This is a topic that I’m keen on developing a better understanding of, as well as specific recommendations for companies like Bell and Rogers that will satisfy some of their business needs while ensuring equal access for all sites.

RIAA to cut Artist Royalties

This comes from the ‘let them eat cake’ department:


Though the actual artists who make the music are presently entitled to just 13% of wholesale, the RIAA thinks they should receive only 9%.

Let’s not forget that ‘wholesale’ still means about $0.08 per song or CD.

As one user put it with the comments, “9% of a medium that costs bugger all to distribute?”

I wouldn’t be surprised if these folks started off with the argument that this is good because they will have more money to lobby governments to implement ISP-fee schemes, which will have two deliterious effects:

  1. Users will be paying for all content, regardless of whether they use it or not;
  2. This kind of monitoring will be a serious breach of privacy for online users.
Category: DRM issues, media, Music Industry | Tags: ,