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[News] BillBC on Closing of the Web, Effect on Open Source

How the net turns code into politics

,----[ Quote ]
| The launch of Windows Vista last week was accompanied by widespread
| criticism from advocates of open systems, open networks and the free
| flow of information.
| Particular attention was lavished on the digital rights management
| (DRM) features of the new operating system, the tools that determine
| whether you can play or copy video or audio on your computer.
| Vista's DRM even aroused the wrath of the Green Party, which condemned
| it for requiring "more expensive and energy-hungry hardware".
| It claimed that "there will be thousands of tonnes of dumped monitors,
| video cards and whole computers that are perfectly capable of running
| Vista - except for the fact they lack the paranoid lock dow
| mechanisms Vista forces you to use". 
| [...]
| The internet that we know today is changing, turning from an open,
| enabling and profoundly public space into a communications system
| which can be regulated, controlled, monitored and - where
| necessary - curtailed.
| A regulated internet does not have to be a closed internet,
| but the trend is clearly towards increased control and the loss
| of the freedoms which the net has provided thus far. We must
| understand how this is happening before we can find ways to resist it.


Yesterday, Steve Jobs responded to Norway with an open letter. He wishes to
put an end to DRM on the face of it. Gradually, Hollywood is beginning to
agree (see below), so the days of DRM are probably numbered.


Music industry set to abandon DRM shocka 

,----[ Quote ]
| Surprise, surprise, surprise. After all the lawsuits we've been
| reporting about, all the fiasco's we've been through (Microsoft
| incompatible trio MSN-Plays For Sure-Zune), and now, it seems
| that music industry executives are finally thinking with their
| senses and not with their ill-fated techno-paranoid logic.


Holland Considers Banning DRM, Legalizing Filesharing

,----[ Quote ]
| Last year the Dutch tried to tax all MP3 players, but that proposal
| didn't make it into law. But not to worry, they have other brilliant
| ideas. Earlier this week, Dutch politicians suggested that it might
| be a good idea to tax Internet traffic, and use this money to
| compensate the music industry. This, under the condition that
| DRM is abandoned, and people can't be charged for downloads. Say
| what?


Apple DRM illegal in Norway: Ombudsman

,----[ Quote ]
| Apple's digital rights management lock on its iPod device and iTunes
| software is illegal, the Consumer Ombudsman in Norway has ruled. The
| blow follows the news that Germany and France are joining Norway's
| action against Apple.


Record labels rethink digital rights management at Midem

,----[ Quote ]
| Now that even digital music revenue growth is faltering amid
| rampant file-sharing by consumers, the major record labels are
| closer than ever to releasing music on the Internet with no
| copying restrictions -- a step they once vowed never
| to take.


Independent record labels sign Web distribution deal

,----[ Quote ]
| The downloads will be sold in the MP3 format, meaning they can be
| played on any portable music player including the iPod. Apple's iTunes
| can be used only with an iPod while music from such popular services
| as Napster and Rhapsody cannot be played on the mass-selling device.


VirginMega adopts DRM-free MP3 on its music store

,----[ Quote ]
| VirginMega.fr, by Lagardere, is adding more than 200,000 tracks
| available in the MP3 256k format. So far, the store only offered
| Microsoft's PlayForSure WMA 192k tracks, and only made a few
| tracks available as an experiment in a similar way as Yahoo did.
| However, France is the first country where a full-DRM store adopts
| MP3 on a large scale.


Sony settles with FTC in rootkit case

,----[ Excerpt ]
| Proposed agreement includes barring Sony BMG from installing copy
| protection software on CDs without users' consent.


EMI abandons CD DRM 

,----[ Quote ]
| EMI has announced that it will no longer infect its CDs with DRM. I
| remember just a few years ago when an EMI customer-service rep sent
| an email to an irate customer promising that every CD in Europe would
| have DRM within a decade.


Amazon Soon Opening DRM-free MP3 Store

,----[ Quote ]
| Looks like rumors are afloat that Amazon is planning on a late
| first quarter 2007 launch of a new music download store. In an
| already crowded music download market, Amazon hopes to differentiate
| itself in two major ways...


iTunes sales 'collapsing'

,----[ Quote ]
| The leading DRM digital download service, Apple's iTunes, has
| experienced a collapse in sales revenues this year according to
| analyst company Forrester Research.


Music to be offered in MP3 file format

,----[ Quote ]
| After years of selling online music digitally wrapped with copy
| and playback restrictions designed to hinder piracy, major music
| labels are beginning to make some songs available in the
| unrestricted MP3 file format.


Big labels are f*cked, and DRM is dead - Peter Jenner

,----[ Quote ]
| Few people know the music industry better than Peter Jenner. Pink
| Floyd's first manager, who subsequently managed Syd Barrett's solo
| career, Jenner has also looked after T.Rex, The Clash, Ian Dury,
| Disposable Heroes and Billy Bragg - who he manages today. He's also
| secretary general of the International Music Managers Forum.


Sony 'deceived' on music

,----[ Quote ]
| Sony has been convicted of misleading the French public and told
| to pay damages to a consumer watchdog for selling downloadable
| songs that only run on its own music players.
| France's Union Federale des Consommateurs (UFC) took Sony's
| French and British subsidiaries to court in February 2005 over
| the music download site Sony Connect. The lawsuit also targets
| Apple, maker of the popular iPod, whose case is expected to
| reach the courts later this year.


Who's Killing MP3 and ITunes?

,----[ Quote ]
| 1. The labels don't have a choice
| 2. Apple might be forced into interoperability
| 3. Thomson has endorsed selling watermarked MP3
| 4. Amazon is rumored to start selling MP3s by April
| 5. Sony: "DRMs are going to become less important"
| 6. People love AllofMP3.com
| 7. MP3 has future options


Apple faces suit over iPod-iTunes link

,----[ Quote ]
| As if its options woes weren't trouble enough, Apple Computer Inc.
| said Friday it is facing several federal lawsuits, including one 
| alleging the company created an illegal monopoly by tying iTunes
| music and video sales to its market-leading iPod portable players.


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