Archive for January, 2010

On DRM…

DRM stands for Digital Rights Management. It is a generic term used for access control technologies utilized by hardware manufacturers, publishers and copyright holders that impose limitations on the usage of digital content and devices. The abbreviation DRM is often expressed as “Digital Restriction Management” because of the way it stymies the usage of digital content and devices.

For example, Itunes DRM:

  • Restricts back-up copies: Song can only be copied to 5 computers
  • Restricts converting to other formats: Songs only sold in AAC with Apple DRM
  • Limits portable player compatibility: iPod and other Apple devices only
  • No remixing: Cannot edit, excerpt, or otherwise sample songs

With DRM: Consumers are goaded into subscribing to specific, singular music providers because DRM prevents cross-platform filesharing. For example, consumers cannot upload Itunes (Apple) music files onto their Creative Zen (Miscrosoft).

Without DRM: Music files (not to mention videos, games, kindle books etc.) would be completely unrestricted; capable of unfettered reproduction. This puts a huge amount of control in the hands of the consumers, who would be given much greater choice as to where they get their music but more importantly whether or not they are paying for it.

The age of vinyl, when the term “file-sharing” had yet to be uttered, is over. We are currently in the grey area between two extremes: a DRM or non-DRM controlled market.

This all raises an interesting question – “Can we ‘own’ the music we are buying?” For instance, a hallmark of ownership is the right to give away or sell your property. That’s called “first sale,” and it’s explicitly protected under copyright law, but DRM prevents this kind of activity in the interest of maintaining ownership rights…

It is a tricky maze of legislation to navigate.

To give a better idea of the argument at hand, here is a link to a video of a group of music industry panelists discussing DRM technology:

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Industry Question: Buying Music

With consumer’s options increasing, MAE wants to know – where do you go to buy your music?

Intern of the Week!

Mass Appeal Entertainment’s
Intern of the Week:

Amanda Allen

Amanda comes to Mass Appeal as a Management and Marketing Graduate Student from Lasell College. She has varied interests in many things and is open to all new possibilities. Amanda is cool, calm, and collected but seeks experience and is actively creating her place in the world. This is certainly refreshing and it is our hope that through her time here, she will open up to the team and let her positive vibe flow to those around her!

  1. The first CD I ever bought was: Fabolous (when I was in middle school)
  2. The artist I admire the most is:Mary J because she has been able to stay relevant for so many years, adapting is important to the success of every artist.
  3. I’m hoping this experience at MAE will: I hope MAE gives me the experience I need to be successful in the marketing world
  4. My dream vacation would be: Hawaii
  5. One album I could listen to constantly is: Mary J-The Breakthrough
  6. On my iPod you will find: Reggae, Reggae, more Reggae both Dancehall and Culture, also lots of R&B
  7. My ideal job would be: Marketing Analysis or Marketing Research for an exciting company
  8. When I’m not interning at MAE you can find me: Listening to my iPod or watching Law&Order…lol yeah, I watch Law&Order
  9. My guilty pleasure song is: I Found My Everything – Mary J
  10. 3 words that describe me are: compassionate, intelligent, ambitious

Industry Question: Offline file-sharing

Here at Mass Appeal Entertainment we are looking to pose industry questions over the next few months. The questions are to get opinions or feedback from you the fans, consumers and/or people in the music industry. Today’s industry question deals with offline file-sharing which is swapping memory sticks, hard drives and CDs with peers and others. Please read the question posted below to give your ideas, share dialogue or help find a solution.

It has recently been suggested that an investigation into “offline sharing” begin. Do you think it’s pushing it too far to say it is illegal to be sharing your music with your peers by burning CDs??