Predictions columns are always risky because it's easy to look back a year later and see how wrong you were. For the most part, I was on the right track, but too bold--as a wise prognosticator once said, we tend to … Read more
Starting Monday, Electronics Arts will sell its popular video game Spore free of any digital rights management restrictions.
It's part of a slew of titles which EA will offer on Valve's Steam distribution platform, according to a report by Ars Technica. Besides Spore, the collection will include Warhammer Online, Need for Speed Undercover, Mass Effect, and FIFA Manager 09. Crysis, Crysis: Warhead, and SiN Episodes: Emergence are already available on the service, and there are more on the way.
Prices for the DRM-free versions are said to be on par with what the games would sell for in … Read more
A new digital music service is getting lots of attention for proposing to help consumers sell their used MP3s in much the same way people once unloaded second-hand albums.
Bopaboo has generated splashy headlines recently for coming up with what on the surface seems like a good idea. Music fans have always exercised their first-sale rights, which under copyright law, allows them to sell their unwanted CDs, tapes, and albums without permission from the copyright owner. Why can't they do the same with digital music?
But there are dramatic differences between physical and digital music. For this reason, Washington, … Read more
Rumors coming out of Europe that claim Apple will begin offering unprotected music files from the three largest recording companies on Tuesday are bogus, according to my music-industry sources.
Yes, Apple is in negotiations with the three biggest music labels, Universal Music Group, Sony Music, and Warner Music Group about acquiring licenses to sell music free of digital rights management software.
No, none of the deals is final as of Monday afternoon and one source told me it's unlikely Apple will have anything to announce regarding DRM-free music from the top labels before the end of the year. According … Read more
Apple continues to wrap the vast majority of major-label music in Fairplay, the company's proprietary digital rights management software, at a time when its major competitors have already signed DRM-free deals with all the big players. In an open letter, CNET News' Greg Sandoval suggests a different tack.Listen now: Download today's podcast
To: Apple CEO Steve Jobs From: Greg Sandoval, CNET News Re: Acquiring DRM-free music
The iTunes music library is looking a little shabby these days. Look around, Steve: iTunes is the last great refuge of DRM-laden downloads. Is this the image you want for Apple?
More than 18 months have passed since you signed your one and only deal to acquire music free of copy-protection software with a major recording company. And that was with EMI, which accounts for less than 9 percent of U.S. album sales and is the smallest of the four top music labels. In the … Read more
In today's show, we find out that the demise of humanity is imminent (or that all of our robot mythology is fundamentally rooted in self-hatred), the RIM BlackBerry Storm takes the world by drizzle, and Microsoft hopes that actually giving you songs will convince you to buy a Zune. Oh, and we don't care about Yahoo Glue. In case you were wondering.Listen now: Download today's podcast EPISODE 857
RIM BlackBerry Storm arrives http://reviews.cnet.com/smartphones/rim-blackberry-storm-verizon/4505-6452_7-33311850.html
Meet the first multitouch consumer laptop: HP’s TouchSmart tx2 http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-10102285-1.html… Read more
A new report suggests that Apple and three of the "Big Four" record labels are in talks to bring DRM-free tracks to iTunes, and once and for all do away with copy protection on the world's largest music store.
I applaud the companies for finally coming together and trying to remove draconian policies while adapting to our changing times, but this news even surprises me a bit.
To me, the bigger news here is not that Apple is trying to bring DRM-free tracks to iTunes--it needs to, thanks to Amazon.com's DRM-free store--but rather that iTunes is an unbridled success, even though DRM abounds on the service.
Any tech lover will tell you that buying songs from Amazon is preferred. After all, why would anyone want to support DRM? And although demographic data isn't readily available, I don't think it's much of a stretch to say Amazon's customers have a heavy population of individuals that are knowledgeable about tech and realize that buying copy-protected tracks only hurts us over the long term.
iTunes customers are entirely different, though. Unlike Amazon customers, I think the majority of iTunes customers are mainstream consumers that don't possess strong tech knowledge, and they're more concerned about convenience and impulse than doing what's best for consumers. After all, if they really cared about what the Recording Industry Association of America is doing to us (and the artists, by the way), they wouldn't buy songs from iTunes, would they?… Read more
Last night, Microsoft upgraded its Zune Pass music subscription service, allowing users to pick 10 songs each month that get permanently added to their music collection. Along with significant price drops across its Flash-capacity line of Zune MP3 players, it looks as if Microsoft is making a serious push to compete with the iPod this holiday season.
Apple isn't the only one who should be looking at Zune with some trepidation. Subscription music providers such as Rhapsody and Napster will now be expected to match Microsoft's value proposition by giving their users a mixture of purchased and subscription … Read more