March 15 2007

DRM and Flogging Molly

(Yes, this entry is backdated… I wrote it on the 15th in Word, but my cable modem was down, so I had no way to post it!)

I have talked about my love of Flogging Molly before. I was thrilled to hear the was new live EP coming out this week, with two unreleased songs (“Requiem For A Dying Song” and “Float”), I just wasn’t thrilled with the method of release… only on iTunes Music Store.

I understand the scale of economics here, it’s a fabulous idea in principle. Shorter lead time, no physical pressing, higher profit margin for the band, but then the customer is stuck with only being able to buy it with DRM (Digital Rights Management) included. Let me make this abundantly clear, this is NOT Apple’s fault, nor Flogging Molly’s, this clearly goes back to my good friends at the RIAA.

DRM is a draconian system of making sure ONLY the person who bought the music can play it. No loaning it to a friend like you can do with a CD, cassette, LP, 8-track (what, you don’t still have an 8-track player?!?), no, if you choose to go in to the futuristic world of buying music online, you best get used to only you being able to use it! There are many people calling for an end of DRM, including my Technology Hero, Steve Jobs… you know… the head of Apple?

In an open letter he wrote on February 6th, 2007 entitled “Thoughts On Music“, he called for an end to DRM, and barring that, for all the online music sellers to work together. Honestly? I think he wants it to just end. It’s a pain in the behind for everyone, it’s NOT going to increase piracy, if anything, it will increase sales. I haven’t bought anything at the iTunes store in ages because I don’t want DRM! I want to be able to slap the songs I listen to on any computer of my choice, on any player of my choice, and listen to it how and when I want. (Yes, I am aware of the extremely easy way to strip the DRM off the iTunes purchased songs, not the point of my post though)

DRM is a stranglehold on the consumers, nothing more. It is not a way to fight piracy. Do you really think pirates don’t know a way around something as silly as this? Of course they do! It’s their livelihood and they know how to defeat it without blinking an eye. To the masses though, those of us lacking either time, patience, ingenuity, or any other number of things, DRM hurts us, not the pirates. Let’s say you bought the new Flogging Molly on iTunes, due to DRM you can’t play it on your Zune. Okay, bad example, you shouldn’t have bought the Zune in the first place. Beyond that though, how is that fair? It’s not.

Steve Jobs, and other legit online sellers, are in a bind in that they can not get the rights to sell the music if they don’t include DRM. No DRM, no sales to consumers. However, consumers, such as myself, are avoiding purchasing the music because of the DRM. Remove the DRM, free up consumers to do with the files as they please, your sales of online music will go up. Yes, piracy may go up *SLIGHTLY*, but the increased sales from people who had previously been avoiding purchasing the music will far outweigh the new pirates.

And yes… I did give in and buy the Flogging Molly EP, and I love it… just wish it was DRM free.

Flogging Molly - The Complete Control Sessions

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  • *waves* Don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out!

    I would remind you that you started… this whatever it was, by not noticing I had mentioned I knew of the DRM trick, but that wasn't the point of the post. You could have gotten a lot further with "Hey, are you aware of such and such?", but no, like most people who feel the anonymity of the net gives you the right to be a jackass, you decided to go with an insult. I at least have the cajones to put my name to everything I write… unlike yourself. So your thoughts mean about as much to me as… oh… what my dogs pass through their bowels on a daily basis.

  • Anonymous

    Burn to CD, Rip to Mp3. Think before you speak (or type).

  • “(Yes, I am aware of the extremely easy way to strip the DRM off the iTunes purchased songs, not the point of my post though)”

    Gee… I kinda addressed that didn’t I? Read before you comment dumbass.

  • Anonymous

    Yes, but if it’s an “extremely easy way to strip the DRM” how is the DRM a “stranglehold”? Seems more like a minor annoyance than anything else…

    Seems rather contradictory to the point of the post….

  • And why don’t you, again, learn to read and comprehend? The point is DRM shouldn’t exist. I shouldn’t have to jump through hoops to enjoy something I paid for.

    I’d be far more interested in what you said if you signed your comments with SOME form of name.

  • Anonymous

    My point was that the DRM doesn’t really hurt you. Yes, there are hoops to jump through, but you pretty much agreed to the jumping when you bought the files. I submit to you that the Flogging Molly EP that you enjoy (as do I, I really love those guys/girl) wouldn’s be available if it weren’t for the DRM, because without it, One Side Dummy would never allow it to be downloaded. Since the band is currently on tour, the EP would never have been made the traditional way due to time. Does DRM suck? Yes. But I’ll take if it pacifies the record companies enough to allow services like iTunes to exist

  • But DRM exists only at the bequest of the big 4 AKA the RIAA’s whipping boys. I have seen comments on other blogs where people refuse to buy the new EP because it is DRMed, so yes, some of us bought it, but if the big 4 weren’t forcing DRM down everyones throat, they would sell more. But, iTunes can’t exist without them, so everyone chokes on the evil that is DRM.

    If I buy a CD, I am free to do with it as I please. Play it in any CD player… rip it to MP3… loan it to a friend to check out.

    DRMed music… nada. They are strangleholding something I legitimately paid for and that’s not right.

  • Anonymous

    I agree, DRM is evil and the Zune is a piece of crap. But when you freely agree to something (the iTunes TOS, for example) and pay your own money for it, that pretty much nullifies your ability to call yourself the victim. Don’t like, don’t buy it. The bloggers you mentioned who didn’t buy the EP did far more to help the anti-DRM cause then 1,000 people who simply bought it and say they hate the DRM (myself included, I bought the EP, and just said I hate DRM.)

  • Welcome to the United States Of America. It is my right to complain about something, even if I agree to the purchasing of it.

  • We are anonymous. We are legion

    Wow. Really? Is that it? I guess I should say something back or you’ll think you stumped me…

    How about: “just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should.”

    Actually no, just forget I said that, you pretty much just made my point for me right there.

    Sean, you seem like an overall nice person, I wish you well. Don’t bother responding to this message. I found your site on accident, and will be forgetting about it on purpose.

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