The Music Label
The Challenge
Universal and Sony Reject Virgin Media’s Plan for Legal P2P

“The concerns of record labels, publishers and licensing societies, as well as, a myriad of contractual and legal obligations deeply entrenched in the industry will all have to shift dramatically before ISP licensed P2P becomes a reality.” - Hypebot

The monetization and control of music seems to be the only thing on the minds of record labels, publishers and licensing societies. It’s been well over a decade since Napster first appeared on the scene and caused an uproar in the music industry due to the new approach of owning music without paying. Anti-piracy campaigns, lawsuits and shakedowns have ensued with the record labels still scratching their head as to why their strategies aren’t working to end P2P file sharing. Virgin Media’s plan, similar to Nokia’s “Comes With Music” plan, was rejected by two majors, Sony and Universal because they feel would be loosing control if music uploads and downloads are unprovisioned.

The Opportunity
DRM-Free Music Sneaks onto iTunes from Major Labels

“It'd be nice if labels would stop trying to use DRM as a bargaining chip to try to force Steve Jobs budge on song pricing, album bundling and other issues; that way, all of the music in the iTunes store would be available in the unprotected AAC format, causing fewer consumer headaches and widening the hardware compatibility of iTunes-purchased music.” – Eliot Van Buskirk

What is DRM? Digital Rights Management. It is a range of access control technologies used by publishers, copyright holders, and hardware manufacturers to limit or restrict usage of digital media or devices. In my lifetime, I’ve downloaded only one song from iTunes. I paid the 0.99 for the purchase. However, when I tried to put the song, “Sean” by Aya, onto my MP3 player, Rhapsody didn’t recognize the file to add to my library. This scenario is all to familiar to the music fans who’ve ever downloaded songs from iTunes. However, with the ever increasing pressure on the record labels to allow music fans to stream music freely without restrictions seems to be coming to be coming to an end. The four major labels, EMI, Sony/BMG, UMG & WMG are finally beginning to release DRM-free music to the iTunes store.



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