Monday, August 01, 2005

Music industry, Trusted Computing

Happy monday out there, campers! If y'all didn't know, tomorrow is National Night Out, so I'll see you down on the avenue. Closest party to me is between 31st and 32nd on Bryant, but I'll probably be on bike and try to meander to some other block parties, too.

First fun article of the day is from Mark Cuban's blog, regarding one of my favorite topics, the insanity of the music industry:
Insanity is thinking that piracy is the reason music sales are down and then focusing most of your business on selling music to the exact demographic that has the most time to spend on finding free music and most energy to spend on cracking whatever protections you introduce.


Insanity is repeatedly telling everyone that piracy stops the creative process by preventing artists from making a living and then time and time again, going out and giving advances to bands. Hello McFly, every start up band thinks the money is in getting the advance of a record label deal, not from selling music. They are just as motivated as ever to make music.
I guess I'm in the demographic that has time to spend on finding free music, since I'm most certainly not in the demographic that has plenty of disposable income...I wouldn't necessarily put those two opposite each other, but whatever you say, Mr. Cuban.

Anyway, for those of us who do enjoy music, I've got a new favorite internet radio station, WeFunk. You'll like it. And if you search for a certain application named StreamRipper, it will download the music to your hard drive and separate individual songs by mp3 ID3 tag. Nifty.

Cory Doctorow, a life-long Mac user, has an interesting rant on the future of the Mac, especially now that it appears that they will use Intel's DRM-ed chips:
People working with early versions of the forthcoming Intel-based MacOS X operating system have discovered that Apple's new kernel makes use of Intel's Trusted Computing hardware. If this "feature" appears in a commercial, shipping version of Apple's OS, they'll lose me as a customer -- I've used Apple computers since 1979 and have a Mac tattooed on my right bicep, but this is a deal-breaker.


The Trusted Computing people say that they intend on Trusted Computing being used to stop the unauthorized distribution of music, but none of them has ever refuted the Darknet paper, where several of Trusted Computing's inventors explain that Trusted Computing isn't fit to this purpose.

The point of Trusted Computing is to make it hard -- impossible, if you believe the snake-oil salesmen from the Trusted Computing world -- to open a document in a player other than the one that wrote it in the first place, unless the application vendor authorizes it. It's like a blender that will only chop the food that Cuisinart says you're allowed to chop. It's like a car that will only take the brand of gas that Ford will let you fill it with. It's like a web-site that you can only load in the browser that the author intended it to be seen in.

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