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Tuesday, November 01, 2005 

Sony looks to shut out iPods

From The Big Picture (via Atrios) comes a tale of Sony using DRM (Digital Rights Management) technology on at least some of their new music releases in an attempt to compensate for the hitherto suckiness of the Japanese firm's digital music offerings:

"It turns out that all Engadget (quoting Variety) notes that this DRM is not at all about making the CD immune to piracy. Instead, its part of a pissing contest between Sony and Apple: Variety writes that "the new copy protection scheme — which makes it difficult to rip CDs and listen to them with an iPod — is designed to put pressure on Apple to open the iPod to other music services, rather than making it dependent on the iTunes Music Store for downloads.""
iTunes and iPod together have formed the overwhelming market-leader in digital music; a success we think people will agree is due to the iPod's appeal rather than to any DRM scheme (the iPod will happily play any ripped, non-DRM'd MP3 and AAC files). So Sony - who only recently started to support MP3 in their own players - have now decided to employ decidely Microsoftian tactics in leveraging its music-publishing business to try to force the great unwashed masses to turn away from Apple's little wonder.

This is a matter of the erosion of the rights of we, the consumers, to enjoy listening to our highstreet-purchased music in any way we like - including these days ripping to any portable device we please. And if Sony gets away with this new ploy, then it's highly likely that the other record labels - already champing at the bit for a larger bite of Apple's success - will follow suit along similar lines in order to put pressure on Jobs & co.

Sounds like a case for organisations like our own Digital Rights Ireland to get actively involved in. Where and how do we donate, guys?

"Libel"-Richard Waghorne
"Attack blog"-Damien Mulley

About me

  • An early-thirties male Irish technologist living and working in Dublin, I'm a former (recovering) member of both Fianna Fáil and the Roman Catholic Church.

    I'm not a member of any political party these days, but my opinions can be broadly categorised as 'lefty' and republican. I am also a former member of the Irish Defence Forces.

    Please feel free to check out the FI Fie Foe Fum group blog, where I was once a regular contributor, and the Cedar Lounge Revolution, where I can usually be found in the comments.

    (This blog and its contents reflect only my own personal opinions as a private citizen, and not those of any other person or organisation.)

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