Posts Tagged With: RIAA

Unbuying iTunes songs

I wish there was an option in iTunes to unbuy songs that you don't like. Perhaps you can even pay more later for songs you like a lot. For example I downloaded Pop Lock & Drop it by DJ Huey, because it was in the Billboard Top 100 and I was misled into thinking it would be a catchy song (NOTE: I know a lot of the Top 100 songs are absolute junk, like Mims, but at least they have a beat and something to sing to). Maybe once you get your utility from a song you can sell it to someone else. Seriously though, if the music labels are gonna be really concerned about DRM, and use examples about how you wouldn't steal bread from a bakery but you'll steal a song from an artist, you should get resell rights on the music you buy. The problem would be verifying the song is gone from your computer once you've sold it. You can't sell something to someone and keep it, or people would demand it for free, which they do. I get the feeling though that if the record labels could shut down every illegal downloading site, they still wouldn't allow resell rights.

Liked what you read? I am available for hire.

State of the Recording Industry

As I sit in my dorm room downloading "The Tipping Point" by the Roots off BitTorrent, I think about the state of the music industry. By pirating this CD, I am short changing the Roots. The million dollar question is, how much should they be entitled to? When you consider that the band may only see 5% of whatever I pay for their music, I like the idea of mailing money straight to the band, but I am too lazy to do this. The RIAA has argued that piracy is causing decreasing CD sales. They may have a point. I haven't bought a CD since last summer (Hard-Fi's "Stars of CCTV" and Thom Yorke's "The Eraser", both from Amazon), around the time I discovered how easy it was to download CD's off BitTorrent. The anti-RIAA side argues that decreasing CD sales are caused by high prices (true, you will never get me to pay $19 for a CD) and by poor quality music (and Mims rapping "I can make a mill sayin' nothin' on the track" isn't helping.) I realized today that the RIAA, in turn, should point out that the poor quality music may be caused by piracy. Take the extreme scenario where songs are instantly available for free whenever a musician records a new one. If musicians never got paid, there would be little incentive for them to produce music for a living (it would be impossible). If there was no piracy, not only would CD's probably be cheaper but there would be lots more money for artists to make by producing music. If consumers demand free music, they will get the quality that free provides. If they are willing to pay for music they will get better quality music. That said, we will never eliminate piracy. I am guessing that the big labels will slowly go out of business, as the costs of recording and advertising decrease, and bands discover they can make more money by not signing with a label. In addition I think the agreements radio stations and big labels have to promote new songs will go out the window as radio gets more competition (from the Internet, hopefully, and from portable music players)

Liked what you read? I am available for hire.

EMI & DRM-Free Music Downloads

Apple and EMI today announced the launch of DRM-free downloads from the iTunes Music Store. The DRM-free downloads will have twice the quality of regular store downloads, but will retail for 30 cents more per song. Albums will remain the same cost as before. My guess is that the $1.29 downloads will be more popular than downloads with DRM, but not as popular (or profitable) as cheaper downloads. I think they will find plenty of people willing to pay an extra 30 cents for portability, but they would make up in volume what they're losing in price (I am sure their profit margins for digital sales are very large. Especially when you are not strapping a product with DRM.) I am looking forward to finally cashing in my iTunes Gift Certificates on non-DRM music. I hate having to authorize and re-authorize my computer to play my music. However, EMI is now entering into competition with DRM-free websites such as, which doesn't pay any royalties to anyone and charges around twenty cents per song. EMI is getting killed right now on price per song, but they have better visibility and press than the Russian site. I will be interested to see if EMI continues to sue illegal sharers and downloaders with the same tenacity they are now. I believe they are still anti-piracy; by selling DRM-free music they're inviting piracy, but not on purpose. The best possible outcome for EMI, I believe, would be to offer music on iTunes for $1.29/song and offer the same music on eMusic for 50 cents/song. This way they capture the naive-user market and can compete on price for the more sophisticated music downloaders.

Liked what you read? I am available for hire.