« INDUCE Act (IICA) Roundup - Foreign Publications Edition (and CNN) |
| Rumor Mill: JibJab Settles Copyright Lawsuit - Complete Victory! »
August 20, 2004
Apple vs. Real: The Debate Continues
The repercussions of the Apple/Real conflict continue, and much can be learned from the various commentaries. Previous coverage here: What Real's Hacking of FairPlay Doesn't Do, Apple Gets Real Serious About Harmony and Will Real's DRM Strategy Succeed? Signs Point to "No".
Copyright shaman and law professor James Boyle has a commentary in the Financial Times attacking Apple's metaphor that Real "broke into" the iPod (The Apple of forbidden knowledge).
Derek Slater continues his excellent analysis of the issues (Real's Freedom of Choice Campaign and Price Cuts). He expresses as much surprise as I do that Public Knowledge is supporting Real's campaign for "freedom of music choice" (Public Knowledge Supports RealNetworks Campaign for Freedom of Choice). Slater points out that the real problem isn't that Apple won't license its DRM, but that the DMCA prevents Real from fully interoperating with the iPod without Apple's permission. Of course, you won't hear Real complaining about the DMCA.
I disagree with Slater that Real's pricing ($0.49/download) might be a turning point. I don't think there is a chance in hell that'll happen. The problem is that Real is losing money to the copyright holders with each sale at that price. Even if it attracts customers, I doubt they will be impressed when the price goes up later. The real question is what incentive this gives the copyright holders to reduce their licensing fees. The answer, I'm afraid, is none. The copyright holders will be happy with the additional increase in revenue, but they won't bat an eye when Real has to raise prices and lose customers. Real would have done better to spend the money on buying the contracts of some popular bands and giving the music away. This is simply a sign of desperation on Real's part.
Interestingly, Real's "Freedom of Music Choice" campaign links to EFF's complaints about Apple's FairPlay DRM (EFF: FairPlay: Another Anticompetitive Use of DRM) (FoMC: EFF on "FairPlay"). However, there is no link to EFF's take on Real's faux grassroots effort (Hypocrite, Thy Name Is Real). Maybe it is because of quotes like this:
If Real actually cared about "Freedom of Music Choice," it would be telling its customers to burn the downloaded music they purchase to CD, then rip to any DRM-free format they like (including MP3, WAV, or AAC, all of which play just fine on the iPod). That's a much better option than being dragged into a feud between Apple and Real.
Finally, a couple of other posts on the Apple/Real imbroglio that have been getting quite a bit of attention. Druken Blog
's Convergence Kills
, and Daring Fireball
's 2004 Won't Be Like 1984
. Both are lengthy, but well-worth the time if you are interested in the issues.
+ TrackBacks (0) | Category: Digital Millennium Copyright Act | Digital Rights Management
- RELATED ENTRIES
- Kitchen Academy - Course II - Day 23
- Kitchen Academy - Course II - Day 22
- Kitchen Academy - Course II - Day 21
- Kitchen Academy - The Hollywood Cookbook and Guest Chef Michael Montilla - March 18th
- Kitchen Academy - Course II - Day 20
- Kitchen Academy - Course II - Day 19
- Kitchen Academy - Course II - Day 18
- Salsa Verde