Hell freezes over as Sony drops DRM

Hell freezes over as Sony drops DRM

Buying Sony BMG music should now start to come DRM free - so no longer should it have such a "bite".

Well as Blighty becomes Brighty given the snow fall, it may seem like the end of days is coming as the last major DRM enforcer, Sony BMG music, finally caves in to popular demand. According to Business Week, Sony will drop DRM for at least part of its catalogue and look at new avenues of online music sales through Facebook or MySpace, or with retailers such as Amazon.

Song BMG is the last of the major music labels to drop DRM, following Warner Music Group in December and Universal Music Group in August of last year.

Apparently Sony BMG will be experimenting with DRM-free downloads for around six months, the details of which will be released in the coming weeks and it will coincide with a Pepsi promotion that starts on the 3rd of February to give away one billion songs from all major labels.

The problem is, the first non-DRM tracks to be released will be for artists that sell less than 100,000 units, so making it about as useful as a chocolate teapot for most of us (regardless of how tasty that would be) and the cynic in me expects that it will likely end up being a marketing exercise about how "Sony BGM now offers DRM-free music".

Expect the DRM-free songs to be tagged like similar music is - with the purchasers details, so if they do get released onto the net the supplier can "easily" be caught. It's also another blow to Apples iTunes which has recently seen a spate of companies up and leave to alternatives when deals about how much should be charged for content couldn't be reached. With more music being sold online than ever before and this trend is continuing to grow - it could mean some turbulent times for the online media industry.

Do you buy online music or do you prefer something that actually gives a decent proportion of profits to recording artists and sounds like it actually should - a CD? Let us know your thoughts, in the forums


Discuss in the forums Reply
DXR_13KE 4th January 2008, 13:50 Quote
Sony is starting to see the light.....
steveo_mcg 4th January 2008, 13:53 Quote
Just make cd's cheaper and i might actually buy them... oh yeah and release something worth listening too

/complaints about just being noise on the radio
Xir 4th January 2008, 14:12 Quote
I actually buy CD's....

...but I havent bought one within oh...2-3 years of it's release.

Meaning yes, you marketing-guru's out there, let me give you a disturbingly new thought: Price does matter!
Firehed 4th January 2008, 14:37 Quote
A big step in the right direction.
Lazarus Dark 4th January 2008, 15:19 Quote
There hasn't been any good "mainstream" music since the mid 90's anyway. If it's made in the last ten years and sold more than 100,000 then it's crap anyway, why pay for that?
naokaji 4th January 2008, 15:23 Quote
Sony ditches DRM? what the ****? i always thought it would be more likely that the pope converts to buddhism....

anyway, good job sony on getting rid of that crap... now just cut the cd prices in half.
Bauul 4th January 2008, 15:26 Quote
Originally Posted by Lazarus Dark
There hasn't been any good "mainstream" music since the mid 90's anyway. If it's made in the last ten years and sold more than 100,000 then it's crap anyway, why pay for that?

Pish! Depends on what you mean by Mainstream, but there is some excellent music coming along now, well unless you're a Backstreet Boys fan. Let us know what bands you like and I gurantee we can suggest some mainstream acts that'll float your boat.
Tyinsar 4th January 2008, 15:42 Quote
Sounds like a "half effort" done purely for marketing. :(
Originally Posted by Caption under picture
Buying Sony BMG music should now start to come DRM free - so no longer has should it have such a "bite".
:? gooder engrish
Delphium 4th January 2008, 16:11 Quote

About time tbh :(
Can only hope that others follow suite.
E.E.L. Ambiense 4th January 2008, 16:49 Quote
I'm glad to see a step in the right direction, albeit a little late. In fact, supporting DRM at all in these regards is a bit ridiculous bordering on preposterous. This doesn't really effect me personally, as I don't really buy 'big mainstream' type music anyways. 95% of what I get is generally tiny label stuff or direct from the artist on CD. But I am glad Sony is starting to see the light, or at least understanding things from the consumers' point of view.

I've never used iTunes, nor will I ever, unless they want to start offering all DRM-free high-quality correctly and securely ripped stuff either in V0/320 mp3's or FLAC from artists other than big label trite crap. But apparently I'm in the minority. :|
pendragon 4th January 2008, 18:53 Quote
i had considered maybe buying some songs off iTunes due to the gift certificate I received for Christmas, however after not being able to find decent non-DRM songs, I think I'll pass on it alltogether :(

edit: as for Sony "dropping DRM" .. I fully expect some PR spin from the same genius that said Sony PS3's couldn't be found in stock!
richms 5th January 2008, 00:32 Quote
I dont buy pop music because most of what is sold today is compressed to hell so I may as well be listening on a boombox, and in the case of lots of big selling artists they have no vocal talent so its processed to hell.

See if you can find maroon 5's apperance on rove online, and then tell me how you think it compares to the fat balding drunk guy at karaoke - quite similar I thought.

With it being so crap, it sounds bad no matter what you do to it, so a 128 mp3 of it is fine, it just has a bit more distortion that you dont notice over whats already being killed out of it by all the soft clipping.
BurningFeetMan 5th January 2008, 00:58 Quote
Until online music retailers have a similar setup to Steam, I will not be purchasing any music in any format other than a compact disc. No way in hell will I lose a few gigs of music to a virus or hardware failure, only to have to repurchase the lot again. I want an account, where I can clearly see what albums I've bought and can freely download when ever I feel like.
Breach 5th January 2008, 01:22 Quote
*Dances on DRMs grave* :D

Bout time they realized the millions of dollars they may have well been burning for heat they wasted on that broken tech.
Havok154 5th January 2008, 01:50 Quote
I'm waiting for the clarification that says "Sony moves away from Digital Rights Management. Creates Intellectual Property Protection instead".

But hey, if we can actually take this for face value, then I'll have to throw a party.
thermalnightmare47 5th January 2008, 04:14 Quote
what cd is that? is it just some sony BMG demo cd i like the design of it, anyway i think its a good way towards the death of DRM and the start of something that wont slit our throats in the processs
Hells_Bliss 5th January 2008, 04:23 Quote
yeah, just make sure you scan your system for rootkits after buying some of their music. "Oh no, we don't use drm! and we'd never use rootkits again after being caught...twice" I trust Sony as far as I can throw it and since it's pretty ephemeral, thats not very far.
flabber 5th January 2008, 11:38 Quote
Originally Posted by DXR_13KE
Sony is starting to see the light.....
A very small light though, seeing that they only "open" part of their slow-selling artists :(

I really hope they'll get rid of ALL drm, and not open it up at one section, and making a new (100th) online musicstore that sells utter poo and drm ánd at a normal CD-price :(
Mankz 5th January 2008, 12:02 Quote
DRM never stopped me in the first place.
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