Barenaked Ladies

30 04 2007

My eMusic subscription refreshed today, so as well as downloading an Ex-Girl album I’d saved for later, thought I’d have a crack at last year’s Barenaked Ladies are Me after reading this article by one of their members.

The last thing I heard from these guys was One Week, and that was eight or nine years ago. I remember reading that they were releasing an album on MP3 and distributing it on USB thumb drives, which I thought was pretty cool. It also turns out that BNL are anti-DRM too. Why haven’t I been listening to them for longer!

The album is simply great, a cross between my usual vaguely-folkish-alterna-rock and Tom Petty. Apparently the album is a break from their more ‘zany’ previous albums, but there are some comedy tracks (like Bank Job, which you can play from the sidebar on the right, thanks to Sonific) slipped in. Well worth a download, or a hardcopy buy.





SCEE Laying Off Staff

16 04 2007

Can’t help but laugh, eh?

Looks like Sony Europe are cutting 10% of their European games employees.¬† So close to the release of the PS3, you have to wonder whether the console is severely missing it’s targets or if they planned it? My bet is the former, but I wouldn’t put it past them.

Also, looks like their new DVD DRM tech is b0rking up too.





EMI Backs Down

3 04 2007

W00t! EMI have agreed to sell songs on iTunes without evil DRM infections!

It’s not all sunshine, lollipos and rainbows though. Songs will sell for an inflated 99p, rather than the 79p they currently go for. For the price hike you do get a increased bitrate AAC file, but it kinda seems like you’re paying for the privilege of buying de-DRMed music (check out eMusic for cheap, legal and awesome MP3 format downloads). I suppose such measures were necessary to pitch the idea to EMI, and if nothing else the move is a huge chink in DRM’s armour.

In your author’s humble opinion, I think this is the first battle that the anti-DRM movement has won. Now we need to press the advantage and turn the war in our favour!

UPDATE: Reuters reports that the EU Executive have filed charges to Apple, the Big Four (EMI, Warner, Universal and Sony BMG) and Vivendi stating that their  policy of forcing iTunes users to buy songs only in their home country is against European competition laws. Whether this will stick or not remains to be seen, but just possibly I might be able to download some Jpop from iTunes.





TV is Safe Again

28 02 2007

Good news friends, I’m not going to be on TV after all.

Click, the BBC’s technology show approached me today about an interview for an upcoming show on DRM. Sadly I live in the provincial rain-soaked midlands and can’t get to London to make the interview. Despite the lack of my shining presence, they’ve promised to feature my petition and the Defective by Design (DBD) site in the feature which will apparently present views from both the pro and anti camps.

It’s a shame as I would have liked to get the DBD message out in person, and I have to mention that Peter Brown from the Free Software Foundation was there to back me up if I did get on. Big thanks guys!
Guess I’ll just have to keep putting up anti-DRM posters at work and bitching under my breath. It’s probably a good thing anyway, I don’t think I have an offensive enough T-shirt for the occasion.





DRM Petition Update

20 02 2007

The response to my petition to ban DRM came through yesterday. It’s hardly a glowing endorsement of the Anti-DRM movement, but does at least state that the government will allow some exceptions to IP laws when it comes to format shifting. The question is though; will it be legal to break DRM methods for the purposes of moving media to different formats?

My guess is no. I guess until more pressure is applied to those applying the DRM to their product, the practice is going to continue.

I’ve been enjoying the amount of coverage that the DRM backlash has been garnering over the past few weeks, with even Steve Jobs getting behind us (Asine9 even got a mention on ZDNet news; scary!). Still, any movement on the fight to do away with DRM is good despite some music companies burying their heads in the sand.





Nobody loves DRM

8 01 2007

I’m excessively pleased to tell you that the Ban DRM petition on the Prime Minister’s site (started by yours truly) now has over 1,000 signatures, and is the most popular petition in the “Science, technology and inoovation” category. Even more popular than banning animal testing.

If you’ve no signed yet, do so. We all know DRM sucks the big one and even though we probably won’t get any resolution, any publicity is good publicity, eh?

For those who want to know more about anti-DRM activism, check out DefectiveByDesign.org, run by the Free Software Foundation. They were kind enough to publicise the petition, and they’re so nice!