Posts Tagged ‘drm’

Region restrictions in a globalised world

I think we can all agree that globalisation has won, and we live in a flat world.

However when it comes to consuming media, we still live in a world of regional restrictions. Rights are not issued globally, and rights owners see this as milking every last penny by ensuring that regional restrictions apply. This is not just true for the movie world, but also the music world, and generally the book world. Apparently the entertainment industry is one of the last holdouts in realising that we live in a truly globalised world.

Yesterday I read an interview in the FT with Kate Tempest, a writer/rapper whom I’ve not heard of. I immediately hopped onto iTunes, searched Apple Music and started playing her tunes from her album Let Them Eat Chaos – Kate Tempest. This was a success and I’d discovered a new artist.

A few months back I was in a bar (the recently shuttered La Conserverie) in Paris, speaking to a Japanese friend, and I was telling her that I did know some J-Pop; growing up it wasn’t too far fetched you would listen to some songs that made the mainstream English radio stations. One example was Utada Hikaru’s First Love. The French friend who was there said he’d love to hear it, so I fired up iTunes on my phone, and tried in vain to find the song, and realised its not in the catalogue (don’t worry, YouTube saved the day). This was a failure, and I didn’t get to reminisce properly.

Just last week, I fired up Netflix (now blocking all VPN traffic, an almost impossible thought two years ago, with VPN providers giving up the fight nowadays) and started streaming The Mirror Has Two Faces. I stopped around the half way mark and switched countries only to realise that now I’ll have to wait to be in the same geographical location again to continue watching the movie! I’d mark this as a failure because it hurts the user experience; it isn’t Netflix’s fault, it is the entertainment industry.

I still listen to an old song that I like, that resides on my drive and not in the cloud — Puff Daddy featuring Jimmy Page – Come With Me from the Godzilla soundtrack. It’s not on Apple Music, but it is available with Amazon Prime Music, that comes for free with an Amazon Prime subscription! I’d mark this as a failure since I’d expect my music collection to be available in one place, not scattered across various services.

We’re living in an increasingly globalised world. We have friends from all over the world. We’re travelling more frequently. This is all supposed to be a good thing – exposure to the world. Why hasn’t the entertainment industry caught up yet? Would they prefer everyone just focused on content piracy? Region restrictions do not work in a globalised world.

Why do Mac & Linux users pay more for things?

I just purchased The Humble eBook Bundle. I primarily use a Mac OSX based laptop (my MacBook Pro), and secondarily use Linux in various flavours (a Lenovo ThinkPad runs Ubuntu, various boxes run a combination of that and Fedora & CentOS, and virtual machines are growing).

It seems not only with regards to Orbitz showing better, more expensive, hotels to Mac users, even when it comes to the Humble Bundle, Mac and Linux users pay more. Are we just conditioned to pay more than Microsoft Windows users?

I’m glad to support DRM-free e-books & great content. Who knows, I might discover something new.

Ayumi Hamasaki releases next album on USB drive

I’ve always liked Ayumi Hamasaki’s music. And to see that her next album, will be released on a USB drive (instead of a CD; do they still release albums on cassette tapes?), is simply great news. You get a diamond-studded two-gigabyte thumb-drive, with the songs only taking up a mere 800MB (for 13 tracks, 6 videos, and the lyrics booklet). Its expected to sell anywhere between 4,000-5,000 Yen (RM156-195, so a lot pricier than a CD, which normally retails for RM40), and no word if the songs are DRM-free, what quality the MP3’s are, and so on. This is the first in Japan, and probably the first in the world!

Now, the newest Honda City isn’t just shipping with a CD Player, but a USB port too. They reckon it’ll be easier to connect and charge your iPod. I reckon, that if more and more artistes start distributing USB thumb-drives, we’ll be seeing more USB ports in cars.

Read more at: Ayu takes digital music to the “Next Level”

O’Reilly to offer DRM-free ebooks…

I for one, welcome that O’Reilly will soon be offering books for the Kindle, and as DRM-free digital bundles.

There’s a reason why I have a Safari subscription: I like reading technical books on my laptop (because I can search through it), and more importantly, because recently I have in my possession, an eBook reader (from Sony).

There is no mention if Safari subscribers get access to the eBook bundles (currently, I already am at the most expensive Safari subscription you can get). My current method is downloading chapter by chapter, but I’m only given 5 download tokens a month, for free.

James Webster posts a comment on the blog, asking if this will be available for Safari users… Andrew Savikas replies saying they’re working on it.

Today, each PDF chapter I get off Safari, is DRM-free (its just a PDF, no need to input password, etc.). It’d be nice if I could just download the entire book (with one download token), and read it on my eBook reader, as is…

O’Reilly, if you’re reading, it’d be the smartest thing you’d do. Again, you will then lead the pack, from Apress or Packt.