Mix: PortalPlayer, BPI request, Ratatouille, Flash Mobs | iLounge News


Mix: PortalPlayer, BPI request, Ratatouille, Flash Mobs

PortalPlayer said yesterday that it has cut 14 percent of its work force—about 45 employees. The move comes two months after the company said its chips would not be used in some of Apple’s flash-based iPods.

The BPI, the British recording industry’s trade association, says that Apple needs to open up its FairPlay DRM to allow music from the iTunes Music Store to be playable on other devices.

Disney/Pixar have released the first trailer for 2007’s “Ratatouille.” The animated film stars a rat that lives in Paris and enjoys good food. The trailer is available in iPod video format.

Defective By Design has organized “Flash Mob” protests at San Francisco, Seattle, Boston, Chicago, and New York Apple retail stores to “warn customers of the dangers of DRM in the iPod and iTunes.”

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Just signed up to defective by design. GO UK!

Posted by Real Reply on June 9, 2006 at 12:03 PM (CDT)


@Real Reply

Dude, you’re so cool!

Posted by The Raven on June 9, 2006 at 12:33 PM (CDT)


Real Reply,
You do realize that they literally are “Defective by Design” don’t know.  They couldn’t have chosen a better name for themselves.

Posted by iScott on June 9, 2006 at 12:45 PM (CDT)


ya apple shouldnt use DRM. we should just be able to make as many copies of the music we bought we want. screw the people who made the music, they dont need money. aple should just make itunes into the old napster and make music free. why dont the people at defective by design find jobs and stop whining and buy cds. morons

Posted by poo poo head on June 9, 2006 at 12:51 PM (CDT)


‘poo poo head’ that would never happen! Even with Apples well fed and watered legal team couldn’t hold off the wrath of the entire music industry.

What I find interesting is that PortaPlayer have laid off 14% of their workforce, which is 45 people, so they have about 150 people tops? Is that it? From a former iPod supplier?

Posted by craigb6 on June 9, 2006 at 12:53 PM (CDT)


It always amazes me that people will go to such lengths to show how screwed up they are.

If you dont like DMR, here is an idea….DONT BUY ANY MUSIC FROM iTUNES.

Sell your ipod, buy CDs and go organize multi-city rallies to get over yourself.

Posted by unreal on June 9, 2006 at 1:20 PM (CDT)


Exactly unreal!

If you have a problem with DRM, buy CDs. It is like protesting Apple+iTunes because the downloadable music is not CD quality. If you don’t like the product, don’t buy it. Or if you are so bored and lacking any stimulation, I suppose that you could go protest… Ridiculous.

Organize people not to buy, Apple might pay attention. Give them free press for something that it makes no sense to protest, I don’t think they mind so much.

Or, as cheap as the albums are, you could simply burn and rip them and strip the DRM.

Silliness. Admittedly, I do not have much of a life, but when I get bored I get together a poker game or go see a movie, I suggest these geniuses do the same.

Posted by divigation on June 9, 2006 at 1:58 PM (CDT)


It’s one thing to accept DRM, but only a moron would like it. Why, on Earth, would you (divigation, unreal and poo poo) WANT DRM? It makes no logical sense. Why would you not want to be FREE to use your music any way you want? Nonsense. It not only applies to Apple, but it applies to the WMA stores as well. If you buy it, you should be able to do anything with it for your own personal entertainment.

And, enough with the “artists don’t get paid” mularkey. Illegal downloads were the best thing that has happened to the industry in some time. It forced the hand of the prehistoric record companies to address digital delivery, albeit in a slightly retarded way (that being, you guessed it, DRM!) It has affected the way artists distribute their music and how far the distribution arm can reach. I posit that the MP3 players (incl. iPod) would not be as successful if it weren’t for the original Napster, KAzaa and what not. I can’t prove this, I only know it.

Lastly, last time I checked, illegal trading is still going on full force and iTunes, for example, hasn’t affected it one iota.

Posted by DRM is for morons on June 9, 2006 at 2:47 PM (CDT)


No, the true morons out there are the people who whine about DRM instead of understanding that they’re getting what they pay for.  Want to buy & download music simply & easily?  Part of the “cost” is it being saddled with DRM.

Don’t want the music encumbered by DRM?  Then burn the music to CD and rip it back into itunes.  Don’t like the reduction in quality?  Then buy the fargin’ CD and rip it into itunes.

There are all kinds of options available for those who aren’t too lazy or stupid to take advantage of them.  But I guess it’s just cooler to be one of those who whine and cry and protest about DRM.

Posted by good grief on June 9, 2006 at 4:28 PM (CDT)


DRM is in no way a “cost” of downloading music off iTunes. The only reason it is there is to be restrictive.

The reason that these protests are going on, I believe, is to educate the public. A large amount of music is purchased from the iTunes Music Store every day and people are unaware of the DRM that comes with it. Of course if you don’t like it you could just not buy it, but what about the people who are buying it? By not telling them about this DRM you’re essentially screwing them over if they decide they don’t like iPods anymore and want to switch to another MP3 player. [And yes, there are lots of reasons to switch - lack of a replaceable battery, its tendency to malfunction often combined with Apple’s mediocre support services, etc.]

I agree that CDs, right now, are the best solution for anti-DRM audiophiles. But there are complaints to be made about CDs too: for example, their extremely bloated prices [it takes a dollar to manufacture a CD and very little of the profit goes to the artist] and the fact that CDs can come with DRM [Foo Fighters’ “In Your Honor”] and/or crippling technology of their own [Sony/BMG rootkits, anyone?]. Still, even if you dismiss these arguments, you have to admit that the iTunes Music Store is very popular, including among people who may not even know what DRM is. So it’s a good idea to inform them.

I’m going to the Boston protest, mostly for the opportunity to wear a hazmat suit. I think it’s going to be fun - I’ve seen some pictures from their previous events.

Posted by JoshSpazJosh on June 9, 2006 at 5:18 PM (CDT)


Uh, issuing press releases days in advance makes it NOT a “flash mob.” Doh.

Anything bought on iTunes can be played on any device which can play/import CDs. Don’t they know?

Posted by m.s. on June 9, 2006 at 5:38 PM (CDT)


I would like to say that anyone that actually participates in a flash mob has from this day forward earned themselves the title of “f’n tard”.

Posted by rainking187 on June 9, 2006 at 6:03 PM (CDT)


If you don’t like it don’t buy it. There are lots of choices. I don’t see what the big deal is.

Posted by JeremytheIndian on June 9, 2006 at 6:47 PM (CDT)


while i do agree that apple does need to open to more devices, i don’t think opening dmr free makes sense from a business view. Apple did say that make no money off the store but i somehow doult it.

Posted by dorian on June 9, 2006 at 7:30 PM (CDT)


If you don’t like it don’t buy it. There are lots of choices.

What ‘lots of choices’ are there? DRM downloads, piracy or CDs…that’s it. Keeping it legal, you’re down to two, regardless of whether it’s FairPlay or Janus. With both of those, their respective DRM strategies lock you into one system or the other. Some choice.

One could argue that this is the modern equivalent of 8-track vs. cassette. But the point is, it doesn’t have to be. They’re just digital files after all, not totally different media formats with totally different hardware requirements like the above two tape formats were.

Why can’t a consumer buy his or her music from anywhere they choose, and be able to play it on any hardware they choose? What’s wrong with YOU having the ultimate power, instead of giving it away to Apple or Microsoft or any other company who could come up with an even better lock-in in the future that makes your current DRMs obsolete?

DRM is not necessarily for morons. Content providers have a right to protect their own interests. But restrictive, locked-in DRM IS for idiots who can’t see the harm it does in an open marketplace and the artificial and unnecessary limitations it imposes on consumers. And you might find that once you step away from this pro-Apple site the negative feelings about locked-in DRM are a LOT more prevalent than they are here. Don’t believe me? Just do a search on zdnet or slashdot.

And anyways for you fanboys, I think you better get used to the idea that Apple isn’t going to keep control forever. FairPlay is already under attack again so soon after the French crisis. If anything, the way things are going the Europeans are going to break it; the French may have wimped, but Norway and Sweden have joined Denmark and are now forcing the issue. And the grumblings in the UK music industry are getting decidedly louder and harder to ignore.

Posted by flatline response on June 10, 2006 at 1:40 PM (CDT)


they do that so you cant buy songs and go out and sell them. also so you cant distribute them freely to anyone you wish to give them to. Its really smart if you think about it. Lets just unlock our music to unlimited copys and have some punk p2p about 400 songs. then they lose what? about 400-800$?

Posted by RedApple on June 10, 2006 at 5:02 PM (CDT)


“their respective DRM strategies lock you into one system or the other.”

Uh, no, you’re wrong. Any music you download from ITMS can be burned to CD, at which point it’s just like any other CD - unprotected, and available for import into whatever system you want.

Did you really not know that, or are you just trolling?

Posted by m.s. on June 10, 2006 at 7:37 PM (CDT)


What amazes me is the lack of understanding that Apple is a business and businesses have rights just as we consumers do.  Overall Apple is a people oriented company.  Apple has always cared about it’s customer base and tried to make the best products possible.  There are always snags but, for the most part, Apple has succeeded in creating class A products rather than products intended to make a quick buck.  This can be verified by the existence of a very loyal following of customers. 

The iPod is a great product because it is well designed and does what most people want a music player to do.  More than that, it does what we want in a way that is simple and fun to use.  The iTunes store works because it provides an equally simple way to obtain music for your iPod.  The DRM included in these songs is not something Apple has hidden from us.  From the very start of the iTunes store Apple has outlined the limitations of use associated with files downloaded from the store.  Up to five computers at a time can play the song and you can burn a playlist up to seven times.  Seven CD copies of a purchased album may not satisfy everyone’s needs but it is certainly more than enough for most. 

As with any product one purchases it is wise to read up before slapping down the cash.  Those who do their research know before hand what they are getting into.  Others who decide to purchase blindly are at the disadvantage of not being informed.  Is that truly Apple’s fault?  Apple prints the limitation on the site (http://www.apple.com/ilife/tutorials/itunes/it3-5.html).  Should they be required to display a pop up warning each time you purchase a song outlining the stated limitations?  I certainly hope not because that penalises intelligent buyers who have done their research.

As I stated before Apple is a business.  As customers we have rights when it comes to purchases.  Some people are arguing that DRM circumvents those rights.  This comes from a group of people who forget too easily that they are not the only one with rights.  Businesses have rights as well.  They have the right to protect investments and products.  These rights are heavily regulated to prevent unfair business practices but they do exist. 

Apple has a right to protect the product it sells.  Protected AAC files are essentially bits of data.  Just as Apple has the right to protect the software it sells from piracy it should be allowed to protect the song data it sells.  Furthermore, behind Apple is the recording industry, a body of companies with a vested interest in seeing that Apple uses DRM.  Anyone who believes that the music industry would have agreed to allow Apple to sell even one song at the launch of the iTMS without the protection of DRM is naive.  There is a lot more to this situation than simply Apple’s desire to control the service it provides.

I will submit that I don’t entirely agree with DRM.  I would like to have DRM free music so that I can stream music around the house to products that don’t support Apple’s Fairplay DRM.  I would also like to burn protected AACs to a data disc and play it on a car deck that supports AAC.  For now I am limited to burning protected songs to an Audio CD or connecting my iPod to the deck which can shorten the life of the hard drive. 

These are the reasons I dislike DRM.  As for a practice of protecting a business interested, I am less inclined to condemn DRM.  There is a delicate balance between providing customer satisfaction and protecting a business interest.  Sony pushed it too far but Apple is much closer to a reasonable solution.  Perhaps Apple’s DRM needs a little tweaking but I feel it gives us a lot of freedom to do what we want with our music as it is.

Some people who are fighting against DRM have a legitimate cause.  They may feel DRM should not exist for reasons similar to the ones I listed above.  Others it is based on principle.  Unfortunately, I believe the vast majority of anti-DRMites are people who don’t want to pay for music and feel that piracy is justified.  These are people who do not see the value of music, movies and software.  They see the end product that they want for free, ignoring the people behind it.  Something should be free if the originator wants it to be. 

That is why we have open source software and free music released by the artist.  If an artist chooses not to release music for free mass consumption than we, as consumers, have no right to obtain it for free.  Too many people believe we have rights that we do not.  You can’t walk into a shoe store and walk out with a pair of trainers without paying.  The same goes for music, movies and software.  Simply because these things are not physically tangible products doesn’t give us the right to take without paying.  Once the anti-DRM movement can shake those who are in it for the sake of enabling piracy it will be taken much more seriously.

Posted by TimB on June 11, 2006 at 10:27 AM (CDT)


TimB, if you’re going to be a RIAA troll, at least don’t do it so blatantly.

BTW, iTunes enables piracy too. Fairplay can be unlocked in about one second for anyone with half of a brain. Then they’re just those scary unlocked mp3 you’re so afraid of.

Posted by TimB is an industry shill on June 11, 2006 at 1:30 PM (CDT)


Who in their right mind would purchase a car only where in it’s EULA it states that you the consumer are restricted to using only one brand of fuel form one location, that your car is limited to 2 users and that you’re not permitted to onsell the car on the 2nd-hand market. moreover, at any time they reserce the right to revoke any of these conditions?

People do need to be educated about DRM and fight this scourge before it becomes the accepted norm. This perhaps, is a rather misquided attempt however.

The internet is revolutionising the way we perceive culture and the industry dinosaurs will need to adapt or otherwise they deserve to go the way of their replilitian namesakes.  Music isn’t merely a commodity, it’s a cultural artifact that once released into the public domain becomes something that belongs to us all.

Posted by no to DRM on June 12, 2006 at 9:32 AM (CDT)

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