Digital music and digital rights management has been a bone of contention for several years now. The music labels continually cry foul as they allege that illegal music downloads are doing them irreparable harm while well-founded research seems to indicate the opposite.
My personal opinion is that DRM, as envisaged by the labels and generally executed is broken – it stops me getting access to the music I want to listen to in the way I want. It’s either restricted in place for listening (CD, limited number of computers, etc.) or restricted in format (tried getting iTunes bought music out of iTunes and onto a non-iTunes friendly device? Doable, but not for amateurs).
Now, a couple of enterprising Aussies, Jared Madden and Adam Purcell have put together tune-out.com as a response to the wailing of the labels and in particular to the industry-funded film, Australian Music In Tune, that is being pushed as educational and which the industry wants used in schools as a part of courses on media and copyright.
There’s even a fairly high profile story about Frenzal Rhomb‘s Lindsay McDougall being duped into appearing in the film on the understanding that it was about the struggle to make it as a musician in Australia. There’s no apparent response from the music industry at this point, but if the McDougall story is accurate, the music industry types continue to play unfair and fast and loose with the truth in order to push their ever less believable message.
Tune Out’s raison d’être is on their home page and states in part:
There is no digital music battle or piracy war. That is a figment of your imagination, and, every time you preach our digital crimes to us, we ‘tune out’ of your deranged ranting. Your declining profits are the symptom of a business model that is fast becoming irrelevant.
You want us to pay? We want you to pay attention.
Damn straight! I’ve signed their statement and message to the labels. If you’re interested, I suggest you do to.
Sydney-based journo and commenter on all things digital, Stilgherrian, has more detail.