Universal Music Group (UMG) has teamed up with ad-sponsored digital music download service FreeAllMusic to provide a facility for music fans to download freely and legally music tracks from UMG’s stable of artists. The deal will give users up to 20 free music downloads per month, five per week starting every New Music Tuesday.
In case you’re not aware, FreeAllMusic is a fairly new music service offering downloadable, high-quality, iPod-compatible MP3s of popular songs that are advertiser-paid, free, legal and DRM-free. The catch? You have to watch a short video commercial before you can download an MP3. You have to do that to let FreeAllMusic continue providing the service. It is after all what’s paying their bills to keep the site running.
The good thing is, after watching the video commercial and downloading the MP3, you can now enjoy it anytime, anywhere minus the ads. Fair enough, right? Ok, before you folks jump for joy, let me just tell you that FreeAllMusic is a for US-only site. So bad luck for all of us non-US citizens of the world. But of course there are other alternatives to this service, if Â you know what I’m referring to.
If you’re from the U.S., you need to register at FreeAllMusic.com and then simply select a participating brand, then watch the short video commercial. After which you can start downloading the mp3. You can also share your downloads to friends but they have to download it for themselves. And they should also watch the video commercial. Or post your music download to social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter so that others may know about FreeAllMusic.com’s service and be compelled to watch video commercials in exchange for free music.
It’s been a busy time for Vodafone. Earlier this week the mobile giant announced a deal with Warner Music that now sees the company become the first global mobile network operator to offer its customers over-the-air access to a DRM-free music catalogue spanning the big four companies: Universal, Sony, EMI and Warner.
Though the days of criminalising music sharing are nearly over, it is good to see more companies just getting on with offering music in formats not crippled with proprietary formats or copy-protection schemes â€” which generally hurt and confuse the average consumer more than those hellbent on copying and distributing music on a large scale. More →
Associated Press stories have long been banned from my personal blog because of their copyright-trolling ways, but now they’ve hit a new low. Now they’re implementing DRM wrappers around their content and cracking down on anyone who so much as quotes a headline and links to an article without paying a fee.
AP CEO Tom Curley clearly does not grasp the referral economy of the Web. Hey, if he doesn’t want link love, then I sure as Hell won’t give him any. I have better things to do than give him my Google juice and get sued for it.
So do you. Don’t ever link to these copyright trolls. Don’t direct your audience’s hard-earned attention to people who will only charge you for it. If you really must talk about an AP story, Google up some alternative coverage from their many more clued-in competitors. Boycott the Associated Press.
Digital music service Rhapsody announced the launch of its “Music Without Limits” initiative. This strategy is designed to turbocharge the digital music industry in three ways, by:
â€¢ Accelerating the move away from proprietary Digital Rights Formats by making music from all major labels available in the DRM-free and interoperable MP3 format;
â€¢ Empowering music fans to conveniently stream full-length songs, and buy MP3s, anywhere they want including the most popular music sites and social networks on the web;
â€¢ Integrating digital music directly with mobile phones through a deep partnership between Rhapsody and Verizon Wireless.
Beginning today, consumers can purchase MP3 music from Rhapsody and its partners that is free of the digital rights management (DRM) software that restricts how and where people can play their music.
The Rhapsody MP3 catalogue will include more than 5 million songs from all four major music labels â€“ Universal Music Group, Sony BMG Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group, and EMI â€“ and an extensive number of independent labels. Most albums will sell for $9.99 and tracks for $.99.
Jamba is the first mobile content provider in Europe to offer Digital Rights Management (DRM) free music for the mobile and the PC after announcing its partnership with EMI. In the future, DRM free music from EMI will be available on all Jamba/Jamster portals in EMEA. This is a critical first step for Jamba to move towards delivering its extensive music collection of over 1.5 million songs to mobile handsets entirely DRM free.
Jambaâ€™s music service is available through both mobile handsets and PCs, and the new DRM free tracks will be sent to users through a dual delivery system. This means that a MP3 version will be sent to PCs to ensure top sound quality, while compressed AAC+ files are sent to the mobile. The AAC+ files perfectly balance top quality sound and file size to ensure fast downloading and increased storage.
Amazon.com announced that in 2008 the company will begin an international rollout of Amazon MP3, Amazonâ€™s DRM-free MP3 digital music store where every song is playable on virtually any digital music-capable device, including the PC, Mac, iPod, Zune, Zen, iPhone, RAZR, and BlackBerry. Amazon MP3 is the only retailer to offer customers DRM-free MP3s from all four major music labels as well as over 33,000 independent labels.
Amazon MP3 offers a huge selection of a la carte DRM-free MP3 music downloads, which now includes over 3.3 million songs from more than 270,000 artists. Every song and album in the Amazon MP3 music download store is available exclusively in the MP3 format without digital rights management (DRM) software and is encoded at 256 kbps to deliver high audio quality. Amazon MP3 customers are free to enjoy their music downloads using any hardware device; organize their music using any music management application, such as iTunes or Windows Media Player; and burn songs to CDs for personal use.
Amazon.com and Warner Music Group announced that DRM-free music audio downloads are now available to customers on Amazon MP3, Amazonâ€™s a la carte MP3 digital music store where every song and album is playable on virtually any personal digital music capable device. Beginning today, songs from WMGâ€™s digital audio catalog will be available for purchase and download from Amazon MP3. In addition, Amazon and WMG will make available to consumers digital music products such as album bundles containing exclusive tracks.
The Digital Freedom Campaign, a coalition that promotes consumer rights in the digital age, announced the schedule for its fall campaign. The fall initiative, including Digital Freedom University, brings the message of fair use and digital freedom to students, artists and consumers at university campuses, music festivals and consumer events around the country.
“Building on the extraordinary success of our first year, its time to take the Digital Freedom Campaign on the road,” Maura Corbett, a spokesperson for the Digital Freedom Campaign said. “By mobilizing our message and promoting innovation, creativity and consumer rights at events around the country, we are literally bringing the gospel of Digital Freedom to the public. We believe a well-informed public will make well-informed decisions about the future of copyright and digital freedom policies and practices that affect them everyday.”
The following is the schedule of Digital Freedom University events:
Harvard University – October 10
Brown University – October 11
Northeaster University – October 12
Boston University – October 15
Columbia University – October 17
American University – October 24
The George Washington University – November 11
Virginia Tech University – November 6
University of Virginia – November 8
The following is the schedule of Digital Freedom Campaign’s scheduled festivals and events:
CMJ: New York, New York | October 16 – 20
Dewey Beach: Dewey Beach, Delaware | September 27 – 30
D.A.M. Festival: Washington D.C. | October 11 – 14
The International CES: Las Vegas, Nevada | January 7 – 10
Microsoft became the latest and largest music retailer to offer DRM-free digital music. The announcement comes less than two weeks after Amazon.com launched its own DRM-free digital music store. The Microsoft Music Store will offer consumers more than one million DRM-free songs.
â€œThe industry standard has shifted in the past six months and the tide has turned in favor of consumers,â€ Maura Corbett, a spokesperson for the Digital Freedom Campaign said. â€œThe number of digital music retailers offering DRM-free music will soon out number those that do not, and consumers will soon live in a world where they can listen to legally purchased music when, how, and where they want. We congratulate Microsoft for joining the growing number of retailers and labels that have realized the best way to increase the sales of digital music, is to listen to their customers.â€