Take your DRM and Shove It

This will be a profanity laden post, because the only way I know how to express the feelings this stuff brings out in me is with a few choice words of Saxon origin. Call me inarticulate if you will, but some jobs need a crowbar.

I keep seeing news stories about Harmony and PlayForSure and iTunes and interoperability, blah blah blah. “The iPod is closed, it should work with music store X, blah blah.” It is all bullshit. I don’t give a fuck about any of it. I don’t care if Real’s shitty DRM interoperates with Napster’s shitty DRM with Microsoft’s shitty DRM with Apple’s shitty DRM with Sony’s shitty DRM. Fuck every one of them, I don’t care. I don’t want any of them controlling how I use the stuff I paid for. They have shown themselves to be bad stewards of their customer’s trust, more concerned with the needs of the fatcat labels than the people who pay them money, dealers in bad faith who will sell you something on one set of terms and then change the deal after they’ve got your cash. That’s why I’ve never bought any songs from iTunes or MS or any of these services. So what if you can’t put music from the Microsoft music store or the Real music store on your iPod? Fuck them, don’t buy from any of them.

There is more good music than you can believe out there on Comfort Stand and other labels that will sell it to you cheap or give it to you happily. When I do pay, it is to Magnatune or some other store that allows me to do what I choose to with the music, to use it on any player I want of any make, to burn to whatever CDs I want, to stream to whatever device I choose. You don’t need to play into the man’s game, this big label “Oh we have to sell it locked in order to protect ourselves from the customers” shuck and jive. Fuck those labels, fuck the music vendors, fuck the DRM, fuck everyone that wants to sell me music on a string they can yank whenever they choose. You don’t get my money, you cocksuckers.

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Dave Slusher is a blogger, podcaster, computer programmer, author, science fiction fan and father. Member of the Podcast Hall of Fame class of 2022.

16 thoughts on “Take your DRM and Shove It”

  1. This type of post is exactly why I wear my Evil Genius Chronicles t-shirt with pride.

  2. Ken Nelson says:

    buy your music directly from the artist’s website when at all possible. You get a nice e-mail from the artist, sometimes funky packaging, and the knowledge that you’re really helping in a manner that gives the artist the maximal return.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Evil Genius Chronicles gets it exactly right,.

  4. Rob Safuto says:

    DRM has been nothing but a pain in the ass. You pay for something then you have to struggle to listen to it on other devices. The iPod is ridiculous and they’re shutting out less experienced users. My wife just got an iPod Shuffle as a gift. They force you to load iTunes which in turn immediately connects you to Apple’s online music store. And then you have to deal with these AAC files. The whole situation is a real bummer.

  5. Kris says:

    I like the crowbar approach. For my music spending I budget every month for eMusic.com. A collection of mostly indie and hard to find artists with no DRM. All contentis varibale bit rate MP3’s and I can download the album or song as many times as I want after paying for it and from any computer.

  6. Esme Vos says:

    I have bought a lot of music from Magnatune which carries works of artists difficult to find elsewhere. And the buyer can even pay more than the minimum that Magnatune asks — if he or she wants to give the artist extra support. I have always paid more than the minimum because I want to support the artists whose works I enjoy. The best part is getting the CDs in the mail with a beautiful handwritten note from the artist who also informs you about his or her concert schedule in your country. What an incredible way to buy music and connect with your favorite artists!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Further to my last post. Why would a business treat its customers like criminals? Label executives are not crazy. The problem is they are MBAs acting rationally. It is totally rational and logical that major labels are behaving as they…

  8. Thank you for the great post. You said almost exactly what I wanted to say. I link to this post on my blog, (in the URL section) and expand on it somewhat with my personal feelings on interoperability. In this new blog of mine, I have another post you may be interested in explaining why free downloads of music and movies is not stealing as the powers that be would have us believe.

    Thanks again for the great post, and I will definitely come back to see what else you have to say.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Another reason DRM will not work. Customers are not taking it. Dave Slusher’s excellent blog rants, rages, and swears against supporting any music distribution system that supports “shitty DRM”. Apple can say all it wants about the iTunes music store…

  10. Anonymous says:

    About a two weeks before I started this blog, I posted a rant to my (now) personal journal about the way everyone whines about DRM, but no one does anything about it. It seems [Evil Genius Chronicles](http://www.evilgeniuschronicles.org/cgi-bin/blosxo

  11. Anonymous says:

    I’m a big fan of Dave Slusher – like myself, he puts into words what most folk only think about. DRM is evil – it’s an evil that should not be tolerated. I don’t care for music that forces me to limit it’s enjoyment and value – …

  12. PBCliberal says:

    I liked Sony a lot more before they bought Columbia. Back then, they made money only on equipment and the more uses the equipment had, the more they’d sell. Back then, Sony could be the “good guys” in Sony v. Universal. Now they’re trying to protect their intellectual property against their own hardware at every turn.

    Fuck ’em is right. Sony already got a taste of this when their personal listening device that wouldn’t play mp3s got taken back to the lab and retrofitted with a capability it should have had all along.

    Congress just loves to interject itself into entertainment. During the glory days of the TV networks they passed a law that forced the networks to go outside their own wholly owned production companies to buy their network shows. Maybe the congresscritters would entertain a law that keeps the hardware folks and the software folks from being owned by the same people. As Swearingen would say on Deadwood, “The fuckin’ fox is watching the god damned henhouse.” [Profanity added solely for stylistic reasons.]

  13. PJ Cabrera says:

    The big record companies already got on my bad side when they started putting “copy protection” on CDs that broke the Macintoshes’ slot CD/DVD players. Then they got together with “computer industry experts” and made online music stores that sold songs unplayable outside of their own technological view of the world. This served not only to restrict my listening, but also to restrict my personal computing platform choices.

    So I am with Dave in this: fuck the major labels. We don’t need them for our entertainment. Let’s not buy another copy protected CD, let’s not buy from entertainment venues that buy into the DRM crap.

    And let’s promote indie labels and musicians ONLY in our podcasts. It’s hypocritical, in my opinion, for a podcaster to laud and praise MP3s and Creative Commons and “no middlemen” in their podcasts, and then go and promote iTunes Music Store, and go on about how great it would be to play them on his podcast (yes, Adam Curry, I’m talking about you, fucking sell out.)

  14. PJ Cabrera says:

    “fuck everyone that wants to sell me music on a string they can yank whenever they choose”

    That is a great quote. Not as good as the Spock fans vs. Doctor Who fans thing, but great nonetheless.

  15. Anonymous says:

    “(yes, Adam Curry, I’m talking about you, fucking sell out.)”

    It’s weird – he’s gone from power-to-the-people podcaster to power-podcaster-for-the-people and gone next to commercial. He had/has a high profile position in the podcasting universe, he could push the envelope right out to the edges and back again by playing indie/non commercial and thumbing the nose at the RIAA

    Instead he’s happy to pay the ‘cash cow’ bandit that is the RIAA and ASCAP and sold out.. I don’t ever want to play commercial music – viva le` indie revival! 🙂

    (Ok, I know that was a little overly dramatic, but seriously, the self-professed podcast ambassador seems quite happy to bend over for ASCAP, RIAA and gone commercial).

  16. brendan says:

    ^^^ Ok, that was me – my name and subject seem to have gone walkies.

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