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  1. #1
    Roll Tide mobilebadboy's Avatar
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    January 18th, 2005
    Mobile, Alabama
    MP3tunes Launches, Without DRM
    First announced last week, online music service MP3tunes has officially launched. The service offers 300,000 songs, initially, and plans to add more in the coming months.

    With an interface that looks very close to the iTunes music store layout, MP3tunes is cheaper than its popular Apple competitor, selling songs at US$.88 each, or $8.88 per album. iTunes, as well as a number of other services, charges $.99 per song, and $9.99 for an album.

    But it is not in the dime-per-song savings that MP3tunes aims to set itself apart. The service does not utilize digital rights management (DRM) to limit song sharing. Although this might make MP3tunes a target of future litigation, founder Michael Robertson is ready for a fight, if it comes to that.

    "The courts have said file sharing is not illegal," he told NewsFactor. "So we're simply exercising our legal right to give consumers what we think they might want."

    Own vs. Rent

    The main argument underpinning MP3tunes' refusal to use DRM is that with services such as iTunes, consumers are "renting" the music, rather than buying it.

    "If you buy a CD, you can do what you want," said Robertson. "You can loan it to friends, or put it on different computers. But with these current music services, you just get to borrow the music."

    That is limiting to consumers, Robertson said. "If you pay for something, it should be yours," he added.

    Back in the Fray

    Robertson is certainly no stranger to the online music business. As the founder of, he had a part in launching the digital music revolution.

    After a few years focusing on Linux at Linspire, Robertson is eager to get back into the music market.

    "Consumers right now are just very limited in what they can do with their music, and that's why I'm getting back into it," he said, comparing the restrictions put on online music to limitations seen in proprietary software.

    "Open standards are what's best," said Robertson.

    Uncharted Waters

    As of its launch date, MP3tunes has not signed major record labels to the service, offering instead titles from independent record labels.

    Because the inclusion of major labels and popular artists will be important for the service's success, Robertson plans to approach the industry heavyweights soon. He does admit that the lack of DRM might be a tough sell at first.

    "Record labels have come a long way in the past few years," he said. "We think they will eventually realize that this is a better option for consumers."
    Source: NewsFactor (Yahoo!)

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    January 17th, 2005
    I don't know that many folks here yet, but I just got word a couple days ago that some of my albums were included on that site. So, just for may want to check these out (you'll have to cut and paste the links, sorry):

    (solo piano)
    (christian pop)
    (kids music)

    Enjoy! :-)

    <p align="left"><font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2"><font color="#930000"><b>CHUCK BROWN</b></font>: <a href="" target="_blank">Torn Bread Network</a></font></p>

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