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  • With Teeth

    • 4 out of 10
    • Nine Inch Nails
    • In the sprawling post-A&R rock and roll world, there are two camps: the Beatles and the Stones. The Beatles are the artists that like to explore, evolve, and change styles. The Stones are the artis

  • The Dresden Dolls

    • 10 out of 10
    • The Dresden Dolls
    • The energetic duet of Amanda Palmer and Brian Viglione that make up the Dresden Dolls have created a wonderfully haunting sound in their self-titled album. They have been able to construct an imme

  • Spanks for the Memories

    • 8 out of 10
    • Asylum Street Spankers
    • The Asylum Street Spankers are...well...The Spankers. Hailing from Austin, where I saw them live dozens of times, the band played entirely acousti

  • Haunted

    • 10 out of 10
    • Poe
    • Dropping like a bomb on some of the blah musical offerings of her contemporaries, Haunted was one of the best albums of 2000, obliterating the competition.

      Ostensibly a tie-in to her brot

  • Mezzanine

    • 6 out of 10
    • Massive Attack
    • "Black Milk" knocks me off my feet in this collection of moody and eclectic songs. Massive Attack uses samples and keyboards in a very unique way, but not all the songs pack the same punch.

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The Real Issues Behind Apple Licensing its FairPlay DRM

If Apple were to license its FairPlay DRM to rival music stores, it would only weaken its negotiation leverage with the labels to keep music prices low. Licensing FairPlay to rival player manufacturers would merely eat into Apple's hardware profits. Those were the conclusions of Daniel Dilger in an editorial published Tuesday at Roughly Drafted.

The argument on the opposing side has been that customers who buy music from the iTunes store can only play that music on an Apple iPod. That has upset some customer rights groups, especially in Europe, who argue that Apple should license FairPlay to competitors so that iTunes music can be played on rival music players.

However, there is much more going on on the U.S. side according to Mr. Dilger. The record labels, who profoundly failed to develop an attractive system for the on-line purchase of music are now annoyed with Apple's power and influence. They would like to dilute Apple's leverage to keep prices low and seize control of music pricing -- namely raise prices in some cases to see what the market will bear.

Moreover, Mr. Dilger points out, "Apple's last effort in licensing the iPod was to franchise it for HP. Even when HP was selling the existing iPod through its own sales channels, it was unable to agree with Apple on its responsibility for unsold inventory and other details.

"Imagine the complications of a hardware partner wanting to build its own iPod designs and make sure Apple's DRM completely supported everything they chose to offer."

In summary, the article proposed that Apple has sound business reasons why they should resist giving up a leadership position in music sales and music players. Mr. Jobs explained Apple's position in his Thoughts on Music. Do away with DRM and everyone goes back to neutral ground. No shenanigans, back room deals, and maneuvering. The customers will be happy, and Apple gets to do what it does best, focus on developing its own products with out unnecessary entanglements.

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