Independent Music

Independent music, including unsigned musicians, musicians with independent labels, and those independent labels.

Organizations: Canadian Independent Recording Artists' Association (CIRAA), Canada music commons, Musical Artists' Global Independence Collaborative - MAGIC, Canadian Independent Record Production Association (Note: CIRPA does not appear very modern in their thinking)

10% Growth in Overall Music Sales; Digital Track Sales Exceed 120% Growth

A BusinessWire press release about the Nielsen Music 2006 Year End Music Industry Report For Canada documents the growth seen by the recording industry over the last year. This is an amazing result considering the legacy majors are still not releasing their tracks in DRM-free formats, an action that has been demonstrated to increase sales. That is, despite the best efforts of the majors to reduce the value of their offerings by putting them in a DRM-defective container, the majors have still been seeing increased sales.

We need to protect the music industry from the legacy recording industry!

(Republished by p2pnet, MP3newswire)
Most Canadians are confused about the music industry and how different parts exist that seem to be battling each other for music related money. The largest division is between the composers/authors/publishers of the underlying music and the recording industry (labels, etc).

We are moving into a time when the recording industry may no longer have much of a purpose, with much of their roll being replaced by cheaper methods of recording and distributing recorded music, more fair promotional methods that don't leave the majority of musicians poor in order to prop up superstars, and a wider variety of business models available to artists. The recording industry is fighting back against this modernizing trend, trying to replace some of the money they are loosing in this market modernization by taking it from the music publishing arm which has seen growth with new media.

Big labels are f*cked, and DRM is dead - Peter Jenner

This interview of Peter Jenner by The Register talks about how the future is bright for "everyone else" but the major labels, where blanket licensing schemes will replace unit-sales (and replace DRM).

Few people know the music industry better than Peter Jenner. Pink Floyd's first manager, who subsequently managed Syd Barrett's solo career, Jenner has also looked after T.Rex, The Clash, Ian Dury, Disposable Heroes and Billy Bragg - who he manages today. He's also secretary general of the International Music Managers Forum.

Obvious question: If the big 4 major labels don't believe in DRM any more, why is CRIA and the USPTO still pushing for the legalization and legal protection of DRM in Canada?

First impressions of eMusic, the number 2 online music store

(Also on p2pnet)
As a music fan and someone who believes in my right to make my own software choices on hardware I own, I decided to try out eMusic. This music service is the second most popular online music store, with Apple's iTunes being the top. Unlike Apples iTunes, music purchased through eMusic is made available in vendor-neutral file formats, unlike Apple's iTunes which are encrypted such that they are only interoperable with hardware/software combinations that are approved by Apple.

Note: Apple claims that their FairPlay system is used to stop people from copyright infringement, but basic cryptographic theory documents how this is not possible. The intended recipient of the files and the alleged "attacker" are the same person, and thus the encrypted files and the decryption keys are both available to them.

Washinton Post: A Messy Age for Music

A Washington Post article by Mike Musgrove includes discussion of the second largest online music shop, the DRM-free eMusic.

Instead, he prefers to shop at eMusic, which sells its tracks in the MP3 format, an open technology that works on every music player on the market. Even the iPod.

"The fact that they don't have [anti-piracy controls] on them is absolutely a major plus," he said. "I don't have to segregate my music into various ghettos."

New Artist Model at Work: Barenaked Ladies

An article on the Future of Music site talks about Barenaked Ladies new business model for music. All of their music is DRM-free, and thus interoperable with all your devices. They offered music "in multiple formats, from physical CDs to digital albums, deluxe editions, USB flash drives, ring tones, multi-tracks for remixing, streams, etc."

Disney-Owned Label To Sell Full Jesse McCartney Album in MP3

This article on the EFF site includes:

And after years of pushing for improved compatibility with DRM formats, the record labels have witnessed more, not less, balkanization of music services and devices. If the record labels really care about making sure their customers can play music on the devices of their choice, the only solution that plays-for-sure is an open, unencrypted format like MP3.

Don't wait for the old-economy major labels to catch up: buy unencrypted music from independent labels today!

Canadian Record Label Partners with Social Radio Network to Promote Artists and Drive Music Store Sales

A September 5 Canadian News Wire press release includes:

"Music fans can now explore Nettwerk's complete portfolio of established and developing artists, simply by visiting," said Avikk Ghose, director of Business Development at Mercora. "Additionally, fans can purchase the music downloads in open MP3 formats with no DRM, which significantly expands the market for Nettwerk artists."

Note: I do not endorse this site or any other site that requires the installation of additional non-standard software to work. I included this release as an endorsement of Nettwerk and to show a music press release that advertises "no DRM" as a feature they know law abiding music fans will appreciate.

See also: Vancouver Sun, Broadcaster Magazine.

MySpace punts 'MyTunes', targets Apple

A The Register article by Chris Williams includes:

In a totally expected move, the adolescent hive mind has decided to make the efforts of some three million unsigned bands available for download DRM-free.

This adds to the growing list of sites that are offering DRM-free content. What is needed is statistical models to show how these independent are gaining market share at the cost of the major labels who have thus far refused to release their music in standard DRM-free digital file formats. What is needed is for studies to show that it is mistakes made by these major labels which are the cause of any decline they have in sales. The two most visable mistakes are launching lawsuits without a shred of evidence of wrongdoing and the use of DRM which attacks the rights of information technology owners.

Weird Al Yankovic's Latest parody is of the RIAA

You can hear Weird Al Yankovic's latest parody called "Don't Download This Song" on his MySpace site. You can read about it on Wikipedia as well.

Sample lyrics I heard:

Cause you start out steeling songs,
then you're robbing liquor stores,
and selling crack,
and running over school kids with your car.

The video was offered on YaHoo Music, but that site is so broken that it incorrectly thought that my Fedora Core Linux desktop was a Macintosh. For those using standards compliant browsers and video viewing tools you can also check it out on YouTube (No idea if Al authorized it to be there, but if it's good enough for Bill Gates it's good enough for me ;-)

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