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FSF's plea to Bono dubbed futile

updated 01:55 pm EDT, Mon July 3, 2006

FSF's plea to Bono

The Free Software Foundation's recent plea to U2 lead singer Bono was a futile attempt to recruit backing in its fight against Digital Rights Management (DRM), according to one columnist. In his latest column, Motley Fool contributor Anders Bylund describes the faults and overall 'foolishness' of the Free Software Foundation's campaign against DRM technologies and Bono. By reaching out to a prominent figure in iPod marketing, the plan to bring the popular singer on board to fight DRM legislation left the columnist wondering why Bono would abandon world hunger issues to address DRM concerns. Bylund states he would be "flabbergasted" if Bono even issued an official response.

by MacNN Staff





  1. bhuot

    Joined: Dec 1969


    preventing theft

    The problem with world hunger is not that there isn't enough resources to feed people who are starving, but that the leaders are deliberately witholding resources from their people because when people are fed and educated they begin to desire participation in their government and then the leader couldn't have absolute control and would need to limit their corruption.

    The free software movement actually has a chance at success because corporations want to reduce costs and invest in new technologies and find new ways to charge money all of which can be satisifed with "free software". Of course the specific issue of DRM isn't going to go away because the companies don't trust their customers and they know so little about the technology that they don't realize that the crooks are already many steps ahead of them technologically. The better solution would be to increase the penalties and the ability to find the people who are stealing if the movie industry actually wants to prevent theft.

  1. e:leaf

    Joined: Dec 1969


    To say that . . .

    DRM = preventing theft, as noted above, is a joke. It does no such thing. It only ties the hands of honest customers behind their backs by restricting how said material is used. DRM ought to be eliminated, or at the very least standardized by a collective groups of interested parties (Vendors, the damn RIAA, and consumer advocate groups, etc.) like many other protocols in the computing world (think html or USB, both of which were formulated and implemented by large entities where concessions were made and an acceptable standard for all involved parties was formed).

    And trying to plea to Bono is just plain stupid. It would never have worked. Unfortunately, most people don't yet understand how DRM affects them. Just wait until that real iPod killer does arrive (whenever that may be), and they try and put their iTMS tracks on it, then they will understand how DRM is s******* consumers badly.

    Fortunately, I was able to de-DRM most of my iTMS tracks with JHymn (I only have 5 or so albums from the iTMS which still retain their DRM). Now that JHymn hasn't been updated for iTunes 6, I no longer buy from iTunes. Plus, that 128 bit rate is shabby. For $10 an album, we, as consumers, deserve more than c*** quality songs that are only godd inside of the iPod iTunes ecosystem.

    If I really want "that" album, I buy the CD, otherwise I buy it from where I choose the quality and format, and I the tracks aren't laced with prohibitive DRM.

  1. I.P. Freely

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Look people, 99% of the world couldn't give a rats a** what DRM stands for or what the impact it has on your life.

    And quite frankly, I don't care if I never owned my music. I care about paying my mortgage and feeding my family.

    If your life is so empty of useful thought, go help people down at Red Cross or join the Peace Core. Or even help your local community center.

    But for love of god and don't make getting rid of DRM your goal in life.

    Getting sick and tired of people with nothing better to do than complain about something that is not worth complaining about. Go f*** French and rest of the European waste of life.

    You have a choice, either use it or don't. Simple, isn't it. Try exercising your god-given right not to purchase something, and stop trying to stop everyone from purchasing "EVIL" DRM media.

  1. I.P. Freely

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I meant to say: Stop trying to save everyone from purchasing "EVIL" DRM media.

  1. LordJohnWhorfin

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Appealing to Bono is completely ridiculous for three reasons:

    1) his hugely successful, long-lasting band is one of the few to actually be immensely profiting from the system in place (unlike smaller, younger acts which are being exploited by the labels and never see any of the money)

    2) his tight association with Steve Jobs and iTunes has created cross-promotion that has been hugely profitable for all parties involved. Considering the huge sums of money involved, it is more than likely that he's contractually obligated to never publicly take position against Apple, but regardless, why piss on a business venture that has been and continues to be good to him financially.

    3) From world hunger point of view, Western DRM issues seem like the petty complaints of well-fed, idle brats. Considering how far up his own arse Bono's head has been most of his life, but especially how holier-than-though he's been lately, the "great uniter" is not very likely to give two craps about the FSF.

    Who gives a c*** about Bono and his shite band, anyway. It's not like that bunch of religious douchebags ever had anything interesting to say.

  1. beeble

    Joined: Dec 1969


    html and usb

    HTML and USB were not formulated by large entities. USB was the creation of Intel Corporation. It still is owned by then. They get a tiny slice of every usb port that's sold. They control the standard for USB 2 as well and they control the use of the USB logos. You have to agree to their conditions if you want to put that logo on your packaging just like you have to agree to Apple's conditions of you're going to put their logos (Made for OS X or Universal) on your packaging. I'm sure Microsoft have similar regs for the use of the windows logo.

    W3C was created to support HTML. They didn't create it. It's creator handed it over to them. If HTML had of been created by a corporation like Intel created USB, then we probably would have had much stricter adherence to the standards but we'd also have competing products. We'd have a fractured web with different browsers being required to access different parts of it. Hang on. It sounds like we have that anyway thanks to M$.

    My point is that having a large entity is not necessary to create a good standard anything. USB, Firewire, SCSI. Three good comms systems competing on their merits. There isn't a real competitor to HTML and it's been an absolute mess for years (although it seems like MS is finally going to release their first decent web browser in IE 7). The iTMS DRM system is competing on it's merits with the windows based system used by others and it's winning in the market because people like it. People aren't as stupid as you suppose.

    True capitalism has always worked whenever it's tried (so long as governments don't prop up badly run companies like the US airlines). The market goes where if feels the best deal is. It's up to Apple to continue to offer the best deal or risk loosing customers. It's up to everyone else to come up with something better than iPod/iTMS and after many years of trying they are falling further and further behind.

  1. JulesLt

    Joined: Dec 1969


    All Of MP3

    e:leaf - while AllOfMp3 may be technically 'legal', you may as well download your music from Limewire. The insignificant royalties that are earned are paid to the relevant 'licensing organisations' in Russia. They do not easily make their way to the artists in question.

    I mostly use emusic. I know the artists DO get paid, it costs me 1/4 of the price of iTunes (although you have to download at least 4 CDs worth of material a month to make it worthwhile).

    But please don't hand your money over to AllOfMP3 to stay 'legal'.

    You are, however, absolutely spot-on that consumers won't realise the problem of DRM until they hit it. (Although of course they can burn/rip/re-import - Stallman correctly calls Fairplay 'Digital Inconvenience' rather than true DRM).

  1. christophersj

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Someone said that the only reason people in poor African countries dont get fed is corrupt leaders. That may have a role in it, but I have read that distribution is much more of a factor. Roads, infrastructure, ect.

    Someone wrote that U2 never had anything interesting to say. That's funny.

    Also, about the DRM issue. This has been debated in a much more responsible fashion than on this page and I believe the consensus among balanced and serious thinkers is that some DRM is necessary, protecting the rights of an artist, and some of it goes to far and limits my rights as a living and breathing individual. Its not black and white.

    I'm a quality freak and still prefer buying an actual CD when possible. Just sounds better.


  1. bhuot

    Joined: Dec 1969


    CDs not safe either

    CDs have restrictions on them too. Sony has been caught with rootkits on some of their label's audio CDs which some malware took advantage of later on and the uninstall program for the rootkit Sony released after being under considerable pressure caused many Windows computers to not boot. Oh, and their was a Mac root kit as well, although it was much easier to remove. The RIAA said in response that all the other labels do the same kinds of things with Audio CDs and they don't stop with root kits.

  1. jwmpc

    Joined: Dec 1969


    old argument

    christophersj says that "I'm a quality freak and still prefer buying an actual CD when possible. Just sounds better."

    That is the same vague comment audiophiles used when pressed vinyl was being phased out for CDs. They had a good point in the fact that any continuous waveform must necessarily be more complete than a 'sampled' and recreated waveform. CDs sound good though, and soon people came to appreciate them.

    All recorded music is an artefact, dependent on the technology available and the media used to distribute it. No CD (or vinyl record) can reproduce exactly what a 'live' musical experience is. I use quotes around live because music is moving quickly into a virtual domain where no 'live' performance ever existed.

    I have purchased both CDs and music from the iTunes store. As I use them, I notice no difference between the two because I immediately rip the CDs into AAC format (which I think sounds better at lower rates).

    All recorded music represents a compromise between accuracy and convenience. The same applies for DRM. It's been demonstated that no controls simply results in theft, and that Fairplay is the most popular of the DRMs available to quell the nervousness of record companies. Like all compromises, no one likes it, but everyone lives with it. So really all this complaining is simply because a few want to have their cake and eat it, too.

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