updated 03:45 am EST, Tue February 13, 2007
Monster backs Apple
Apple continues to recruit allies for its DRM-free music proposal in the most unlikely places. An exec for Yahoo! music, one of the top competitors to Apple's iTunes, says that removing DRM from music will boost sales. "I've long advocated removing DRM on music because there is already a lot of music available without DRM, and it just makes things complicated for the user," Dave Goldberg told Silicon Valley Watcher, noting that Yahoo Music has done experiments where it has offered music with or without DRM and that removing DRM boosts music sales. The exec also took a shot at Microsoft's DRM--used by Yahoo's digital music service--saying that it "doesn't work half the time." Monster Cable is yet another party taking sides in the DRM controversy triggered last week by Apple's chief: the manufacturer of high performance cables on Monday announced its full support of Jobs position asking labels to eliminate digital rights management (DRM) on their music libraries. [updated]
With support from its competitors such as Yahoo and SanDisk and EMI's interest in exploring DRM-free music, the letter was rejected by most major record labels (including Warner), the RIAA, Norway, and others as untenable solution the problem of music piracy. Apple faces growing pressure from European groups and governments to open its iPod/iTunes ecosystem, which is protected by its proprietary FairPlay DRM that limits playback of protected files.
"Monster Cable shares Mr. Jobs' vision of breaking constraints for legal music downloads," explained Noel Lee, The Head Monster. "We've always believed in the power of music. So much so, we launched Monster Music to introduce high definition surround to the world without restrictions."
The entertainment arm of Monster Cable, Monster Music boasts a format known as the SuperDisc, which not only contains high definition surround tracks but DRM-free files. The company reiterated its commitment to bring quality audio to the masses by saying it negotiated DRM Free files with Universal and their multi-platinum selling rock band 3 Doors Down to "insure the consumer could enjoy the music on any player, including Apple's iPod. 3 Doors Down and Universal agreed to allow DRM free digital music files on the SuperDisc release entitled, Away from the Sun, Live from Houston, Texas.
Other Monster Music SuperDiscs also feature DRM free music files, including Ray Charles' 2004 Grammy Album of the Year, Genius Loves Company.
"DRM is a complex and political issue, but digital music compatibility is even more complicated to consumers and limiting to the industry," Kevin Lee, head of Monster Music said. "We are proud to support an open format and leaders like Steve Jobs who are making the efforts to get us there."