SONY ATRAC, R.I.P.

Sony is killing ATRAC, its proprietary format for music files. Here’s a brief news article about today’s death notice.

This isn’t important – no one every downloaded any files from Sony’s store in the ATRAC format. (The store is being shuttered, too.) I find it amusing for two reasons.

One, because I get a kick out of Sony’s extraordinary list of failed formats: ATRAC, Betamax, MiniDisc, Sony Dynamic Digital Sound, HiFD, Multi-Media Compact Disc, UMF disc for PSPs, Memory Stick and Super Audio CD. […] continued

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MORE COPYRIGHT CRAZINESS

The world of copyright protection is a mess, and each day brings new craziness.

  • A Federal District Court judge granted a ruling for summary judgment against a family that had run Kazaa on a computer with copyrighted material in a shared folder – with no evidence that anyone had ever downloaded those files.
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GOOGLE NEWS

An interesting collection of news about Google projects today.

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VISTA & CONTENT PROTECTION FOLLOWUP

Vista’s implementation of copyright protection for video does its job quietly and effectively. Early claims to the contrary are being debunked.

Let’s be clear. Copyright-protection schemes – “DRM” – are intrusive and unforgivable. You’ll be forced to jump through complicated, frustrating hoops to play high-definition movies on a computer or set up a high-definition TV or DVD player, dealing with acronyms like HDCP and HDMI – and trust me, you’d rather not know about the blur of hardware and cables and incompatible equipment that those acronyms represent. […] continued

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FILE SHARING CAUSES CANCER

If you are downloading music with file sharing programs, the RIAA believes you are a thief and a pirate and you should go to a federal prison.

That’s been true for a long time. Many people – roughly, the entire population of the world – have decided to live with that guilt and download music anyway. […] continued

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BLU-RAY & HD-DVD SECURITY BROKEN

High definition DVDs have always had two, and only two, purposes: to impose significant new barriers to your free use of the content on them by adding new layers of DRM; and to try to create an incentive for you to replace your DVDs.

The entertainment industry absolutely adored selling us the same content a second time as we converted our collections from LPs to CDs, and from videotapes to DVDs. […] continued

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WALMART, APPLE & DRM

WalMart announced a movie download service with the obligatory noncritical media coverage, focused on how darned exciting it is that all of the major studios have signed up to supply a few titles. The details were glossed over – namely that the downloads are DRM-laden Windows Media files that won’t play on iPods, PSPs, Zunes, or computers running Mac or Linux. […] continued

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APPLE AND PROPRIETARY FILE FORMATS

Microsoft will take some well-deserved heat for letting copy protection drive it to make bad decisions for technology and consumers, but Apple has also played an unappealing role in the world of copy protection. An antitrust suit against Apple has just been given the green light by a US District Court. […] continued

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WINDOWS VISTA & CONTENT PROTECTION

The entertainment industry is obsessed with copy protection and has been browbeating legislators, courts, hardware manufacturers and content creators with demands for more control over our ability to enjoy its products. Unfortunately, it’s now becoming clear that Microsoft bowed to movie industry demands and built video copy protection deeply into Windows Vista, to our detriment. […] continued

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RIAA DECLARES INSANITY

The RIAA is resorting to even more bizarre behavior in its quest to be institutionalized for its own protection.

AllOfMP3.com is a Russian site that has been thumbing its nose at the recording industry for years, selling high quality mp3 files of whatever you want for next to nothing and claiming that its operation is legal because it pays trivial amounts to a Russian copyright authority that has no authority and keeps the money. […] continued

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MICROSOFT WINDOWS MEDIA PLAYER 11

Microsoft released the final version of Windows Media Player 11, a free download for Windows XP. It features deep integration with the URGE online music store (similar to iTunes integration with Apple’s online store), and a very attractive interface.

I don’t plan to go near it. I don’t like it one little bit. […] continued

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CREATIVE REMOVES FM RECORDING FROM DEVICES

The RIAA shows no sign of slowing down in its campaign to be the most wrongheaded and evil organization of our time. The latest sign of “copyright”-driven madness will hit owners of Creative Zen MicroPhoto and Zen Vision:M devices who install a firmware “update” pushed out to them. The “update” disables the devices’ built-in ability to record FM broadcasts. […] continued

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ZUNE SHARING – POSTSCRIPT

One more nail in the Microsoft Zune coffin emerges from a close reading of an interview with a Microsoft exec.

The only feature that distinguishes a Zune from an iPod is the built-in 802.11 wi-fi that enables sharing songs with another Zune owner. It was made clear that a song purchased from the accompanying online store can only be played on the friend’s Zune three times, followed by advertising on the friend’s computer. […] continued

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COPYRIGHT POLICE AND AMAZON MOVIE DOWNLOADS

Cory Doctorow has closely read the license agreement that accompanies Amazon’s movie download service and he doesn’t like it.

“I buy a lot of stuff from Amazon. A lot. I won’t ever be buying one of these movies. Amazon has a great and well-deserved reputation for amazing customer service.

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MICROSOFT ZUNE WON’T PLAY PROTECTED WINDOWS MEDIA

The Electronic Frontier Foundation was the first to report on a remarkable example of how copyright abuse can harm consumers.

Microsoft’s Zune will not play protected Windows Media Audio and Video purchased or “rented” from Napster 2.0, Rhapsody, Yahoo! Unlimited, Movielink, Cinemanow, or any other online media service. As the EFF points out, “That’s right — the media that Microsoft promised would Play For Sure doesn’t even play on Microsoft’s own device.” […] continued

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