Sony’s music now DRM free in Germany

Sony has opened up its German web shop so that DRM free mp3-music can be bought there. The page doesn’t even requires any kind of Windows software and works with Konqueror.

The history of music on the internet is very twisted: it started off with central file sharing services and quickly developed into large p2p networks. At the same time the big music labels showed an almost unbelievable level of dullness and stupidity when they tried to “battle” p2p networks with lawsuits and DRM secured music. All sides lost something in this war, and I guess the only winner was Microsoft.

Luckily these days are over now and in the US almost all big labels offer DRM free music in MP3. And yesterday Sony Germany joined the club and now offers legal, DRM-free music downloads in high quality. The entire process actually works with Konqueror (3.5.9 on Fedora 8), so there is no need for Microsoft software at all. If I saw it right there wasn’t even flash or anything else used. Just a plain page which, in the end, offered me the files inside a zip container.
And it worked!

Of course this doesn’t mean that the prices are very good, or that the artists get more money, or that there might not be a hidden water mark in the music to track you down. Also, MP3 isn’t really perfect, and I would very much have preferred to get music in OGG or FLAC. But 320 kbps MP3s are quite good for a first step, it could also have been 92 kbps WMAs.
Sony didn’t move this because they are nice, but because the market forced them!

But exactly that fact shows that users can force the companies. And that it makes sense to nag and ask and complain again and again. In they end, they will move.

3 thoughts on “Sony’s music now DRM free in Germany”

  1. I think this is all due to TV consumer programmes, I noticed German TV has programmes which not only tell what kind of tech is available but also states specific disadvantages.

    In the Netherlands we don’t have that but we did have corrections on CD sales / piracy pitches, artists saying they don’t mind, how to legally download all music and most importantly horror stories about how defective DRMed CDs are. Labels have since then stated that there will be absolutely no more DRMed CDs coming to Dutch shops to keep the casual buyer from being scared of buying CDs.

    Real consumer TV programmes can quickly get results.

  2. Interesting, in which German TV did you saw that? And what exactly did they tell?
    And if that helped very well – I think the Free Software group is too less present in the TV documentations. The TV people are always looking for good stories, so the only (yet difficult enough) question is how to tell interesting stories about the idea of FLOSS?

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