Why SDMI?
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Welcome! You have reached whysdmi.org or ironhelix.net! We're coming soon so check back in a few weeks for more info!

Welcome! You have reached whysdmi.org or ironhelix.net. This pathetic page is just a placeholder on Geocities. One of these days I will be getting my DSL line and then I can put up a REAL page on my server... but anyway. Below is a description of what the page is to be and why it is.

What I am going to do with this site is try to raise awareness about SDMI. SDMI is a thing from the record companies and the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) to try to control their music.

As many of you know the popular file format MP3 allows music to be easily distributed illegally by making the music files very small and manageable (and downloadable) without sacrificing quality. People took advantage of this and started posting huge amounts of music online for free download. Those who downloaded the music could still listen to it or record it onto a CD and the record companies got no money.

They didn't like this.

So they have been madly trying to keep piracy down. Their latest effort is called SDMI, or the Secure Digital Music Initiative. It is a spec that is in two phases. Phase 1 is the SDMI spec is built into many portable players like the RCA Lyra. It just sits there and does nothing. Phase 2 is that the big security is rolled out and the players will not play music ripped from 'watermarked' CDs. The idea is that it will also let you play SDMI formats you download off the Web. When Phase 2 comes out the idea is that there is a hidden trigger that tells you an upgrade is available and then you can upgrade if you want.

But then comes the Milennium Trigger.

This was leaked out of SDMI and is very scary. It is that at a date determined by the RIAA all Phase 1 players will be --force upgraded-- with or without the user's consent to Phase 2. This would seem OK for those that do not download illegal MP3s but theres more. In phase 2 all CDs with a Phase 2 watermark have to be inserted into the computer every 4 times you listen to it or download the music to a player. and the record companies can with the push of a button disallow ALL ripping (taking the music off a audio CD onto the computer digitally) off a CD. I call this unacceptable. The way I have worded it makes it (give me a break, its 12 AM) sound not so bad but think about it. The record companies policing you in your home telling you what to do with music you -paid for-. The point is that the record companies dont care about the listeners or the artists. When you go to the CD store you pay about $16 for a CD. Out of this, $6 goes to retail. $9 goes to the record lable and maybe $1 goes to the artist. The labels want to control their music so they always have the upper hand. That's what SDMI is about, making sure the listeners never get control of their music. That's why MP3 is so popular. Because you ARE in control. And thats why if enough people hear about this SDMI will fail. Because people want control over what's theirs. And the record companies will do anything they can to prevent it.

I for one will not stand for this. Neither will most people. However most average people will see MP3 players in Best Buy or something and buy it without knowing what SDMI is. This page is to prevent that from happening. Once I get the page up then it will be more descriptive.

 

Links to other sites on the Web

the Milennium Trigger
Revocation-- scary
a cool portable
Legal MP3s from independent artists
thing to search for MP3s on the Web
Cool site with reviews and stuff

1999 IronHelix