SOPA Roundup

Here are a few smart things people are saying about SOPA and PIPA. Jeff Atwood gets at the key political takeaway:

So yes, join us in fighting the obvious insanity of legislation like SOPA and PIPA that threaten the open, unfettered Internet. But please, please also join us in attacking the far more pernicious problem of lobbyist money subtly corrupting our government. If we don’t deal with that, we will never stop fighting bills like SOPA and PIPA.

Y Combinator wants to invest in startups that will replace Hollywood:

The people who run it are so mean and so politically connected that they could do a lot of damage to civil liberties and the world economy on the way down. It would therefore be a good thing if competitors hastened their demise.

And finally, Nat Torkington responds to the President’s challenge to the tech industry to find ways to fight piracy:

All I can think is: we gave you the Internet. We gave you the Web. We gave you MP3 and MP4. We gave you e-commerce, micropayments, PayPal, Netflix, iTunes, Amazon, the iPad, the iPhone, the laptop, 3G, wifi–hell, you can even get online while you’re on an AIRPLANE. What the hell more do you want from us?

Rhapsody MP3 Store

Rhapsody has launched a DRM-free MP3 store. This is a big improvement. Previously, their MP3s were locked in a ghetto in the Windows desktop software. Prices seem to be $1 per album higher than Amazon, even for Rhapsody subscribers.

Amazon MP3 Downloader for Linux

Amazon MP3 now has a Linux version of their album downloader. It’s annoying (and puzzling) that music stores force you to use these proprietary downloaders instead of just pushing you the files in a zip or something, but at least they are supporting a lot of platforms.

Radiohead Web-only Album

Radiohead’s new album, In Rainbows, is only available as a DRM-free MP3 download from their web site. You get to choose how much to pay for it. Right now the album web site is very slow but they seem to have outsourced the payment process and download to someone who can handle the load.

Amazon MP3 Store

I think the jig is up for DRM-ed music. Amazon has launched their MP3 store with 2 million indie and major label tracks, all DRM-free. You can still beat the price at eMusic and Audio Lunchbox but you can’t beat the selection.

Rhapsody MP3s

Rhapsody is now selling DRM-free MP3s from Universal Music Group. Bizarrely, they are only available via the Windows-only desktop software, not the web site. On the plus side, they actually have one listing of all of the available MP3s, unlike the other stores selling the Universal MP3s. You still can’t search the MP3 offerings, though.