Dead Music Access Technology

Seth Schoen gave me a whole much of cool stickers that were evidently made by Don Marti several years ago. The stickers say "OPEN" and are a parody of the DMAT logo. Here are pictures of the DMAT logo and the OPEN stickers:

/copyrighteous/images/dmat.png /copyrighteous/images/dmat_parody_open.png

For those that don’t know, DMAT was the trade-name for the recording industry’s Secure Digital Music Initiative (SDMI). It was basically a secure (read DRM) standard that the recording industry wanted to use to kill MP3. Except it wasn’t a standard. It was many incompatible standards. That may not even have been the biggest thing wrong with SDMI.

There was a time, not really very long ago, when people I knew were very afraid of SDMI and what it would might do to online music. As you might imagine, DMAT/SDMI fell on its face.

In any case, the sticker is a funny parody. I put them all over the place. Of course, because SDMI was so completely unsuccessful, very few people get the joke. This is my favorite thing about the stickers.

The door to my apartment has an OPEN sticker on it. This is funny because the term "open," as it is commonly used, is rarely an accurate way to describe the state of the door. In the sense of the sticker (meaning DRM free), it is technically true — but only because the lock is not digital. Our door is certainly a piece of technology that we use to protect our more traditional property rights.

While I’m on the subject (and since I will almost definitely never return), I should point out that one of the only places I could find any copy of the DMAT logo is in the portfolio of work for the corporate name generation firm "Catchword" whose motto seems to be: "a great name is the genesis of a lasting brand." Evidently, the recording industry paid some expensive naming firm to come up with the idea to replace the very unsexy "SMDI" with the oh-so-hot "DMAT" with the the promise this would lead to a lasting brand. If I were Catchword, I’m not sure I’d host the only google-accessable copy of the logo in the portfolio I show to my clients.

5 thoughts on “Dead Music Access Technology”

  1. Haha!

    Thanks Novalis. I finally understand. It’s nice to know that I can still feel naive — even it doesn’t happen often. :)

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