February 06, 2007
Steve Jobs on DRM & More
Steve Jobs blogs about DRM, a complicated issue people in my circles talk about all the time. We wall want to be able to play music that sits on our iPod anywhere and for those who have more than one computer, more than one home, more than one child, then what? The whole thing was so complicated to figure out, I ended up with three iPods, which is great for Apple but sucks for me -- the consumer.
Writes Jobs on Apple's choices: (lifted from BoingBoing)
# The first alternative is to continue on the current course, with each manufacturer competing freely with their own “top to bottom” proprietary systems for selling, playing and protecting music. (...)
# The second alternative is for Apple to license its FairPlay DRM technology to current and future competitors with the goal of achieving interoperability between different company’s players and music stores. (...)
# The third alternative is to abolish DRMs entirely. (...)
The below is taken from Job's blog post....though would Apple really embrace it in a heartbeat?
Imagine a world where every online store sells DRM-free music encoded in open licensable formats. In such a world, any player can play music purchased from any store, and any store can sell music which is playable on all players. This is clearly the best alternative for consumers, and Apple would embrace it in a heartbeat. If the big four music companies would license Apple their music without the requirement that it be protected with a DRM, we would switch to selling only DRM-free music on our iTunes store. Every iPod ever made will play this DRM-free music.
Why would the big four music companies agree to let Apple and others distribute their music without using DRM systems to protect it? The simplest answer is because DRMs haven’t worked, and may never work, to halt music piracy. Though the big four music companies require that all their music sold online be protected with DRMs, these same music companies continue to sell billions of CDs a year which contain completely unprotected music. That’s right! No DRM system was ever developed for the CD, so all the music distributed on CDs can be easily uploaded to the Internet, then (illegally) downloaded and played on any computer or player.
TRUE TRUE. We consumers are now listening and waiting with bated breath. But the reality? It will be a long process with ongoing ego and money-driven sagas we'll all have to painfully listen to.
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