Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Jobs' blog: Thoughts on Music

Steve Jobs has published on Apple's website a long blog called Thoughts on Music, about the iPod, iTunes music, and digital rights management (DRM). It seems this blog may have come about because of repeated calls by others in the industry and by various governments to open up iTunes' proprietary FairPlay DRM technology, to allow iTunes music to work with other personal music players. He concludes by saying that Apple would welcome DRM-less music distribution.

While I agree with this stance in principle, I am suspicious of Jobs' motives for making this statement. Jobs clearly does not want to open up FairPlay (and says as much right in his blog), but it seems he has felt the criticism of Apple's proprietary iPod/iTunes DRM, and has attempted to redirect that criticism to the music companies. I wonder if Jobs would have had the same opinion about Pixar's movies on iTunes when he was CEO of that company. Actually, there is no need to wonder. We already know Jobs' stance on DRM for video content: He wanted Pixar to have nothing to do with advanced next generation hi-definition video discs (Blu-ray and HD DVD), until they could be proven to be hack-proof.

It's a rather complete about-face on DRM, methinks.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

If Steve Jobs really wanted to sell DRM free music on iTunes they could contact all the music companies and tell them that if they wanted to sell 10x the amound of music they would need to give Apple DRM free music. This would allow people to buy music on iTunes and play it on any protable MP3 player they wish Mac or PC.