Steve Jobs this week came out in opposition to Digital Rights Management (DRM) software — including Apple’s own FairPlay system — and proposed that the major record labels and device manufacturers like Apple simply give up the practice, allowing music to be distributed unprotected. He obviously means to make a big deal of this, having presented it in an open letter on Apple’s web site, which is something I can’t recall Jobs having ever done before. But what’s really behind it? Why is Jobs making this proposal now? While it may be music to all our ears, this proposal is clearly intended to help Apple.
In related copyright news:
On Tuesday, the Recording Industry Association of America filed another round of lawsuits against people who allegedly downloaded and shared copyrighted music. In doing so, the association finally topped the 3,000-served mark. The association argues that file sharing is directly responsible for the widely reported slump in CD sales from 2000 to 2003.
Read this article (free login req’d) from the New York Times
Once media-hungry consumers get a taste of free music, video and games through file sharing, there’s no turning back. File sharing offers consumers the complete package: rich media delivered directly to their computers, phones and e-mail addresses at no charge. Why would anyone want to return to a linear distribution system that requires more effort, more money and more limitations?
Previously from WNM: DRM: Digital Rights (for who?) Management