Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 6th Feb 2007 21:55 UTC, submitted by Francis Kuntz
Multimedia, AV Steve Jobs writes: "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."
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Seems he's feeling the heat
by halfmanhalfamazing on Tue 6th Feb 2007 22:09 UTC
halfmanhalfamazing
Member since:
2005-07-23

From hollywood and music scumbags who haven't got enough dough.(they're all the same really)

People are quick to blame the RIAA and MPAA for all of this and yeah yeah, they share plenty of the blame.

But who can forget scumbags like Metallica and Dr Dre and the things that they said back in the napster days? And other things that've been said since?

You're a thief. They know you're a thief. So now we will treat you like the little child that you are. You simply cannot be trust with our music and our movies.

It's the artists who are pushing the RIAA and MPAA to do what it is that they do.(and of course the big four as mentioned by the article)

"Deal with it" I can hear them saying.

Edited 2007-02-06 22:16

Reply Score: 5

RE: Seems he's feeling the heat
by ronaldst on Wed 7th Feb 2007 01:41 UTC in reply to "Seems he's feeling the heat"
ronaldst Member since:
2005-06-29

@halfmanhalfamazing

It's the artists who are pushing the RIAA and MPAA to do what it is that they do.(and of course the big four as mentioned by the article)

So true.

I still remember the MP3 song that Madonna released on KaZaA (IIRC) that featured a rant by her against MP3 DLers.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Seems he's feeling the heat
by Soulbender on Wed 7th Feb 2007 02:44 UTC in reply to "Seems he's feeling the heat"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

"It's the artists who are pushing the RIAA and MPAA to do what it is that they do.(and of course the big four as mentioned by the article)"

If you think the artists are pushing for this you're seriously deluded. The artists aren't even necessarily making much, if any, money from the record sales. The ONLY people interested in DRM are the record/movie company bigwigs.
For an interesting take on things:
http://archive.salon.com/tech/feature/2000/06/14/love/

Reply Score: 4

halfmanhalfamazing Member since:
2005-07-23

---------The artists aren't even necessarily making much, if any, money from the record sales.--------

Oh, I know! There aren't *ANY* millionaire musicians out there. When Eminem or fity cent release their albums and sell millions of them they make like 1 penny per disk.... really.... it's not even that much... they'd be lucky to get 1 penny per 10 disks..... it's like minimum wage. That's who congress was just recently fighting for a minimum wage increase for.

It's the musicians!

*sarcasm* *sarcasm*

Oh, and BTW, Salon? Please don't insult me. I'm sure you didn't mean it personally but the Onion has more credibility than they do.

Reply Score: 1

Phloptical Member since:
2006-10-10

Absolutely! You think an artist (or group of them) cares that much about making at max 1$ per CD sold on a disc that sells for $13 - $17? They care about concert ticket sales at $30+ a pop.

Now for the artists that don't tour that much (like the rap guys) they bitch more because record sales are the majority of their money. Which is, consequently, why the majority of them start their own "labels".

Then you got the people like the American Idol guys/girls who can't write a lyric, and are told what to sing and how to sing it. For example, Kelly Clarkson's album can go triple-platinum and she'd be lucky to see $100,000 out of it.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Seems he's feeling the heat
by raver31 on Wed 7th Feb 2007 08:54 UTC in reply to "Seems he's feeling the heat"
raver31 Member since:
2005-07-06

One of the best bands of all time, Iron Maiden, know that people downloading their music is what keeps them going.

Iron Maiden are so forward thinking (for an almost 30 year old band), that they encourage fans to come along and record their gigs and send copies to their friends.

Have a look at any Iron Maiden gig, and around half the people there are below 20 year old, how can these people know of the work of Iron Maiden without first stealing a copy ?

Iron Maiden know, that these "theives" are the same "theives" who will pay good money to see them live, and buy the T-shirts..


Up the Irons !

Reply Score: 3

halfmanhalfamazing Member since:
2005-07-23

I'm sure there are others out there like Iron Maiden.

But I doubt they're the majority.

While I don't like being called a thief, Dre and Metallica did bring up a valid point. That's their paycheck. I just happen to think they're wrong.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Seems he's feeling the heat
by aesiamun on Wed 7th Feb 2007 18:25 UTC in reply to "Seems he's feeling the heat"
aesiamun Member since:
2005-06-29

You don't think it's possibly the RIAA people who persuaded Metallica to fight against napster? I mean Metallica grew out of the concept of taping and sharing...that's how they made it big.

Lars and co were parroting what their RIAA people were telling them...

Reply Score: 1

halfmanhalfamazing Member since:
2005-07-23

-----------You don't think it's possibly the RIAA people who persuaded Metallica to fight against napster? I mean Metallica grew out of the concept of taping and sharing...that's how they made it big.

Lars and co were parroting what their RIAA people were telling them...------------

Hmmm, let me get this straight.

Metallica are nothing but a bunch of mind numbed robots?

Ahhh yes, that makes perfect sense! They're clean as the wind driven snow! How I love Metallica!

It's those damn corporate jockies. It's all THEIR fault. They were the ones who told them what to say... even handed them a script! And put something in their drink!

*sarcasm*

Reply Score: 1

aesiamun Member since:
2005-06-29

"Metallica are nothing but a bunch of mind numbed robots? "

Yeah...basically.

Reply Score: 1

Great news for Norway
by audunn on Tue 6th Feb 2007 22:18 UTC
audunn
Member since:
2006-04-06

This is just great news.
Steve Jobs has also earlier been quoted that he doesn't like DRM, but this letter is a big move.

Now, he has a point that the Europeans, and the Norwegians should make their aim in their own backyard in their fight against DRM. Since the Europeans owns the bigges part of the music industry.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Great news for Norway
by eelco on Tue 6th Feb 2007 22:58 UTC in reply to "Great news for Norway"
eelco Member since:
2005-07-06

And why is this great news for Norway? Apple is not moving; Jobs is just saying Apple won't stop using fairplay-DRM.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Great news for Norway
by audunn on Wed 7th Feb 2007 09:33 UTC in reply to "RE: Great news for Norway"
audunn Member since:
2006-04-06

Because as a country that fight DRM, this is clearly a step in the right direction.
Steve Jobs has the most powerful voice in the digital music industry, and when he again goes public with his wish to kill DRM, it will have some effect. At least a lot of media publicity about it.

Even though Steve Jobs put all the blame on the big music companies, he is doing Norway a favour about putting the pressure there and doing it publicly.

This letter also shows that Apple does feel some heat about DRM. And for those who says that these consumer protection groups should go directly to the music companies, I'm not so shure.
Apple is the seller here. The guy the consumer have a relationship with.
When your milk taste bad, you talk to your seller about it, you don't blame the cow.

Reply Score: 1

Bad excuse
by TheDiver on Tue 6th Feb 2007 22:23 UTC
TheDiver
Member since:
2006-12-12

If Jobs didn't like DRM, then he should have told the record companies that from the beginning, instead of selling DRM'ed music fom the iTunes shop.

But I guess money is worth more to him than anything else, he sure didn't have the balls to stand up against them.

The whole letter just sounds like a bad excuse for some cheap publicity.

Talk is easy action is much harder, now lets see him actually do anything against it.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Bad excuse
by fretinator on Tue 6th Feb 2007 22:29 UTC in reply to "Bad excuse"
fretinator Member since:
2005-07-06

Talk is easy action is much harder, now lets see him actually do anything against it

1. He just did. I'm sure some music executives will be ticked off.

2. Being an armchair quarter-back is even easier!

(added missing word 'executives')

Edited 2007-02-06 22:30

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Bad excuse
by twenex on Tue 6th Feb 2007 23:50 UTC in reply to "RE: Bad excuse"
twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

(added missing word 'executives')

lol. Yeah, I can't see *music* being ticked off, unless it's "Sh*t, now I'm gonna be played on LINUX!!!" ;-)

Reply Score: 2

RE: Bad excuse
by systyrant on Tue 6th Feb 2007 22:31 UTC in reply to "Bad excuse"
systyrant Member since:
2007-01-18

If he's OK with other players playing his music and he's alright with the iPod playing music from other stores then why not at least license FairPlay and/or license other DRM technology from other companies.

I like iTunes and my iPod and I don't blame any online music store for DRM. However, I don't believe Jobs simply because if he cared to have that kind of free world he would license FairPlay.

I have no problem with Apple and it's products, but this, I have to agree, sounds like cheap publicity.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Bad excuse
by arbour42 on Tue 6th Feb 2007 23:04 UTC in reply to "RE: Bad excuse"
arbour42 Member since:
2005-07-06

...then why not at least license FairPlay and/or license other DRM technology from other companies.

Jobs refutes this specifically in the letter - it's completely impractical to license Fairplay, mainly because it exponentially increases the chance for leaks of the DRM code, and makes updating players to fix DRM-breaks incredibly difficult.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Bad excuse
by Alleister on Wed 7th Feb 2007 01:20 UTC in reply to "RE: Bad excuse"
Alleister Member since:
2006-05-29

Because that might hurt Apples quasi-monopol on the online music market.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Bad excuse
by irwindesigns on Wed 7th Feb 2007 16:29 UTC in reply to "RE: Bad excuse"
irwindesigns Member since:
2006-12-21

Bull Crap....

Obviously you did not even read the entire article. Not only are the reasons for not licensing FairPlay completely logical, they are also the best route for Apple as a company to avoid any legal actions from the major players who's music they sell. Steve explains the whole position against licensing and I would agree with him, as would most people if they actually sat down and thought about it rationally.

Think about this for a while, now that Apple, and iTunes have a large enough market share to actually mold the industry rather than cow-tow to it, Steve has asked the users to up the ante. iTunes is poised and ready to thrive in a DRM free environment, and has been from the beginning. Who says that they didn't enter the market with a compromise with the intent that once they were big enough they would be able to get the big dogs to listen. Don't forget either that the set price on digital music is something that apple pushed for as well. They picked a battle that they knew they could win, on price, and established a large market based on that price. Now they can and most likely will push to make the music market more free and open.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Bad excuse
by systyrant on Wed 7th Feb 2007 17:17 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Bad excuse"
systyrant Member since:
2007-01-18

I've thought about it and I think your wrong.

DRM is a tool the record companies wanted I won't dispute that. Apple has used it to lock people into iTunes and the iPod (to which I have no problem with because I love both). What I have a problem with is this BS, and that is what it is, about licensing FairPlay. The simple fact is, in my opinion, that if Apple was to license FairPlay to other portable audio player device manufacturers they could potentially loose iPod sales which for Apple is a big profit maker.

If licensing FairPlay could cause all the problems he says then why did they license it to cell phone companies?

I'm going to close this up by saying that Apple could care less about a DRM free society. DRM isn't hurting them and in fact is helping them.

And lest I forget. Apple keeping the price low is good for Apple. After all who would pay for downloaded music that cost the same as buying a CD from the store. My guess is not many people since sound quality would be degraded (not that I can tell the difference).

The cold hard facts are Apple is a business in it for the money. They do wonderful things with the products they sell and I don't find their prices outrageous. My only point is that believing that Apple is in it for the betterment of mankind is just stupid. Giving the chance Apple would be a worst monopolist than Microsoft.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Bad excuse
by irwindesigns on Thu 8th Feb 2007 15:55 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Bad excuse"
irwindesigns Member since:
2006-12-21

I can agree with this point.

"Giving the chance Apple would be a worst monopolist than Microsoft."

Any business wants to get themselves into a position where they have no competition and absolutely raving fans for customers who couldn't care less that they are the only option. If you are in business and don't want to make money, their is no point in being in business.

I don't really think any large company can afford to act irresponsibly and having a complete solution like you said helps to lock people in(Good or Bad)to your products which is what every company wants.

I think that having a DRM Free solution would be financially rewarding for Apple and would not only boost their sales but also boost the image. It will also allow them to be able to solicit more smaller companies into the iTunes package that now oppose the closed model. More Music, More Choices, More Money...

Reply Score: 1

RE: Bad excuse
by AdamW on Wed 7th Feb 2007 01:54 UTC in reply to "Bad excuse"
AdamW Member since:
2005-07-06

"If Jobs didn't like DRM, then he should have told the record companies that from the beginning, instead of selling DRM'ed music fom the iTunes shop."

Oh, yes, I'm sure the conversation would have gone exactly like this:

Jobs: Actually, we don't really like DRM.
Sony / Universal et al.: Oh, really? OK, let me just break out the Vorbis encoder.

*sigh* think before you post.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Bad excuse
by jmcc on Wed 7th Feb 2007 08:15 UTC in reply to "Bad excuse"
jmcc Member since:
2007-02-07

Thing is, he *did* say at the beginning that DRM was a bankrupt idea, and he told the Big Five that at the time (since become four). They told him to go pleasure himself if he thought he was going to sell music without DRM.
As for licensing, he approached Sony offering to set up a joint store and to use a joint DRM scheme. Sony told him the same as the label heads did.

Now I just need to find the sources to back up my assertions! ;)

Now onto speculation:
Given that DVDJon proved that iTunes downloads aren't encumbered with DRM, then I would suggest that Jobs has the whole thing planned to "flick the switch" to non-DRM'd content at the drop of a hat.
Is anyone else suspicious about the amount of time and energy focussed by continental consumer affairs councils at Apple rather than at the whole DRM sector? Is the dog being wagged?

Reply Score: 1

Lucid
by fretinator on Tue 6th Feb 2007 22:24 UTC
fretinator
Member since:
2005-07-06

This is a very lucid letter. I think there is still a lot of fear about selling things like music over the internet, but it really is no different than selling it by CD. People in dark suits with big cars take a while to figure this out.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Lucid
by butters on Wed 7th Feb 2007 04:15 UTC in reply to "Lucid"
butters Member since:
2005-07-08

Delusions of lucidity are the intended effect. I'm sensitive to fields (have been since I was little), so I experience headaches, nausea, and dry mouth ;-)

Reply Score: 2

Do I smell a tiny bit of hypocrisy?
by PRaabjerg on Tue 6th Feb 2007 22:34 UTC
PRaabjerg
Member since:
2006-09-23

Or is it just me?

If he really is so keen to get rid of DRM, then why on earth is Apple still using that very same kind of technology to artificially restrict OS X to Apple hardware?
I mean, I don't think anyone is actually forcing Apple to do that.
I know there may be many answers to that question. But I'm sure there are equally many, just a good (bad?) answers from the music industry.

I'll just exercise my right to remain somewhat incredulous.

Reply Score: 5

Tom K Member since:
2005-07-06

Because Apple has no obligation to allow you to run *their* operating system on the hardware of your choice.

Want Mac OS X? Buy a Mac.

I'm tired of this complaint/argument from the "I want everything for free" crowd.

Reply Score: 3

WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

Because Apple has no obligation to allow you to run *their* operating system on the hardware of your choice.

Of course, you're right. However, when he talks about how great it would be in a world without DRM while at the same time using it to restrict what sort of hardware that their software can run on, I think it is reasonable to conclude that the guy is full of shit.

Reply Score: 5

Duffman Member since:
2005-11-23

There is no DRM in Mac OS X dude, it only checks the hardware running.

Reply Score: 2

PRaabjerg Member since:
2006-09-23

Well. Sorry I wasn't quite clear on that. Even if Apple released an DRM-unencumbered version of OS X, I wouldn't be wanting to run it on any hardware, seeing as I'm a Free Software freak, and Linux works quite fine for me, thank you. ;)

Was merely pointing out something I thought was a bit contradictory.

Reply Score: 4

kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

That, and the fact that I don't see companies tripping over themselves to get support for their hardware with MacOS X - thats what people forget, if they removed all the restrictions right now, we'd still be stuck with lazy hardware companies refusing to make drivers for MacOS X.

They'll use the same pathetic excuse they use for not support Linux or FreeBSD, "not enough demand" as justification for not supporting.

Reply Score: 4

twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

Because Apple has no obligation to allow you to run *their* operating system on the hardware of your choice.

Oh no? Let's forget for a moment that Apple is propped up by the crutch of document production on the Mac being owned by Monopolysoft, and ask ourselves? What about the security of my data?

I don't know about your data, but MY data is far too important to be risked in some control freak's NIH format war.

I'm tired of this complaint/argument from the "I want everything for free" crowd.

And I'm tired of this complaint/canard from the "Free software is about price" crowd. It isn't.

Edited 2007-02-06 23:57

Reply Score: 4

Rayz Member since:
2006-06-24

Who said anything about 'free'? Folk would pay for it.

Reply Score: 2

Francis Kuntz Member since:
2006-09-23

Just as they 'paid' for windows today ?

That's really more hypocrite than Steve Jobs.

Reply Score: 2

m_abs Member since:
2005-07-06

//Want Mac OS X? Buy a Mac.
I did, what is your point?

//I'm tired of this complaint/argument from the "I want everything for free" crowd.

Eeehhhmm.. That does that have anything to do with, I can't take my legally purchased Mac OS X and run it on anything I want?

You do reallies that the "I want everything for free" crowd can download an illegal copy of OS X, that doesn't have that defect, right?
Now it is only needed that the paying customers like me can do the same, not that I want to it's the principle of the matter.

Reply Score: 1

Last Paragraph
by Finchwizard on Tue 6th Feb 2007 22:35 UTC
Finchwizard
Member since:
2006-02-01

That last paragraph I think is brilliant, and it'd like to think it's hit them hard enough to think about.

Much of the concern over DRM systems has arisen in European countries. Perhaps those unhappy with the current situation should redirect their energies towards persuading the music companies to sell their music DRM-free. For Europeans, two and a half of the big four music companies are located right in their backyard. The largest, Universal, is 100% owned by Vivendi, a French company. EMI is a British company, and Sony BMG is 50% owned by Bertelsmann, a German company. Convincing them to license their music to Apple and others DRM-free will create a truly interoperable music marketplace. Apple will embrace this wholeheartedly.

From what I've seen, the EU are really starting to annoy a lot of people, even with their Microsoft Windows not containing Media player and things, has driven the cost of Windows through the roof for European countries.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Last Paragraph
by blitze on Tue 6th Feb 2007 22:43 UTC in reply to "Last Paragraph"
blitze Member since:
2006-09-15

Driving the cost of Windows through the roof mightn't be a bad thing afterall. If MS want's to play dirty with their bastardised "open" file formats or Bootloader/OEM contracts then they have to reap what gets thrown at them.

I'm all for DRM free content and supported open formats that encompass all platforms. Some how, though, I find these comments from Steve a little bit hypocritical given ITunes DRM lockdown specifically to their own portable platform.

What pisses me off is that most people seem to support it by catering solely to ITunes format and nothing else. Nothing more annoying than Quicktime formats and Podcasts.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Last Paragraph
by Hiev on Tue 6th Feb 2007 22:49 UTC in reply to "RE: Last Paragraph"
Hiev Member since:
2005-09-27

Specially when exists formats like ogg.

Edited 2007-02-06 22:49

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Last Paragraph
by kaiwai on Wed 7th Feb 2007 03:52 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Last Paragraph"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Why go ogg? I want lossless; I don't want crappy so-called "CD-Quality" Music at 128kbps; I want lossless encoded music that is the same quality bit for bit as the cd version - until they start providing that, then they've made progress, but until then, its just more bastardised quality music sold to the pleebs who can't recognise the difference.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Last Paragraph
by Soulbender on Wed 7th Feb 2007 04:12 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Last Paragraph"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

"I want lossless; I don't want crappy so-called "CD-Quality" Music at 128kbps;"

And then there was FLAC.

Reply Score: 5

RE[5]: Last Paragraph
by kaiwai on Wed 7th Feb 2007 09:45 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Last Paragraph"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

And I love FLAC :-)

But if it were a toss up between AAC at 128kbps or Apple Lossless, I would sooner use that - or better yet, use FLAC without DRM; believe me, they would see a sizable amount of money changing hands if they provided such a service in New Zealand.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Last Paragraph
by someone on Wed 7th Feb 2007 06:56 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Last Paragraph"
someone Member since:
2006-01-12

Unless you are a big fan of harpsichord music, I doubt you will notice the difference.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Last Paragraph
by kaiwai on Wed 7th Feb 2007 09:51 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Last Paragraph"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Please, I listen to music ranging from Rammstein to Bill Evens, from Korn to Ravell, from Miles Davis to The Swingle Singers - and I can tell you, the music quality is definately noticable.

Just because the vast majority of people out there are tone deaf who can't notice audio defects during playback doens't mean there isn't a difference.

I've ripped Rammstein, and you don't actually stop hearing a difference until you start encoding at around Ogg quality level 8; anything below that the music is boxy, the gritty guitar rifts either come off as distorted or an electronic whine/metalic sound coming through. Swingle Singers wich are an acapella group, their voices aren't as crisp and natural sounding when played back - not on standard ear phones, I refuse to use the shoddy crap included with mp3 players, with $100 ones, and believe, like Rammstein, you can hear the difference.

Maybe I'm pedantic, but I like to hear my music as it was intended rather than some sort of badly mutated version which has had the life ripped out of it for the sake of saving a bit of bandwidth and space.

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: Last Paragraph
by prince_seth on Thu 8th Feb 2007 05:52 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Last Paragraph"
prince_seth Member since:
2006-11-22

Unless you are a big fan of harpsichord music, I doubt you will notice the difference.

Actually I happen to be a huge fan of Classical Music, and I DO notice the difference.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Last Paragraph
by Alleister on Wed 7th Feb 2007 01:30 UTC in reply to "Last Paragraph"
Alleister Member since:
2006-05-29

That is strange. When i look at Vista prices it seems that *every* country has annoyed Microsoft since Vista prices are much higher in every country than they are in the US.

Maybe your thinking is a little clouded by your obvious prejudice.

Reply Score: 3

...
by Hiev on Tue 6th Feb 2007 22:39 UTC
Hiev
Member since:
2005-09-27

Nice strategy from Jobs to bring the public atention to music companies and not apple, the man is smart, no doubt.

Edited 2007-02-06 22:47

Reply Score: 1

here here!
by tryphcycle on Tue 6th Feb 2007 22:51 UTC
tryphcycle
Member since:
2006-02-16

Jobs hit the nail on the head! i mean.... word for word... it is TOTALLY dead on!

Reply Score: 4

Sorry guys...
by HolyLiaison on Tue 6th Feb 2007 22:59 UTC
HolyLiaison
Member since:
2007-02-06

Bill Gates spoke out against DRM about 5 months ago. There were a ton of articles around ranting and raving about it.

Truth be told, both of them could give a hoot about DRM. The only reason they say this crap is to get people to like their products more, and suck up to the customer etc etc.

They have absolutely no control over DRM anymore. The monsters grown beyond limits.

Edited 2007-02-06 23:01

Reply Score: 5

RE: Sorry guys...
by jtrapp on Tue 6th Feb 2007 23:09 UTC in reply to "Sorry guys..."
jtrapp Member since:
2005-07-06

yep, you are exactly right.

This is simply posturing for the fan base. No substance here.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Sorry guys...
by Rayz on Wed 7th Feb 2007 00:46 UTC in reply to "Sorry guys..."
Rayz Member since:
2006-06-24

Sadly, you are correct on all counts.

Gates said the same thing, and I didn't believe him either.

Reply Score: 2

Missing something...
by thavith_osn on Tue 6th Feb 2007 23:19 UTC
thavith_osn
Member since:
2005-07-11

Anyone who says that if Jobs doesn't like DRM then don't use it should re-read the letter again. The "Big 4" would never have come to the party without it.

Apple wants to sell iPods, and that means gaining access to the main stream music catalogues.

Who knows, maybe Apple is the trojan horse needed to remove DRM once and for all. Now that Apple has some say in the industry they may help influence these companies. I'm sure that's the main intent of this letter. If even one of the Big 4 did this, the others would sit up and listen, that's for sure.

Anyway, try and put yourself into their shoes first... This goes for most of these debates. Sometimes these comercial companies aren't trying to do the wrong thing by us (sometimes even MS - lol)...

Reply Score: 4

v that lying b****
by Redeeman on Wed 7th Feb 2007 00:01 UTC
May I Present.....
by Phloptical on Wed 7th Feb 2007 02:12 UTC
Phloptical
Member since:
2006-10-10

the newest gameshow sweeping the nation. Pass the Buck, with your host Steve Jobs! Boo-Hoo....the RIAA made us inflict DRM upon the masses...boo-frickity-hoo. Please.

Apparently it is true that Jobs thinks everyone, but himself, is an idiot.

Reply Score: 3

It is called RDF
by helio9000 on Wed 7th Feb 2007 02:13 UTC
helio9000
Member since:
2006-05-24

Jobs is behind record companies on this. It has been going around for weeks that record labels are interested in this approach and he is jumping on the bandwagon so as not to look like a bad guy.

The ceo of one of the *labels* (Nettwork Records) carried on both Emusic and iTunes has openly questioned why there is DRM on his music on iTunes when in fact, he doesn't require it since he feels it only benefits apple.

>>>>

"But when the same tracks are sold by the iTunes Music Store, Apple insists on attaching FairPlay copy protection that limits their use to only one portable player, the iPod. Terry McBride, Nettwerk’s chief executive, said that the artists initially required Apple to use copy protection, but that this was no longer the case. At this point, he said, copy protection serves only Apple’s interests."

http://nanocrew.net/category/drm/

>>>

You'd think if DRM was so painful for Jobs he would start there.

Also, hilariously, he is using the same 22 songs/per iPod figure that so outraged apple in the Forrester report about sales collapsing. Then it was pointed out that this number is dviding the number of songs sold by total # players sold when in fact a lot of those players are out of commission. They went on to say that the iTunes store is a huge hit and sell a track every 58 seconds. Now, that it suits him, the Forrester numbers are suddenly valid? Truly amazing what passes for logic when people want to believe.

Also, as pointed out, OS X has some of the most effective DRM in software. No one is saying that it would have to be free but if Jobs doesn't like DRM then maybe he should show the labels how it is done and let people buy and run OS X wherever they would like.

>Jobs refutes this specifically in the letter - it's completely impractical to license Fairplay

Nonsense. MS Plays Anywhere crap ran on a ton of players and wasn't cracked any more often than FairPlay.

Reply Score: 4

RE: It is called RDF
by zbrimhall on Wed 7th Feb 2007 04:06 UTC in reply to "It is called RDF"
zbrimhall Member since:
2006-08-21

You'd think if DRM was so painful for Jobs he would start there.

I think the reason that he hasn't started there comes down to two things: a) it'd mean a change in infrastructure, which would be expensive, and no one really expects him to do it anyway; and b) it'd create an inconsistant user experience. While (a) is surely a factor, I think (b) is the more important consideration. From a user's perspective, things are best when a user doesn't have to deal with a situations where some music purchases behave differently than others, with no obvious pattern for distinguishing one type from the other.

You may have a point about his timing, though. Maybe he's posturing to cultivate a guru image now that the idea of DRM free music is a safer topic. Maybe. But Apple has been getting a lot of crap lately for its DRM practices, and it is not entirely clear that they are really the bad guys. Sure, Jobs could have said a big "f--k you" to the record execs, but then iTMS wouldn't have existed, and the online music market probably wouldn't have developed to a point where the labels would consider non-DRMed formats. The labels are paranoid; perhaps it's a good thing that they're being shown how ineffective DRM schemes are.

They went on to say that the iTunes store is a huge hit and sell a track every 58 seconds. Now, that it suits him, the Forrester numbers are suddenly valid? Truly amazing what passes for logic when people want to believe.

Oh, that. The Forrester numbers were taken out of context by everyone concerned. What they actually meant was that iTMS sales growth was slowing. Was that actually the case? I don't particularily remember what Jobs said at the Macworld keynote, but I don't think it matters. You can be hugely successful and have slowing growth at the same time, the two things are compatable. But your point about the surely-defunct iPods being counted in the songs-per-iPod figure seems fair, so I checked out the Wikipedia page for some hard data. Now, to be clear, Jobs has data on all the numbers he cited, but we don't really have good data on how many people are still using their old iPods. So I've assumed that we can throw out generations one through three, but keep all sales thereafter. I base this assumption on the fact that my 4G iPod, purchased in December 2004, is still running strong (and showing no signs of needing a new battery); but as always, YMMV. What are we left with? Roughly 85 million iPods, down from the 88.7 iPods that Wikipedia cites (Jobs, it seems, was rounding his sales figures up). In other words, discounting all iPods that I feel can be reasonably assumed dead, and using the company's estimate of two billion songs, we have 23.5 songs per iPod, up from Jobs' 22. But hey, let's assume that I'm the last person on the planet still walking around with a fourth-generation iPod, and that we should only count the fifth generation and up. That does cause the numbers to jump a bit--all the way to 33 songs.

All in all, it appears that the average iPod users's investment in DRMed music comes out to something between $22 and $33, or the price of a couple CDs. That does not a vendor lock-in make. It is an annoyance, to be sure, but that's the nature of DRM.

Nonsense. MS Plays Anywhere crap ran on a ton of players and wasn't cracked any more often than FairPlay.

Plays-for-Sure has been around for how long? I seriously don't know, and the Wikipedia article doesn't seem to say. However, the few points I was able to glean from the article seem to back up Jobs' assertions. For example, FairUse4WM cracked Windows Media DRM last August. Within a week, Microsoft had a fix, but that fix was bypassed within a few days. The Wikipedia article on WM DRM suggests that it took as long as two months for all the WM DRM distributors to get up to speed with the patches.

Also, Microsoft doesn't even use Plays-for-Sure! I mean, damn.

(Edit: Looking at the FairPlay Wikipedia article, I am unable to discern exactly what the status is of current FairPlay cracks. Hymn derivations haven't worked, I think, since iTunes 6, but it looks like DVD Jon has something that does work. Also, it looks like Apple applies the DRM on the fly as music is bought, which pretty much abolishes my reason (a) for a 100% DRMed music catalog waaay back up at the top of this stupildly long post.)

Edited 2007-02-07 04:18

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: It is called RDF
by helio9000 on Wed 7th Feb 2007 06:12 UTC in reply to "RE: It is called RDF"
helio9000 Member since:
2006-05-24

Excellent post!

Couple things -

>The Forrester numbers were taken out of context by everyone concerned.

Agreed. I wasn't really questioning his numbers. Most people I know don't buy music from the iTunes store. (Frankly, a lot of people I know under 25 don't buy music at all.) I just think it is funny that Apple was basically decrying the same numbers a couple months ago. For the record, jobs said, during the keynote that the performance of the iTunes store was "amazing" and he appeared to be quite euphoric about it.

As for the cracking issue - when MS left its Plays for Sure suckers forsaken I had read that the crack no longer worked so people really were screwed. It appears that it isn't true? At the same time I thought DVD Jon already had his iTunes 7 DRM stripper out.

I would also point out that Jhymm worked for longer than the two months it took WM DRM folks to patch their various contraptions. Secondly, if this were really a concern Apple could have a stricter licensing program than MS did.

Reply Score: 1

RE: It is called RDF
by DrillSgt on Wed 7th Feb 2007 06:03 UTC in reply to "It is called RDF"
DrillSgt Member since:
2005-12-02

"Also, hilariously, he is using the same 22 songs/per iPod figure that so outraged apple in the Forrester report about sales collapsing. Then it was pointed out that this number is dviding the number of songs sold by total # players sold when in fact a lot of those players are out of commission."

It also fails to account for people like me who bought an ipod and have never purchased a song through iTunes. Why should I purchase my CD's again when I can just rip them and put them on my ipod? That is perfectly legal besides.

Reply Score: 2

RE: It is called RDF
by kmarius on Wed 7th Feb 2007 07:41 UTC in reply to "It is called RDF"
kmarius Member since:
2005-06-30

From the article:

And since 97% of the music on the average iPod was not purchased from the iTunes store, iPod users are clearly not locked into the iTunes store to acquire their music.

I think Jobs are forgetting that the music is probably not purchased from a DRM-free online store, but probably downloaded from the net or a CD-rip.

This case is about legally purchased music, and not what you can do with your iPod.

Reply Score: 1

I mostly agree:
by Donny_S on Wed 7th Feb 2007 02:26 UTC
Donny_S
Member since:
2006-12-22

If Apple wants to sell music and DRM is a condition of distribution then that's the way it is. I don't have any problem with Apple setting-up an exclusive arrangement as it relates to DRM or the ipod. The other device makers or nations are basically bitching.

What I disagree with is the spin that AAC/MP3 are open or free. I use Vorbis because I don't like the idea of legal liability for fees or royalty payments or other restrictions. Apple and the AAC/MP3 patent holders are still in a position to act as agents of control as it pertains to independent content creation and distribution on their hardware. Since the ipod won't play Vorbis files or other free formats, Apple is effectively in a position to abrogate the protected free speech rights of independent content creaters.

Reply Score: 1

It's all about LEVERAGE
by tyrione on Wed 7th Feb 2007 03:22 UTC
tyrione
Member since:
2005-11-21

When Apple started out the iPod they had ZERO LEVERAGE.

Now it has heaps of it.

This letter comes on the heels of this position.

To create it at the beginning would be business suicide.

Reply Score: 3

The cynicism is overwhelming
by atsureki on Wed 7th Feb 2007 07:21 UTC
atsureki
Member since:
2006-03-12

I hate to come across as a summarizer or parrot, but a lot of the backtalk in here really doesn't hold up against what Jobs said. The best evidence of his sincerity is just how liberal a DRM scheme it already is. The numbers are right in the article: five computers (read: installations of iTunes) and unlimited iPods and CDs can play your downloads. You could probably be sued for being caught with fewer copies of your retail CDs. You can bet he had to fight tooth and nail for that.

The amount of DRMed music per iPod statistic also serves to dispel the idea that Apple (especially with regards to iPod sales) is somehow thriving on the fact that the system is locked. All the stores going pure MP3 would probably let a lot of the air out of the iTMS bubble (the notion that having an iPod locks you to iTMS does hold a few drops of water), but from the sound of things, the current success has Apple spending way too many resources and sleepless nights on keeping FairPlay in its pen.

And for those who aren't bothering to RTA, I'll add here that licensing FairPlay means more leaks, and more leaks means more liability on Apple's part, which means money down the tubes as they scramble to appease The Four Gods.

Apple is making tons of money on the prevailing model of people buying iPods and filling them with CD rips (and so forth). If you've watched any keynotes, you've seen him compare their music sales to those of Target and Wal-Mart. The iTMS is just there to sell the music., and they know they can offer a more competitive value without FairPlay. Apple doesn't get anything out of using DRM, and worse, it interferes with their "just works" ideal. DRM is, to borrow a slogan, "broken by design," and that's not the way Apple likes to do things.

Reply Score: 3

three simple things to do
by unclefester on Wed 7th Feb 2007 07:29 UTC
unclefester
Member since:
2007-01-13

1. Don't buy music with DRM

2 Use only free codecs - ogg, speex and flac

3 buy a music player that plays ogg

simple

Reply Score: 3

The one thing Jobs should do right now...
by Moochman on Wed 7th Feb 2007 09:42 UTC
Moochman
Member since:
2005-07-06

...is open up the music from the indie labels (i.e. everything that you can already get on eMusic without DRM). There's really no reason why Apple should be DRM-coating music from companies that don't require it.

That said, I like Jobs' thoughts. Seeing as he's the person with potentially the most swaying power over the online music biz, I'm glad to see he's pushing for the abolishment of DRM. This is great news!

Reply Score: 3

open?
by makc on Wed 7th Feb 2007 10:59 UTC
makc
Member since:
2006-01-11

When iPod will play OGG, then we might talk about 'open' licenseable formats. MP3 and AAC are still subject to royalties.

Reply Score: 2

RE: open?
by Hands on Wed 7th Feb 2007 17:23 UTC in reply to "open?"
Hands Member since:
2005-06-30

I couldn't agree more. The first thing I thought of when I saw this article was lack of OGG support in iPods.

"To begin, it is useful to remember that all iPods play music that is free of any DRM and encoded in “open” licensable formats such as MP3 and AAC. iPod users can and do acquire their music from many sources, including CDs they own. Music on CDs can be easily imported into the freely-downloadable iTunes jukebox software which runs on both Macs and Windows PCs, and is automatically encoded into the open AAC or MP3 formats without any DRM. This music can be played on iPods or any other music players that play these open formats."

I don't expect iTunes to support OGG encoding. I don't even like using iTunes (too commercial). But, I prefer OGG as a format and won't buy an iPod as long as it doesn't support OGG decoding. I'm glad that there are other options.

Reply Score: 2

Well...
by Ralf. on Wed 7th Feb 2007 12:04 UTC
Ralf.
Member since:
2005-08-13

...in your case there is a simple solution:
Go out and by the original CDs.

Reply Score: 1

Magnatune.
by ccchips on Wed 7th Feb 2007 14:29 UTC
ccchips
Member since:
2006-05-24

http://www.magnatune.com

I admit it's a shameless plug, but I get all my purchased music from them *because* it's DRM-free.

That, at least, should say someting.

Reply Score: 2

Mouth Loud of Crap
by Bit_Rapist on Wed 7th Feb 2007 14:36 UTC
Bit_Rapist
Member since:
2005-11-13

I'd like to believe the guy but his actions speak far louder than his words.

If Apple were for open formats or allowing any player to play media then they would have licensed out fairplay LONG ago.

Instead they have used Fairplay as a way to lock customers to iTunes and lock out other companies from supplying content that plays on the iPod.

Job's bit about not licensing fairplay due to someone sorting out its 'secrets' does nothing more than to show that Fairplay is flawed encryption.

Snake Oil my friends.

Edited 2007-02-07 14:41

Reply Score: 2

RE: Mouth Loud of Crap
by JimF on Wed 7th Feb 2007 16:00 UTC in reply to "Mouth Loud of Crap"
JimF Member since:
2006-10-17

Yea... Snake Oil... because we all know that mp3's don't play on iPods at all. No one's FORCING you to use DRM'd AAC's exclusively on an iPod. It's not that you need ITMS if you own an iPod, it's that you need an iPod if you want to use ITMS.

What digital music PLAYER manufacturers are complaining about is that they cannot license AAC/FairPlay and use Apple's ITMS - saving them the work of coming up with their own music service and being able to use APPLE'S ITMS as a selling point for their own device.

What Jobs does point out in this letter is that this is happening with more music services than just ITMS. This is happening with SONY and MICROSOFT as well. You need COMPATIBLE MP3 players for Napster too. The problem isn't limited to Apple, it's "online music" industry-wide.

If all services are doing the same thing (proprietary DRM format, only works on certain "approved" players) the question of WHY this is the case needs to be addressed, and IS addressed in this letter: the big 4 require it if you're going to sell their music online. If the big 4 cannot be convinced that DRM is a hinderance to the online music industry, they're going to continue to demand those terms for their music licensing. Blaming Apple or Microsoft for this is not going to change ANYTHING.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Mouth Loud of Crap
by Bit_Rapist on Wed 7th Feb 2007 17:37 UTC in reply to "RE: Mouth Loud of Crap"
Bit_Rapist Member since:
2005-11-13

Yea... Snake Oil... because we all know that mp3's don't play on iPods at all

How many companies can sell those online legally?

It's not that you need ITMS if you own an iPod, it's that you need an iPod if you want to use ITMS.

If you want to use online music that is LEGAL and you have an iPod then yes you are stuck with iTMS.

What digital music PLAYER manufacturers are complaining about is that they cannot license AAC/FairPlay and use Apple's ITMS - saving them the work of coming up with their own music service and being able to use APPLE'S ITMS as a selling point for their own device.

Partially, there are also other music stores that would like to be able to sell music to iPod Users. Real Networks comes to mind, and they have tried.

Its a two way road.

What Jobs does point out in this letter is that this is happening with more music services than just ITMS. This is happening with SONY and MICROSOFT as well. You need COMPATIBLE MP3 players for Napster too. The problem isn't limited to Apple, it's "online music" industry-wide.

Yes after MS and Sony saw the beautiful lockin job that apple pulled off they jumped on the bandwagon. This is not some random freakin' happening or force of nature. Apple and the rest of these guys are engineering the products this way.


If all services are doing the same thing (proprietary DRM format, only works on certain "approved" players) the question of WHY this is the case needs to be addressed, and IS addressed in this letter: the big 4 require it if you're going to sell their music online

Its an easy solution, if the record companies want DRM then Apple (being the largets player) could stand up and be a technology leader by licensing FairPlay. That would put everyone on a universal DRM format.

MS licenses WMA, of course they are changing the way Zune works since they believe Apple's iTMS one player system is what they need to do in order to compete.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Mouth Loud of Crap
by aesiamun on Wed 7th Feb 2007 19:00 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Mouth Loud of Crap"
aesiamun Member since:
2005-06-29

um LEGAL mp3s can be purchased and downloaded...

start with:
http://www.magnatune.com
http://www.emusic.com
http://www.audiolunchbox.com/

All mp3...all legal.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Mouth Loud of Crap
by JimF on Wed 7th Feb 2007 20:10 UTC in reply to "RE: Mouth Loud of Crap"
JimF Member since:
2006-10-17

"How many companies can sell those online legally?"

There are a few independents like the one named in an earlier response. Also, you can choose to just rip and load CD's you purchase on your iPod. Furthermore, exactly who is making it illegal to get "mainstream" music in mp3 format online? MS? Apple? Or the big 4?

"If you want to use online music that is LEGAL and you have an iPod then yes you are stuck with iTMS."

Add "from the big 4 record labels" and I will agree with you. However, there are independents out there.

(EDIT: after reading another person's response, I do have to admit I saw some mainstream names like BB King and Tina Turner at the DRM Free MP3 Download sites, so I guess we were both wrong on that point.)

"Its an easy solution, if the record companies want DRM then Apple (being the largets player) could stand up and be a technology leader by licensing FairPlay. That would put everyone on a universal DRM format."

I don't agree with you here. I think Jobs did a fair job of explaining exactly WHY he didn't license out FairPlay in the letter. There's no guarantee Apple licensing out FairPlay would do anything more than delaying the speed at which people implement security patches, and if FairPlay is cracked too much the Big 4 can pull their license to sell the music that's available at ITMS.

Edited 2007-02-07 20:14

Reply Score: 1

The question is...
by aliquis on Wed 7th Feb 2007 18:50 UTC
aliquis
Member since:
2005-07-23

... do he say that because he have to or because that's what he thinks?

Reply Score: 1