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Microsoft CEO: iPod users steal music

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By Dennis Lloyd

Publisher, iLounge
Published: Monday, October 4, 2004
News Categories: iPod

“Speaking to an exclusive gathering of press in London on a number of issues, such as security, Steve Ballmer didn’t pass up the opportunity to take several digs at his company’s arch rival Apple. [...]

Billing Microsoft as the good guys and Apple the villains of the piece - at least as far as corporate America, rather than users, is concerned, Ballmer said: ‘We’ve had DRM in Windows for years. The most common format of music on an iPod is ‘stolen’.’”

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Comments

21

Quote of the year!  They’re ones to talk about stealing technology.  How many patent conflict lawsuits has Microsoft had to settle in the past 20 years?

Posted by photog on October 4, 2004 at 8:48 AM (PDT)

22

We’re supposed to take this guy seriously?

Posted by dfd on October 4, 2004 at 8:49 AM (PDT)

23

This is an outrageous statement calling almost all ipod owners theives.  Im glad he thinks this but it could probably be proven just the oposite.  I know lots of people who have other players and they only steal music and never buy.  I think almost every iPod owner buys a good bit of music from iTunes because of convenience and people with other players really don’t buy cause the store isn’t right there in the program there using.  I must also say alot of people with other players don’t like the quality of wma and only go with mp3’s, I don’t blame them.  So people with other players only use mp3’s so there most likely stolen.

Posted by Jonathan on October 4, 2004 at 8:51 AM (PDT)

24

well that’s ridiculously ignorant.

that’s like saying all black people will try to pick-pocket you.  or all white people live in trailer park.

gates is probably bored and just wants to make things artificially challenging.

Posted by Exvicious in Schaumburg, IL on October 4, 2004 at 8:53 AM (PDT)

25

Kinda funny since most windows user steal windows. 

Posted by tetro on October 4, 2004 at 8:56 AM (PDT)

26

i dont care ;0

Posted by sweetp on October 4, 2004 at 9:03 AM (PDT)

27

Microsoft must be ashamed

Posted by verbax on October 4, 2004 at 9:08 AM (PDT)

28

I dare Mr. Ballmer to say that to Tom Cruise’s face. Or Kirsten Dunst. Or Halle Berry.

Posted by Dare on October 4, 2004 at 9:21 AM (PDT)

29

I think that most music period is stolen. I would never pay 99 cents for a poorly encoded music track when you can find a better encoded one online within seconds for free. The most popular songs are usually found as 256 k mp3’s. This is much better than 128 AAC.
Balmers argument is irrelevant, since we already know that Apple gets about 4 cents a track and the rest goes to the record companies who do not ship, package or otherwise support the product. There isn’t a business model that makes online music sales attractive unless you are also selling the music device, such as the iPod.
MS does not have the ability to design creative devices, and they seem to think that the cash is in the media. Typical thinking from a company that earns cash from an operating system.

Posted by Carl on October 4, 2004 at 9:31 AM (PDT)

30

The most common music format on Windows machines is ‘stolen’.

This guy and his company are complete #####.

Might we remind him that Windows only software like, um let’s see, Napster and Kazaa probably account for 95% of the stolen music in the world. What a hypocrit!

Posted by BigFil on October 4, 2004 at 9:34 AM (PDT)

31

my ipod does have a couple of “stolen” songs on it. about 5 out of 5463.

Posted by anonymous on October 4, 2004 at 9:43 AM (PDT)

32

The irony here is that there are numerous numbers that say something like 40% - 50% of the sofware run by Windows users is ‘stolen’.

And just how much code has MS stolen in its lifetime.

What an a-hole.

Posted by Mister Ken on October 4, 2004 at 9:50 AM (PDT)

33

Ballmer is absolutely right, but stupid (irrelevant) for saying it.

Also, recognize that as far as the labels are concerned, they don’t consider stolen music to only be music downloaded from Napster or the likes, but also when you copy a friends CD it’s stolen. 

When you get a track from a person it’s stolen. 

Of course, you didn’t steal it from your friend, but the RIAA would argue that you stole it from them.

This war on piracy (or what the labels want to define as piracy) is going to get even more messy!

Posted by Big Sid on October 4, 2004 at 9:54 AM (PDT)

34

Oh, and one more thing

Kudos to Jobs and company for making Fat Boy Balmer even feel he had to make that rank comment.

Further proof that MS is getting their behind kicked in a big way.

Keep going Ballmer. Plant those big fat lips on the butt cheeks of the record companies. You two are a match made in hell and deserve one another. 2 bloated, overpriced, backward thinking industries whos days are numbered.

Posted by Mister Ken on October 4, 2004 at 9:55 AM (PDT)

35

What crap….

I use MSFT products and it is crap like the MSFT good everyone else bad mentality that is going to kill msft. Just one more thing to encouge me to reformat and install linux.

Can we say “Inferiority Complex” or “Why didn’t we steal that too?”.

MSFT - how unoriginal.

Posted by Blowmer on October 4, 2004 at 9:56 AM (PDT)

36

The bottom line is money
whether its apple or a pc.  theres no difference.  everything today is a moneymaking scheme - of course the music is stolen when you have computer systems! Why wouldnt it be?  is music that is taped off the radio “stolen” also?

these riaa/apple/windows folks are no different than the people chasing you down the street for a quarter.  everythings “whats in it for me whats in it for me”

the new america

what happened to ‘‘united we stand?’’

Posted by joy on October 4, 2004 at 9:59 AM (PDT)

37

“Pot to kettle… pot to kettle… hey kettle… you know you’re black?”

Posted by radd on October 4, 2004 at 10:31 AM (PDT)

38

I love my iPod and agree that Balmer’s suggestion that iPod users are thieves is stupid and rife with playground tactics.  And I also share sentiments that the RIAA has got some serious flaws with their approach to trying to control the distribution of intellectual property.  But, and this is from the perspective of someone who loves music and who wants to encourage musicians to make even more music: please give some thought to downloading or copying music without paying for it (even if a borrowed CD from a friend).  The ultimate losers are the musicians.  If you burn or download songs, the musicians should be paid for it.  Unless those musicians have a policy of creating and distributing music for free, and some do, please compensate them for it.  If you don’t want the RIAA getting their greedy hands on your cash, maybe send some money directly to the bands.  Or maybe go see the bands play and pay them by buying tickets, t-shirts, etc.  It’s just that lots of bands, especially those who are independently produced, have a difficult enough time making a living from music sales, and every fan they make who doesn’t pay them for their music isn’t helping them as they try to make a living from making music.

Posted by Lonnie on October 4, 2004 at 10:48 AM (PDT)

39

Microsoft is one to talk about steeling other peoples work…. im sure my dog could name a few things which MS has taken from others….

Posted by markyymark on October 4, 2004 at 10:50 AM (PDT)

40

I’ll bet it pisses Micro$oft off that Hewlett Packard is now selling iPods.  HP got smart and jumped on the iPod bandwagon.  Too bad for Billy and the boys.

3000+ legally owned songs on my iPod.

Suck it, Ballmer

Posted by iPodlover on October 4, 2004 at 10:55 AM (PDT)

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