Reaction to Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ call for end of DRM | iLounge News

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Reaction to Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ call for end of DRM

“We agree wholeheartedly with Jobs, since EFF has been making exactly the same points for several years now. As a first step in putting his music store where his mouth is, we urge him to take immediate steps to remove the DRM on the independent label content in the iTunes Store. Why wait for the major record labels?”—Derek Slater, Electronic Frontier Foundation

“[Jobs’ argument to drop DRM] is without logic and merit. We will not abandon DRM.”—Edgar Bronfman Jr., Warner Music CEO

“I don’t expect the record labels to move very quickly in this direction. It would be very hard for the music industry to walk away from all the lawsuits they have filed against individual consumers, some against 15-year-olds, and say digital rights management is not a big deal.”— James McQuivey, Forrester Research

“It’s a bold move on his part. If anything can play on anything, it’s a clear win for the consumer electronics device world, but a potential disaster for the content companies.”—Ted Cohen, managing partner of TAG Strategic and former senior VP for digital distribution for EMI Music

“[Jobs’ letter was] irresponsible, or at the very least naïve. It’s like he’s on top of the mountain making pronouncements, while we’re here on the ground working with the industry to make it happen.”— Jason Reindorp, marketing director for Zune at Microsoft

“We welcome Apple taking this problem seriously, and addressing it at such a high level. It is clear that the record industry has some of the responsibility, but that does not relieve Apple of responsibility. Our concern is, of course, that Apple and iTunes Music Store should be addressing the issue of record companies and DRM themselves if it needs to be addressed. It’s iTunes Music Store that’s providing a service to the consumers and therefore has the responsibility.”—Torgeir Waterhouse, senior adviser to the Norwegian Consumer Council

“The essay ultimately comes across as more of a finger-pointing exercise than anything else, concluding by telling European governments to turn their attention to (European) record companies instead of Apple. The company’s proposal of two equally unpleasant alternatives—Apple DRM or no DRM—makes some rhetorical sense, but obviously doesn’t encompass all of the potential solutions out there, and as neither Apple option will satisfy sabre-rattlers, it won’t stop those trying to force FairPlay licensing upon the company.”—Jeremy Horwitz, iLounge

“Most technologists have always believed this and apparently now Steve Jobs is saying it publicly. He is begging the music industry to give up on all the DRM initiatives while subtly predicting they may spell its doom. He is dead right.”—John C. Dvorak, Marketwatch

“There is a less than 25% chance that the music industry will license music to online stores without any DRM. Record labels have worked hard to protect their product from theft by negotiating DRM requirements, so despite Jobs’ request, DRM free online music services are not likely to be the norm any time soon.”—Gene Munster, Piper Jaffray

“Is it a challenge to the major record labels? An answer to the increasingly hostile European governments (Norway, France, Germany) that are pressuring Apple to “open up” the iTunes Store? A message to the press to clarify Apple’s stance on DRM? A big f***-you to Microsoft? It is all of these things.”—John Gruber, Daring Fireball

“Apple’s offer to license Fairplay to other technology companies is a welcome breakthrough and would be a real victory for fans, artists and labels. There have been many services seeking a license to the Apple DRM. This would enable the interoperability that we have been urging for a very long time.”—RIAA (misunderstanding Jobs’ letter)

“It should not take Apple’s iTunes team more than 2-3 days to implement a solution for not wrapping content with FairPlay when the content owner does not mandate DRM. This could be done in a completely transparent way and would not be confusing to the users. Actions speak louder than words, Steve.”—Jon Lech Johansen (AKA DVD Jon)

“We’re not going to broadly license our content for unprotected digital distribution.”—Anonymous music company executive

“Last time I checked, Apple also sold TV shows, music videos, and films on iTunes Music Store, and they are all protected by FairPlay DRM. Why didn’t Jobs make the same courageous stand against DRM on video? Unfortunately, the answer isn’t very pretty: Apple doesn’t have anywhere near the same clout in the movie and TV business that it has in music, and has only signed film deals with two of the major studios as a result. Taking a stand against DRM for movies would anger the same people he is trying to make deals with.”—Andrew Shebanow, Shebanation

“We’ve been talking about the need for open formats for a very long time.”—Dan Sheeran, senior vice president for digital music at RealNetworks

“I’ve always assumed that DRM was a condition set by the record labels, not by Apple, and that Apple conceded only as a way to get the labels to sell their music through iTunes. Interoperability will drive iPod sales, and also music sales. This is what we at the Canadian Music Creators Coaltions (CMCC) have been pushing, and I’m glad to see Apple make a push for a DRM-free world.”—Steven Page, Barenaked Ladies

“In the near-term, this letter is going to have minimal impact. I fundamentally agree with much of what Jobs said. The record labels drive DRM adoption. DRM is not going away because the record labels aren’t going to let it go away. They are too paranoid about piracy.”—Michael Goodman, Yankee Group

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Comments

1

“[Jobs’ letter was] irresponsible, or at the very least naïve. It’s like he’s on top of the mountain making pronouncements, while we’re here on the ground working with the industry to make it happen.”— Jason Reindorp, marketing director for Zune at Microsoft

^This quote just cracks me up. It just seems childish in nature with saying how “so and so is doing this while its more like we are doing the work”. If they are working so hard with the industry why don’t they make a good product?

Posted by Kyle on February 7, 2007 at 6:36 PM (CST)

2

“We’re not going to broadly license our content for unprotected digital distribution.” —Anonymous music company executive

Evidently said executive is not aware of the existence of CDs, which are broadly licensed, unprotected, and digital as it stands. The difference being that they cost twice as much as the iTunes equivalents.

Posted by Jeremy Avalon on February 7, 2007 at 6:41 PM (CST)

3

woo, come on critical mass of shifting opinion…

Posted by Nuke666 in Melbourne, Austalia on February 7, 2007 at 7:05 PM (CST)

4

Like DVD Jon said, “Actions speak louder than words, Steve.”

I say that goes for everyone who wants DRM-free music but sells it anyways.

Posted by BradwJensen on February 7, 2007 at 8:05 PM (CST)

5

Why should iTunes continue with the DRM at their expense?  Does Wal-Mart, Target, or Best Buy guarantee companies their customers are not ripping their content from the CD?  Or for that matter, what about those of us who purchase our DVD’s and CD’s Used, who amongst us can guarantee that the previous owners sold us those CD’s and/or DVD’s without pirating their own copy first. Answer: No One.  The download service only offers instant gratification without having to leave our homes and deal with traffic and/or people who walk accross the street listening to their iPods and not looking where they are going (pun intended).  Ultimately companies will profit from a DRM free environment largely because the content purchased won’t be purchased a second time (i.e., used).  DRM free content would allow a broader spectrum of interfacing with customers and what the customer truely wants.  I mean there are those among us who probably would’ve download albums from iTunes if available, but don’t want to purchase yet another Portable Music Device to carry our content.  So if the DRM free content would be available from iTunes, then iTunes would just be another Wal-Mart, Target, or Best Buy in the digital world.

Posted by JT on February 7, 2007 at 8:22 PM (CST)

6

come on Steve, if you really believe in what you said, do something about it. Don’t just point out the obvious

Posted by justin on February 7, 2007 at 9:11 PM (CST)

7

Steve Jobs has a flaw with his argument that “97% of the music is unprotected” on iPods. He assumes in his calculation that no one abandons an iPod. I would assume that with battery life capped, trendiness, and new features, people would migrate their music to newer iPods. If this is true, it can be argued that there are less than 90 million unique iPod owners (assuming on average each user has 1 iPod) and therefore there would be much more iTunes DRM music per user than per iPod. He should use the number of unique iPod owners rather than the total number of iPods sold as a better metric.

Or I may be wrong :)

Posted by m@ on February 7, 2007 at 10:18 PM (CST)

8

If he said.. let’s see what happen if he turned out right.

Posted by iLovePod on February 7, 2007 at 11:56 PM (CST)

9

““Why should iTunes continue with the DRM at their expense?  Does Wal-Mart, Target, or Best Buy guarantee companies their customers are not ripping their content from the CD? “”

Because if iTunes don’t use DRM under their current licensing with the labels they wouild be guilty of unlawful distribution and would get a massive spanking in court. D’OH!

Posted by mr-ed on February 8, 2007 at 4:25 AM (CST)

10

“—RIAA (misunderstanding Jobs’ letter)”

LOL!

Posted by Gordy. in Atlanta, GA on February 8, 2007 at 10:53 AM (CST)

11

It’s funny how APPLE’s own games have DRM…  I would think they could control DRM on their own products…

Posted by AMEason81 on February 8, 2007 at 12:38 PM (CST)

12

1) One of Apple’s complaints is that locking the windows (DRM for compressed formats) is foolish when the doors (DRM-free CDs) are wide open.  The same isn’t true for video, which I’m sure is one reason he didn’t make the argument.

2) I sincerely doubt Apple will ever open FairPlay, and I doubt it for the reasons he suggests.  Apple is VERY good at keeping secrets.  Most other companys are terrible at it.  If it comes down to a lawsuit, Apple will merely close its music store to those countries that require it to open its encryption.  That business is worth far less than losing music industry support.

3) I doubt the music industry will get behind this.  The music industry is full of really myopic businessmen who don’t understand the problem, and that’s one of the big reasons that industry is floundering.

4) Can we get Apple to buy eMusic?  I’d love the unprotected MP3s to become (much better sounding) unprotected AACs with the iTMS interface behind them.

Posted by dasmb on February 8, 2007 at 12:46 PM (CST)

13

Does anyone ever think about the songwriter or musician who writes and records the tunes? The answer is no!  They’re trying to make a living too and most consumers don’t consider this when they download without paying.  DRM-free music downloads do not compensate songwrters and musicians for their hard earned work!  That’s right. It’s all about money.  From the songwriter/musician to the record companies to the consumer.  Please don’t forget the songwriters and musicians who are trying to make a living like everyone else!

Posted by Miles A.P. Kahaloa on February 8, 2007 at 1:25 PM (CST)

14

“Does anyone ever think about the songwriter or musician who writes and records the tunes? The answer is no!  They’re trying to make a living too and most consumers don’t consider this when they download without paying.  DRM-free music downloads do not compensate songwrters and musicians for their hard earned work!  That’s right. It’s all about money.  From the songwriter/musician to the record companies to the consumer.  Please don’t forget the songwriters and musicians who are trying to make a living like everyone else!”

Miles, FYI, not every musician/songwriter is supporting DRM. In fact, there are a great many artists that are completely against it and they range from up-and-coming artists to well-known artists…you need only re-read the comments by Barenaked Ladies’ Steven Page above. Don’t preach about something you aren’t capable of looking at from both sides.

Posted by CD on February 8, 2007 at 2:19 PM (CST)

15

Steve Jobs has a flaw with his argument that “97% of the music is unprotected” on iPods. He assumes in his calculation that no one abandons an iPod.

Not sure how you know what Jobs did or did not assume in his calculation.

The calculation wasn’t really about 3% anyway.  That was an oversimplification of his original statistic, that there is an average of 22 DRM’d songs on each iPod, regardless of capacity.  3% was the approximation for a 4GB nano, which holds approximately 1000 songs at 128 (22 DRM’d songs / 1000 = 0.022, or 2.2%).  A 60GB iPod would result in a figure of 0.147%, 1/15th of 2.2%.  Other factors may result in a higher-than-2.2% figure on any given iPod.  3% might not be accurate, but I don’t think it’s completely off the mark, if Jobs’ 22-DRM’d-songs-per-iPod statistic is even remotely accurate.

Posted by Esquilax on February 8, 2007 at 2:50 PM (CST)

16

“Can we get Apple to buy eMusic?  I’d love the unprotected MP3s to become (much better sounding) unprotected AACs with the iTMS interface behind them.”

Man, I hope not.  I like iTunes and I love my iPod, but I’ll take eMusic’s less-expensive, unprotected, higher quality VBR MP3 downloads over the crappy iTunes low-bitrate copy-protected AAC downloads any day.  Besides, if Apple bought eMusic, you really think the songs would stay unprotected?  The eMusic content would be converted to Apple’s more-expensive, less user-friendly format.  No thanks.

Posted by SPBass on February 8, 2007 at 3:14 PM (CST)

17

It’s like he’s on top of the mountain making pronouncements, while we’re here on the ground working with the industry to make it happen.”—

Those on top are call the INNOVATORS

Those on the ground are call the
IMITATORS

Posted by gbendana on February 8, 2007 at 4:16 PM (CST)

18

Those on top are call the INNOVATORS

Those on the ground are call the
IMITATORS

—-

LOL! Broke you Microsoft, and your busted Zune! :)

Posted by xsushi on February 8, 2007 at 4:26 PM (CST)

19

“DRM-free music downloads do not compensate songwrters and musicians for their hard earned work!” -Miles A.P. Kahaloa

Explain to me why a musician would earn less money when I buy an unprotected track, compared to when I DON’T buy a DRM infected track?


“[Jobs’ argument to drop DRM] is without logic and merit.”—Edgar Bronfman Jr., Warner Music CEO

It feels really good to know that the people I want to buy stuff from is completely ignoring and refuses to acknowledge my needs… oh wait, it doesn’t!


To be honest, I didn’t really like Jobs’ letter either, it didn’t address the issue I have with FairPlay DRM, that is I’d like to be able to play purchased music on any player I want, portable or on a computer, on any OS (or at the very least release a version of iTunes that’ll run on Linux!).

Posted by Milan on February 8, 2007 at 4:36 PM (CST)

20

I don’t have any problems with DRM on the music I buy from the iTunes store. I mainly buy single tracks, though lately I have bought some complete albums that would be difficult and time-consuming to find on CD, even online. Besides, since I have an FM transmitter for my nano, I don’t even need the CD at all. I have several CDs that have only been in a drive long enough to be ripped into iTunes.

As for piracy, I am probably one of the most anal anti-pirates I know. I borrowed two CDs from my brother to import them into iTunes, and I still went out and actually bought those same CDs once I found them.

I think Steve Jobs makes a lot of sense in that article… but my little 8gb red Nano may be projecting his reality distortion field onto me.

Correct me if I misread it, but it sounds to me more like Steve is saying “Boy, no DRM would be nice”  rather than “It’s time to get rid of DRM”?

Posted by Brian English on February 8, 2007 at 5:15 PM (CST)

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