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Warner Rejects Jobs' DRM Position 102

Posted by Zonk
from the we-like-things-just-the-way-they-are dept.
massivefoot writes "Warner Music has rejected the suggestion from Steve Jobs that DRM should be removed from music downloads. In an open letter this week, Jobs said that removing the software would also allow greater usability for customers, as any online music store would be able to sell songs that would work on all players. Warner Music, the world's fourth largest record company, seems far from convinced. "
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Warner Rejects Jobs' DRM Position

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  • by OctoberSky (888619) on Friday February 09, 2007 @01:05PM (#17950026)

    Its boss Edgar Bronfman, said Mr Job's proposal was "without logic and merit".

    With a strong arugment like that, how can Jobs respond?

    Seriously, that's all the linked article quotes him as saying. Next up we'll discuss what President Bush meant when he said "The Iraq situation is"

    • The RIAA's response (Score:4, Informative)

      by KingSkippus (799657) * on Friday February 09, 2007 @01:12PM (#17950144) Homepage Journal

      Here's an MSNBC article [msn.com] with just a few more details. It has the RIAA's response:

      Apple Inc. CEO Steve Jobs challenged major record labels to strip copying restrictions from music sold online, but their trade group fired back Wednesday, suggesting the company should open up its anti-piracy technology to rivals instead.

      Doing so, argued Mitch Bainwol, chairman and chief executive of the Recording Industry Association of America, would eliminate technology hurdles that prevent music fans from buying songs at Apple's iTunes Music Store and playing them on devices other than the iPod.

      "We have no doubt that a technology company as sophisticated and smart as Apple could work with the music community to make that happen," Bainwol said in a statement.
      • by dch24 (904899) on Friday February 09, 2007 @01:25PM (#17950372) Journal
        Of course, MSNBC is just quoting the AP wire [ap.org] (you have to look at the copyright at the bottom to see this).

        But even if Jobs is just doing this to get the EU off his back, you have to admit, this has made DRM a front-page issue. That's diametrically opposed to the approach Microsoft (with Vista) or the RIAA would prefer. They want to pull a fast one and sneak DRM into every part of Joe Sixpack's life without him even knowing it (until he gets his first C&D letter).

        So whatever Jobs' motives, I think this is a good thing. Most of the articles I've read on the subject agree that DRM is a bad thing. The "public" is getting ready to kick out the RIAA, and I've got my front-row seat.
      • "We have no doubt that a technology company as sophisticated and smart as Apple could work with the music community to make that happen," Bainwol said in a statement.
        So, Jobs says "it's no technologically possible", their response is "we're sure they can do it".
        Can't the RIAA suits all get in a plane together and go the way of the Big Bopper and friends? Please? Pretty please?
        • by KingSkippus (799657) * on Friday February 09, 2007 @02:30PM (#17951494) Homepage Journal

          Well, therein lies the crux of the problem. Apple says it's not practical (or even possible) to adequately DRM music and license the technology to others, because that necessarily means sharing "secrets," and the more people that you share the secret with, the harder it is to keep the secret. That makes sense to me.

          The music industry and its players are saying, in essence, "You're a smart company, figure out a way to share the secret with others, and yet still keep the secret." That doesn't make sense to me. Witness what's happened to CSS. When the secret was let out, it was impossible to retroactively say, "Okay, everyone that was using that secret, start using this one instead..."

          The thing that really chaps my hide is that let's say that Apple says, "Okay, let's share the secret," and lo and behold, the secret gets out and Apple's DRM is irrevocably cracked open. Who here thinks that the RIAA and the major industry players will say, "Well, darn, I guess that's the risk we ran by telling Apple to do something they warned us was impractical."

          Yeah, I don't either.

          • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

            by blowdart (31458)

            Apple says it's not practical (or even possible) to adequately DRM music and license the technology to others, because that necessarily means sharing "secrets," and the more people that you share the secret with, the harder it is to keep the secret.

            Except Microsoft managed it with WMDRM; that was cracked a couple of times (one outstanding right now); and it took a lot longer than FairPlay. If the labels were really going to pull their music when FairPlay got hacked and not fixed then how come iTunes has m

            • Minor grouse.

              As noted in the wikipedia article, some of these apps that break encryption don't work with newer versions of iTunes. Also, one of the hacks--QTFairUse--uses QuickTime to play the file into a buffer--essentially, the "analog hole" issue. Since Apple cannot solve the "analog hole" problem, I'm sure there's specific wording in it's contract with record companies to absolve it from this.
            • OSX has the biggest DRM of all, it can't be run on an non-Apple machine.
              Er, I think you're confusing DRM with EULA. There are (at least) thousands of people illegally (according to the EULA) running OS X on non-Apple hardware. There are even a number of web sites dedicated to supporting people doing this. The only issue is the limited driver support.
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by Anonymous Coward

              Hi. I was involved with a small company that licensed WMDRM. Microsoft keeps their cards close to their chest. We got decryption chips that handled the DRM (which meant redesigning our hardware and firmware to work with it). We didn't get access to the source code, keys, or algorithms (beyond the white papers you can find on their website).

            • by Thrudheim (910314) on Friday February 09, 2007 @05:44PM (#17954630)
              This line of argument is fairly common (even DVD Jon is spouting it), but I hope it goes away soon. Why? Consumers should be doing everything to promote the end of DRM, not try to come up with rationalizations for why a workable, universal DRM scheme might be devised. Jobs has publicly committed Apple to selling DRM-free music if the labels will agree. EMI, at least, seems somewhat open to the idea. eMusic is doing quite well selling DRM-free music. Momentum seems to be building, despite Bronfman's idiocy.

              The implication of the argument that Apple could build a universal DRM scheme is that it *should*. Instead, consumers ought to capitalize on Jobs' statement and pile the pressure on. Encourage Apple to sell DRM-free music, now, from those labels that permit it. Buy DRM-free music whenever possible from those download services that offer it. Better yet, refuse to buy any music from Warner, Sony, or any other company that refuses to sell you DRM-free music.

              More directly to your point, I am not sure that Microsoft has really "managed it." Reports are that trying to maintain the system has been cumbersome. When things don't work, who is to blame? The device manufacturer? The music service? Microsoft? The fact that the Zune has its own DRM is telling. Control over all pieces of the system solves a lot of problems.

              PlaysForSure, moreover, was created when Microsoft was not in the business of manufacturing its own player. It could be a neutral party in working with device manufacturers to make players that met the specifications to be certified PlaysForSure by Microsoft. It seems highly problematic, on the other hand, to force the number one manufacturer of mp3 players to coordinate with its competitors concerning some aspects of how these players are designed and what features their operating systems must have to make the DRM work.

              The incentives are always there to make things not work quite so well for competitors. For example, Microsoft's control over Windows gives it a competitive advantage over other companies that try to sell Windows applications. Competitors products "break" mysteriously. Competitors don't have access to hidden hooks into the operating system. Would an Apple-organized DRM system really work all that well for competitors and consumers in the end? I doubt it. If there is to be a universal DRM scheme, a neutral body should design it and maintain it.

              With DRM-free music, it doesn't matter. As Jobs said, it the clearly the best solution for consumers.
          • by r3m0t (626466)
            Microsoft has managed to keep its secrets excellently while licensing to music stores, subscription services and manufacturers of WMA players. Why can't Apple do the same?
            • by Thrudheim (910314)
              Jobs' position is that making DRM work well is much easier if one has control over all the pieces. That undoubtedly is true.

              If Microsoft's DRM were so excellent, the head of Yahoo Music would not be saying that it "doesn't work half the time." Now there's a ringing endorsement of a supposedly interoperable system from one of it's chief vendors. Players in the PlaysForSure paradigm had to be certified for use in the system, and there are still problems.

              http://www.siliconvalleywatcher.com/mt/archives/20 07 [siliconvalleywatcher.com]
        • Re:Deaf ears (Score:5, Insightful)

          by ePhil_One (634771) on Friday February 09, 2007 @03:32PM (#17952376) Journal
          So, Jobs says "it's no technologically possible", their response is "we're sure they can do it".

          Jobs said "it's not technologically possible" with qualifiers. Jobs' point is that DRM itself is "not technologically possible", that there's always going to be a way and someone will find it. Licensing Fairplay is "not technologically possible" because they can't "protect the protection" to the limits stipulated in their existing contracts if they license it.

          The art of negotiation. Get the opponent to demand you give them what you want to give them. By advocating for removing DRM, the record companies will now demand Jobs open Fairplay DRM to others. Jobs will accomodate their demands by rewriting the contracts to reduce his responsibility for problems.

          Now if Steve had started by asking to rewrite the contracts, the record company would have responded by demanding a share of all iPod sales, higher per song prices, etc. Now he has them demanding they rewrite the contracts so he CAN license Fairplay.

      • Technically, I am sure it is possible, however, if a non-Apple device trying to use Apple's DRM technology leaks protected content, there will be a "blame storm" resulting in a huge legal mess - especially if the leaked content was purchased from Apple's online store.

        From a liability standpoint, the only way Apple can be sure the target device for the content purchased from the iTunes Store is safe is if it is an Apple device.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Arcane_Rhino (769339)
          Absolutely. And that was the whole point of the announcement: to put the blame for DRM right exactly where it belongs, on the record labels.

          I like Apple products and use them if I have a choice but, cynically speaking, this announcement was a no brainer and a win win for Apple. If the record exec's had agreed, Apple could strip-off DRM immediately, be the hero and get back to their attempts to dominate the media download market.

          As it is, Jobs can silence Apple's critics by demonstrating how constrained

    • Why DRM and Locks on Apple Stores are Dumb
      by Steven Robs
      http://www.apple.com/hotnews/thoughtsonmusic/ [apple.com]

      With the stunning global success of Apple's iPod music player and iTunes online music store, some have called for Apple to "open" the digital rights management (DRM) system that Apple uses to protect its music against theft, so that music purchased from iTunes can be played on digital devices purchased from other companies, and protected music purchased from other online music stores can play on iPods.
      Imagin
    • by Swift2001 (874553)
      Wait a minute, to claim intellectual property, shouldn't the owner first give evidence that they have an intellect?

      Bronfman himself is the best argument against capitalism I've ever seen, and I'm pro-capitalist.

      Or, even more, he's a one-man argument for a 100% Inheritance Tax.
  • Shocking! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Verteiron (224042) on Friday February 09, 2007 @01:06PM (#17950038) Homepage
    I for one am shocked, SHOCKED, at this response. Don't these companies work logically, with policies dictated by common sense rather than a dogmatic fear of trying new things? Particularly companies like Warner, who as we all know prides itself on being at the cutting edge of business, striving always to find new ways to make music affordable and available to all- .. wait, what?
    • by Banzai042 (948220)
      What possible reason could you have to think that these companies work logically? The MAFIAA and all the large corps they represent have no connection to reality(RIAA response to Jobs anybody?), this is just the latest example of their "I define reality" mentality.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by MindStalker (22827)
        Beep, Beep, Beep... Banzai042's sarcasm detector is broken. Please return for repair immediately....
    • "Companies" don't really do things at all, except as a legal fiction. It's not "Warner" that's being dumb here, it's the execs behind Warner. Once either they (or Warner shareholders) start getting a clue---or are replaced---"Warner" suddenly will be a whole lot less stupid.
  • by macadamia_harold (947445) on Friday February 09, 2007 @01:07PM (#17950058) Homepage
    In an open letter this week, Jobs said that removing the software would also allow greater usability for customers, as any online music store would be able to sell songs that would work on all players. Warner Music, the world's fourth largest record company, seems far from convinced.

    And what, if anything, would music labels know about customer usability and convenience?
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Catiline (186878)

      And what, if anything, would music labels know about customer usability and convenience?
      I don't know, but given that they don't buy their KY lube in squeeze tubes yet....
    • by eriklou (1027240)
      I like how no one has really touched on convenience. I for one don't down load DRM Music because it's not convenient for me. AllofMP3, now that was convenient, I got the music that I wanted and that was it. Now to get music on to something that I would actually use I would have to go browse the music store for a CD that they may or may not have, buy it (overpriced for something that I'm going to use once,) rip it and then I can play the music on my device. There I just wasted a good 2-4 hours, oh there's no
      • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

        by geoffspear (692508)
        If you choose to live 30 miles from any retail stores, you can't really blame anyone but yourself for the lack of convenience in your life.
  • Um, okay. (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    TFA isn't exactly rife with detail, is it?
  • It's somewhat understandable that the labels see Apple as a competitor now after they tried and failed to exert price control. But they're going to die clutching a bunch of soggy back catalogs once someone creates a new haven for artists.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Doctor_Jest (688315) *
      That's the kicker, isn't it? Their back catalog of artists that were not exactly barn-burners is huge. What does it profit them to sit on the music and not let it be heard? They could start an "emusic" like service that gave, for $10 a month, 40 downloads of old, crufty music that has been out of print for decades... (drm-free of course... why in the hell would they protect it? They're not making any money off it as it is...)

      Why don't they? Because they're stupid profiteering criminals who desire to sc
      • by mothas (792754) *
        Doctor_Jest spake thus, in part: "Their back catalog of artists that were not exactly barn-burners is huge. What does it profit them to sit on the music and not let it be heard?"

        The thinking is that it prevents the low-profit back catalog from competing with current releases.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by tepples (727027)

        That's the kicker, isn't it? Their back catalog of artists that were not exactly barn-burners is huge. What does it profit them to sit on the music and not let it be heard? They could start an "emusic" like service that gave, for $10 a month, 40 downloads of old, crufty music that has been out of print for decades... (drm-free of course... why in the hell would they protect it? They're not making any money off it as it is...)

        Because a lot of people get residuals off each copy sold, including the songwriter and his publisher.

        • Ok... that's fine. They can use the money they're making on the subscriptions to pay the royalties... My guess is they don't have much to pay out, considering the industry in general is not the nicest bunch of jackals you'll run across....

          Then they'll score a HUGE PR win in terms of "no drm" look how "nice we are to consumers!!"

          Of course they'd rather sue us.....

  • Suggestion (Score:1, Redundant)

    by skinfitz (564041)
    Now that the Apple / Apple court case is sorted out, why doesn't Apple Inc. just become a record label?
    • by soft_guy (534437)

      Now that the Apple / Apple court case is sorted out, why doesn't Apple Inc. just become a record label?
      Becoming a record label wouldn't help. Buying out all the major record labels probably would help, but would probably not be approved by regulators.
  • Of Course (Score:5, Insightful)

    by shirizaki (994008) on Friday February 09, 2007 @01:12PM (#17950164)
    It's the false fear that if DRM doesn't exist their income will plummet to 0, which isn't the case. Peopel that want music for free have been and still are getting it for free. Removing DRM may convert those people that get it for free BECAUSE of DRM to actually pay for music they can use anywhere.

    One of the reasons why I used allofmp3.com for my music was becuase it was in a format I could use anywhere and that wasn't restricted by DRM.

    And it's a problem when your record company is trying to cling to a failing business model. The gloriousness of CD's back int he 90s was that reguardless of the brand of player, location of it, and the age I could play my CD's on it. It makes no sense to restrict music under the false veil of "protection".
    • I'm not convinced that AllofMP3 was a viable or legal business model. For one, their claim to legality was basically a clause that was intended for licensing for ephemeral analog radio transmissions over cable TV networks, not the sale and transfer of discrete digital files for keeping. It was also not intended for international transmission, but AoM still set up an obviously international web site and solicited international business.

      If it is a viable business model, I'd like to see them set up shop sell
    • by Bastian (66383)

      It's the false fear that if DRM doesn't exist their income will plummet to 0, which isn't the case.

      While I can't claim to read the minds of the top brass in the music industry, I'm inclined to believe that this is not the case. They're literate people, so I find it hard to believe that they don't know as well as everyone else does that filesharing is not going to kill them and that DRM on general-purpose computers is not workable.

      It's much more likely that what this is really about is the bread-and-butter

    • The gloriousness of CD's back int he 90s was that reguardless of the brand of player, location of it, and the age I could play my CD's on it.

      Isn't that still the nice thing about CDs? Even in the age of iPods? If we actually buy CDs we can very easily convert the content to MP3s (yes, I know, there are the CDs with rootkits and DRM and so forth... but these are still the exception to the rule) and play them on your digital music player of choice. On top of that, you still have a physical product from
      • Agreed, but when purchasing CDs you are often paying @$1.25-$1.50 per song, bad ones that you won't ever listen to again included; which winds up costing you about $7-$10 on average per good song. When you buy from an online music store you are paying @$0.99 per song you want; not every one of them will be a gem that you want to listen to repeatedly, but it will average out to far less than $7 per song.
    • One of the reasons why I used allofmp3.com for my music was becuase it was in a format I could use anywhere and that wasn't restricted by DRM.

      Is allofmp3 legal in your jurisdiction? Why not rip CD's?
  • Logic eh? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 09, 2007 @01:16PM (#17950230)
    "without logic and merit".

    This from an industry that thinks it's logical to/that:

    * Get a share of the profit from iPod sales.
    * Adjusting for inflation CD should cost around $30! Why can everyone see what a great bargain they are!
    * If it's on your computer and you didn't legally download it, you must of pirated it!
    * The quality of music has nothing to do with lower CD sales.

    I know they don't read this but...

    STOP treating your customers as thieves and maybe they will buy your product more often.
    STOP dishing out crap, your customers will buy quality music.
    DRM does not stop pirates any more then closed window will stop thieves if you leave the door open.

    • by Elemenope (905108) on Friday February 09, 2007 @02:32PM (#17951530)

      * The quality of music has nothing to do with lower CD sales.

      I'm sorry, but this is the same brand of BS as the old saw 'things were sooooo much better in my day, and everything since is crap' in every area of every art-form/discipline/job area/whatever since time began. Music doesn't get better or worse; it changes. Due to Sturgeon's Law, 99% of it will be crap, just as 99% of music when you were growing up was crap. Since we are a more media inundated society, the sheer quantities are higher, but proportionately it is the same.

      Familiarity with certain styles will make a person more tolerant of mediocre talent in particular genres or styles, but not tolerant of mediocrity in others. To a person who listens to Rock, they might enjoy John Q. Crappy's rock band but can't stand the local sucky hip-hop artist. It doesn't mean that rock music is better. The same goes for generational changes with music, only you have to deal with the additional power of nostalgia.

      And, it should be noted that CD sales of Beethoven, Stravinsky, et al. are dropping just as precipitously as modern pop artists, so I would submit that even the 'appearance' of diminshing quality is not a significant causal factor.

      The culprit is a simple cultural acclimation to a technology that the industry simply hasn't taken advantage of. And they will probably die for it. Are you crying? I'm not.

      • Practically, what's the difference between there being more crap music and us being exposed to more crap music with the percentage of crap music being the same? Either way the quantity of songs that are bad that I'm subjected to increases which decreases my overall desire to listen to music.
        • by Elemenope (905108)

          Practically, what's the difference between there being more crap music and us being exposed to more crap music with the percentage of crap music being the same?

          Absolutely nothing. There is no difference from the end user's perspective; my issue was simply that people are asserting that overall music, as a whole, is getting worse, and that position is silly, for reasons mentioned above. The problem you bring up is I think closer to the real reason why people get frustrated with modern music. The effects

          • by bill_kress (99356)
            One should also take into account that Good Musicians have a tendency to actually want to play music and may be moving away from record labels.

            Also, music quality seems to be cyclic. Every so often a band (Beatles, Nirvana, ...) open up an entire new genre (Rock, Rap, Disco, Hip-Hop, Alternative, ...) that inspires an entire new batch of talented kids to give their soul over to it which is what makes Good Music.

            Record Labels tend to counter this trend, resisting new genres and styles and flooding the airwa
      • by Petrushka (815171)

        And, it should be noted that CD sales of Beethoven, Stravinsky, et al. are dropping just as precipitously as modern pop artists

        That's most interesting -- I hadn't heard that. Could you suggest some further reading on this (a.k.a. provide a source)?

        • by Bert64 (520050)
          Because Beethoven is not producing any more works, everyone who wants a Beethoven CD already has one. There was an initial spate of buying CDs because people who already had vinyl wanted a CD copy, now that everyone who wants it has it, so you'l get a much smaller number of sales, people who lost their copy, or who need it for a particular purpose etc.
        • by Elemenope (905108)

          Actually, and this is weird, but for this past fiscal year it turns out that I was wrong about classical sales going down; they went up a significant amount over the previous year. Just search on Google 'beethoven' 'sales' 'decline'...I didn't save the page URL. I guess it might be because true classical enthusiasts can't stand the standard 128 MP3 bitrate because it takes some richness and clarity out of the pieces and so they prefer CD quality sound. Also, most classical fans are slightly older and so use

          • by Petrushka (815171)

            I wonder if that's in cash moved, or in raw numbers of tracks/CDs. I don't know what the situation is in the US, but in Australasia and Europe the market has been progressively flooded in the last ten years by budget classical CDs from Eastern Europe; it's kind of hard to resist splurging on a dozen CDs if they cost only 99 cents each, so I'd imagine that would have done something to sales. Even so I get the impression that the market for high-price specialist stuff is still doing well (classical music fans

      • I think the reason we feel there's more crappy music being released now is because we've forgotten about the crappy music from when we were younger. We naturally remember the stuff we liked.

        The 80's were especially shitty though, I'm not sure why people recall them so fondly.
      • by Trogre (513942)
        Thank you.

        Someone had to say it. Just, thank you.

      • De gustibus non est disputandum.
    • * If it's on your computer and you didn't legally download it, you must of pirated it!
      [grammar nazi]

      "must've" == "must have"
      "must of" != "must have"

      I've been seeing this mistake more and more as of late; don't let it happen to you! "'ve" and "of" sound very similar when speaking quickly. =)

      [/grammar nazi]
      • by aJester (954798)
        Thank you!

        I have been noticing the increasing use of "must of" too.
        And "your /you're" mis-use too.

        Due to some reason, it totally bothers me.... :)

        Jes
        • And, for what it's worth, "it's/its", "who's/whose", and "their/there/they're" are also problems I tend to notice. Not the last one so much as the other two, but it's still out there.
  • ...Open Letter? Does anyone have a link to this letter cause the article doesn't link to one...
    • ...Open Letter? Does anyone have a link to this letter cause the article doesn't link to one...

      The open letter from Jobs was covered in previous stories, and can be read at Apple's site [apple.com]

  • by g253 (855070) on Friday February 09, 2007 @01:26PM (#17950392) Homepage
    ... Steve Ballmer rejects suggestion to release Vista under GPL.

    Who would have thought?
    • by Ant P. (974313)
      A more accurate analogy would've been "Steve Ballmer rejects suggestion to not invalidate XP licences when upgrading to Vista".
  • by kirun (658684) on Friday February 09, 2007 @01:29PM (#17950444) Homepage Journal
    Here is the complete list of Warner's songs that are currently unavailable for "unofficial" download thanks to DRM:

    ...

    ...

    ...

    Those record execs must know what they're doing though. I'm sure they have a perfectly logical reason for selling the genuine customer a worse product in order to not prevent something.
    • "..." just hit the pirate bay and man, this shit is TIGHT!
    • by elrous0 (869638) *
      Well, if Warner doesn't want our money, we'll be happy to not give them any. Either way, we get the music DRM-free. The only question is whether they want us to go to a torrent site and download it for free or go to their site and pay them (which they currently won't let us do).

      -Eric

  • Well who expected they will accept it? Me not. But atleast he tried :)
  • Warner Music Group and Last.fm Strike Wide-Ranging Content Agreement

    02/06/07

    First Major Music Content Agreement for Leading Online Social Music Network

    Warner Music Group Corp. (NYSE: WMG) and Last.fm, the social music networking site, today announced a broad partnership to offer WMG's renowned music catalog available over multiple services offered by Last.fm in the U.S. and Europe. This announcement marks Last.fm's first content agreement with a major media company and underscores WMG's commitment to o

  • Bronfman (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Swift2001 (874553) on Friday February 09, 2007 @01:52PM (#17950844)
    Bronfman is the grandson of a bootlegger, but unlike Kennedy, he shows exactly zero sense in his fat head. An elitist gangster who is now on his way to screwing up his second corporation. Having accepted Gates's bribe on the Zune -- wow, he must have made $100,000 on that deal by now -- he now speaks with a golden tongue. What a maroon.

    I think all you eager Apple-haters should notice one thing: what's the RIAA's opinion on all this? Why, they adopt the "Norwegian Consumer Orgy-Borgys" position on all this: that Apple should bite the bullet and share the profitable portion of its business with all the losers. The RIAA. Do you get it now, morons? In response, Jobs offers a truly free market, and the labels, most of them, run in fear. (Though I heard a rumor that EMI is actually considering it.)

    What we need now is a consumer movement. You want to start a boycott of all online music until they drop DRM? I'll sign that petition. Will I angrily denounce Apple for not sharing its DRM? Not on your life. That's the RIAA's position, chowderheads.
    • by toddestan (632714)
      Will I angrily denounce Apple for not sharing its DRM? Not on your life. That's the RIAA's position, chowderheads.

      Then how come the RIAA will share its music on Microsoft's play-for-sure DRM, which can be licensed by anyone for both music stores and music players? How come Apple is resistant to removing the DRM on files in its stores where the rights holders do not want the DRM on their music? Quite simply, the most simple explaination is that Apple likes their lock-in, and thinks that they can shift blam
      • by Swift2001 (874553)
        There are two paths: this idea of an "open-source DRM" ends up with DRM permanently in place. If you share the DRM, so what? A bunch of loser devices get to have a shot at iTunes, which remains copy-protected. If you're blinded enough by your hatred of Jobs, or if you're easily gulled enough to think that Plays4Sure is "open", then you maybe deserve what the labels have in mind.

        If they abolished DRM, on the other hand, then the market would be open, fair and free. THEN if Apple really insists on an "iPod on
        • by toddestan (632714)
          The claim by Steve Jobs is that the RIAA wants a monoculture. It makes sense, as having one company control everything means that holes will be patched up quicker, and updates can be pushed out easier. Steve claims that this is the reason the RIAA is forcing them to not license their DRM. However, if you step outside of the Reality Distortion Field, you'll notice that you can get the same RIAA music with Play-for-sure DRM, which is a lot more open than Fairplay in the sense that Microsoft has licensed it
  • EMI (potentially) gets our business.

    Warner does not.

    Favorite artists who are on Warner labels get letters saying that their new albums will not be purchased as long as they continue to do business with Warner, along with a full explanation why.

    Record companies don't care about their customers, but bands care about their fans. If we can get artists to jump ship to the companies that "get it" (or better yet, take the plunge and try self-distribution), and get the message out to new bands not to sign with t

    • by LordEd (840443)

      Favorite artists who are on Warner labels get letters saying that their new albums will not be purchased as long as they continue to do business with Warner
      This would be followed by letters from Warner explaining their contracts and how the artist can not sign on with another label. Remember that in most cases Warner owns the rights to the music, not the artist.
  • Yeh, I know, this is news, but... at the same time... it's not news, you know what I mean? What else were we expecting them to say?
  • by codeonezero (540302) on Friday February 09, 2007 @03:19PM (#17952204)
    Love or Hate Apple most people here will have to agree that Steve Jobs essay makes a strong case as to why DRM will not work in the long term.

    Thought it's no surprise that due to pressure in certain European countries Apple is re-evaluating their options, I still think this could potentially be a good thing, specially if consumers back up the 'sell DRM-free music' option. This might be as good a time as any. Who knows maybe this is the year that the DRM fight goes up one level.

    A lot of the things that Jobs states in his essay are true. More devices with the same DRM scheme will be harder to update once the DRM scheme gets cracked. No matter what new DRM scheme is developed someone will crack it. He told the recording industry 'big four' this when he approached them about the iTunes Music Store, and it's true today as well.

    Personally, I stopped buying iTunes music because I recognize that the DRM limits my options with it, and frankly I like choice. I do have an iPod and chances are any music I buy will go on it, and I probably upgrade to an iPod because it does what I need. Over 90% of the music on my iPod is DRM free. I do like to support artists I like and in fact I've bought a good amount of music from iTunes at one point or another not because I wanted DRM music, but I felt at least I had to support the artist in some way. In other cases, I've bought one song from iTunes and bought the CD from a store once i decided I liked that artist.

    Steve Jobs also stated in his essay:

    Perhaps those unhappy with the current situation should redirect their energies towards persuading the music companies to sell their music DRM-free.

    So what it comes down to is us the consumers who "bitch and moan" about DRM, to take this opportunity while it's still fresh in the RIAA's mind, and write constructive, honest, and polite letters to them letting them know what we think.

    Because ultimately DRM-free music is not Apple's concern, it's ours.

  • The best thing that can happen for the music world (and world overall), is to have the labels (and major publishers) lose control of the market. Right now, it is a monopoly. If the labels/publishers try to keep their work in CD format/drm music, then they will slowly lose control of the musicians. I think that even now, the musicians are realizing that they make MUCH more money AND have the control by using the internet, none-drm downloads combined with regular shows.

    Offhand, I disappointed to EMI's move.
  • by MadJo (674225) on Friday February 09, 2007 @07:25PM (#17956640) Homepage Journal
    A few months back the Dutch organization of the music industry (BREIN) claimed that it wasn't the music industry that forced DRM on their tunes, but instead it was Microsoft and Apple who forced them to do it. They didn't want it, but they couldn't have it any other way. (Right in the face of the news that eMusic had just launched their European shops, but meh, who's counting...)

    Right here, we have proof that it's the other way around. Jobs essentially offered the big music companies an opportunity to show that it was indeed Apple who forced DRM into iTunes, and clearly it shows that it's in fact the music industry that wants (and think they need) DRM.
    • If that were true then why are all the music on Itunes DRM protected. Itunes certainly has the capability of selling DRM music when needed and DRM-free the rest of the time, and I'm sure those DRM-free music companies at the moment would happily move to Itunes.
  • This clearly will gain Jobs friends in the public domain, everyone dislikes the strict DRM apple has to some extent. But music companies have long memories, and Steve Jobs has effectively bought some publicity and goodwill from the public by making the music companies look like bad guys- This, they will not like. Long after the public applause has died these music companies will know plainly that Jobs bought credit at their cost.
  • The New Format War isn't going to be about Media formats, but which DRM will prevail, that is IF Apple tries to license FairPlay to other companies.

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