Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Apple Businesses

Woz on Open Source, DRM 170

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the when-the-man-talks dept.
destinyland writes "Steve Wozniak just weighed in on DRM, saying "it doesn't make much sense if these things are going to have DRM forever." In this great new interview, he complains that even now, only six songs on his iTunes playlist are DRM-free. He applauds the Open Source Movement, saying "it's very honorable and it's very good for the customers." He's even considering publishing the hand-written code for the Apple II as a manuscript. He's also surprisingly non-commital about the iPhone. ("Will word of mouth kill it or make it a hit? Who knows?") He also talks about his favorite pranks, and reveals that "the Secret Service read me my Miranda rights once.""
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Woz on Open Source, DRM

Comments Filter:
  • Respect (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Serapth (643581) on Wednesday July 04, 2007 @10:38AM (#19743497)
    Woz has this special ability, he is universally liked and respected. Apple fans worship him, while PC fans still respect him. Look at all the other big names in the industry, like Gates, Jobs, Ellison, Torvalds, Schwartz, etc... and there is always something you can find to dislike them for. Not Woz though, nobody dislikes him.

    Its too bad he isnt more actively involved in the industry these days. Then again, thats probrably a good part of why he is so liked!
    • Woz has this special ability, he is universally liked and respected.

      I know. I hate and disrespect people like that!
    • Re:Respect (Score:5, Funny)

      by infestedsenses (699259) on Wednesday July 04, 2007 @11:54AM (#19744167) Homepage

      Not Woz though, nobody dislikes him.

      Nobody except for Fake Steve Jobs, that is. [blogspot.com]

      ;)

    • Torvalds is like his representative icon.

      A penguin.

      A penguin is fun, friendly and unassuming.
      • For the record, I really like and respect Linus.

        But at times he can be very terse. He can be funny at the same time, but make no mistake, he can be very terse.
  • Great interview... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by chris098 (536090)
    This is really a great interview. It's a bit long, but I thoroughly enjoyed reading the whole thing. I loved hearing about his escapades with the sheets of $2 bills.
  • by E IS mC(Square) (721736) on Wednesday July 04, 2007 @10:46AM (#19743565) Journal
    To Woz, about Steve and Woz and Apple :"You guys are Adam and Eve of nerds." Its funny, interesting, insightful and can also be flamebait/troll at the same time.
    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      by fyoder (857358)

      To Woz, about Steve and Woz and Apple :"You guys are Adam and Eve of nerds." Its funny, interesting, insightful and can also be flamebait/troll at the same time.

      Aye [binary-environments.com] (full frontal nudity warning)

  • by saibot834 (1061528) on Wednesday July 04, 2007 @10:50AM (#19743597) Homepage
    He applauds the Open Source Movement

    Actually, I don't think the Open Source Movement has much contribute to the fight against DRM. Let's not forget that Open Source is just a way of writing software. The Free Software Movement however really fought against DRM, for example the Free Software Foundation launched the campaign DefectiveByDesign.org [defectivebydesign.org].
    • by Scrameustache (459504) on Wednesday July 04, 2007 @12:57PM (#19744739) Homepage Journal

      I don't think the Open Source Movement has much contribute to the fight against DRM.
      Existing as the antithesis of DRM is the biggest contribution imaginable.
      They don't fight DRM, they make the alternative.
  • by nomadic (141991)
    I'm probably going to get lynched by this crowd, but those pranks he boasts about...Half of them I don't really get as being especially clever or even coherent.
    • Gotta agree. He comes across as somebody who never grew up. Making fun of a waitress doesn't seem like a good use of one's time.
      • Good use of one's time? Why would he have to make good use of his time? He's stinking rich. At least he's not spending his time trying to make his mountain of money even bigger.

        For the record, I thought the waitress story was hilarious, and good-natured. He wasn't making fun of her as much as he was making fun of himself.
    • Yeah, I guess I don't get his sense of humor at times. Some were funny, but many did not seem like something to boast about. It seems that he just likes to jack with people all day even if there is really no "payoff" from it other than the act itself. I guess I would probably need to know more about him than just the few things I have read.
  • by soliptic (665417) on Wednesday July 04, 2007 @11:09AM (#19743753) Journal

    Sorry, I know Woz is a geek god and all that, but I still don't see why he should be let off this one. If you don't think DRM "makes sense", why on earth have you bought so much DRM-d content and so little DRM-free content?

    I'm not sure how many tracks I have (I'm not at home to check) but I think perhaps 60 gig or so (legal, I hasten to add - 99% cd rips), but I do know exactly how many DRM-free tracks I have in my library: all of them. There isn't a DRM'd track on my hard drive. There isn't a user account in my name with any vendor of DRM'd tracks.

    It's really not very difficult to simply not buy something you think is a poor product or morally objectionable idea, and I don't half get fed up of seeing people complain about <Apple / MS / Walmart / RIAA / MPAA / Nike / Nestle / etc> and in the next breath telling us all about their latest purchase from said company.

    And I know what slashdot is like, so if anyone is thinking of arguing the technicality that Woz didn't decry DRM, only "forever" DRM, perhaps they can be ready with the evidence that ITMS DRM is built to turn itself off any time sooner.

    • by MontyApollo (849862) on Wednesday July 04, 2007 @11:19AM (#19743849)
      >>...If you don't think DRM "makes sense", why on earth have you bought so much DRM-d content and so little DRM-free content?

      Because he's a billionaire...

      And Apple only sold DRM music until recently.

      "Doesn't make sense" is different than "strongly opposed to." Like I said he is a billionaire, and he probably has lot of other stuff on his mind (like more pranks, apparently.) Just because you think something is a bad idea doesn't mean you equate it to Satan. People have different priorities in their life.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by soliptic (665417)

        Because he's a billionaire...

        Does not compute; doesn't answer the question at all. That explains how he can buy a lot of <anything>, but not why.

        Being a billionaire, he could have bought 97,000 jellyfish-shaped strawberry cheesecakes, but he (presumably) didn't, so "being able to buy something" clearly doesn't in itself explain why he/anyone DID buy something.

        And Apple only sold DRM music until recently.

        Again, completely specious argument I'm afraid, as Apple are not the only vendors of musi

        • Being a billionaire means a lot of things are trivial in your everyday experience. Convenience may be more an issue than anything else.

          I mentioned Apple just recently selling DRM-free music because that was the context he was talking about. I imagine he owns literaly thousands (or even more) of CD's (without DRM), but he was talking about his iTunes purchases that were DRM-free. In reality, you can't say much about it unless you know his ratio of non-DRM/DRM purchases over a specific period of time when the
          • But I don't think he really cares - I imagine if he wants a song he just buys it and doesn't think much about the DRM because convenience is probably more important to him.

            On the flip side, convenience is precisely one reason people should be thinking about the DRM. It's not very convenient to discover that you can't play your FairPlay music on your new PlaysForSure device (or vice-versa), for example.

            • >>It's not very convenient to discover that you can't play your FairPlay music on your new PlaysForSure device (or vice-versa), for example.

              I think his wealth would help mediate this though. He could always buy multiple copies of the same song to play on different devices, but the average person would be reluctant and pissed.

              Given who he is, I bet he has mainly stuck with iPod/iTunes and probably never really had any bad experiences with DRM within that limited framework (though I have never used iPod
              • I have never used iPod/iTunes so I don't know how much of an incovenience DRM is in that setting.

                FYI, not much, unfortunately.

      • What a load of crap. Because he is wealthy, he could have bought all of this music on CDs, completely DRM free. The wealthier you are the more capability you have to follow your convictions.
        • >>What a load of crap. Because he is wealthy, he could have bought all of this music on CDs, completely DRM free. The wealthier you are the more capability you have to follow your convictions.

          I think the point is that he doesn't have any real convictions towards DRM. I haven't read any of his other statements on the issue (and he is not that coherent of a guy sometimes anyway), but like I said in my earlier "load of crap" post, just based on this one statement it is hard to surmise that he is strongly
    • by bidule (173941)

      Sorry, I know Woz is a geek god and all that, but I still don't see why he should be let off this one. If you don't think DRM "makes sense", why on earth have you bought so much DRM-d content and so little DRM-free content?

      Well, women don't "make sense" too, but I am not so anti-women that I won't deal with them. I feel that I gain more than I suffer.

      There are ways to oppose something without being rabid fanatics. This being /. I should add that you will learn that if you ever leave your parents' basement, but I don't know if you'd tolerate the joke. Not that I really care ;oP

    • If you don't think DRM "makes sense", why on earth have you bought so much DRM-d content and so little DRM-free content?
      Because, on earth, that's the only options you have been offered.
    • Typically, because they want it, and can afford the price.

      Not every act of purchase is meant to express political support.
    • Sorry, I know Woz is a geek god and all that, but I still don't see why he should be let off this one. If you don't think DRM "makes sense", why on earth have you bought so much DRM-d content and so little DRM-free content?

      Same reason as everyone else. Buying music from the iTMS is the path of least resistance. It's easier than buying CDs, and it's certainly easier than trying to find the music you want in a DRM-free shop, and it's also easier than downloading it from a P2P network.

    • by gig (78408)
      Woz buys iTunes Store music for the same reason he stood in line: to be part of today's experience.

      Woz already had 2 iPhones at home when he went to the mall. He went because that is his childhood mall and he wanted to remember the day the iPhone was released as geek day at the mall, everybody excited just to open the box and be one of the first to try the new kit.

      Not only is the DRM in iTunes temporary, but it has already been removed from 1/5 of the major labels. In addition, you could always break it by
  • by HockeyPuck (141947) on Wednesday July 04, 2007 @11:26AM (#19743907)
    I was there at the Valley Fair Apple store, the one which Woz showed up for. I originally was 5th in line, and through events of "holding places for various friends of others" and the generic line shinanigans (reminds me of the one person in the movie theater that says "These 15 seats are saved." WTF does "Saved." mean? In a movie theater you don't have assigned seats) anyhow...

    I ended up 20th or so in line. Funny thing is, I think I was the first one to buy an iphone for myself. Almost everyone in line was buying them in quantity to either sell at a profit via ebay (haven't heard of success at that). However, back to my point of addressing Mr. Wozniak.

    I realize many of you would consider him a god around here, but nonetheless his arrival was like this.

    He arrived around 4am (note that by this time there was a considerable line) before the Apple store opened, and said "I'm Steve Wozniak, and I'm going to be first in line and buy 8 iPhones." What a dick, I would have thought more of him if he had gotten 'to the back of the line' like the rest of the crowd, just like every other regular joe. It's all good.

    However... more importantly, one thing you won't see in the articles/blogs..

    While he was in line, a 50something year old woman with a macbook tried to enter the store prior to the doors opening, as she was having battery trouble with it. Woz then proceeded to help her troubleshoot her battery issues. When she walked away I asked her, "Do you know who that is?" She responded "No." I told her, "He co-founded Apple..." She smiled, said "Oh, that's nice," and headed home to try again to fix her laptop with Woz's tips.

    I did get a chance to talk to him for a minute, and he agreed with me when I asked him if he thought that when apple launches a major product (iPod/iPhone) that the atmosphere is similar to that of the US Festivals he organized in the early 80s. He agreed but added, "Less heat, less music, but the same comradarie and fun atmosphere."

    Thought that was pretty slick, once a nerd always a nerd.
    • I realize many of you would consider him a god around here, but nonetheless his arrival was like this.

      He arrived around 4am (note that by this time there was a considerable line) before the Apple store opened, and said "I'm Steve Wozniak, and I'm going to be first in line and buy 8 iPhones." What a dick
      [...]
      While he was in line, a 50something year old woman with a macbook tried to enter the store prior to the doors opening, as she was having battery trouble with it. Woz then proceeded to help her troubleshoot her battery issues. When she walked away I asked her, "Do you know who that is?" She responded "No." I told her, "He co-founded Apple..." She smiled, said "Oh, that's nice," and headed home to try again to fix her laptop with Woz's tips.

      1- Gods don't stand at the back of the line, they lead their people ;-)
      2- Had he been in the back of the line, that little old lady would not have had help with her laptop from a bonifide Geek God of macs.
      She especially wouldn't have much luck getting the attention of the mac geniuses in an iPhone stampede. By using his geek god status, he was where and when he needed to be to help the meek. It's a miracle!

      • by Jesus_666 (702802) on Thursday July 05, 2007 @03:55AM (#19751549)
        It's not a miracle. The guys in the store knew there was a customer with an easily troubleshootable problem coming, so they used the Woz Phone to call Woz. Woz then proceeded to press the secret button hidden in a bust of the last Pope (given to him by Henry Kissinger) to open the bookcase containing the sliding pole that leads to the Woz Cave. One short trip with the Wozmobile and a dose of Woz Instant Macbook Knowledge Pills later he was ready to solve her problem and the day. Those who were at the line will fondly remember the action-packed problem solving scene, complete with Diagnose! and Solve! captions appearing out of thin air.

        Nanananananananananananana-- WOZMAN!


        Yes, that is what goes as "funny" when you're sleep-deprived.
        • It's not a miracle. The guys in the store knew there was a customer with an easily troubleshootable problem coming, so they used the Woz Phone to call Woz. [...]

          Nanananananananananananana-- WOZMAN!

          Yes, that is what goes as "funny" when you're sleep-deprived.
          I might need coffee, 'cause that made me laugh ;-p
    • by LKM (227954)
      I read that the people in the queue gave him the number 1 spot. He would have gotten a free iPhone from Apple anyway, but apparently declined it.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    blockquote)Get It In Cash (from: The Computer Entrepreneurs) Fairs and exibitions are very important in the computer business - they are where entrepreneurs display their wares and meet their customers. One of the oldest of these shows is the West Coast Computer Faire, founded in San Francisco in 1977 by Jim Warren. Warren tells this story about Jim Egan, booth decorator, who worked the first Faire. "So," says Warren, "these two bearded, hippie, pony-tailed kids in Levis come up to the counter... and he
    • by gig (78408)
      Yeah but don't be too hard on the guy. Even years after the Apple II was released, people were saying that Jobs and Woz were crazy.
  • Woz is the man. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jshriverWVU (810740) on Wednesday July 04, 2007 @12:46PM (#19744631)
    Whether you're an Apple fan or not, Wozniak is just a great hearted and life filled individual. Wish we had more people like him in this field or world for the matter, it would be a better world.
  • From the Fine Article:

    I couldn't afford what's called a rental system, where you can type it into a computer, and you type in your program, and it will give you back the 1's and 0's. So I figured out the 1's and 0's in my own head, and wrote them down on the piece of paper. Everything for the Apple II was done by hand.

    Woz never ceases to blow my mind. (Story of Mel link [pbm.com] for the uninitiated.)

  • Woz wants to write a manuscript on the Apple II code he wrote by hand.

    It would be interesting to see how an OS and ROM were written in the "Salad Days" of Microcomputers.

A penny saved is a penny to squander. -- Ambrose Bierce

Working...