Steve's Thoughts on Music

Tuesday, February 6, 2007 by darco
Posted in , , ,

Everyone who cares about DRM should read Steve Jobs' Thoughts on Music. (thx Macalope) Here are a few choice excerpts:

. . . 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. If the big four music companies would license Apple their music without the requirement that it be protected with a DRM, we would switch to selling only DRM-free music on our iTunes store. Every iPod ever made will play this DRM-free music.

Why would the big four music companies agree to let Apple and others distribute their music without using DRM systems to protect it? The simplest answer is because DRMs haven’t worked, and may never work, to halt music piracy. Though the big four music companies require that all their music sold online be protected with DRMs, these same music companies continue to sell billions of CDs a year which contain completely unprotected music. That’s right! No DRM system was ever developed for the CD, so all the music distributed on CDs can be easily uploaded to the Internet, then (illegally) downloaded and played on any computer or player.

I knew I liked this guy.


It seems that Macrovision's CEO, Fred Amoroso, has formally responded to Steve's "Thoughts on Music". Luckily, John Gruber of Daring Fireball has translated the letter from PR-speak to plain English. Worth a read.


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