Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Steve Jobs Comments On Digital Rights Management (And Why Is The RIAA Picking On Satellite Radio?!)

06-Feb-07, 15:03, Live In Play, www.briefing.com

Apple: Steve Jobs issues "Thoughts on Music" on Apple website (www.apple.com)

There have been various headlines hitting the wires from Steve Jobs' "Thoughts on Music" letter posted on Apple's website (see 14:43 comment). The following excerpts are from the letter: "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. Let's examine the current situation and how we got here, then look at three possible alternatives for the future... In 2006, under 2 billion DRM-protected songs were sold worldwide by online stores, while over 20 billion songs were sold completely DRM-free and unprotected on CDs by the music companies themselves. The music companies sell the vast majority of their music DRM-free, and show no signs of changing this behavior, since the overwhelming majority of their revenues depend on selling CDs which must play in CD players that support no D.R.M. system... So if the music companies are selling over 90 percent of their music DRM-free, what benefits do they get from selling the remaining small percentage of their music encumbered with a DRM system? There appear to be none. If anything, the technical expertise and overhead required to create, operate and update a DRM system has limited the number of participants selling DRM protected music. If such requirements were removed, the music industry might experience an influx of new companies willing to invest in innovative new stores and players. This can only be seen as a positive by the music companies..."

2/06/2007 03:12:00 PM

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