Friday, February 9, 2007

Steve Jobs, The Music Industry and iTunes DRM

This week was an interesting week for Apple and Mr. Jobs. The Norweigens have criticized him and sued Apple for having a closed DRM that essentially excludes any non-ipod MP3 player from being able to play music sold via iTunes. Mr. Jobs released a statement this week saying that if the music industry were to let him, he would essentially do away with iTunes DRM (which I think is totally false because that is the very LAST thing he would want to do). The music industry responded by saying just open up FairPlay (the iTunes DRM) to the other OEM Mp3 player manufacturers instead.

My take on this was why even respond to the freaking Norwegiens at all? I mean how many people actually live there anyway? Hmmm let's take a look. According to the CIA factbook Norway has a population of 4,610,820 (July 2006 est.). That is less than half the population that lives in Los Angeles California. So why all the fuss? If I were Mr. Jobs, I would simply stop selling to Norway. Case closed.

Widescreen Apple Powerbook G4

So then that begs the question why did Mr. Jobs even respond to this? If I were him I probably would have ignored it and said nothing. Let them have their little lawsuit and thump their chests in Norway. Big deal! But what does Mr. Jobs do but make a press statement saying that Apple would give up DRM if the music industry agrees to it. Now that was dumb. Anyone could have guessed that they would turn around and say "just open up your DRM to other manufacturers" - which of course is the very LAST thing Apple wants to do so they can protect the monopoly they have with the iPod.

The good news is that although EMI is considering dropping DRM, Warner Music made a public statement today saying that they were against it. So at least now Mr. Jobs has a legitimate excuse.

My Apple stock is still safe and sound for the time being :)


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