Steve Jobs Not Quite So Enthusiastic About DRM-Free Video
from the halfway dept
While the world continues to digest yesterday’s announcement that Apple will sell DRM-music from EMI, it’s worth taking a look at Steve Jobs’ comments from the event regarding copy-protected video. Jobs is nowhere near as enthusiastic about ditching DRM from videos, using the rather bizarre argument that it’s completely different to music because most music is already distributed without copy protection (in the form of CDs), while DVDs do have copy protection (albeit the easily circumvented CSS). Understand? Neither do we. He’s right, though, in some sense: the real difference in the DRM situation when it comes to music and video is that, arguably, it hurts movie studios and video providers much, much more than it does record labels. Movie studios’ efforts to sell digital downloads have failed miserably because they make copy-protection a bigger priority than usability. Most of the services don’t allow DVD burning, and those that do implement it in ridiculously stupid ways. Hence, it’s difficult, if not impossible, for consumers to watch movies they download on their TV, making the download services completely unattractive. Why? Because the studios prioritize pointless attempts to stop piracy above creating services people will want to use and pay for. It’s the completely wrong way to look at your business: focusing on trying to prevent shrinkage, rather than trying to create growth. This push for DRM-free media is being portrayed as some sort of consumer rights struggle, but perhaps Jobs realizes that won’t work with the movie industry. For movie studios to drop DRM, they have to be convinced it’s in their best interest commercially, and given their obsession with DRM, it’s possible that Jobs’ comment isn’t a defense of the movie industry, but rather just a comment on how entrenched their backwards mindset is.