Say That Again

by Carlo Longino

So, Steve, Is DRM Good Or Bad?

from the those-are-nice-flip-flops dept

The fallout from the passing of a French law requiring DRM interoperability continues, with the US Commerce Secretary the latest to throw in his two cents. But a bit more interesting is a 2002 comment from Steve Jobs about DRM (via SiliconBeat) that somebody's dug up: "If you legally acquire music, you need to have the right to manage it on all other devices that you own." That sort of runs counter to Apple's reaction to the French law, doesn't it? Of course, when Apple was just getting into the music business, it behooved the company to make itself out to be this great friend of the consumer, looking to stick to the evil record lables. Now that Apple's used the labels' obsession with DRM to become a dominant force, it supports keeping its proprietary DRM to itself, lest it lose its grip on iPod owners and iTunes customers. So, Steve, what are your true feelings about DRM and copy protection?

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  1. identicon
    elle, 24 Mar 2006 @ 12:45pm

    Where's the beef?


    It seems like you may have misunderstood Job's comment.

    His statement is that people that legally purchase music should be able to legally use it on any device they own. He's advocating for buyers's traditional rights, in this instance.

    That's different than what the French want, which is that companies should have to work together to make it easy for consumers to move their music around. In this instance, Apple is saying that they shouldn't be forced to share technology or make copying easier than it already is.

    Apple's DRM implementation is a compromise between the interests of the record industry and the interests of buyers. It doesn't create significant barriers to people doing legal copying, but it puts in enough protection against bootleggers to satisfy the music industry.

    If you buy a track off of iTunes, you can fairly easily put it on any device you like. Apple may not make it easy for you, but they're selling music, not conversion utilities.

    So where's the beef?

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