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.

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  1. identicon
    hd, 3 Apr 2007 @ 5:25pm

    DRM DRM who cares?

    This topic has been beaten to death. The people making the decisions are not in sync with whats going because if they were they would realize anyone who buys their media does so anyways, and those who steal it will continue to steal it.

    They are simply throwing money and effort into systems that will never work ultimately passing on additional costs to the consumer.

    The solution? Just don't buy anything at all. If everyone stopped buying their movies I guarantee they would rethink their business models.

    Afterall, how many times are you really going to watch that movie. I can only justify a handful of movies worth having a copy of personally, and I have bought those.

    Dont get me wrong, I'm not an advocate for anarchy and chaos, but when companies make it difficult for a paying user by telling you what you can and cant do I get offended. I haven't bought a movie in the last 3 years, i just rent what i want to see.

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