A Skeptical Cynic among our readers points us to a post over on the EFF's blog about how Apple is still a huge supporter of DRM
, despite getting the record labels to dump DRM
from music files. This isn't a huge surprise. In the past we noted that even after Steve Jobs came out against
DRM on music files, he was clearly still for it
on things like video files -- even suggesting business models
based on DRM. As the EFF points out, it goes well beyond that, however:
- Apple uses DRM to lock iPhones to AT&T and Apple's iTunes App Store;
- Apple uses DRM to prevent recent iPods from syncing with software other than iTunes (Apple claims it violates the DMCA to reverse engineer the hashing mechanism);
- Apple claims that it uses DRM to prevent OS X from loading on generic Intel machines;
- Apple's new Macbooks feature DRM-laden video ports that only output certain content to "approved" displays;.
- Apple requires iPod accessory vendors to use a licensed "authentication chip" in order to make accessories to access certain features on newer iPods and iPhones;
- The iTunes Store will still lock down movies and TV programs with FairPlay DRM;
- Audiobook files purchased through the iTunes Store will still be crippled by Audible's DRM restrictions.
So, while DRM may be dead for music, it's still quite alive in many different places. Also, the EFF points out that many of these uses of DRM have little to nothing to do with the risk of "piracy" and plenty to do control and limiting how customers can use their products.