Jobs wants a DRM free iTunes too

Written by: Adam Christianson

Categories: Cool Stuff, News

Some days you hate Jobs and others you love him. Today it’s the latter. Read this letter from Jobs to those in Europe who seem to be overly obsessed these days with Apple opening up iTunes and licensing their FairPlay technology. In the letter Steve-o explains why Apple has been required to add DRM to iTunes by the major labels and that if Fairplay is ever hacked, Apple’s agreement with the record companies give them just weeks to fix the problem. If Apple fails to patch iTunes or iPods fast enough, the labels have the right to pull all their titles off iTunes completely. Obviously, in opening up Fairplay, Apple would have to reveal secret aspects of their technology to 3rd parties. This compromises the security of the system and makes the task of managing and updating 3rd party software and players in the time frame agreed upon with the labels almost impossible. So, (believe it or not) that is how Apple explains Fairplay in iTunes and why they can’t simply open it up.

Where the real meat of this letter lies though, is in the alternative solutions Jobs offers for fixing this broken DRM model; a model both Sony (Sony Connect) and Microsoft (Zune) seem to also be required to follow. In Jobs’ opinion the best choice is for the record companies is to remove DRM from digitally distributed music completely. He makes some very compelling arguments and even calls out the labels who Jobs says, “are selling over 90 percent of their music DRM-free” by putting out CDs which are completely unprotected and DRM free. There are some great facts and information in this letter so, if you care about this stuff at all you take a moment to read it.

Like I said, some days you just have to love Steve Jobs.

Thoughts on Music, Steve Jobs

There are 10 comments on Jobs wants a DRM free iTunes too:

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  1. alej744 | Feb 06 2007 - 04:28

    “Some days you hate Jobs and others you love him.”
    No, I always love him.

  2. drew olanoff | Feb 06 2007 - 04:54

    this was definitely a nice thing to read. i’m a big fan of jobs, but not necessarily a fan of apple overall (sorry, i’m still a pc guy). but hearing him say “screw you” to DRM? brilliant.

  3. Willie | Feb 06 2007 - 08:59

    This is a great thing to see. I agree with Steve completely.It is so cool that someone has finally stepped up to these big record companies and told them how gready and paranoid that they are. I mean don’t these record companies realize that if someone wants to steal the music they will do it. Take for example Windows on a Mac. First, We had virtualization with Virtual PC and Parallels. Then We had bootcamp. Now the newest thing is Crossover. The fact of tha matter is, if people want to do it they will and no special technology will change that. I will get off my soap boxx now. Thanks

  4. Bruce | Feb 06 2007 - 11:32

    Kudos to Steve. I couldn’t be prouder of him right now. Not only di dhe pioneer digital music downloads, but he’s contuining to push for the best possible consumers experience.

    Steve is 100% correct in saying that that the record companies are selling most of their muisc without any restriction. Beyond that, the vast majority of the music people put on thier iPods is from CDs not digital downloads. So how exactly is DRM helping to stop piracy?

    Open up the music. Make it available to any and all music stores and players, just like CDs. The pirates will pirate either way. But the vast majority of us will be very happy to pay for our unrestricted downloads and CDs.

    I hope the movie industry is watching this too. They’re proving to be every bit as ornery as the music industry when it comes to downloads.

  5. BJ | Feb 07 2007 - 07:20

    Kudos to SJ.

    I cannot tell you how pleased I am with his approach. He has made me much more loyal to Apple. He will force the digital music business to finally be truly interoperable. He’s got so much pull with these companies that it is going to fix the problem.

    However, my question is whether the TV & movie industry will be any less stubborn than the music industry has been.


  6. Joshua Curtiss | Feb 07 2007 - 09:42

    “Some days you hate Jobs and others you love him.”

    Yeah, what’s up with that Adam? Not that I revere him, but “Some days you hate [him]” seems a bit strong. :-)

  7. Ken C – The Mac Update | Feb 07 2007 - 10:01

    I was gladt to see that he feels the same way as me.

    DRM punishes those who buy media legitimately.

  8. Derick | Feb 07 2007 - 01:52

    I think Steve Listen’s to Adam’s Maccast. He just copied Adam =)

  9. Zionlion | Feb 07 2007 - 07:33

    Yeah Mr J you tell um man!! it would be great to see Microsoft follow in Apples footsteps and DEMAND EMI, Sony ect to “Listen, learn and stop being paranoid.

  10. Rene | Feb 08 2007 - 04:00

    I wonder. Steve Jobs never does such things without a master plan. What could be his master plan (hidden agenda)? Is he secretly saying: “Music companies get real, or we, Apple, take over the music business?”

    Now that would be scary, because a possible near-monopoly of Apple in the music industry would close the music business for a long time to come. No competition, no innovation. I don’t think that even Steve wants that.

    I think he’s just teasing the big four, hoping that they will step down from their ivory towers, which have started to crumbled years ago. I don’t think Apple will go into the business of selling contracts to musicians. It’s not in Apple’s interest IMHO.