[opendtv] Re: News: Jobs Calls for End to Music Copy Protection

  • From: Craig Birkmaier <craig@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 8 Feb 2007 08:51:39 -0500

At 3:54 PM -0500 2/7/07, Manfredi, Albert E wrote:
Craig Birkmaier wrote:

 Yesterday Steve Jobs posted a rather startling message to the major
 music companies on the Apple Website:


Steve Jobs' argument is that DRM requires secerecy, and secrecy is
almost impossible to achieve in the Internet world, and therefore let's
drop DRM altogether. He goes on to use the sales of unprotected CDs as
his reason why this will work just fine.

But I thought the buzz in the industry was that CD sales were dropping
like a rock, and they are trying to find better ways to sell music and
make money. Can't use the failing model to make the case, can you?

I don't think that Jobs was trying to make that case. If you look through the music industry trades, the major reason given for the drop in sales of music is that the industry is not producing either enough stuff that people want, or people are not interested in the stuff that is being produced. As with some of the other "off topic" subjects we have been discussing recently, the music industry has failed to prove any correlation between declining sales and music piracy.

Jobs is simply noting that the industry has existed without DRM for several decades, yet it insists on imposing this requirement on a "new" form of distribution. He rightly cites a concern that some governments are now trying to get in the middle of this mess and force companies to open up their DRM secret sauce.

The music industry grew into the huge business that it is today on the basis of sharing music to make it popular, which in turn leads to sales of recorded versions of their product and demand to see the artists perform live (this is where the majority of the profits are made).

As is the case with your preference to pull FREE TV out of the air, anyone can get FREE MUSIC with a cheap radio. The primary purpose of BOTH services is to stimulate demand for the products of the content industry that consumers are willing to pay for.

In any case, I keep thinking that as long as Apple can focus on making
money selling cute boxes on which to play content owned by others, they
can certainly afford to take this stand.

Perhaps what Jobs is saying, is that the music industry could grow again, and have more appeal to consumers if they just went back to the basic model that got them where they are today. There is ample evidence for independent artists that encouraging open sharing of content actually stimulates demand for the stuff that you need to buy.

(Now, let's ask ourselves what would happen if one could download a
DRM-free CAM program that would automatically manufacture an iPod for

What a concept: Free software to sell hardware...


You can buy CAM products today that could fabricate a block of plastic to look like an iPOD, but, integrating a a foundry to produce the chips could get a bit pricey...

And then there are the environment concerns...


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