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Apple DRM: Steve Jobs explains

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 7-Feb-2007 19:58

This is most interesting. Everyone I know that is not using Windows complains about Windows DRM, and lately about Microsoft's implementation of DRM on its new operating system, Windows Vista.

Check Juha's post "DRM behind lack of Vista drivers", where he extends the discussion on New Zealand's Peter Gutmann's "A cost analysis of Windows Vista content protection" paper. This piece of research caused furor around the Internet when released, requiring Microsoft to issue a rebutal with a post on the Windows Vista Blog, plus posts on the Free Software Foundation's Bad Vista campaign site. You can read the complete coverage again from Juha's blog.

But every time someone points on how evil Microsoft is in writing DRM code protection into its software and how great Apple is, I return the question with "what about Apple's own DRM?" (how some people answer a question with another question is something for other discussions).

Steve Jobs himself has posted this on Apple's "Thoughts on Music":


...When Apple approached these companies to license their music to distribute legally over the Internet, they were extremely cautious and required Apple to protect their music from being illegally copied. The solution was to create a DRM system, which envelopes each song purchased from the iTunes store in special and secret software so that it cannot be played on unauthorized devices.


Is it clear now to everyone that Apple also puts DRM into the content it sells, and protects the content on its iPod media players and iTunes client?

Steve Jobs continues:

So if the music companies are selling over 90 percent of their music DRM-free [on retail CDs], what benefits do they get from selling the remaining small percentage of their music encumbered with a DRM system? There appear to be none. If anything, the technical expertise and overhead required to create, operate and update a DRM system has limited the number of participants selling DRM protected music. If such requirements were removed, the music industry might experience an influx of new companies willing to invest in innovative new stores and players. This can only be seen as a positive by the music companies.



Great. See the thing? It's not Apple or Microsoft. It's the music and movie companies. Content distributors.

Move on now. Talk to your lawmaker about this.









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Mauricio Freitas
Wellington
New Zealand


I live in New Zealand and my interests include mobile devices, good books, movies and food of course! 

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