The timing of this article is what I found interesting. Why would Steve Jobs post a rare open letter now? He is probably trying to deflect criticism from European governments for not licensing their FairPlay DRM technology. But I like to think that Steve Jobs has been paying attention to recent reports of a shift in the industry away from DRM, and thinks now is the time to jump on the anti-DRM bandwagon. Given Job's sense for the industry, I don't think he'd publish this letter if he didn't think there was a reasonable chance the industry would go along (maybe less than 50/50, but still a real chance). In any event, this letter makes me think that predictions that 2007 is the year the music industry ditches DRM might be plausible, after all.
Tuesday, February 06, 2007
Steve Jobs thoughts on DRM. Nice to hear Apple's willingness to sell music without DRM, if they could, but I think his claim they would embrase it "wholeheartedly" is a bit questionable. They'd do it, but they're not thrilled about it; they're perfectly happy with the status quo, seeing as it helps cement the market dominance of the iPod/iTunes juggernaut. But perhaps they're confident that they've got the MP3 player market locked up, and maybe they figure a DRM-free store would be enough to kill off competition from Napster/Rhapsody and other subscription models (I don't think the music industry would allow unlimited downloading for a monthly fee without DRM).