AfterDawn: Tech news

Jobs: Apple would offer DRM-free downloads if allowed

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 07 Feb 2007 6:53 User comments (33)

Jobs: Apple would offer DRM-free downloads if allowed Apple Computer Inc. CEO Steve Jobs has written an open letter on the company's website about Digital Rights Management (DRM) software and Apple's stance on its use. The letter comes at a time where tension is growing between consumers and online download sites, with even threats of legal proceedings against Apple because of the FairPlay DRM it adds to its music downloads.
However, Jobs is determined to put a halt to the belief that Apple is pro-DRM. Instead, Jobs points the fingers at record labels. "Since Apple does not own or control any music itself, it must license the rights to distribute music from others, primarily the 'big four' music companies: Universal, Sony BMG, Warner and EMI. These four companies control the distribution of over 70% of the world’s music." the letter reads.

It continues: "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."

Jobs argues in the letter that the need for DRM is not really there, since most music available in legal download services can be bought as an Audio CD with no copy protection at all. It is the CDs, not the download sites, that supply P2P users with ripped music. He paints DRM almost as a waste of time for any company that is forced to deploy it.

"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," he wrote. "If such requirements were removed, the music industry might experience an influx of new companies willing to invest in innovative new stores and players."

As for the European backlash against Apple, Jobs writes, "Perhaps those unhappy with the current situation should redirect their energies towards persuading the music companies to sell their music DRM-free. For Europeans, two and a half of the big four music companies are located right in their backyard. The largest, Universal, is 100% owned by Vivendi, a French company. EMI is a British company, and Sony BMG is 50% owned by Bertelsmann, a German company."

However, it must be said that Apple benefits from the special union of the iPod and iTunes that FairPlay has brought. Besides iTunes, only music services selling DRM-free downloads, like eMusic, actually sell a product that works with the market-dominating iPod. Users who buy iPods and then seek music downloads from major labels only have one (legal) choice.

Source:
Apple

Previous Next  

33 user comments

17.2.2007 11:45

apple is covering their own ass, they would see monumental declines in its own itunes music sales if they scrapped the DRM. dont pretend like you dont love DRM as much as the "big 4" Jobs! hes just trying to fan the flames away from himself. if it wasnt your idea then why does the DRM restric the music to only ipods huh asshole?

27.2.2007 14:42

Originally posted by georgeluv:
apple is covering their own ass, they would see monumental declines in its own itunes music sales if they scrapped the DRM. dont pretend like you dont love DRM as much as the "big 4" Jobs! hes just trying to fan the flames away from himself. if it wasnt your idea then why does the DRM restric the music to only ipods huh asshole?



True very true.

37.2.2007 15:38

the music on emusic is on itunes but itunes drm's the songs but emusic does not

47.2.2007 17:24

[qoute]Jobs argues in the letter that the need for DRM is not really there, since most music available in legal download services can be bought as an Audio CD with no copy protection at all. It is the CDs, not the download sites, that supply P2P users with ripped music. He paints DRM almost as a waste of time for any company that is forced to deploy it. [/quote]He does make a very valid point here.

58.2.2007 0:40

Want a laugh here's one.....
I posted a message up on one of the big three networks website in response to a story about itunes. I couldn't resist because I know the traffic that crosses that website. >:) Funny I looked at it tonight and my post is gone! LOL I must have offended someone as it simply stated get rid of the DRM junk on cd's and dvd's. Your customers are your most important asset and they are tired of your games. Maybe the CEO read it and reported it as offensive. Anyhow I though it might give some of you a laugh.

68.2.2007 9:15

Ok I can see this from 2 sides 1 the media mafiia wants DRM to slow sells.

Apple wants DRM to keep sells from slowing.

both need it in order to to make profit.

78.2.2007 11:46

Smokescreen

89.2.2007 16:55
Nbj
Inactive

you guys are such conspiracy buffs. if steve jobs writes a letter stating that he doesnt agree with DRM, then maybe its actually the truth. not everything, everyone says is bs. those music labels are way more badass than apple anyways, and 'they get what they want'.

99.2.2007 20:33
cappyx
Inactive

bla bla bla this is just like steve h*nd job saying if prostitution was legal he'd put a whore in every bed. how stupid he sounds....

109.2.2007 22:30

Who cares what motivates any of them?! Just don't tell me what I can and can't do with something I pay for and do so by force of software applications! For you greed haters, here's something to chew on. Free enterprise is driven by greed. It is the one singular thing that drives innovation. One person has a great idea or product or service and another person knows just how to get the word out and turn it into cash. Having said that, it is we, the consumer, who decide whether or not the idea, product or service is good or bad by subscribing or not subscribing to it. So if you really think about it, who's really at fault? IF WE DON'T BUY IT, it's a bad idea----IF WE BUY IT, it's a good idea. In the case of DRM, well, we are buying the music! We could all switch to satellite radio!

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 09 Feb 2007 @ 22:31

1110.2.2007 1:30
jp10jp10
Inactive

Sorry, don't agree, though i get that this is a consumer-driven economy. But your notion is over stating as shown by the following logical absurdity. Think of Jim Jones as Jobs and his cult followers as customers. "Drink the kool-aid." "Okay" say all.
Okay they drank it, must have been a good idea.
Nup.
Keep your balance. Some ideas that customers swallow are NOT good ideas.
Cheers
JP

1210.2.2007 3:28
cappyx
Inactive

already have switched to sat radio and it has been the best choice i ever made.

1310.2.2007 10:13

I like this article Steve Jobs actually makes sense. He explains quite clearly that DRM is nothing special and basically consumers can get around it regardles.

Quote:
Jobs argues in the letter that the need for DRM is not really there, since most music available in legal download services can be bought as an Audio CD with no copy protection at all. It is the CDs, not the download sites, that supply P2P users with ripped music. He paints DRM almost as a waste of time for any company that is forced to deploy it.
I agree with what Steve said here and the main point i like is when he said:

Quote:
He paints DRM almost as a waste of time for any company that is forced to deploy it.
A man that is not afraid to say it how it is. :)

1510.2.2007 14:29
Nbj
Inactive

does emusic sell the same tracks as itunes? sounds like theres no way that the labels would release DRM-free tracks on any online stores, and theres no way of checking the music selection of emusic without filling out forms.

1610.2.2007 17:05
cappyx
Inactive

the thing i don't understand about DRM and Itunes and such down loads is that the last time i checked, and it was some time ago, the best sampling you could down load mp3 from services like napster and such was 128k. i sample at 320k for best capture sound regardless of file size which is the main reason i steered away from these service types. it made more sense for me to purchase these cds used for any where inbetween 75 cents to seven dollars and i own them. i buy a mp3 player that has no proprietary features and play my owned music as i please as well as play it in my car and home. I have a sat radio as well however i only bought it for howard as the compression that is used on music is terrible talk radio is the only thing it really is good for. i do not know if the home sat systems are better however i tried the conductor and it was terrible. i can tell you though sat music delivered over dish network is far superior in audio quality than my s50 or the conductor was. any way im off track here. steve h*nd job is just protecting his assets and backpeddling he just doesn't want apple to look like the big corporate machine he preaches about however which it is yes jobs is a hipocrate here is his quote "threats of legal proceedings against Apple because of the FairPlay DRM it adds to its music downloads" this is what is really scaring stevie boy. bottom line he doesn't want his company drug into court afterall the neat mac commercials are suppose to appeal to the young who want nothing to do with DRM and now steve and his company are looking like the old pc guy. steve wants to make a buck and a large profit what he is going to do is whatever the record industry tells him to do and that includes DRM. if i don't believe in something i don't use it since i don't believe in DRM i don't own an ipod. why would i buy an ipod when sat radio may have compression but the content is endless and the s50 records 50 hours of it besides ipod doesn't have howard!

1710.2.2007 20:39
Nbj
Inactive

does anyone have proof that steve jobs is such a puppet, or does everyone just think powerful ceos are out to get them?

1810.2.2007 21:10
cappyx
Inactive

i don't really give a crap if he's a puppet or not. he made a statement to save his ass and that is all and the bottom line is he will do whatever it takes to sell his product including placing DRM on apples itunes. if you think differently then perhaps you live in a fantasy world or denile. steve jobs is a buisness man and will do what it takes to remain profitable. his statement about DRM is to remove the blame from the seller and place it on the source. now the record companies look like the bad guys and steve tries to look like a victim. now tell me what exactly is steve a victim of?

1910.2.2007 21:21
Nbj
Inactive

from what i understand, itunes was a product far before DRM was invented. leveraging itunes into an online music store was a logical step for apple that had began a new product and service strategy in the late 90's, before the ipod was released. as apple, built the ipod and itunes, the store (not the music mgmt app), apple had to do business with the big 4 whom twisted his arm into integrating DRM. apple wanted to make money as the first company selling music SUCCESSFULLY online. so they had to do what every big company has to do within a highly developed industry: work with the key players and sometimes do things they dont want to do. sure it could appear that he is now trying to save his own ass, OR it could be that apple sold 2 billion songs online and now he doesnt really care what the big 4 think anymore because ipod and itunes is here to stay since they sell more than just music from the big 4, but movies and alot of independent products. steve jobs created the young innovative image not just as a marketing gimmick, but because thats how his corporate culture is built on, and is the foundation of his products and visions for the future of his company. bottom line is that sometimes you have to suck it up in order to become established, but once you earn critical mass, you can start to speak up against the dominant forces in the industry and take the fight to a new level. btw, steve jobs knows DRM is bs, and dont you? do you actually think DRM is going to stay? what he says is true, DRM has failed to provide proper protection for products while improving consumer experiences. he wants out of DRM just like everyone else.

2010.2.2007 21:29
Nbj
Inactive

btw cappyx im not saying your entirely false, but i dont understand why people choose to believe in the most negative scenerio in the myriad of possibilities that could have potentially occured in the process of going from cd distribution to internet distribution.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 10 Feb 2007 @ 21:29

2110.2.2007 21:58
cappyx
Inactive

no not negative at all. i really don't care what steve does however i am a realist. we all know steve will do what it takes to turn a profit and that will involve putting DRM copy protection on his music. he is bashing the record industry because he fears people may turn against him or associate him with the DRM. in short if you say you are going to do something that no one likes and you are going to do it because a bully is twisting your arm does it make you right? the answer is no! instead of steve blaming the record industry simply say nothing. people will still buy itunes no matter what to me it looks like he is going to wus out and lie to all of his subscribers to hide his own faults. if steve did not do what it took to turn a profit then he would be a bad buisness exec and certainly wold not be deserving of his position with apple. the truth of the matter is all of this copy protection is a waste of time and money as anything that is encrypted can be decrypted. simply put if you don't like the DRM go somewhere else. my beliefe is that if i legally buy my music i want to play it where and how i want. i have no intention of selling it or distributing it so i choose not to buy an ipod as it does not fit my criteria. this doesn't matter though as you said apple is selling these things like crazy so my opinion won't matter to them at all. I have to say i am very satisfied at what steve has done with apple and the ipod. getting people to buy copyrighted music that can only be played on thier portable unit and booming this buisness my hat is off to him however on the same note i am not one who will be bullshited by the anti DRM PR campaign either.

2210.2.2007 22:15
Nbj
Inactive

i can see how steve is just passing the buck as he is somewhat responsable for the widespread adoption of DRM. it will be interesting to see whether itunes has or will have DRM-Free products on their site; conceptually, it doesnt seem very difficult to integrate DRM-free products into the existing store; and whether his remark will mark the beginning of the end for DRM as we know it; and whether he knows that DRM is here to stay despite his personal opinion on the usefulness of DRM. one thing he may be right on is that if DRM were to be removed, there could be a huge growth in the online market for downloadeable products, and that itself could be the reason DRM will be relinquished eventually.

2310.2.2007 22:37
cappyx
Inactive

i would love to be able to purchase on a song to song basis however what the record industry has to do is stop thinking of every one as a criminal. i need to buy my music and then be able to play it amongst all of my devices and i need it to be better than a 128k sample rate. i'm thinking the only real way i can and will be able to do this is just buy the cd used and that way i just own it. i can Play it amongst all of my owned devices and do so at an audio file sample rate. my theory has always been to eliminate the copy protection place cds or dvds in plain wrappers and sell them for 6-7 bucks and no one would bother to copy them. from what i understand even hddvd and bluray have been cracked and they are only in thier first year.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 10 Feb 2007 @ 22:41

2411.2.2007 20:11

everyone interested with the apple vs. CRM should read this
http://www.michaelrobertson.com/archive.php?minute_id=231

2511.2.2007 20:42
Nbj
Inactive

Originally posted by mkezele66:
everyone interested with the apple vs. CRM should read this
http://www.michaelrobertson.com/archive.php?minute_id=231[/quote]

so funny that michael robertson sold the only bastian of DRM-free music to universal. i guess turning down 375$ million is pretty difficult, or maybe in 2001, michael had no idea that universal was going to squash mp3.com and force DRM onto the world. looks like michael is now on the side of the consumer, but if he really cared he coulda held out and kept his 'profitable company' (mp3.com) and helped to change the industry for the better. steve jobs isn't the only one to blame here.

2612.2.2007 0:16
webe123
Inactive

@cappyx... If Steve Jobs would have turned his nose up at the idea of DRM from the VERY BEGINNING there would be NO apple store or itunes.... period!

He had to play by the industries rules if he ever wanted to get established....NOW he is speaking out...which at least he is doing while others are keeping quiet. If you really want to judge someone, let's see you open up an online music service legally in the US and try to have no DRM
in it! I think you will find it is not as easy as you say it is.

It is easier to sit back and judge the man for the DRM, but at least give him credit for trying!


And also read this message that Steve Jobs ASKED the music companies to REMOVE DRM! Still think he is so bad now?

http://www.afterdawn.com/news/archive/8637.cfm

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 12 Feb 2007 @ 0:24

2712.2.2007 9:22
cappyx
Inactive

webe123 are you stupid or something or you simply did not read what i wrote? what you wrote was exactly what i said. read statements in thier entirety before you write stupid statements.

2812.2.2007 9:34
cappyx
Inactive

Webe123:

What Cappyx wrote
"if steve did not do what it took to turn a profit then he would be a bad buisness exec and certainly wold not be deserving of his position with apple."

what webe123 wrote:
"He had to play by the industries rules if he ever wanted to get established"

they are the same statements reworded.

webe123 if i wanted to start a music service i would do whatever it took to make it succesful including the implemenmtation of copy guards and such. i would make the same statements as jobs did if my pr department told me that it was the best thing to do just as jobs pr dept told him the same. are you that nieve to think that jobs actualy said that statement for a non-profit reason?

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 12 Feb 2007 @ 9:35

2912.2.2007 11:57
Nbj
Inactive

cappy, youre good man. youre very right in perceiving the situation in that manner. BUT what if the reason he said it was to make more profit (which does not make his statement a NON-PROFIT statement). It is publicly known that many independent companies do not want to work with apple and Fairplay. Also, he believes that fairplay may be posing a limitation on the potential sales of music and other content globally. The united states is not the only market in the world, and his statement came as a response from european consumers which he believes are the ones that are being neglected thru the use of DRM. With DRM restrictions removed, THE PIE WILL GET BIGGER. The big 4 seem to think differently or do not want apple to get a bigger piece of a bigger pie (probably because theyve done the math and know they will recieve a smaller piece proportionally than they already have now).

3012.2.2007 20:47
cappyx
Inactive

hey nbj you are correct with what you are saying and you are right the record companies most likely would never remove the DRM.

3113.2.2007 0:57
webe123
Inactive

@cappyx.....Listen you little PUNK, Next time you want to call someone stupid look in the mirror dumbass! !

and you DID say this, so don't give ME your BULLSHIT!


"steve h*nd job is just protecting his assets and backpeddling he just doesn't want apple to look like the big corporate machine he preaches about however which it is yes jobs is a hipocrate here is his quote "threats of legal proceedings against Apple because of the FairPlay DRM it adds to its music downloads" this is what is really scaring stevie boy. bottom line he doesn't want his company drug into court afterall the neat mac commercials are suppose to appeal to the young who want nothing to do with DRM and now steve and his company are looking like the old pc guy"


Happy NOW?


I said GIVE THE GUY A CHANCE! But people like you don't seem to understand that word. All you want to do is sit on a forum like you are God....give me a break.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 13 Feb 2007 @ 1:01

3213.2.2007 7:39
Nbj
Inactive

... the kettle calling the pot black? hows that saying go?

3313.2.2007 9:05
cappyx
Inactive

webe123 you are truly as stupid as you sound. Again the direct statement made by me to you is that you take one line out of context without reading the entire posting(s). it would seem to me that you go through life with blinders while holding your hands over ears while humming a tune. Honestly if you want to see the true idiot here you simply can take your own advice and look in that same mirror.

thanks your PAL (the little punk) Cappy

ps that little (s) after posting means plural it translates to (more than a single entity) just thought I’d point that out before you write more stupid crap.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 13 Feb 2007 @ 9:10

Comments have been disabled for this article.

News archive