AfterDawn: Tech news

Jobs not eager to remove DRM from video

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 04 Apr 2007 12:11 User comments (5)

Jobs not eager to remove DRM from video On Monday we reprted that Steve Jobs, the CEO of Apple had joined EMI executives to announce that EMI music would become available without DRM from the iTunes store.
Although Jobs has been a strong supporter for DRM free music he seems to have very different opinions about video DRM.

When asked about his feelings about the potential of lifting DRM from video, Jobs had this to say: "Video is pretty different from music right now because the video industry does not distribute 90 percent of their content DRM free. Never has. So I think they are in a pretty different situation and I wouldn't hold it to a parallel at all."

Jobs' argument is that CDs are sold without DRM and other copyright protection so it should be the same with music sold online. However, when referring to videos he mentions CSS the technology that comes with all DVD's and is intended to prevent copying. In his mind, videos were always sold with copyright protection and so therefore videos sold now are no different.

Anti-DRM activists and analysts don't buy into that explanation.

"Most people believe he's taking advantage of a technicality when he says that,"
said James McQuivey, a principal analyst at Forrester Research.

They argue that many programs are available to break CSS protection and so his argument is no longer valid.

McQuivey believes that Jobs will not remove protection from Disney videos because he is hampered by larger business issues.

"No movie studio would ever support the iTunes store if it was clear that Jobs would be pushing them to remove DRM,"
he said.

McQuivey also argues that Jobs wouldnt have the same negotiating power that he has in the music industry because iTunes only recently started adding movies and videos but it has 10 percent of music sales in contrast.

"When a single retail outlet has the ability to control 10 percent of sales, you have to listen to him. Apple doesn't have that clout yet in the movie business,"
McQuivey said.

Many outlets have asked Mr. Jobs to set a precedent by removing video protection from content including video. Jobs is the largest shareholder in Disney and would have the power to do so. These outlets include DefectiveByDesign and the EFF who had this to say: "why shouldn't this apply to video sold in the iTunes video store? It seems the basic reason for removing DRM should apply there too," said Derek Slater, activism coordinator for EFF.

Source:
PCWorld

Previous Next  

5 user comments

14.4.2007 13:47

Quote:
Video is pretty different from music right now because the video industry does not distribute 90 percent of their content DRM free. Never has. So I think they are in a pretty different situation and I wouldn't hold it to a parallel at all
I agree

24.4.2007 15:03

...but pretty much every cd that comes out now DOES have some sort of DRM on it, his argument is flawed.

34.4.2007 20:30

Quote:
Jobs is the largest shareholder in Disney and would have the power to [remove DRM from Disney movies].
Oh really? Wouldn't he have to have greater than 50% of Disney's total shares to do that? Just because you're the largest single shareholder of a company doesn't give you absolute control over it. I believe this statement made by PC World's journalist requires further explanation.

44.4.2007 22:40

DRM in itself is flawed who wants to spend millions to effectively cripple the media self porting ability to other media formats and it be undone in a week by acouple of nerds they need to understand its not worth the price and its not worth the cost to the consumer or their own rep.

its better to make moeny off the tools and blank media the consumers buy than to force them to buy 3 versions of the same thing.

55.4.2007 6:30

Quote:
Oh really? Wouldn't he have to have greater than 50% of Disney's total shares to do that? Just because you're the largest single shareholder of a company doesn't give you absolute control over it. I believe this statement made by PC World's journalist requires further explanation.
Not necessarily. Look up Nelson Peltz, who was able to get on the board of Heinz with only 5.4% of the shares and get 2 members onto the board. He also purchased 3.4% of Cadbury-Schweppes and is getting the company to split its beverage business off.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 05 Apr 2007 @ 6:33

Comments have been disabled for this article.

News archive