From a friend, posted on my Facebook wall:
Just so you know, as soon as I read the Steve Jobs "Thoughts on Music" memo, one of my first reactions was to see what marteydodoo.com had to say about it. The world waits, Martey...
I initially did not write anything about this because I did not think it was very important. Yes, several large media organizations reporting on it considered it groundbreaking that Jobs was calling for an end to DRM
Mr. Jobs's appeal, posted on the company's Web site Tuesday, came in the form of an essay titled "Thoughts on Music," but in essence it was a letter to the "Big 4" music companies: Universal, Sony BMG, Warner and EMI.
Good ol' Steve Jobs! Fighting for the rights of the American consumer against Big Music! He really cares about the little guy, right?
No, of course not. The true
audience of Jobs' memo is evident by his last paragraph:
Much of the concern over DRM systems has arisen in European countries. 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. Convincing them to license their music to Apple and others DRM-free will create a truly interoperable music marketplace. Apple will embrace this wholeheartedly.
Could this possibly be related to the growing furor in European legislatures and courts regarding the possible illegality of Apple's Fairplay DRM? Could Jobs be trying to redirect the anger of European consumers
against record companies instead of Apple, Inc.? No, of course not.
Norwegian Jon Lech Johansen has written a series of three posts skewering Jobs' memo:
- Steve's Thoughts on Music - why Jobs' claim that the music industry is forcing Jobs' hand in respect to DRM is wrong.
- Steve's misleading statistics - how Jobs is manipulating facts about the iTunes Music Store in order to make it seems as if consumer lock-in is not a problem with the iPod.
- Steve on licensing FairPlay - how licensing FairPlay to other companies (like RealNetworks, for example) would not hurt security.
Also of interest is James Willcox's short post on why the history of Apple's ever-increasing restriction of iTunes' music sharing feature shows that they are not really interested in convergence and usability