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Jobs’ Open Letter on DRM

Some random thoughts on Jobs' open letter on DRM:

  • I don't think Apple is trying to become its own record label, despite what may or may not have recently happened with the Beatles.
  • The iPod is still the best player, and I think the iTunes Music store is a loss leader, so going DRM-free probably wouldn't really hurt Apple. C'mon, who would seriously consider a Creative player over an iPod? The iPod's "cool factor" isn't tied to the iTunes Music Store - the opposite is true.
  • I think the pressure Europe is applying is largely responsible for the letter.
  • To Europeans I simply say: "Don't like it, don't buy it." Duh. It's not like Apple is misleading you in any way.
  • If the Europeans are successful, I'm going to sue Apple for locking me into Apple-made computers and Apple-made OSes for selling me Aperture, iLife, and a lot of other software that only runs on Macs. Same thing, right?
  • I'd love to have DRM-free music, and I'd love to have all my old purchased music "un-DRMed."
  • DRM has never bitten me in the butt. I only worry about the future - what happens ten years from now to the 723 (or whatever) tracks I have?
  • Steve says x million iPods have been sold, and so only 22 songs per iPod are DRMed… but I've owned six iPods, and many other people I know have owned (or do own) more than one, so that skews the numbers just a bit.

Interesting times, though, and Steve-o's got some balls.

7 Responses to "Jobs’ Open Letter on DRM"

  1. "To achieve this, a DRM system employs secrets."

    Security through obscurity? Can't be much of a DRM system in that case.

  2. Security through obscurity is a valid security measure when deployed alongside other measures that give real strength. That, however, is not the case here at all.

    The secrets are the decryption keys. That's how encryption works. šŸ™‚

  3. I don't own any DRM music, but isn't un-DRMing just a matter of burning to CD?

  4. Johan Svensson said on February 6, 2007:

    "To achieve this, a DRM system employs secrets."

    Security through obscurity? Can't be much of a DRM system in that case.

    Secrets that Apple controls being the sole distributor (and therefore the only one who needs to know said secrets) - i think you're confused. No one can blame Fairplay's security on it's obscurity, as Fairplay is the market leader.

  5. [...] open letter on DRM, Erik J. Barzeski writes, “DRM has never bitten me in the butt.” ( NSLog: “Jobs' Open Letter on DRM” [...]

  6. [...] [Hat Tip: NSLog();] [...]

  7. Jeffrey Foster said on February 7, 2007:

    Secrets that Apple controls being the sole distributor (and therefore the only one who needs to know said secrets) - i think you're confused. No one can blame Fairplay's security on it's obscurity, as Fairplay is the market leader.

    I think you're getting confused about the obscurity part - it's not saying FairPlay is unknown, that it's secrets have "the quality of being difficult to understand". It relies on you not finding the secret, that you must have in order to listen to it at all, and using it for anything other than playing the tracks in iTunes/on an iPod (or writing a CD).


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