Space Ramblings

Steve Jobs’ Anti-DRM conversion

The Guardian raises the issue of Apple’s Road to Damascus conversion into Anti-DRM activists, that the rest of the media has been ignoring while singing the praises of Steve Jobs’ new Anti-DRM crusade.

It’s a mystery that Apple won’t talk about. Independent artists have been complaining for years that Apple was deaf to their requests to include their music at the iTunes Music Store without applying digital rights management (DRM) software. Apple CEO Steve Jobs said in his February 6 essay Thoughts on Music that the company had no choice but to use DRM to protect songs sold via iTunes because the record companies insisted on it. Complain, he said, to Universal, Sony BMG, Warner and EMI, who control 70% of the world’s music. No answer, still, to the artists who wanted their music released DRM-free.

The Guardian article has no real answers but one possibility is that Steve Jobs may have reacted to Bill Gates’ publicized statement to bloggers opposing DRM and decided to preempt him or Apple may have decided that it could gain an advantage after all by dumping DRM or at least positioning themselves to battle record companies over it. It’s hard to say.

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