The press is of course rebroadcasting Steve Jobs’ call for music companies to begin selling music DRM free. This will of course be met with cheers by the Apple fanboys and make it look like Steve Jobs is fighting for the consumer against the big evil corporations. In actuality Steve Jobs is jumping on the bandwagon of the Anti-DRM movement and doing it with a very particular agenda in mind. Here’s the salient points.
“Apple has been under pressure in Europe to make iTunes music compatible with players other than the iPod. On January 25 Norway’s consumer ombudsman said Apple must open access to iTunes by October 1 or face legal action.
“Perhaps those unhappy with the current situation should redirect their energies toward persuading the music companies to sell their music DRM-free,” said Jobs about the European action.”
In other words don’t force me to actually make ITunes music compatible with non-IPod players consumers might own. Instead Jobs is trying to feint and duck by directing attention to the music industry instead, The problem of course is that it’s been thoroughly proven by now that ITunes is all about the DRM.
Companies that want to sell their music DRM free, must nevertheless wind up selling their music with DRM included if they want to sell via ITunes. Steve Jobs is trying to pass the blame on to the companies but it’s ITunes whose business model to be a loss leader for the IPod and that business model wouldn’t work if people could buy 99 cent songs at ITunes and play them on their Sony or Creative Zen or Zune.
Locking people into the IPod and creating a monopoly has been the whole premise behind Apple’s business success. Steve Jobs can no more afford to lose DRM, then Wallmart can afford to begin giving their entire stock away. Steve Jobs in fact needs DRM more than the companies do.
But Steve Jobs’ Reality Distortion Field approach now lets him distract from his monopoly and forcible DRM by blaming the companies and appearing to be a crusader against DRM. What a douchebag.