Steve Jobs criticized DRM

    An open letter from Steve Jobs, entitled Thoughts on Music, was published on Apple’s website on Tuesday . In it, he shared his opinion on DRM technologies ( TZSAP ), applied in particular to music.

    The letter, according to Jobs, was a response to numerous requests to “open” the DRM technique used on iTunes so that the music purchased there could be heard on third-party players, not just on the iPod, and also music files were played on the iPod, bought in other online stores.

    The reason why this is all right now, according to Jobs, is the requirement for record companies to tighten control over digital music content as much as possible in order to leave it illegally distributed. The Big Four (Universal, Sony BMG, Warner and EMI), which controls the rights to more than 70% of all music currently sold.

    At the beginning of negotiations with these companies, Apple proposed introducing rather soft restrictions: music could be listened to on no more than 5 computers and an unlimited number of iPods. However, as we see, the record labels insisted on their own. Moreover, they now continue to regularly demand improvements in the DRM system.

    But "the problem, of course, is that there are a lot of smart people in the world, some of which also have a lot of free time." The FairPlay technology, with which Apple protects files sold on iTunes, is still considered quite reliable and is still doing its job. But is the game worth the candle? Therefore, Steve offers three ways to further develop the situation .

    Firstthe way is to leave it as it is. A very competitive market, huge investments in maintaining stores and players in good condition and the constant strengthening of the DRM grip. This will play into the hands of everyone except ... consumers. Now Apple (by the way, unlike Microsoft and partially Sony) can allow its users to listen to unprotected files on their iPods. But who knows if the media giants will not require them to take this opportunity.

    Secondthe way is to license all popular DRM systems, including FairPlay, for all competing companies. It would seem that this will immediately significantly expand the capabilities of users and give them a wide selection of music. But in fact, very serious problems arise. Firstly, the more people know the secrets of DRM, the greater the risk that they will not be able to keep them inside and pass them on to pirates who have valid persuasion arguments. Secondly, the fight against holes in protection systems will become orders of magnitude more difficult, since it is not possible to control a randomly expanding circle of consumers. Hence again the problems for music producers.

    Thirdan alternative (hold on) is to give up DRM entirely. Imagine a world where anyone can listen to any music on any player, wherever he buys both. It sounds like a line from a John Lennon song, but it will undoubtedly be the best solution for consumers! If the Quartet approves this path, Apple, Jobs says, will immediately switch iTunes to selling exclusively DRM-free content.

    Why should she approve? Very simple: DRM does not work . And companies understand this, because they continue to sell 10 times more unprotected music than protected. So why invest billions of dollars in a complex campaign to change this ratio in favor of DRM? Jobs sees only positive aspects for labels, they just need to leave this occupation.

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