RIAA, others respond to Steve Jobs on DRM issue

Unsurprisingly, Steve Jobs’ open letter calling for the abolishment of digital rights management schemes drew a lot of attention yesterday, and several noteworthy parties have responded. As BoingBoing reports, Jon “DVD Jon” Johansen—a Norwegian hacker who cracked DVD content protection as well as Apple’s FairPlay DRM—thinks Jobs is being dishonest about his claim that Apple would embrace DRM-free music “in a heartbeat” if it could. Johansen suggests that Apple could start selling DRM-free songs from labels that do not mandate DRM protection in just a few days. DRM-protected songs currently sold on the iTunes Store are already available as unprotected MP3 downloads from eMusic, and Steve Page from Barenaked Ladies has reportedly offered to let Apple sell his band’s music DRM-free.

On the other side of the DRM debate is the RIAA, which has issued a rather interesting statement in response to Jobs. The RIAA apparently thinks Jobs is offering to license Apple’s FairPlay DRM scheme and states, “Apple’s offer to license Fairplay to other technology companies is a welcome breakthrough and would be a real victory for fans, artists and labels. There have been many services seeking a license to the Apple DRM. This would enable the interoperability that we have been urging for a very long time.” Jobs’ letter clearly stated that licensing FairPlay was a no-go because of security concerns.

Comments closed
    • ripfire
    • 13 years ago

    Steve Jobs: In recent response to RIAA’s statement, I would like to say just one more thing: Coooomme oooonnn!!

    • lemonhead
    • 13 years ago

    That’s nice of the BNL guy to offer, but i’m sure it’s the record company that controls distribution and has its own opinions.

    • jinjuku
    • 13 years ago

    RIAA can speak for themselves, not the fans of music. While I don’t steal an artists hard works. I also refuse to be encumbered by DRM controls. How the RIAA thinks the DRM of any form is a big bonus for us music ‘fans’ by protecting us from ourselves, I’ll never figure out. I buy the music I listen to becuase I want that artist to produce more. Real simple supply and demand there RIAA.

    I don’t support RIAA, I don’t support pirates and copy right violators. I do support engaging in a legislative process for taking back my fair use rights.

    • njsutorius
    • 13 years ago

    jobs is lieing strait up. He only said he wants DRM free because he is coming under pressure from Europe to share his DRM and he rather not because he will loose money this way if everyone is on the same playing field as he is. Its the long life story of apple only letting apple things work with apple things. He knows if he had to go up against fair competition he would get ” his teeth kicked in “.

      • crazybus
      • 13 years ago

      hmm….considering that the vast majority of the money earned from ITMS goes to the record companies I don’t see how competition would “get his teeth kicked in.” There’s no way the record companies would let anyone undercut ITMS prices and in that case it would most likely retain it’s prominent position. I’m all for competition, but licensing Fairplay drm probably wouldn’t hurt Itune’s sales much, if at all.

        • SGWB
        • 13 years ago

        Opening FairPlay would not hurt ITMS sales at all. In fact, Apple’s music sales would skyrocket. But the value of ITMS is as a loss-leader to sell more iPods.

        If Apple opens FairPlay, they will have a lot harder a time selling their iPods at 40 to 60 percent profit.

    • Spotpuff
    • 13 years ago

    Anyone who doesn’t like DRM is a dirty communist loving pirate. Who cares if none of the music you bought can’t be transferred to other devices and that fair use is being eroded while the lawmakers do nothing to protect consumer rights.

    The future is now!

    • adisor19
    • 13 years ago

    OK the RIAA has to put down the pipe and read that letter again. Nowhere does SJ say he’s willing to open up FairPlay.. Maybe they were under the influence of the RDF ???

    Adi

      • stmok
      • 13 years ago

      Apple is under pressure.

      Did you folks read about their issue with Norway?

      Norway considers Apple’s “FairPlay” as an illegal lock-in technology. It forces people to play content which is specific to Apple’s solutions. (iPod in this case). Apple has until September to address this issue, or the Norwegians will escalate this into a very public legal case.

      Now, consumer groups from France, Germany, and some Scandinavian countries are joining the Norwegians in this matter.

      This could be trouble for Apple in Europe, because France and Germany are the two biggest consumers of digital music.

      So Apple does what Microsoft does…Try to make themselves look like the good guy in such matters.

      Apple is trying to get good PR by hinting they’re siding with the consumer. Anyone who takes the time to put the whole picture together will realise this as nothing but a farce from Apple.

      Microsoft did the same thing as well. Gates mentioned how DRM was difficult for the consumer. (Trying to side with the cosumer in matters for DRM)…But interestingly, MS works with the Content Providers (HD content) in enforcing DRM on Vista!

      Essentially, both Apple and Microsoft are hypocrites when it comes to DRM. They both do it , but they pretend to side with the consumer when pressure is upon them.

      Let’s call it what it is…Its bullshit.

        • Spotpuff
        • 13 years ago

        It’s either MS works with content providers to make sure AACS crap works or it wouldn’t work at all. Which would you prefer? Why does everyone pin it on MS when it’s the content providers shoving it down people’s throats?

        Do you expect MS to say “DRM is difficult for the consumer so we completely circumvent it for them in Vista” or “DRM is difficult for the consumer so we just didn’t bother with it at all in Vista; nothing with DRM wil work period.”?

    • Bensam123
    • 13 years ago

    Is the RlAA confused and stupid or was that just a really poor attempt to twist that guys words?

      • stmok
      • 13 years ago

      The RIAA is run by a bunch of clueless greedy mofos who do NOT understand technology.

      They only understand two things in life.

      (1) Money.
      (2) Do things that secure the flow of money.

        • Dirge
        • 13 years ago

        The RIAA are clueless, DRM isn’t helping anyone and the pirates still swap songs.

        DRM/Fairplay is the one reason I wont buy from the Apple store, other wise it would be a nice way to legally acquire music.

      • willyolio
      • 13 years ago

      well, you see, with RIAA’s one-track mind, no DRM = DRM for all!

      • ludi
      • 13 years ago

      “Well Meester Jobs, that’s an interesting bet; I’ll see you, and raise you a FairPlay license…”

    • wierdo
    • 13 years ago

    I would like to thank DVD jon for saving me from the reality distortion field.

      • stmok
      • 13 years ago

      If you can’t trust a self-taught software engineer, who can you trust? 🙂

    • CampinCarl
    • 13 years ago

    I fail to see how it would benefit the fans.

      • stmok
      • 13 years ago

      It doesn’t…DRM doesn’t benefit the fans or the consumer. Period.

      Notice how they used a similar line when Vista’s DRM for HD content was questioned?

      “It will benefit the user.”
      “The user will get the full experience”.
      Etc, etc, etc.

      It doesn’t take a genius to see that its all bullshit to get DRM well immersed into as much technology as possible. If the consumers understood the implications of DRM technology, I don’t doubt the majority would immediately reject it without a thought.

      I ask my sister about DRM, she had no clue about it. I told her to research about it herself on the web. (So I don’t influence her with my opinions). After an hour of reading, she summed up her response: “That’s stupid. Its none of their business what I do on my computer.”

      DRM is nothing but a control mechanism. It doesn’t protect content. (Ever seen DRM technology that wasn’t broken?)…Its designed to secure profit at the cost of incompatibility and interoperability.

      It can be marketed under the guise of security. Take for example: Intel’s TXT…Trusted Execution Technology. This is a hardware framework that WILL be implemented in upcoming Intel based solutions. Its PR will say its for security purposes.

      See here.
      §[<http://www.intel.com/technology/security/<]§ But have you seen ANYONE or company implement this kind of technology in their networks? Notice the features of this technology...Look how much control a user will give away? How can someone guarantee this technology won't be used to enforce content?

    • StashTheVampede
    • 13 years ago

    iTunes/iPod integration rules the world of digital distribution. Jobs is making his plea to “free” the music they are selling b/c he believes it would increase the sales of iTunes/iPod.

    I don’t have an iPod b/c of the DRM locking (yes, I can put mp3s on it). Clearly there aren’t that many people out there like me — but I’m a small portion of technically savvy people that tells others NOT to buy into DRM schemes.

      • lethal
      • 13 years ago

      its an MP3 player. The name says it all. IF you want to get music from the itunes store thats up to you but you can get it from other sites or your own cds. Personally I haven’t used the itunes store ever and most ipod owners I know don’t either.

        • soccergenius
        • 13 years ago

        I still prefer to buy the CD’s so I can easily play them in my car and share them with my sister. Plus, I’m afraid to deal with the crap that is DRM.

          • jinjuku
          • 13 years ago

          I totally agree. I purchase all my music on CD. I have a car stereo with USB input in the glove box. Keep a handful of 1 and 2GB USB sticks that I get free after rebate, and rip music. I get ~180 tracks at 192WMA (non protected tyvm) on a 1 GB stick. Luv it.

      • Afty
      • 13 years ago

      I have an iPod with 12 GB of music on it and not a single DRM’ed file. They’re all bog-standard MP3s. You don’t even have to use iTunes to load it. There’s an iPod plugin for Winamp and a few other free standalone programs.

    • albundy
    • 13 years ago

    hehe, they are gonna be at each others throat. now thats entertainment with no drm!

    • ludi
    • 13 years ago

    I they really talking past each other as densely as this looks at first glance, or are we watching a poker game unfold?

      • Buub
      • 13 years ago

      I was thinking the same thing. It’s almost too obvious a mis-read. Round 1, in the Red Corner…

    • jehurey
    • 13 years ago

    Things are starting to heat up. I suppose Jobs first intention is to get Apple’s fairplay scheme to become an industry standard. I suppose he is well aware that iTunes cannot rule forever, and he’d rather keep the iPod hardware relevant and successful than the iTunes music store.

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