news riaa others respond to steve jobs on drm issue

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.