iTunes to drop DRM?

Filed under:Music/MP3 — posted by Svein Kåre on 7 February 2007 @ 00:35

Well – I’m not taking anything for granted. I also remember having read that an Apple lawyer saw no reason to drop DRM, even if the record companies should stop demanding it (sorry, I don’t have the link anymore. But maybe I’ve mentioned it in an earlier post?)

Now hoewever, Steve Jobs has shared with us his thoughts about music, about DRM and Fairplay and why Apple don’t licence it to others. What I like most about what he writes is this:

The third alternative is to abolish DRMs entirely. Imagine a world where every online store sells DRM-free music encoded in open licensable formats. In such a world, any player can play music purchased from any store, and any store can sell music which is playable on all players. This is clearly the best alternative for consumers, and Apple would embrace it in a heartbeat. If the big four music companies would license Apple their music without the requirement that it be protected with a DRM, we would switch to selling only DRM-free music on our iTunes store. Every iPod ever made will play this DRM-free music.

I like that. He doesn’t say that Apple has plans for dropping DRM, but he does continue to say that DRM isn’t such a goood idea, as it doesn’t work anyway, and that there is a growing concern over DRM in European countries. He may very well have the Norwegian ombudsmann in mind, who says that the iPods being tied to iTunes for playing protected music is illegal. However, he does have a point when he urges us to put the pressure on the for big record companies instead — the majority of them (Universal, EMI, and 50% of Sony BMG) are European themselves. And since there may be chances that these companies will drop DRM, as many speculates, we may see that iTunes will be DRM-free. 🙂



image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace