[Linux-aus] Jobs disses DRM

James Polley linuxaus at zhasper.com
Wed Feb 7 14:31:02 UTC 2007

On 07/02/07, Chris McCormick <chris at mccormick.cx> wrote:
> Hi,
> <http://www.apple.com/hotnews/thoughtsonmusic/>
> This seems kind of ironic given trusted computing etc., but it's a
> positive sign anyway.
> Chris.

Apple do FUD now? I wish I could be surprised..

The gist of the message seems to be: We don't want DRM, the record
companies force it on us. In fact, it explicitly says that:

> 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.

I don't buy it if it's only the Big 4, why do Apple force DRM on
smaller labels as well?

Take just one label: Naxos, one of (if not the) largest Classical
labels in the world. Naxos are very happy to sell their music without
DRM - in fact, they prefer it. They're certainly not forcing Apple to
whack DRM onto their music - they'd be just as happy if you bought it
from, for instance, http://www.emusic.com/, where it's completely

Why do Apple whack DRM on? It's not because Naxos insist; it's because
once that music is bought it helps lock the purchaser into their iPod.

There are other things in the document that represent creative uses of
the truth. For instance,

> Apple was able to negotiate landmark usage rights at the time, which include
> allowing users to play their DRM protected music on up to 5 computers and on
> an unlimited number of iPods.

Originally, the FairPlay terms of use allowed for 7 machines, and iirc
allowed for others on the network to play DRMed music through your
iTunes share as well. As of about iTunes 4, that was dropped to just
5, and no sharing - and this is now being presented as the original

>and we have given users the most liberal usage rights available in
the industry for
> legally downloaded music.

www.magnatune.com and www.emusic.com both offer much more liberal
usage rights for legally downloaded music.

In short, it's nice to see some sense coming from Apple, but I don't
buy their reasons for saying this.


> Music on CDs can be easily imported into the freely-downloadable iTunes
> jukebox software which runs on both Macs and Windows PCs, and is
> automatically encoded into the open AAC or MP3 formats without any DRM. This
> music can be played on iPods or any other music players that play these open
> formats.

I lost track of the changes to copyright law that were being spoken
about a while ago, but I know that at one stage this usage would have
been prohibited here. Would Steve have come out against those proposed
laws - or would he have preferred legally-enforceable lock-in to the

There is nothing more worthy of contempt than a man who quotes himself
- Zhasper, 2004

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