Originally posted on February 6, 2007 @ 3:45 pm
Steve Jobs posted a letter on Apple’s Web site today supporting the online sale of music without copyright protection software, saying DRM systems have failed to halt music piracy.
In the letter entitled “Thoughts On Music,” Steve Jobs blamed major record labels for the proliferation of digital rights management systems.
Without offering them DRM protection, an online music store would not be able to get a license to distribute tunes from the likes of Universal, Sony BMG, Warner and EMI, which together distribute more than 70% of the world’s music, Jobs said.
By throwing Apple’s support behind DRM critics, Jobs is adding the weight of the owner of the largest online music store on the Web and the leader in the digital music player market.
Did you know that the Apple iPod accounts for more than three quarters of the players sold worldwide? Yeah, Apple has one huge chunk of music market share.
Jobs said the industry had three choices:
- Choose to continue with the current system where each of the major online store owners and manufacturers of players, Sony, Microsoft and Apple, have their own DRM that tie their music to their hardware.
- The companies could license their copyright protection systems to each other.
- Abolish Digital Rights Management entirely.
“This is clearly the best alternative for consumers, and Apple would embrace it in a heartbeat,” Jobs said.
“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.”
Of course, rival players would in theory also be able to play iTunes music and vice versa, which would bring dramatic changes to the online market.
Rather than buy music and a player from one vendor, people could buy music anywhere on the Web for any player.
Be sure to check out Steve Jobs Thoughts on Music. It’s a worth while read for sure.