Steve Jobs Challenges Music Industry To End DRM’d Downloads

Steve JobsApple CEO Steve Jobs posted a surprising statement on the company’s site yesterday, challenging the music industry to abandon DRM (copy protection) on digital music downloads.Jobs outlines three possible futures for digital music:

  • Continue as is it is now, with each manufacturer competing freely with their own “top to bottom” proprietary systems for selling, playing and protecting music.
  • Apple could license its FairPlay DRM technology to current and future competitors with the goal of achieving interoperability between different company’s players and music stores.
  • Abolish DRMs entirely – according to Jobs, 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.

Jobs concludes by asking that people concerned with DRM convince the record labels to license their music to Apple and others DRM-free, saying that “Apple will embrace this wholeheartedly.”

Jobs’ statement is clearly self-serving; the company has faced criticism and legal battles from several European nations over its monopolization of digital music formats.

Nevertheless, Jobs move demonstrates his intuitive mastery of public relations, redirecting criticism of Apple’s monopolization of digital music to the record labels and their licensing restrictions.

Job’s statement has resulted in an outburst of discussion around the Internet.

via Podcasting News

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