06 February 2007

Steve Jobs Gets Sane on DRM

A worryingly sensible viewpoint espoused here by Steve Jobs:

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.

In a heartbeat? The cynic in me is suspicious: if DRM were dropped, then Apple would be subject to much more direct competition. So why would Apple ever do this? Is Steve Jobs angling for a Nobel Prize for Peace, or something? (Via Wired News.)

Update: Larry Lessig makes a good point here.

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