I read the recent essay titled “Thoughts on Music” from Steve Jobs and its interesting exegesis by John Gruber with much interest.
Though I’m not even remotely as insightful and influential as these two, I find at least interesting how they fail to grasp (or graciously turn around) what I consider rather obvious.
They both talk about the fact that most of the music
circulating sold today, in the form of CDs, is DRM-free. Not even Gruber, who puts this in relation with the DVD, goes further by saying that it’s obvious that the CD is the media industry’s biggest mistake of all times.
They made this horrible mistake, then they realized it and had a first, quick shot at a solution, but failed miserably again with the DVD.
Anyway, I don’t think they will fail again. They will eventually succeed in taking more and more rights away from the consumer (say you like the sound of that word). And we the consumers will let them, no matter how much you and I stand against this.
Look at it this way: freedom has never been easy, and people want it easier all the time. Do your math, it’s inevitable. And the same old, same old.
So all of this talk is only poetry. Jobs’s bluff is just too obvious to even bother calling.
Something new came out of Daring Fireball:
[...] in fact the music companies have tried all sorts of various tricks to ship CDs that play in regular CD players but which prevent PCs from ripping the music to digital files. Remember Sonyâ€™s root kit fiasco? That the music industry sees DRM-free CDs as a problem is not an indictment of Apple.
As usual, Gruber raises interesting points. Anyway, I don’t subscribe to all of them. Of course Apple would take some benefit from a DRM-free iTMS (for a start, I know I don’t buy from iTMS now and would definitely buy from a DRM-free iTMS). I also tend to agree that Apple would sell as many iPods without FairPlay today. Anyway, that’s talking about today.
What about the future?
It’s obvious that Gruber has a strong faith in Apple:
Why is it so hard to believe Jobs meant what he wrote: that Apple is perfectly happy to make its money selling iPods and by competing based on the quality of their products and user experience?
I’m afraid I don’t trust them that much.
The Dude: It’s like what Lenin said… you look for the person who will benefit, and, uh, uh…
Donny: I am the walrus.
The Big Lebowski
Look, David Byrne agrees:
[...] once DRM is removed, iTunes will no longer “have a monopoly,” and labels will be better prepared to deal with Web sales.
David da man as I said before.