Jobs gains support from Yahoo, Monster on DRM issue

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
Executives from both Yahoo and Monster Cable are the latest industry figures to throw their weight behind Apple chief executive Steve Jobs when it comes to DRM-wrapped audio tracks.



"I've long advocated removing DRM on music because there is already a lot of music available without DRM, and it just makes things complicated for the user," Dave Goldberg, head of Yahoo Music, told the Silicon Valley Watcher.



Goldberg said that Yahoo Music has engaged in experiments where it has offered music without DRM and witnessed a boost in sales.



Meanwhile, Monster Cable chief Noel Lee was also quoted in a company press release Tuesday as fully supporting the ideology presented in Jobs' open letter on DRM, title "Thoughts on Music."



"Monster Cable shares Mr. Jobs' vision of breaking constraints for legal music downloads," said Lee. "We've always believed in the power of music. So much so, we launched Monster Music to introduce high definition surround to the world without restrictions."



The leading manufacturer of high performance cables says its Monster Music service boasts a format known as the SuperDisc, which not only contains high definition surround tracks but DRM-free files. The firm, based in Brisbane, Calif., was recently successful in negotiating DRM-free files with Universal and their multi-platinum selling rock band 3 Doors Down for a SuperDisc release entitled, Away from the Sun, Live from Houston, Texas.



But for Jobs, who claims Apple would "embrace" DRM-free music should the four major record labels abolish their anti-piracy requirements, the tide has not been completely in his favor.



In an immediate response to the Apple cofounder's February 6th letter, Electronic Frontier Foundation urged Jobs to put "his music store where his mouth is" by promptly stripping the company's proprietary Fairplay DRM protection from independent music on the iTunes Store for which it is not required.



Jon Lech Johansen, an infamous DVD protection cracker known as DVD Jon, seconded the motion and even did some background research on the matter.



"It should not take Apple?s iTunes team more than 2-3 days to implement a solution for not wrapping content with FairPlay when the content owner does not mandate DRM," he said. "Actions speak louder than words, Steve."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 37
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Executives from both Yahoo and Monster Cable are the latest industry figures to throw their weight behind Apple chief executive Steve Jobs when it comes to DRM-wrapped audio tracks.



    "I've long advocated removing DRM on music because there is already a lot of music available without DRM, and it just makes things complicated for the user," Dave Goldberg, head of Yahoo Music, told the Silicon Valley Watcher.



    Goldberg said that Yahoo Music has engaged in experiments where it has offered music without DRM and witnessed a boost in sales.



    Meanwhile, Monster Cable chief Noel Lee was also quoted in a company press release Tuesday as fully supporting the ideology presented in Jobs' open letter on DRM, title "Thoughts on Music."



    "Monster Cable shares Mr. Jobs' vision of breaking constraints for legal music downloads," said Lee. "We've always believed in the power of music. So much so, we launched Monster Music to introduce high definition surround to the world without restrictions."



    The leading manufacturer of high performance cables says its Monster Music service boasts a format known as the SuperDisc, which not only contains high definition surround tracks but DRM-free files. The firm, based in Brisbane, Calif., was recently successful in negotiating DRM-free files with Universal and their multi-platinum selling rock band 3 Doors Down for a SuperDisc release entitled, Away from the Sun, Live from Houston, Texas.



    But for Jobs, who claims Apple would "embrace" DRM-free music should the four major record labels abolish their anti-piracy requirements, the tide has not been completely in his favor.



    In an immediate response to the Apple cofounder's February 6th letter, Electronic Frontier Foundation urged Jobs to put "his music store where his mouth is" by promptly stripping the company's proprietary Fairplay DRM protection from independent music on the iTunes Store for which it is not required.



    Jon Lech Johansen, an infamous DVD protection cracker known as DVD Jon, seconded the motion and even did some background research on the matter.



    "It should not take Apple?s iTunes team more than 2-3 days to implement a solution for not wrapping content with FairPlay when the content owner does not mandate DRM," he said. "Actions speak louder than words, Steve."



    First post w00t!

    I do not see the record labels moving much on drm. They have been on the wrong side of consumer rights since the good ol days of cassettes.
  • Reply 2 of 37
    ajmasajmas Posts: 552member
    Quote:

    "It should not take Apple?s iTunes team more than 2-3 days to implement a solution for not wrapping content with FairPlay when the content owner does not mandate DRM," he said. "Actions speak louder than words, Steve."



    Certainly agree, though I would like him to write an open letter to Steve Jobs asking why doesn't he do just that. In other words what's stopping him.



    The problem is the music companies and the contracts that Apple has signed with them.
  • Reply 3 of 37
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ajmas View Post


    Certainly agree, though I would like him to write an open letter to Steve Jobs asking why doesn't he do just that. In other words what's stopping him.



    The problem is the music companies and the contracts that Apple has signed with them.



    This is all starting to look like the first couple of volleys in a pretty ingenious strategy by Apple to license FairPlay to other music services and hardware manufacturers.
  • Reply 4 of 37
    louzerlouzer Posts: 1,054member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ajmas View Post


    Certainly agree, though I would like him to write an open letter to Steve Jobs asking why doesn't he do just that. In other words what's stopping him.



    The problem is the music companies and the contracts that Apple has signed with them.



    Yeah, but if the contracts with the indie music publishers don't call for DRM, why is Apple pushing it on the files? That's the question. And why should anyone have to write an open letter to anyone else to get answers.
  • Reply 5 of 37
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Porchland View Post


    This is all starting to look like the first couple of volleys in a pretty ingenious strategy by Apple to license FairPlay to other music services and hardware manufacturers.



    You might be right. Since, as Steve said, most of the music on the average iPod did not come from iTunes, Apple could only gain more music sales, with nary an appreciable drop-off of iTunes sales by licensing FairPlay. They'll come out of this smelling like a rose either way.
  • Reply 6 of 37
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Louzer View Post


    Yeah, but if the contracts with the indie music publishers don't call for DRM, why is Apple pushing it on the files? That's the question. And why should anyone have to write an open letter to anyone else to get answers.



    I wonder if Apple would've been silly enough (in the beginning) to have a contract stating that all music sold on iTunes has to have DRM in order to get major players to sign on. Because if Apple shows it to be an option, it does definitely put the onus on the majors to be the ones to let it go.



    Is it time for another round of negotiations? Last time, Jobs called them greedy and the 99 cent price stuck. This time, he's asking to have DRM removed...
  • Reply 7 of 37
    Steve Jobs should "put his Music Store where his mouth is?"



    What the hell does that mean? That he should do away with Apple's DRM and promptly see Apple's contracts with EVERY music publisher ripped to shreds? Don't these morons get it? Why is it so hard to understand that Apple must abide by the music suppliers' rules or there's no music to sell.

    Period!
  • Reply 8 of 37
    aisiaisi Posts: 134member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Porchland View Post


    This is all starting to look like the first couple of volleys in a pretty ingenious strategy by Apple to license FairPlay to other music services and hardware manufacturers.



    It's pretty clear that Jobs doesn't want to license FairPlay, he'd prefer to get rid of DRM.
  • Reply 9 of 37
    they want Steve to put his self out there by selling independent music without drm since owners do not require it
  • Reply 10 of 37
    I agree with "DVD Jon." iTunes has made exceptions for other things in the past. For example, the TV shows didn't show up all at once. A few people tried it and it went well, then more and more signed on. Similar thing with movies now. Disney was the only partner at the beginning, but now more and more companies are putting their movies on there.



    Maybe Apple should take off the DRM from any artist/label that doesn't want/need it and see how that goes. Give it a trial run and maybe the scared "big 4" will see that it works.
  • Reply 11 of 37
    timontimon Posts: 152member
    I've said it before and I say it again. Every online music store should watermark everthing they sell so each and every track will be marked. It can be done where you'll have no idea where the watermark is even if you do a bit-by-bit compare of two downloads of the same track.



    If you not sharing music you have nothing to fear.
  • Reply 12 of 37
    aisiaisi Posts: 134member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Timon View Post


    I've said it before and I say it again. Every online music store should watermark everthing they sell so each and every track will be marked. It can be done where you'll have no idea where the watermark is even if you do a bit-by-bit compare of two downloads of the same track.



    The Recording Industry Association of America tried this years ago with SDMI. It has been cracked and it looks like the whole concept was flawed anyway.
  • Reply 13 of 37
    DRM'ed music can be defeated simply by re-recording the source with an analog recorder, then importing back into any digital audio editing app... and that's the difficult route!
  • Reply 14 of 37
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AISI View Post


    It's pretty clear that Jobs doesn't want to license FairPlay, he'd prefer to get rid of DRM.



    What makes it "pretty clear"? The fact that he wrote an open letter about it?



    Steve Jobs is not a blogger; he wrote that letter to position Apple outside the blame in the whole DRM mess with European regulators who want open systems in their countries. Don't turn it into some anti-DRM crusade by Steve Jobs, who has almost nothing to gain by opening up Apple's 80% share of individual music libraries to competitors.
  • Reply 15 of 37
    tenobelltenobell Posts: 7,014member
    The only way DRM free music has a chance is pretty much for everyone to ban together against the RIAA and record labels.



    All of the download services would need to offer music catalogues that are not required to have DRM. Consumers would need to buy more DRM free music than music with DRM.



    That would estrange any major record label that does require DRM against what the majority of the market wants. And pressure them to follow suite.
  • Reply 16 of 37
    tenobelltenobell Posts: 7,014member
    Quote:

    Don't turn it into some anti-DRM crusade by Steve Jobs, who has almost nothing to gain by opening up Apple's 80% share of individual music libraries to competitors.



    There really is no iPod iTunes lock in with DRM. iTunes has sold 2 billion songs in 4 years. CD's sell 20 billion songs every year. People actively choose to use the iPod and iTunes in-spite of the fact there are other alternatives.



    Apple is likely missing out on a major source of revenue not licensing FairPlay. At this point everyone would pay Apple a premium for a FairPlay license. Because download service want access to the iPod and mp3 manufacturers want access to iTunes. Which would in turn continue the dominance of both.
  • Reply 17 of 37
    Awsome! I sure hope DRM get's flushed down the toilet never to return! I just wrote letters to the heads of RIAA, Warner Music and EMI asking them to support Steve Jobs' call to do away with DRM! As I've said before, if DRM goes bye bye the industry will be getting much more of my $$$$. I refuse to buy anything with DRM!
  • Reply 18 of 37
    aisiaisi Posts: 134member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Porchland View Post


    What makes it "pretty clear"? The fact that he wrote an open letter about it?



    Many services would like a FairPlay license but Apple has always rejected this idea. RealNetworks and Virgin Mega asked for a license and were rebuffed. Rob Glaser had to hack his way into the iPod with Harmony. If Apple wanted to license FairPlay to other music services, they would issue a press release to announce that, as of today, every music service can buy a FairPlay license. They wouldn't need a "pretty ingenious strategy" (a twisted plan).
  • Reply 19 of 37
    Here is a good article that shows Apple's double standards:



    An open letter to Steve Jobs



    Rant You are a hypocrite



    By Charlie Demerjian: Friday 09 February 2007, 08:20




    DEAR MR JOBS, you are the lowest form of hypocrite. It didn't dawn on me when I was reading your recent piece on DRM, nor when I was writing my response, but it did afterwards.



    I was busy answering emails generated by my article, a strangely complimentary set of letters given the topic, when it dawned on me. Your entire business is based on DRM, top to bottom, and without it you would wither and die.



    If you consider Apple has three product lines, the Mac, the iPod and the upcoming iPhone, all are DRMed to the gills. The iPod we all know about, that one is obvious. The Mac is a little more subtle, the DRM prevents it from running on anything but your hardware. It will even break on an Intel reference board that is almost totally identical to yours.



    DRM has two functions, to prevent copying and to prevent interoperability. You are using the the latter functionality as a shield to fatten your margins and totally lock out competition. Your entire computer business model depends on DRM. Remove the artificial locks and it works fine.



    Then there is the iPhone. Those of us privvy to its secrets know it is locked down hard, you have even saidas much. This DRM infection starts with a trusted boot loader and will fail with non-signed firmware. From there, you can lock out any competition with more DRM. This was a management decision, not a technical need.



    So, when it comes to DRM being used to pry open your anti-competitive infrastructure, you decry it. When it comes to you using to to exclude and tax others, then it is mandatory. What a joke you are.



    While I know this won't happen, here is what you need to do to put your money where your mouth is. First, completely open up or license OSX to anyone who wants it and let it run on whatever hardware they want. Second, do not lock down the iPhone in any way shape or form. Both can be done on a whim, there are no technical impediments, only management decisions.



    If you do not do these things, you will expose yourself to be the true hypocrite that everyone thinks you are. DRM is unacceptable when used against you, but the best thing in the world when done by Apple. You can change things though, all it takes is a memo.



    Charlie Demerjian µ
  • Reply 20 of 37
    tenobelltenobell Posts: 7,014member
    Charlie either doesn't get the difference or conveniently ignores the differences between software and music.



    Jobs prevailing argument for ending DRM in music is the fact that most purchased music comes from CD which have no DRM. If 20 billion songs a year are sold with no DRM, what difference does it make to sell 2 billion a year with DRM.



    For Apple to open OS X to work seamlessly on any PC. Would require OS X to support every possible hardware configuration. That is a lot of work for Apple, even MS has not been able to do with this completely successfully. Apple does not believe in that business model and there is no reason why they have to.
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