Steve Jobs: Apple would embrace DRM-free music 'in a heartbeat'

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  • Reply 141 of 175
    sennensennen Posts: 1,468member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by aegisdesign View Post


    They aren't trying to close the store, they're trying to make Apple obey the law. It's not necessary to close retailers down if you can persuade them to change their ways.



    The free market isn't an answer for everything, that's why there are laws. And of course, this is Norway, not America, so it has a completely different political, cultural and societal make-up. Frankly, Americans telling Norwegians how to run their country is patronising and completely none of their business. But if Apple wants to operate in Norway, then abiding by their laws is a given.



    i agree that the free market is definitely not the answer to everything (or [rant] anything for that matter if you want to work towards a truly equitable and egalitarian world [/rant]) and that consumer groups are vital in free market capitalist economy. CHOICE here in Aust, does a great job. i just think that there are many more consumer issues of far greater importance than this for them to be concerned about.



    our lives are filled with restrictions, some for better/our own good, some for worse - which we should try to change, but also some that really have very little if any impact upon us. Fair Play DRM, whilst not ideal, is not evil, barely restrictive and as far as i am concerned, it is simply a non-issue because i have the choice of whether to be restricted or not.



    if apple is violating the law in norway by selling a certain product and apple can't sell this product without the DRM (because of their contract with the record companies), ask them to remove the product form the "shelves" (or in the extreme close the store).



    Quote:

    No that's exactly what they want. They want music to be able to be played on any player no matter where you bought it without overly restrictive rights management so that you're free to use any player and other companies are free to participate in a market otherwise dominated by one closed system.



    but it's not a closed system if you don't want it to be! just don't buy music from one store - the iTS.
  • Reply 142 of 175
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by physguy View Post


    But that is exactly the point that people are trying to make, it is NOT Apple that has to be persuaded or change their ways, as addressed in the letter from Jobs, its the record companies. That's why this effort is misdirected, even if valid. Apples only reasonable choice in the scenario is to shut down given what is put forth in the letter.



    And as I pointed out earlier, under consumer law, the contract is with Apple so the only complaint Norwegian consumers can make with any legal basis is with Apple. Jobs' letter does not change that.



    If you read the complaint they made it's against Apple first (after all they control the largest part of the digital download market) but it's also against four other stores. If they all decided to shut up shop instead of complying with the law then the record companies will have nowhere to sell downloads in Norway. That's not good for the record companies.



    Let's just run through Jobs' suggestion - 'Go direct your energies at the record companies'. Well, let's say Norway threatens to take them to court instead of Apple. Their reaction might be to just not supply online stores in Norway with ANY content, to pull out of the download market in Norway, instead of providing un-DRMd content. That's bad for everybody.



    The record companies need online stores to sell their music or they're back with CDs again and a flourishing p2p market. Either way, it's going to end up on p2p unprotected.
  • Reply 143 of 175
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sennen View Post


    but it's not a closed system if you don't want it to be! just don't buy music from one store - the iTS.



    So, buy an iPod, a Zune, a Sony and a Zen. Buy the same song four times to get it on each since you're not allowed to copy between them. Yeah, I see what you mean. It's great to have a choice in closed systems. \



    Regardless, that's not what they're complaining about. Each of these stores has a restrictive contract. They're complaining about each contract in turn not that you don't have a choice of which restrictive contract you can freely pick.
  • Reply 144 of 175
    sennensennen Posts: 1,468member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by aegisdesign View Post


    So, buy an iPod, a Zune, a Sony and a Zen. Buy the same song four times to get it on each since you're not allowed to copy between them. Yeah, I see what you mean. It's great to have a choice in closed systems. \



    no, buy the music once - on CD. if it is available as a single, all the better



    as i said: "if apple is violating the law in norway by selling a certain product and apple can't sell this product without the DRM (because of their contract with the record companies), ask them to remove the product from the "shelves" (or in the extreme close the store)."
  • Reply 145 of 175
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sennen View Post


    no, buy the music once - on CD. if it is available as a single, all the better



    Well yes, that's what I do do. But again, that's not the specific issue.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sennen View Post


    as i said: "if apple is violating the law in norway by selling a certain product and apple can't sell this product without the DRM (because of their contract with the record companies), ask them to remove the product from the "shelves" (or in the extreme close the store)."



    It may come to that. I would think not though as at some point the record companies are going to realise they've nowhere to sell their crap. It's inevitable IMHO that they'll have to supply without DRM.
  • Reply 146 of 175
    shetlineshetline Posts: 4,695member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post


    The consumer does not need government protection from iTS restrictions. That's what the free market is for. If iTS restrictions are unreasonable people are free to not use the service. Its up to other companies to offer a better deal than Apple offers. That would force Apple to open its restrictions.



    When all the "free" market offers us as consumers are take-it-or-leave-it choices, where big companies are acting in concert to enforce very similar restrictions in nearly all of their offerings, I'm happy for the government to step in and (in a rare show of favoring the consumers over big business) improve the choices available to me.



    If you want to call it "having your cake and eating it too", fine. That's what I want. I want the convenience of something like Apple's online store and more choices for what I use to play back those selections. I don't want to have to buy CDs instead to get away from those restrictions. I don't want to have to lose sound quality and/or bloat file sizes by having to burn purchases to CD and re-rip those CDs.



    Taking away laws that make circumventing DRM illegal would be the best way to improve consumer choices. (By the way -- burning music to CD and re-ripping for the purpose of circumventing DRM restrictions could very well be considered both illegal and a violation of your EULA.) If we can't get that, then mandatory licensing of DRM systems is the next best thing.



    I realize that most of the DRM grief is due to the music labels and not Apple. But I'll take consumer relief from one-sided restrictive agreements and improved protection of my fair use rights wherever I can get it.
  • Reply 147 of 175
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by aegisdesign View Post


    And as I pointed out earlier, under consumer law, the contract is with Apple so the only complaint Norwegian consumers can make with any legal basis is with Apple. Jobs' letter does not change that.



    If you read the complaint they made it's against Apple first (after all they control the largest part of the digital download market) but it's also against four other stores. If they all decided to shut up shop instead of complying with the law then the record companies will have nowhere to sell downloads in Norway. That's not good for the record companies.[emphasis added]



    Why? How do you come to that conclusion regarding the tradeoff of non-DRM on-line music and no on-line music. Do you know how the economic models of the record companies are structured? Do you know how they view this tradeoff? If these are the choices they face they may evaluate that closing shop is the better case for them. They have done this in the past in the fact they didn't offer on-line music in any significant way before iTunes.



    I think the only reasonable conclusion to be derived if they would close up shop is that it is bad for consumers as it removes a choice. I do believe adding choices is generally a good thing.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by aegisdesign View Post


    Let's just run through Jobs' suggestion - 'Go direct your energies at the record companies'. Well, let's say Norway threatens to take them to court instead of Apple. Their reaction might be to just not supply online stores in Norway with ANY content, to pull out of the download market in Norway, instead of providing un-DRMd content. That's bad for everybody.



    The record companies need online stores to sell their music or they're back with CDs again and a flourishing p2p market. Either way, it's going to end up on p2p unprotected.[emphasis added]



    How is the stores shutting down because of the action against the operators different (to the consumer) than them shutting down because of action against the record companies. You're whole premise about the results of this actions seems to be based on the last sentence. I don't see how this is a forgone conclusion in any current scenario. The record companies may very well assess that non-DRM offering will only make p2p worse.



    Now, before you go and quote all your previous statements again, I have read the complaint and agree that they have the right to bring it and that they think they have their FACTS correct. Thats not what's being discussed.



    As the topic of this thread is actually the letter, not the Norwegian action (thats another thread), I think that the more interesting discussion would be about Job's assertion that Apple cannot reasonably open Fairplay to others because the inordinate burden of managing that much more complex system in a way that doesn't violate their contracts with the record companies. That's really the crux of this matter (assuming you don't get rid of DRM). I actually agree with Job's position on this. They've only been successful in keeping this working (i.e. realtively secure, and yes I know about Qtfairplay, etc.), despite the massive incentive to crack it, because they control the complete ecosystem. If this is the case then Apple has no where to go without the cooperation of the record companies - hence the suggestion to refocus efforts.
  • Reply 148 of 175
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 32,982member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BRussell View Post


    It's not an assumption, it's a fact: iTunes music works with iPods and iPods work with iTunes music.



    I think the fact that someone had to ask you to reencode their iTunes-store music for them makes my point perfectly.



    Again, I just need to ask you to look at the big picture here: What benefit is it to Apple to have DRM? It encourages people to stay with iTunes/iPod. What benefit is it to Apple to get rid of DRM? Absolutely none. This letter was purely PR because they're involved in a threatening legal case in Europe over this. That's all.



    No, it's not a fact. iPods work with iTunes. So what? Big deal! Very little iTunes purchased content is on any given iPod. THAT'S a fact.



    Most content is not from iTunes, that's also a fact.



    People have asked me to do that because they know that this is something that I have professional software that I do it with. Most of these people are also kids, friends of my daughter, and their friends.



    I think that PR certainly has something to do with the timing, but it's certainly nothing new for Jobs. He's been saying this for years.



    And, I believe him.



    If Apple continues to sell songs at the same price as others, there would be NO reason for people to buy anywhere else, unless others can make the case that their songs are of higher quality, and people cared?which they don't.



    Otherwise, people will continue to buy from iTunes and buy iPods. And, some, who haven't, because of Apple's exclusive DRM, might now choose to do so.
  • Reply 149 of 175
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 32,982member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by quinney View Post


    One of Steve's points in his essay was that more music would be sold if it

    were offered DRM-free. This would mean Metallica would make

    more money. Clearly many musicians would not buy Steve's

    argument, just as the big labels don't.



    On the other hand, it is not fair to make a blanket condemnation of all

    musicians, based upon Metallica. There are many examples of professional

    musicians engaging in charitable activities, which I believe to be well

    motivated.



    Bright lights, etc. are a big motivating force for rock musicians.



    Charitable works are something else entirely, as long as much publicity accompanies it.
  • Reply 150 of 175
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 32,982member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by quinney View Post


    The majors' model for distributing music is being made obsolete

    by digital downloading. A record deal from one of them may not

    be seen to be the biggest prize forever. In fact it may be seen

    as giving a middleman, who contributes nothing to the creative

    process, way too much of the revenue raised from the music.



    Actually, that's not true.



    I don't know where you get the idea that the labels are being rendered obsolete. iTunes is just another music store. The method of delivery is different, that's all.



    It's interesting that so many who have no contact with the industry think that the labels don't contribute. That's funny. It really is!



    Who do you think pays for everything the musicians need to record, hold publicity tours, advertise them, pay for their outfits, intruments, hotel rooms, etc?



    Do you realise that most acts lose money? Do you realise that most advance payments are lost to the labels forever? It's only the very few top acts that make money for the labels. Those few acts at the top pay for the entire pyramid of acts below them.



    Those top few acts want it all. Do you think they care about new acts, or acts that barely break even? No, they don't.



    And that's where you hear that the labels are robbing them. Those acts forget that when they were new, the labels took from the current top acts to help pay for them. And it goes round and round.



    No one would ever hear of new acts if it weren't for the major labels. They are the only ones to have the money to do the promotions.



    That's why indie's are indie's. They have little money for promotion, tours, or much else. Many of their acts may be very good, but few hear about them.



    Without any labels, there won't be any recording going on. What new act can afford the studio time to do a professional album?



    Sure, rarely, an act does something in their basement. I used to do that when I was young. But, even with todays equipment, the result is rarely good for more than an audition "tape".
  • Reply 151 of 175
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 32,982member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by aegisdesign View Post


    I walk in to a record shop and talk to Jeremy behind the counter who sells me Kylie Minogue's latest album on the Parlephone label. As I've used above, Jeremy is the 'shop keeper', Parlephone are the 'manufacturer'. In European law my contract of sale is between the shop keeper and me, not Parlephone or Kylie Minoque. Parlephone are under no obligation to me and neither is Kylie.



    I get home and find the CD won't play on my CD player. Since the contract is between myself and the shop keeper I take it back to the shop to exchange.



    I get another CD but that doesn't play either.



    It turns out the CD has some kind of DRM on it that my CD player doesn't like. I take it back to the shop and explain that the CD isn't following the spec for CDs and doesn't play on my CD player which only plays proper red book CDs like Phillips designed it to. Clearly* the manufacturer of the CD, Parlephone, is at fault but that is irrelevant between me and the shop keeper who have a contract. He is supposed to sell goods that are legal and fit for the purpose intended. He in turn has a contract with Parlephone but that's for him to argue about, not me. And much as I'd like to chastise Kylie, it's not her fault either.



    This example is not a good one. Obviously, Parlephone is selling goods fraudulently. The cd spec cannot be worked around, and it is licensed out to be done the way it is. This was one of Sony's problems. If someone sued them for that, they would have had a decent chance of winning. No one has reason to expect that a cd will have either DRM, or content protection.



    Of course, since this is hypothetical, we can assume that the cd CAN have this. If so, one must then look to the cd player. Why doesn't it play that cd? If others do, then it could be the cd player that is at fault



    It also would depend on the applicable law. Would the protection on that cd be legal, or not? If the law says nothing either way, then the presumption would be that it is legal.



    Naturally, they could change the law.



    Quote:

    So, moving to Apple, Apple here is the shop keeper and the only contract in dispute is between the consumer and Apple. That's what the Norwegians are saying. It's up to Apple to argue with the record companies and that's what Jobs is doing. It's not really the Norwegian Consumer Council's issue which legally is with the shop selling goods. The Norwegian Consumer Council are arguing that the goods sold (iTunes songs) are illegal in Norway. If it goes to court it'd have to be Apple in the dock, not the record companies.



    This can get ticklish. If a referendum were to be held, and the question asked was:



    Would you rather have music sold online with DRM, or have no music sold online? The answer could be interesting indeed.



    Apple is certainly not deceiving their customers, as they are forthright about telling what will work with what, unlike the case you mentioned about the cd.



    It seems to me that the authorities had plenty of time to decide to not allow Apple and Sony to set up their stores there. As they have, it appears to be hypocritical to try to change the rules that most people are quite happy about, to curry favor with the few who are not.



    I assume they will not allow MS to sell the Zune with it's exclusive rights DRM, and that MS knows that.



    Quote:

    No. it's a matter of legal process. They can only go after the party that has the contract with the consumer. It's got nothing to do with protecting EU companies. Norway aren't even in the EU.



    Well, I find this to be very odd. The companies who sell the "deficient" products are fine, but the stores are not. Very odd.



    So, If a small car dealer sells a car model that later proves to be defective, or of poor design, something that a dealer is in no way qualified to determine, that dealer, and all of the other dealers selling that model get in trouble, but the car manufacturer gets off the hook?



    Because that's exactly what you are saying here.



    Somehow, I don't think that's true. It doesn't have to be a defect, or poor design, it could be deceptive. Say an engine rated at 200 horsepower that turns out to be only 150 instead.



    Quote:

    * ok smartarses, I had the choice of buying a Debbie Gibson CD with no DRM on that would play but that's not the point.



    Debbie Gibson?



    Well now, that destroys your credibility, doesn't it?
  • Reply 152 of 175
    sennensennen Posts: 1,468member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by shetline View Post


    If you want to call it "having your cake and eating it too", fine. That's what I want. I want the convenience of something like Apple's online store and more choices for what I use to play back those selections. I don't want to have to buy CDs instead to get away from those restrictions. I don't want to have to lose sound quality and/or bloat file sizes by having to burn purchases to CD and re-rip those CDs.



    I realize that most of the DRM grief is due to the music labels and not Apple. But I'll take consumer relief from one-sided restrictive agreements and improved protection of my fair use rights wherever I can get it.



    quoting a song i know "sometimes you must accept... you can't always get what you want". why does apple have to provide all the solutions? [they certainly don't when it comes to hardware, but we still buy it] they have provided a solution. why doesn't some other company filled this need for you? it seems to me like if apple took the DRM off, then ppl would prob still complain about the bitrate, or something else. <shrug>
  • Reply 153 of 175
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 32,982member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post


    Hmmm.... that is a rather strong statement. Seems to imply that one actually needs to have experienced something in order to be able to comment on it (as a commentator). Surely you don't mean that?



    I mean that unless people know how an industry works, and why, they shouldn't be making comments that don't take it into account.



    Comments that I read from these commentators show that they don't know the industry, and are speaking from an outsiders perspective.



    It's important to understand the mechanics of something before criticising the result.



    EDIT:



    I just would like to make it clear that by "commentators" I mean people who are paid to write, or bloggers with well read blogs. I don't mean people posting in threads like this (though it would be nice). No one pays much attention to what we say other than the others in the thread. We are free to fight, argue, or whatever.
  • Reply 154 of 175
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 32,982member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by aegisdesign View Post


    So calling the Norwegian Consumer Council spokesman stupid for not going after the record companies is in itself stupid. They've a specific case with a finely defined contract to argue against.



    While I wouldn't call them stupid, I would call them shortsighted.



    They seem to be going for the easier mark. It's simple to tell Apple to shut down the iTunes store in their country, but much more difficult to tell all the record companies to change their ways, or else.
  • Reply 155 of 175
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 32,982member
    [QUOTE=aegisdesign;1039198]It's not about consumer choice or competition in the marketplace.[quote]



    It is about that.



    Quote:

    It's about consumer restrictions placed on a purchase by Apple (even if Apple say the record companies made them do it) which the Norwegian Consumer Ombudsman is saying are too restrictive and also breaks some laws, notably changing of rights AFTER a purchase has concluded.



    That's a very artificial argument. I'm really surprised that this has gone even this far. It's absurd to expect product interchangability.



    I suppose they will require Blu-Ray and HD-DVD to be compatible.



    What about cassette tapes and cd players? Did they do this with Beta and VHS?



    Or DVD and Beta/VHS.



    Do all vacuum cleaners have interchangable bags? They should, you know. It can be difficult finding the right bag.



    How about tires on cars? Shouldn't they all be the same size? Tires would be much cheaper if made the same size.



    Or diesel and gas cars. You never know when you might need one or the other when somewhere you aren't familiar with.



    Shouldn't all locks have the same key blank? It would be much easier to get a key made.



    I could go on. But you can see how quickly it becomes overwhelming.



    Music is not different than any other product.



    When all program file formats are forced to be 100% compatible with one another, or all programs are required to run on all OS's, I might be willing to listen.



    Otherwise, this is a fake problem, and I don't believe that genuine consumer interest is at stake.
  • Reply 156 of 175
    shetlineshetline Posts: 4,695member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sennen View Post


    quoting a song i know "sometimes you must accept... you can't always get what you want".



    But sometimes you can... especially if you don't automatically roll over and play dead for corporate interests over your own.



    Why are you so eager for corporate interests to win out over greater consumer freedoms and rights?
  • Reply 157 of 175
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 32,982member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by aegisdesign View Post


    They aren't trying to close the store, they're trying to make Apple obey the law. It's not necessary to close retailers down if you can persuade them to change their ways.



    And what will they do if Apple says no, we opened the store, and you full well knew the conditions of our contract before we opened it.



    Will they try to fine Apple to the point that they are forced to close the store? That would be the same as telling Apple to close the store. It would be a tax.



    Here, we understand that the power to tax, or levy fines, is the power to destroy.
  • Reply 158 of 175
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 32,982member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TenoBell

    Well these bodies don't want a free market ...



    Quote:

    No that's exactly what they want.



    Quote:

    The free market isn't an answer for everything,



    Aegis, you are contradicting yourself. It's one or the other.
  • Reply 159 of 175
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 32,982member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by aegisdesign View Post


    I'm trying to point out the FACTS of the legal position the Norwegian Consumer Council are taking with Apple but you, sennen and TenoBell keep bringing it back to opinion rather than paying any attention to what the Norwegian Consumer Council are complaining about.



    Here's their press release...



    http://forbrukerportalen.no/Artikler/2006/1138119849.71



    Here's their complaint... (PDF)



    http://forbrukerportalen.no/filearch...ic%20Store.pdf



    Please read.



    I'm not stating MY opinion, I'm stating THEIR opinion which only relates to a very specific breach of consumer contract law. You're welcome to disagree with them of course but do try and stick to their points.



    The arguments they are presenting are flawed on the face of it.



    They aren't even sure if they have the right to judge this. The best they come to that is that they "may" have the right. They should get that straightened out first amongst themselves.
  • Reply 160 of 175
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 32,982member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by aegisdesign View Post


    And as I pointed out earlier, under consumer law, the contract is with Apple so the only complaint Norwegian consumers can make with any legal basis is with Apple. Jobs' letter does not change that.



    If you read the complaint they made it's against Apple first (after all they control the largest part of the digital download market) but it's also against four other stores. If they all decided to shut up shop instead of complying with the law then the record companies will have nowhere to sell downloads in Norway. That's not good for the record companies.



    Let's just run through Jobs' suggestion - 'Go direct your energies at the record companies'. Well, let's say Norway threatens to take them to court instead of Apple. Their reaction might be to just not supply online stores in Norway with ANY content, to pull out of the download market in Norway, instead of providing un-DRMd content. That's bad for everybody.



    The record companies need online stores to sell their music or they're back with CDs again and a flourishing p2p market. Either way, it's going to end up on p2p unprotected.



    As I said, they're taking the easy way out.



    Their laws need revision, they are too restrictive about how wrongs should be righted, assuming that this is a wrong in the first place. They should be able, and even required, to go after everyone involved.



    But you're argument here is flawed as well.



    If they close down all the online stores. The ones that people overwhelmingly prefer, restrictive DRM or no, then that is almost as restrictive as telling the record companies to drop their DRM.



    Again, no one wins. Consumers, the vast majority of which couldn't care less about the restrictions, would be VERY unhappy.
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