Okay, so this is only funny for those of us who have seen Buckaroo Banzai. And if you haven’t yet seen it, there’s a hole in your geekdom!
Steve Jobs’ “Thoughts on Music” has been making the rounds. In a sort of open letter to the music industry, Jobs illustrates three solutions to deal with growing concerns over music piracy. Solution one, stay the course. Users are locked into proprietary solutions. Zune bought music only works on the Zune, iTunes music only plays on iPods. Solution two, license out Apple’s DRM so that iTunes music could play on more devices. Solution three, get rid of DRM all together. This is the most compelling point in Steve’s open letter.
The third alternative is to abolish DRMs entirely. 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.
Sounds like a plan to me. The fact is that DRM has done little to stem the tide of piracy. If anything, it’s encouraged a “stick-it-to-the-man” mentality. There are countless ways to hack your iTunes music so that you can play music that you bought on just about anything and countless more ways to download your music for free. DRM was the music industry’s knee-jerk reaction to the Napster phenomenon and it just doesn’t work.
I would love to see a digital music world free from DRM. But that sounds too much like giving music away for free to the music companies. I think it’ll take a few small labels and independent artists licensing their music free of DRM and making bucket loads of cash before the big companies even consider getting rid of DRM. If you could prove that DRM free music out-sells DRM shit, that’d be a compelling statistic to make the music industry think twice.
This is the best BUH evar! I love the Japanese broadcaster’s reaction!
Ever wonder what the effects of drugs are on spiders and their webs? I know I have!