Steve Jobs: DRM = Bad

Steve Jobs has said what most music fans have been saying for a while: DRM — digital restrictions management — is bad and doesn’t work.

jobsonmusic.jpgThis meme has been toiling around the Internets over the last 24 hours and music fans, techies, and digital music gurus have largely hailed it as a significant step towards ending DRM (jobs the “hero”??).

It’s definitely a bold move by Jobs to call out the Majors on DRM, and I think I agree with Bruce at Hypebot that it’s probably more about posturing against the big labels than actually making any significant change. Of course, Jobs hasn’t told us music fans anything new. Wrapping tracks in restrictions software doesn’t work and, if anything, punishes the folks who are actually willing to legally purchase digital music.

A lot of folks have been saying DRM will die by the end of 2007, but I’m not so sure. The major labels for years have been stubbornly avoiding any possible changes while they figure out what the hell to do in the digital music era. We’ll see what kind of affect this has…but I remain skeptical. Then again, most of the music we’re into at Live Music Blog comes from bands who have largely avoided involvement with major record labels, so maybe this ain’t so big a deal. What do you folks think? Do you care?

Check out a run-down of links after the jump…


Steve Job’s essay “Thoughts on Music”

Microsoft spokesman says Jobs’s essay is “irresponsible”

Bob Lefestz has a great reaction
(probably my favorite response so far)

Hypebot’s take

BitPlayer’s got detailed coverage(with response from RIAA)

Wired’s Listening Post

“Music Futurist” Gerd Leonard (says DRM is dead)

3 COMMENTS

  1. i think this is great to have a big company like apple call out the record labels on this issue. i personally don’t buy anything from itunes… it may be because i don’t own an ipod, but it largely has to do with the DRM restrictions, and the lack of lossless formats as an option for download. why would i want to buy a lossy mp3? the only cd i own with copyright protection is mike gordon’s 66 steps, but with a little help from EAC, i now have a clean copy, EAC ignores DRM. ill be interested to see how this plays out…

  2. i think this is great to have a big company like apple call out the record labels on this issue. i personally don’t buy anything from itunes… it may be because i don’t own an ipod, but it largely has to do with the DRM restrictions, and the lack of lossless formats as an option for download. why would i want to buy a lossy mp3? the only cd i own with copyright protection is mike gordon’s 66 steps, but with a little help from EAC, i now have a clean copy, EAC ignores DRM. ill be interested to see how this plays out…

  3. i think this is great to have a big company like apple call out the record labels on this issue. i personally don’t buy anything from itunes… it may be because i don’t own an ipod, but it largely has to do with the DRM restrictions, and the lack of lossless formats as an option for download. why would i want to buy a lossy mp3? the only cd i own with copyright protection is mike gordon’s 66 steps, but with a little help from EAC, i now have a clean copy, EAC ignores DRM. ill be interested to see how this plays out…

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