Steve Jobs has said what most music fans have been saying for a while: DRM — digital restrictions management — is bad and doesn’t work.
This 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…
Microsoft spokesman says Jobs’s essay is “irresponsible”
Bob Lefestz has a great reaction
(probably my favorite response so far)
BitPlayer’s got detailed coverage(with response from RIAA)
“Music Futurist” Gerd Leonard (says DRM is dead)