The Technical Exorcist

February 19th, 2007

Steve Jobs Comes Clean

Posted by exorcist in Interesting

Most of you have probably already read the letter about DRM Steve Jobs put on the Apple site, but if you haven’t, you should check it out. He doesn’t say anything that isn’t old news to most of us, but it’s nice to have him finally admit that DRM doesn’t do anyone any good. There are a few things I’d like to point out though.

Rather than trying to make it solely the job of consumers to convince the music publishers to sell DRM-free music, pressure still needs to come from ITunes and the other pay-for-download companies. As should be evident from Mr. Job’s own essay, it’s not just our problem. Music download services are wasting a lot of valuable resources on DRM, and still they are left with the threat of having all the music pulled out from under them if they can’t make their flimsy, purposeless, DRM systems stand up to a couple of hackers with a weekend to blow.

Secondly, I’d like to point out that Mr. Job’s is incorrect when he says that “No DRM system was ever developed for the CD”. Sony, in their typical incompetence, did make a DRM system for CD’s. The end result was basically a root-kit—a security vulnerability that tended to result in damage to the system if you tried to remove it. Sony got burned for that one, but still not as badly as consumers were.

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