Steve Jobs on DRM
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.
I gets better though.
So if the music companies are selling over 90 percent of their music DRM-free, what benefits do they get from selling the remaining small percentage of their music encumbered with a DRM system? There appear to be none.
Very interesting stuff, I wonder if and how the big 4 will respond. It is clear that Apple is not going to open up FairPlay, which means it may well pull out of some European countries if forced by legislators to licence FairPlay to competitors. It seems logical to assume that once it does every other DRM-encumbered store would have to do the same. What goes for one player in the market should go for all those that use a proprietary system.
It's good to finally see Apple take a stand on this issue, even if they meanwhile continue to sell DRM-ed stuff.