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RIAA suggests Apple open up FairPlay

updated 02:30 pm EST, Thu February 8, 2007

RIAA on Jobs' letter

Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) chairman and chief executive Mitch Bainwol has rejected Apple CEO Steve Jobs' plea to remove the requirement of digital rights management (DRM) from digital music, suggesting instead that the Cupertino-based company instead open up its FairPlay DRM to competitors. Bainwol argues that the move would allow more consumers to make use of the iTunes Store to play tracks on portable players other than the iPod. "We have no doubt that a technology company as sophisticated and smart as Apple could work with the music community to make that happen," the chairman said. Apple in unlikely to act upon Bainwol's suggestion, however, as Jobs hinted in his letter that disseminating FairPlay to other companies is a dangerous game that would seriously increase the odds that the standard would be hacked, according to the Associated Press.

Several analysts have also shared comments with the AP. "Clearly, DRM is not working," says Forrester Research's Ted Schadler. "It sends a message to the customer that 'we don't trust you.'" Inside Digital Media's Phil Leigh agrees, even contending that DRM-free music can increase label exposure. "Digital music has entered the mainstream. The restrictions [labels] require Apple and others to carry are preventing the market from developing to its full potential -- it's retarding the growth."

Not all analysts agree, however. "Eliminating online DRM appears to us to be an overly risky move that eliminates the potential for a future digital-only distribution model free of piracy," says Deutsche Bank's Doug Mitchelson, who chastizes Jobs while noting that he could have proposed an industry-wide DRM standard, or safeguards on media players that would prevent playback of pirated songs.

Likewise, Jupiter Research's David Card believes that "music services wouldn't work without DRM. [Labels] are very nervous about distributing content that is unprotected. They think that everybody will share music, and there's evidence that a lot of people will."




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. pottymouth

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    What?

    Did he not even READ Steve's letter?

  1. russellb

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    RIAA Bloodsuckers

    yeh so we don't give a c*** and Apple should do all the work to sell our product to more customers and we will ride on their backs.

  1. hayesk

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    What BS

    "Likewise, Jupiter Research's David Card believes that "music services wouldn't work without DRM. [Labels] are very nervous about distributing content that is unprotected. They think that everybody will share music, and there's evidence that a lot of people will.""

    That's such bull. Music services already distribute content that is unprotected - they're called CDs.

    I find it odd that the RIAA claim Apple should license FairPlay and that they're smart enough to keep it safe. Why doesn't the RIAA absolve Apple of any responsibility if it is broken? Maybe the RIAA should be responsible for protecting the DRM themselves.

    Regardless, DRM doesn't solve any problems - it only creates problems for actual paying customers. People who want to steal music, movies, etc. can already do so.

  1. FastAMX79

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    more bullshit....

    from the RIAA.

    They NEVER cease to amaze me!

  1. mytdave

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Sharing bad?

    Yes, people will share music (and do, despite DRM), and that's bad how?

    Doesn't the music industry understand that sharing is what built their industry to the size it is now?

    People share, then they buy what they like. That's the way it's always been. So it's digital now, who cares?

    No share, no buy. The more the RIAA tightens, the more music sales drop off. Illegal P2P sharing started because there was no legal alternative. There is a legal choice now, so don't f--- it up. Ending DRM will make the legal choice even more successful.

  1. QualleyIV

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    I hate the RIAA too but..

    Look, I hate the RIAA as much as everyone else. I probably love SJ even more than most. However, there is a little bit of a fallacy in Steve's argument that CD's aren't DRM-ed. In actuality, the DRM is the physical media. Prior to computers and CD burners that was a bigger deal because you couldn't poses an exact copy of the original unless you bought it. Even with CDs, you're not getting the exact same thing if you burn a copy (e.g. you don't get the labeled CD). However, with a digital download, you actually have the EXACT same thing as the original so there is a different kind of threat with regard to piracy.

    That being said, I think the bitching about DRM is often over done. Practically, I think that FairPlay is basically fair and I think it's very unobtrusive to most users. The only thing that I wish I would be able to do with my ITMS purchases is play them in Traktor DJ Studio. However, even with that restriction, I'm not complaining.

    Still, the RIAA is just about the biggest bunch of BS out there and I would be happy to see DRM removed from all tracks just to spite them...

  1. hokizpokis

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    better idea

    instead, convict the riaa of violating the us anti-trust laws...

    ...and other illegal activities... like brainwashing your children with HATE!!!!

  1. bobolicious

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Musicians CO-OP please...

    ...the technology exists to cut the 'value added suits' out entirely - increasing the compensation to the artists & cutting costs to buyers - I hope Apple does it eventually, but I'm not holding my breath... I know of one Indy Artist who wasn't told her CDs were selling online by her distributor, and is struggling to make ends meet... I think it will take a bunch of dedicated, savvy artists in the end...

  1. darkelf

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    donk

    "Deutsche Bank's Doug Mitchelson, who chastizes Jobs while noting that he could have proposed an industry-wide DRM standard"

    only one universal DRM to be broken, that'd be simply marvelous.

    "or safeguards on media players that would prevent playback of pirated songs."

    right, because only the pirated songs are blue, so you can tell.

  1. zl9600

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    dissentin the ranks

    I wonder if RIAA might be spanking a member who isn't falling into ranks. From tomorrow's WSJ:

    In a move that could signal a shift in the music industry's antipiracy strategy, EMI Group PLC has been holding talks with several online retailers about the possibility of selling its entire digital music catalog in the unprotected MP3 format, which can be freely copied and played on virtually any device, according to numerous people familiar with the matter.

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