AAPL Stock: 117.81 ( -0.22 )

Printed from

Apple CEO touts DRM-free music, not video

updated 01:05 am EDT, Tue April 3, 2007

Jobs: No DRM-free video

Despite the landmark agreement with EMI for DRM-free music, Apple may not be the same position to negotiate for video distribution without copyright protections. Based on comments at following the EMI announcement, Apple CEO Steve Jobs doesn not appear to be pushing for DRM-video, according to IDG News Service. During the teleconference, Jobs was asked about the potential of distributing video with copy protection technology: "Video is pretty different from music right now because the video industry does not distribute 90 percent of their content DRM free. Never has. So I think they are in a pretty different situation, and I wouldn't hold it to a parallel at all."

Referencing the CSS (Content Scramble System) technology used on DVDs, Jobs is essentially saying that "CSS makes the video market different than the music industry because music CDs don't come with copy protection. "As a result, Jobs' argument has been that digital music should be sold in an equivalent manner as CDs -- without copy protection," the report said.

Jobs argument, however, may only be technicality that won't sit well with the public, but it may be a necessary position while iTunes' video sales have to yet to mature. Movie studios, the analyst claims, would not support the store if Jobs pushed DRM-free video content.

"Most people believe he's taking advantage of a technicality when he says that," said James McQuivey, a principal analyst at Forrester Research told the publication. Programs that let users get around CSS are readily available and widely used, so it's not a strong argument for why the DVD industry is different from CDs.

While a major player in the music industry with over 10 percent of all retail sales, the iTunes Store has yet to become a major player in the video content sales. The result is that Jobs may need wait until Apple is in a better position to negotiate with movie studios.

"No movie studio would ever support the iTunes store if it was clear that Jobs would be pushing them to remove DRM," he said. If Jobs did start offering Disney content on iTunes without copy protection, the other studios might fear that he'd start pushing them to do the same, McQuivey told IDG News.

by MacNN Staff




  1. ender

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Video is different

    I hope now that Steve Jobs has recognized that "video is pretty different than music" Apple will start treating it different in their business model. While most people want to own music (because I'll listen to it over and over), the vast majority of video consumption is rental (whether via Blockbuster, NetFlix, or your local cineplex). And if there is the occasional movie I want to own, I'll pay a few bucks more for the vastly superior DVD copy. I still can't believe a less than DVD quality, no extras, no surround sound version sells for anything more than 1/2 the price of the DVD!

  1. Terrin

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Why these stories?

    People are pretty silly sometimes. Jobs does not control Disney. He merely owns a bit over five percent of its stock, and sits on the board. He sold Pixar. Consequently, he has no power to put Disney's films on iTunes DRM free because he is not running Disney and he does not have enough shares to have a meaningful say.

    Moreover, Jobs has always argued that it makes no sense to lock in digital music because customers are used to buying it DRM free when they buy CDs. With movies, customers are used to buying it with protection. Jobs has never said all DRM is bad. Apple uses it on some of its own products.

  1. dwishbone

    Joined: Dec 1969


    i will never buy video

    i still say i will never buy a video from iTunes until it allows me to burn it to a DVD for my personal use. all they have to do is output a DVD with CSS and then apple will be doing no better or no worse than the movie industry. but people can then rip the movies? so. they can do that with DVDs now. so apple just isnt gaining anything by not allowing it to be done and only hurting themselves because i know there are alot of others like me that WONT buy movies from iTunes because of this very reason. Jobs could also use his leverage at Disney to use their version of CSS which is notorious for being hard for most rippers. so there ya go apple. dont worry about DRM-less video. just keep the DRM and use CSS and let me watch a movie on something other than my mac or iPod and ill be happy.

  1. ender

    Joined: Dec 1969


    re: I will never buy vide

    Burning a DVD with CSS is not as simply as you think. CSS was only designed to work with mass production of DVD (ie, not burning). The CSS info is written to parts of DVDs that is not accessible to today's burners. From my understanding, if you wanted to be able to "burn" a DVD with CSS, you would need both special drives and discs. So your current burner would not be able to burn a CSS encoded DVD, even if Apple wanted to allow it.


    "The solution was obvious -- Simply get the content industry to agree to extend CSS for use on DVD burners, update all the DVD drive and recorder products to support this feature, invent and bring to market a new DVD recordable media that supports the CSS mechanism, and develop the software technology to make it all actually work."

    It appears they are working on the solution, but until the upgraded CSS standard is approved, and new discs and drive firmware is released to support it there appears to be nothing Apple can do about it.

  1. dwishbone

    Joined: Dec 1969


    interesting article

    i read over that link. pretty interesting. so will they be able to do firmware updates for my mac (latest iMac) to support these changes to CSS? they mentioned Roxio Venue, so im assuming support for Toast will be added soon. this will be perfect for iTunes if this happens. i like the price and ease of getting movies on iTunes, but id like to be able to not be tied to my Mac or iPod to view them. and no im not going to go buy an AppleTV for $300 to watch them in my living room. i may get one eventually but its not because I have to get it because of the movies. i think the AppleTV is great, but until I can just plug up a hard drive and not have to keep my main mac on 24/7 i wont be getting one.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: I will never buy vide

    Forget about the DRM. What about dropping the price, increasing the resolution, and/or adding in the extras you get on DVDs?

    But ender is right. Streaming or 'rentals' is the only way to get any real spurt out of video sales.

  1. appleuzr

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Testudo, how we love thee

    Testudo shut's down his Windows Vista wannabe mac equivilant, slowly rolls back in his chair and throws his hands behind his head. He sits, trying to come up with an original thought/argument(other than his usual "if it were MS in the spotlight, all you apple fan boys...). Meanwhile, his poorly assembled wannabe computer chair he purchased from a company that it is a subsidiary of Microsoft, gives way. The air compressed cylinder controlling the raise and lower functions bursts through the poorly manufactured seat of the chair and jams right up his @$$. Testudo remains still, trying not to move. The cylinder inching deeper and deeper (you get the picture). All along, Testudo grins with enjoyment, for this very situation is similar in feeling to what Testudo experiences on a daily basis. Moral of the story. He is angry and lonely and can only find pleasure in sticking/inserting things into his @$$. You wouldn't have anything better to do than troll MacNN if this was your life. Have sympathy for the guy. Embrace his awkward obsession. Testudo, we don't know how it feels to insert things in our @$$'s (as you do) but we do feel your pain. Write on Testudo. We are all laughing with you (as far as you know).

  1. ZinkDifferent

    Joined: Dec 1969


    terrin sez...

    "People are pretty silly sometimes. Jobs does not control Disney. He merely owns a bit over five percent of its stock, and sits on the board. He sold Pixar. Consequently, he has no power to put Disney's films on iTunes DRM free because he is not running Disney and he does not have enough shares to have a meaningful say. "

    At those '5%', Jobs is the nearly the single largest individual shareholder of Disney, which gives him quite a lot of power, in fact. Add to that the positive relationship with the current CEO, and he does have quite a bit of say. I love how people that don't know what they are talking about, can't help but talk.... kinda like testudo.

  1. 2movie

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Free DVD and video conten

    Free music video and film trailer for DVD authoring’s gurus

    Everybody discuss about protection of their own stuff, - And I am opposite, - I am offering my stuff for free, here, I offer official and free licensed of the :

    - 1,39 minutes film trailer; - converted to NTSC 16x9 - Dolby.Digital 2.0 448 Kbps audio - and maximal standard resolution video (VBR)

    to add to your DVD. (The trailer as HD ( high definition ) is available, please ask for offer.)

    Feel free to download the free trailer from my site

    The free compressed preview at the same site.

    If you would like to get the official permission (or sign) for add the trailer to your DVD, simply inform me by email and tell where you want i send it.

    Regards and peace !

    The Moviemaker

Login Here

Not a member of the MacNN forums? Register now for free.


Network Headlines

Follow us on Facebook


Most Popular


Recent Reviews

Ultimate Ears Megaboom Bluetooth Speaker

Ultimate Ears (now owned by Logitech) has found great success in the marketplace with its "Boom" series of Bluetooth speakers, a mod ...

Kinivo URBN Premium Bluetooth Headphones

We love music, and we're willing to bet that you do, too. If you're like us, you probably spend a good portion of your time wearing ...

Jamstik+ MIDI Controller

For a long time the MIDI world has been dominated by keyboard-inspired controllers. Times are changing however, and we are slowly star ...


Most Commented