Well, the gloves have come off between Steve and the labels…advocating sales of digital music without DRM is pretty close to crazytalk in most circles still. In fact, despite the record companies lofting a few trial balloons with a few tracks here and there, DRM is still king of the hill.
For those that live under a rock, you can read Steve’s “thoughts” at the Apple site.
Our question to you is do you think Steve’s thoughts on music also apply to movies? Considering he’s a large shareholder in Disney, personally, where’s the post advocating the same thing on the moving picture front? Frankly, movies are less likely to be pirated than music, as the file sizes are just pretty inconvenient (even with BitTorrent and similar). So, where’s the posting on movies?
As much as we love Steve and all the gang at Apple, we have to call a spade a spade on this one…if it was really a rant against DRM and about taking a stand here, we’d be talking about more than just music. What this comes down to is a way to put some pressure on the music labels (which Apple is in a much better position to do than with Hollywood, as the studios are still very cautious about getting into bed with Apple), and to take some pressure off from the European regulators (which, by the way, is a goal that so far isn’t being achieved).
Another interesting observation that we will throw out there is that if this move by Apple does force the hand of the music industry, you can bet that will further alienate the already paranoid motion picture industry. Unless the music industry’s move to DRM-free music really did turn out to be a huge win for them, you can bet that DRM will be staying on your copy of Cars for the long haul.
Of course, this could end up opening the flood gates, if even one of the big labels could be convinced to do this, and was successful at it, it could mark the beginning of the end for the DRM arms race. This would serve Apple’s goals quite nicely, because they have yet to invest significant R&D into DRM, unlike their pals up in Redmond. You can bet that Apple would like nothing more than to see DRM get scrapped and leave the Microsofties holding the tag for billions in R&D and integration into their operating system that no one would end up using.
All in all, there’s nothing immediate to be gained or lost here, it will spark some debate and conversation, could become a game changer, or could be just another footnote in the history of computing. But, it does give Apple more exposure, further sets them up as “the good guy” in the industry, and as any marketing wonk will tell you, any press is good press.
A little bit of linkage for you all, the Economist, which is a fantastic publication, has a decent piece up about all of this here.
Finally, we’ll go off-topic here for a minute and apologize for the apparent hiatus this week, no excuses or made up stories about being sick or anything like that, we simply have had other life priorities (work, family, etc.) that have kept us away from the site.
Apple Recon is, and will remain, a labor of love for the editors, that we work on when we have time, and we apologize to the reader (hehe, the one of you we have left) if that isn’t okay with you. It is what it is. The comments section is always open, and to echo the sentiments of many that have posted out here, we do appreciate the intelligent discussions that go back and forth with many of the posters. We will never censor you (even when you bitch us out for not posting more stuff, hey, we agree with you there!), and always want to encourage that kind of open sharing of thoughts and ideas here, about all topics Apple. Until next time, all the best…