In a somewhat stunning open letter to the world, Steve Jobs says DRM technology is largely ineffective and should be droped in favor of more open MP3 or AAC formats. Jobs says Apple would drop DRM from the iTunes music store right away if the record companies would let them. Jobs and Apple have come under increasing pressure from European governments to due away with DRM technology in iTunes. In this letter, Jobs is saying I’d love to but it’s out of my hands. Go talk to the record industry. Varying reactions from the industry has started to flow in, not all of it positive. Some in Big Music say Apple should simply license FairPlay to everyone as to make it more universal. Jobs outlines why this is not a good option in his letter and do you really think Microsoft is going to get on board with this? Not a chance.
It’s most likely that all the overseas pressure on Apple and iTunes contributed to this letter being written but it’s a great thing nonetheless. The music industry has been playing big bully for awhile now and it’s time they started feeling the heat from their customers and partners. As Jobs points out in his letter, the industry sells far more physical CD’s than digital downloads and those are all completely unprotected. Look at it this way. Free and open societies prosper much better than closed and controlled ones. Like Soviet Communism, this too shall fall.