Steve Jobs' Open Letter to the Recording Industry
I see the letter that Steve Jobs posted as being a clear indicator that Apple can not keep up with the many hackers who constantly crack FairPlay. They are afraid of a crash where their DRM gets hacked, they can't fix it, and they are then in breech of their contracts with the music industry giants.
Actually, of all the threats to the iPod, that is the biggest one. What would happen if Sony, etc… removed their catalogues from the music store? Well, no one would buy music from the iTunes music store, people would buy CDs, rip them, and then put them online, or privately distribute the songs to their friends. There is no way to stop this, people hate being restricted. One of the main reasons I have to keep using Windows is because since my library has been updated by iTunes 7 I can't use it with iTunes 5, or any other player for Linux. I'd much rather run Linux, but stupid DRM prevents it. I recently almost lost all of my purchased music moving stuff around to and from Linux. This was very upsetting. I since decided not to purchase music from the ITMS until there was no more DRM. This may seem extreme, but the prospect of losing all of the music that I have paid for is worse.
Also, there is simply no good music. The recording industry seems content to keep churning out its formulaic garbage. I am finding myself turning to sites that have independent music and give me the ability to download that music as MP3 formatted files. The quality of the music is just as good as the stuff from the major labels. Frequently the actual content is better. I think that the chances that the music industry will change are small and none. What will probably happen is that a new startup record label will deliver restriction free downloads from their artists, this will work well, and more indie labels will pop-up. So as we are doing with television, we will work around the music industry.
The same thing will eventually happen with the movie industry. The cost of self-producing and distributing movies will become so low that no one will want to pay the major studios to botch their distribution to selling a bunch of DRM'ed crap. Apple is only doing what is best and in their self-interest. They want to protect their market. The only way to do that is to eliminate the DRM, otherwise, people will go to other sources to get un-drmed music that isn't based on a formula.
If you want to read Jobs' statement, you can find it here: