“Steve Jobs, Apple’s showman nonpareil, provided the first public glimpse of the iPhone last week — gorgeous, feature-laden and pricey. While following the master magician’s gestures, it was easy to overlook a most disappointing aspect: like its slimmer iPod siblings, the iPhone’s music-playing function will be limited by factory-installed ‘crippleware,'” Randall Stross writes for The New York Times.
Stross writes, “It is Apple’s own copy-protection software itself that cripples the device… Apple officially calls its own standard ‘FairPlay,’ but fair it is not.”
Full article here.
Stross is really criticizing DRM in his article, which makes the headline “Want an iPhone? Beware the iHandcuffs” curious at best. Only Apple’s iTunes works for both Mac users and Windows sufferers. So, why do Microsoft’s various DRM schemes handcuff users of also-ran content outfits solely to Windows? Apple’s FairPlay DRM is one of, if not the most, inclusive available today.
We wish DRM didn’t exist. Apple doesn’t need it: the iPod, iTunes, and the forthcoming iPhone are each plenty strong enough to appeal to large swaths of consumers on their own merits. Plus, DRM is so easily removed, that it’s pointless. The mass pirates, about whom the music labels are supposedly worried, aren’t going to let a little DRM get in their way, so the only people that DRM is affecting are regular, law-abiding consumers who just want to listen to their music. Thankfully, Apple’s iTunes Store does allow music to be burned without DRM to music CD to be played in CD players and/or transferred to any device they desire.
We are all for selling music without DRM. Hopefully, someday we’ll get there. But, to single out Apple’s iPhone is nothing more than a cheap shot by Stross and The New York Times.
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The massive FUD campaign against Apple’s iPhone ramps up – January 10, 2007
Apple’s vs. Microsoft’s music DRM: whose solution supports more users? – August 17, 2005