Technology Review editor gets a lot wrong in his article about Apple CEO Jobs’ push to end DRM

“Apple CEO Steve Jobs hates digital-rights management (DRM)–and he wants you to know that the music industry is responsible for those restrictions on entertainment that keep people from ripping, mixing, and burning their own media,” Brad King writes for technology Review.

“At least, that’s the idea he posted on Apple’s website yesterday,” King writes. “Let me first start by saying that Jobs’s apparent change of heart about DRM is long overdue. I’ve been a (flip and sarcastic) critic of his draconian view of digital-rights management, which has raised the hackles of the Apple community. But Jobs’s voice is a welcome addition to the discussion about looking for ways to promote an environment that includes unrestricted media files.”

MacDailyNews Take: King has absolutely no proof that Apple CEO Steve Jobs had a “change of heart” about DRM or any knowledge of Steve Jobs’ “view of digital-rights management” being “draconian” because neither is true. Jobs was forced to add DRM by the music cartels in order to sell their music online. King’s ham-handed attempt to twist the issue is laughable. Yes, we’re mocking you, Brad, because you can’t even execute yellow journalism properly.

Well, there’s a lot of smart people at the music companies. The problem is, they’re not technology people… And so when the Internet came along, and Napster came along, they didn’t know what to make of it… And so they’re fairly vulnerable to people telling them technical solutions will work, when they won’t… When we first went to talk to these record companies — you know, it was a while ago. It took us 18 months. And at first we said: None of this technology that you’re talking about’s gonna work. We have Ph.D.’s here, that know the stuff cold, and we don’t believe it’s possible to protect digital content.Steve Jobs, Rolling Stone, December 03, 2003

King continues, “However, let’s not be misled by the press response to his post. Jobs isn’t leading this discussion. There have been countless voices, from RealNetworks’ Rob Glaser to MP3.com’s Michael Robertson and all of the digital-entertainment companies that went out of business…”

MacDailyNews Take: Jobs is leading the discussion because his voice in this market trumps all of the peons that King mentions combined. Most of them were advocating that Apple license them FairPlay, so they could sell music for the device that Apple designed, built, and worked so hard to make number one. They wanted in for free, for the heck of it. That’s not how business works, Brad.

Related articles:
Apple’s roadkill whine in unison: ‘incompatibility is slowing growth of digital music’ – August 12, 2005
Real CEO Glaser begs Apple to make iPod play nice with other music services – March 24, 2004

King continues, “With his ‘Thoughts on Music’ post, Jobs is deftly trying to switch the attention from his monopoly to the music industry’s oligopoly.”

MacDailyNews Take: iPods do not require iTunes Store use. The iTunes Store does not require iPod use. The two are not tied. Also, Apple has no monopoly on either portable media player or online music sales. And, even if Apple does have a monopoly, that is not illegal. It is only illegal to abuse a monopoly. Ask Microsoft about that distinction, Brad.

King continues, “Apple is given too much credit for being the scrappy little computer company that could; it’s just a company. It has positives (great interface design, plug-and-play products) and negatives (a terrible record on the environment, closed networks).”

MacDailyNews Take: Brad needs to read viewpoints other than publicity-hungy Greenpeace’s self-serving press releases. The EPA does not support Greenpeace’s PR-driven charges against Apple Computer. Information on Apple’s recycling programs and industry-leading environmental policies is available online (http://www.apple.com/environment). And, to what “closed network” exactly is King referring, TCP/IP?

King continues, “The decision to move in this direction would make sense, particularly on the heels of the decision to change the company’s name from Apple Computer to Apple Inc., a symbolic gesture that signals its decision to move away from personal computing and into the consumer-electronics and digital-entertainment space.”

MacDailyNews Take: King’s BS is seemingly never-ending. Apple rightly changed their name to reflect growth in the breadth of their product portfolio, not the elimination or subjugation of personal computing. King’s anti-Apple agenda is transparent throughout his article. See also: Writer: I’ve never used an iPod or iTunes, but I think people who do are dupes – Brad King, January 04, 2006

King continues, “Jobs has the ear of the entertainment industry in a way that Microsoft, RealNetworks, and scads of other companies never have. If he builds it, those companies will follow. If he builds it.”

MacDailyNews Take: Hey, look, King got something right in the first part. Too bad he reverts to wrongheadedness once again by failing to understand that the music cartels must first deign to let Jobs build the DRM-free future that he described yesterday.

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Note: Contact info: http://www.technologyreview.com/cust/feedback.aspx

Related articles:
Apple’s Jobs jolts music industry; Zune exec calls Jobs’ call for DRM-free music ‘irresponsible’ – February 07, 2007
Dvorak: Apple CEO Steve Jobs is dead right about DRM – February 07, 2007
Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ posts rare open letter: ‘Thoughts on Music’ – calls for DRM-free music – February 06, 2007

32 Comments

  1. “Terrible record on the environment” is the clue that this is just another bozo repeating the gossip he reads from others on the intarweb.

    As always, I encourage all to read the actual Greenpeace document and note that the difference between Apple and Dell in their eyes, is that Dell promised to do some things better in the future and they don’t like the wording of Apple’s corporate policy on the precautionary principle. In other words, just words, nothing about actual toxins hitting the actual environment. And not even a response to Apple’s contention that they’ve been leaders in things like eliminating CRTs (landfill issue, toxic issue AND energy/greenhouse gas issue).

    Apple has a terrible record when it comes to sucking up to Greenpeace. Apple, for better or worse, of actions, not promises.

  2. Such a bent article… I can’t believe people insist on blaming Apple and Jobs for the DRM mess!

    Jobs’ open letter couldn’t have been clearer. It’s always, from day one, been the RIAA that’s restricted online music sales to the use of DRM.

  3. I keep coming back to one idea: more and more, news = propaganda.

    It’s what’s said and not said, represented, misrepresented at the author’s discretion, not necessarily what IS. This article ultimately is not earth-shattering news, but is this the same sort of journalism regarding more major issues? I suspect it is. For those who get inflamed and impassioned because of what their favorite news source reports, maybe several other sources of an “opposing” ilk should be used, so maybe the truth can be triangulated from all the BS. We all love to smell our own brand, so if the sh*t your reading sounds really, really good, be wary of your own biases. That goes for some Apple folks here, too, I think.

  4. It is indicative of the enormous interest in everything Apple that journalists around the world feel the need to comment even when they have nothing to say.

    If the error rate in articles about Apple is representative of the accuracy of journalists overall, why do we read anything?

    One would think that the editor(s) of journals such as Technology Review would be concerned about accuracy in their reporting. Yet there is no sign that anyone is actually concerned at all. Not even the UK’s BBC, or the Guardian, seem to be able to ensure a consistently high standard of journalism when it comes to Apple.

    And how that Enderle fellow manages to keep his job I can’t imagine.

    Anyway, in the next few months, the biggest story will not be the success of Apple…

    … it will be the fall of Microsoft.

    And I can guarantee we are going to enjoy reading about that…

  5. Not only do I disagree with King, but it sounds like he hasn’t got a clue about his chosen subject.

    Tho I guess disagreeing with him makes me a h4rdcore Mac fanboi – that seems to be most people’s favourite way of disregarding any Mac users comments.

  6. King your are an idiot! You don’t use iTunes or and iPod so how do you think you know so much about it? Well you don’t have a clue. That’s pretty obvious by this article and your previous article.

  7. Rog the Dodge wrote:

    “Apple Stock Up Today $2.58 Total To 7 Pm after hours 1,400,000 Shares ………………….Any buddy out there know Why???”

    Because people who buy and sell stock for a living liked what they heard Steve Jobs say in his post, they see what huge dividends this could pay for Apple, and they don’t listen to uninformed journalists like Brad King.

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