Coral Consortium posts open letter on ‘DRM interoperability’ to Steve Jobs

Jack Lacy, President of the Coral Consortium, has posted an open letter to Apple CEO Steve Jobs. Here it is verbatim:

Dear Mr. Jobs,

The directors of Coral Consortium were pleased to hear about your interest in interoperability. We agree with you that this is a big problem for consumers. They should be able to acquire content from a wide variety of competitive service providers and play their purchased content on a range of devices and platforms from different manufacturers. This is an issue that is very important to our membership.

It would appear from your “Thoughts on Music” that you may not be familiar with our organization so we would like to take this opportunity to brief you.

We have been wrestling with the issues around interoperability for some years and have concluded that it is not so much a technology problem as a business problem. We have completed the development of a suite of technical specifications for interoperability and these can be downloaded from our website ( We think that your engineers will find it very straightforward to integrate this framework into your iTunes service. This technology would enable you to interoperate immediately with Microsoft based Janus devices and services, and with OMA (Open Mobile Alliance) based devices and services. Of course the secrets in Fairplay remain safe – adopting the Coral technology does not require you to share them with anyone else.

This does not just address music. The Coral Interoperability Framework works for video as well. We know that, as a major shareholder in a very successful film studio, it is important for you both to protect your film assets, and to provide for their widest possible distribution. Coral can enable that.

Finally, if you are worried about the content industry being comfortable with the Coral solution you should know that many parts of that industry have been involved in the development of these specifications. Though most of Coral’s membership comes from technology companies and service providers, the members from the content community include:

• EMI Music
• International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI)
• Motion Picture Association of America
• NBC Universal, Inc.
• Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA)
• Sony BMG Music
• Sony Pictures Entertainment
• Starz Entertainment Group LLC
• Time Warner Cable
• Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp.
• Universal Music Group
• Warner Bros. Technical Operations Inc.
• Warner Music Group

We offer Apple, Inc. a warm invitation to join Coral’s ranks and help provide interoperability and the increased choice that will bring to all of our customers.

Yours sincerely,

Jack Lacy

President, Coral Consortium
On behalf of the Coral Board of Directors

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Bizarro Ballmer” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
Monster Cable announces full support of Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ call for DRM-free music – February 13, 2007
BBC columnist doesn’t believe Steve Jobs’ Apple would stop using DRM if music labels would allow it – February 12, 2007
EMI may sell entire music catalog DRM-free – February 09, 2007
Norway responds to Apple CEO Jobs’ call for DRM-free music – February 09, 2007
Recording Industry Association of America wants their DRM, calls for Apple to license FairPlay – February 08, 2007
Warner’s Middlebronfman: Jobs’ DRM-free music call ‘without logic and merit, we’ll not abandon DRM’ – February 08, 2007
Dvorak: Apple CEO Steve Jobs is dead right about DRM – February 07, 2007
Apple’s Jobs jolts music industry; Zune exec calls Jobs’ call for DRM-free music ‘irresponsible’ – February 07, 2007
Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ posts rare open letter: ‘Thoughts on Music’ – calls for DRM-free music – February 06, 2007


  1. From:Artists Everywhere
    To: Steve Jobs and The Record industry.

    Steve we greatly appreciate the products you and Apple bring to market. They help us create art and enjoy the art of others.

    I have yet to meet an artist who is happy with their relationship with the record companies.

    Record companies take a ridiculous premium of what an artist makes for them.

    What artists dream of doing is being able to sell their music directly to their fans.

    Artists would rather give that money to a company that knows how to create truly innovative technology fulfilling that dream. Both Apple and Artists would gain from this relationship.

    I hope that Apple allows artists to take the song I make in Garage band and upload it for sale on itunes.

    This is the message.

    Give us the platform.

    Say goodbye to the old ways. Embrace this future.

  2. It seems people out there think ‘Interoperability’ is a one-way street.

    All I hear know (including Norway, etc.) that everything has to operate with Microsoft products!

    What about the opposite?

    Like Apple products and other operating systems (OSX)?

    This is so screwed up.

    SO if I use other music/movie systems and have an iPod, no one cares if it doesn’t interoperate with each other, everyone cares only if it doesn’t operate with Microsoft?!?!

    What crap!

  3. I think the day is coming very soon when record companies are bypassed by artists. The artists have to be smart enough to do it.


    In theory, it seems like a good idea.. But in reality, without labels spending millions on recording, videos and promotion, most artists would never be exposed. In other words, the big labels money is needed to bring artists to the masses.

  4. Perhaps the recent settlement with Apple Corps will allow Apple, Inc. to play a larger role in the music industry. Artist should enjoy more control and profits without the hassle of record label politics.

  5. This letter helped remind me that since Jobs is on the Disney board, and in charge of Pixar, he should lead the way by getting those films, that are on ITMS already, available without DRM. That would put his money where his mouth is. This iss the opportunity to prove all the naysayers wrong.

  6. OK is it just me or does this not exactly qualify as an “open” letter like Steve’s? His what not to anyone specifically but rather addressed “Openly” to the music community at large. I am missing how you can post a letter which is addressed directly to someone and call it open….

  7. Imagion if you could:

    play Xbox 360 games on you PS3
    Use Gilette Razors with Schick blades
    Use AIM to talk to GAIM to talk to Yahoo to talk to iChat
    Have fully compatible document format supported by all office suites
    use GM’s OnStar system in Toyota cars and trucks
    Use an iPod Nano to watch movies (not that you would want to)
    use Lexmark Printers with HP ink cartridges
    Use Windows Live Maps on a Mac or Linux
    Use AMD chips with an Intel Motherboard
    Drive your car on train tracks

    no technical reason why you can’t. interoperability is a lie.

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