Music conference features all-around bashing of Apple CEO Steve Jobs

“The discussions at a music conference here Tuesday started with an all-around bashing of Apple CEO Steve Jobs before moving to the plethora of issues plaguing the music industry,” Greg Sandoval reports for CNET News.

Sandoval reports, “At the opening of the conference, some of the panel members lashed out at Jobs. Members said Jobs’ call three weeks ago for DRM-free music was ‘insincere’ and a ‘red herring.'”

“‘Imagine a world where every online store sells DRM-free music encoded in open licensable formats,’ Jobs wrote in a letter that rocked the music industry. ‘In such a world, any player can play music purchased from any store, and any store can sell music which is playable on all players. This is clearly the best alternative for consumers, and Apple would embrace it in a heartbeat.’ Jobs’ position was perceived by many in the music industry as a 180-degree shift in direction. The view expressed at the conference is that Apple has maintained a stranglehold on the digital music industry by locking up iTunes music with DRM,” Sandoval reports.

Sandoval reports, “Cohen told the audience that if Jobs was really sincere about doing away with DRM, he would soon release movies from Disney–the studio Jobs holds a major stake in–without any software protection. An Apple representative declined to comment on Tuesday on remarks made by the panel.”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Chris” for the heads up.]
DRM does not work. It does not hinder pirates and it can potentially frustrate paying customers. Why the music cartel can’t see this simple fact is a testament to the blinding power of greed. As for DRM on films, it should and will go away; probably after it’s been proven that DRM-free drastically increases music sales.

When the dust settles, Steve Jobs will have saved the music industry, while changing it radically. Maybe the reason the music cartels aren’t thanking Jobs is that they see themselves quickly becoming redundant.

Related articles:
EMI halts talks about selling DRM-free music – February 26, 2007
Warner Music approaches EMI in possible takeover bid – February 20, 2007
Windows Vista’s DRM is bad news – February 14, 2007
Warner’s DRM-loving Middlebronfman warns wireless industry it may lose music market to Apple iPhone – February 14, 2007
Monster Cable announces full support of Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ call for DRM-free music – February 13, 2007
EMI may sell entire music catalog DRM-free – 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. Bitch and moan. OK, well we all do it. But I still cannot understand why they do it to a company that they can ignore (apple) for now, but never seem to complain about the very same things vs Microsoft. DRM, crappy software, crappy playing with partners, etc.

    Maybe they have just given up on MicroCrap. Eitherway, I could care less. Let them Zune away!! LOL ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” />


  2. Right. Jobs should not have forged a deal with the music companies that gave them the protections they wanted! Ohhhkay. And because he did this, he’s the bad guy. I get it. Just like the U.S. is the bad guy for insisting that the Iranians keep their word about not producing weapons-grade nuclear material. *rolls eyes*

  3. Just because Steve Jobs and seemingly Apple are against DRM why does that mean that Steve Jobs will automatically be able to get Disney to do away with it? He may be a major influence over there but he doesn’t run the place. Plus, movies are different from music, DRM may still be a bad idea for both but there are different arguments that can be made for each market.

  4. I can’t wait to see their reactions when iTunes starts directly signing artists.

    Won’t it be great when artists won’t need the marketing dollars of the music mafia as all they would have to do is sign up with iTunes and you have direct access to the buying population.

    That really will be the breaking of the cartel.

  5. Ok, so Jobs talks about songs, music, tunes and the panel reaction is that *thence*, if he was sincere, he should sell movies without DRM.
    Perfect logic. Yes, makes sense.

    I wonder what the panel would have retorted if Jobs had said that movies had to be sold without DRM? That *thence*, if he was sincere, he should start to have iPod play windows media player music?

    Again a knee-jerk reaction from people scared to loose big revenues by allowing the sales of non-DRM music.

    When the photocopiers and printers came out the first time pundits (ie, idiots) screamed foul as that would have meant the end of literature and publishing as everyone was now able to print a book or photocopying it. Nobody will buy anymore a book: it will just be printed or photocopied.

    Non-DRM music will allow to have customer look for the best quality product, not wary about buying it online because they know they will always be able to play and listen to it with whatever gadget they will happen to fall in love with, now or in the future.

  6. I see that the “Stategic Head of Zune Planning” was there.. what a busy fellow he must be! How come he still has a job…

    …oh I remember, the world pays Microsoft an extortionate Windows Tax which they can blow as they please…

  7. One significant difference between movies and music is that commercial movies are exclusively distributed with DRM.

    Music sold on CD has no DRM and DRM is only added when it’s sold on-line.

    But why would the music industry let an inconvenient fact or two get in the way of having a go at SJ ?

    He certainly won’t be upset by incurring the wrath of a group of people who he despises and I’m sure it will only redouble his wish to sweep away DRM and possibly some of the labels too.

  8. “Cohen told the audience that if Jobs was really sincere about doing away with DRM, he would soon release movies from Disney–the studio Jobs holds a major stake in–without any software protection.”

    This is a moronic argument, and someone “in the biz” should certainly recognize that music and movies are like apples and oranges. DVDs have DRM built in, but they will play in any brand of DVD player. And I’m willing to bet that the movie studios don’t have any type of agreement in place with the DRM company stating that if it’s breached, they can pull their catalog.Actually, it’s a great example of of how worthless DRM is because there are dozens of apps out there that can easily break it.

    Why is it that none of these guys will address the fact that the majority of the music they sell is unprotected, so “protecting” a tiny percentage of the music sold will make NO DIFFERENCE! News flash music industry, people who intend to make music available to others through piracy BUY CDS! It’s like trying to stop your boat from sinking by sticking your thumb in a hole, not realizing that your entire bow is missing. There’s absolutely no logic to it.

    The truth is, they’re just pissed at Steve because he placed the blame where it belongs – on their shoulders.

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