Friday, March 24, 2006

Apple's slice too big ?

The question needs to be asked; has Apple fallen out with someone big in the music industry ? Has Jobs had a standoff over the cost of ITunes ? Because in response to potential French legislation requiring the interoperability of DRM.......Apple are squealing....

"If this happens, legal music sales will plummet just when legitimate alternatives to piracy are winning over customers."

Not true, in fact the reverse may be argued:

No-one is talking about the French calling for the removal of DRM technology far from it.

However in the current situation as I see it; If for some reason I don't like IPods i.e. because they sound c**p (partially true IMHO) and want to buy a superior competing device (fill name of any other device in here). Having quite possibly invested $thousands in ITunes(quite possible), I have limited options......

i) Burn all ITunes on to CD and then rip them to non DRM MP3 – Not very legal and likely to add the the probability of piracy due to the proliferation of non-DRM protected material.

ii) Use either an existing player like Winamp or some freely available software to achieve the same aim. Also not very legal blah, blah, blah.

iii) Go and download my entire music library from existing pirated sources. Don't see that being too popular either; especially if I see other stuff I like and don't have to pay for.

iv) I could of course buy all the music again from a compatible service. I think most business men begin to see the customer starting to look a bit pale and poor.

v) I guess I could just buy another IPod and suffer c**p sound.

From a distance it becomes clear that the only gang who benefits from ITunes is Apple when things are viewed in this way. They (Apple) stand to lose a lot if they allow interoperability of DRM. Most of the commentary on the topic has acknowledged this. What has been made less clear is this argument that ITunes with its restrictive approach is damaging the DRM cause. Something that I suspect hasn't escaped the notice of the big DRM gangsters that run the digital copyright racket. In truth I suspect they have known this for some time.

Far be it for me to say that French politics is corrupt, but like the rest of Europe they are quite responsive to the voice of the DRM Gangsters (music companies and existing exploiters of copyright)....hence the present draconian and non-sensical digital copyright legislation which can be operated as a racket to make people pay more for less....rant rant rant.... My point being, I don't think such a challenge to Apple would have come about without the backing of someone other than the consumer. Someone somewhere wanted this to happen it seems likely that the consumer was not considered here. This legislation only really damages Apple. After all, as far as I can gather (not reading in French) the rest of the package looks like your usual don't use ripping or cracking software gumpf. Which would explain why M$oft, Yahoo and others are not squealing.

Was this just the right time for a well targeted challenge to reopen a shrinking uncompetitive market or was this in fact just the right bit of legislation at the right time ?

Well you know what I think.......(he said slipping a legit CD into his PC for ripping to the hard drive in an unprotected format). Don't love DRM or the Music industry but boy do I want to know who Apple p****d off.

The bit that does make me chuckle is the probability of another copy protection own goal. I suspect after the current round of publicity, more people will know how to get round ITunes protection than did before, hence the pirates gain allies.......Thanks Apple - Greedy Greedy Apple........

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