Apple's Position on DRM

Apple is at an interesting place with DRM. Some have implied (Cory Doctorow) that it is in Apple's best interest to use DRM because it locks users in. Since iPods already have a huge market penetration, this is a real effect, whether intentional or not.

However, Steve Jobs recently suggested that Apple would prefer to distribute the content DRM Free. This is an interesting position for Apple to take, and one could assume it is simply a bluff.

I could give a full analysis of this, but it would simply be a rehash of John Gruber's post at Daring Fireball.

Go read that. What I would say is that I personally think the call is more or a bluff than a serious desire to release the music DRM Free. I think this is a response to the growing chorus of complaints (mostly in Europe) raised to open up Apple's DRM. I agree with John's analysis that this is unrealistic and something Apple won't do. This feels like a way to respond to those complaints without really having to do anything.

I've been planning on writing a post about how Apple is really very proprietary, and I think even more so than Microsoft. Cory's position about DRM certainly added fuel to that fire, although John does make some effective arguments against it as a major motivation. Regardless, I still think my position has some meat, and I'll work on getting that post out.

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