Apple, EMI, and DRM

Apple announced they are selling EMI music DRM free, for a mere $0.30 premium.

First, I'm excited to see mass market adoption legitimate of DRM free content. That is good news, period.

However, I find Steve's position on DRM a bit, well, convenient. See, for a couple of reasons Steve wants Apple to sell music without DRM. However, he's also on Disney's board, hence the following question during the Q&A:

Q: I take it then that you are going to advocate taking the DRM off of the videos you sell on iTunes. Any particular [inaudible] you could do that with the Disney company?
A: You know, video, uh... I knew I'd get that question today. Video is pretty different than music right now because the video industry does not distribute 90 percent of their content DRM free; never has, and so I think they are in a pretty different situation and so I wouldn't hold the two in parallel at all.

Ya, sure Steve, they are totally different. I don't think any one can seriously argue that Steve really BELIEVES that DRM-free content is better. I'm also not sure it matters.

The deal is convenient for everyone. The labels get to sell music at a premium ($1.29 instead of $0.99), Apple gets to look good in the face of the EU anti-trust case, and consumers get DRM free music.

Not a perfect deal, but it's better than many of the alternatives. Just don't believe that this deal was done for any altruistic or idealistic reasons.

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