Remember my rant on copy protection in the post about opening iTunes to other players? All the things record and movie companies tried the last few years has only encouraged people to rip, copy and distribute illegal media instead. It turns out that Steve Jobs also thinks that DRM is not the answer, according to bloomberg. Steve Jobs has sent a letter to the four largest music companies, in which he Asks Music Labels To End Copyright Protection.
Sure it might sound bad when you have serious record company stock options, but the idea is not so dumb as it sounds. For years, Apple software has been reasonably priced, and of good quality. You can buy it online without too much hassle. Result: There is not much illegal Mac software out there. This will surprise the Windows user, who is acustomed to running all kinds of illegal software, up until the point they are practically forced to continue to do so, because they have all their content stored in propriatary formats.
I like Apple’s way of doing things much more: Deliver good quality products, ask reasonable prices, and trust your users (up until a point ofcourse ;-). In return, Mac users are often more like “fans” than customers, because they don’t feel like they’ve been “had”.
I think loosing the copy right protection and then lowering the prices on music is a good thing. The iTunes music store is an easy store to search music or other content in, and does not force millions of tracks onto you (like your friend with the 200GB music library on an USB disk does). Who cares if I have to pay a few cents for a track if I feel like iTunes has helped me find that track? The feeling shifts more to like “paying for the service” than “paying for the track” which is probably what we all look for. As an added value, we have the old “it’s my product, I bought it” feeling back, where we can do with the content as we like because we payed for it. We are no longer restricted to stupid things as “you can listen this track only twice on your Zune before it will selfdestruct”.
Update: More information and the response from Norway is online at MacNN. Norway showing it does not understand iTunes at all, because you can configure iTunes to store the files at a location of your destination, which can ultimately be any (large enough) USB disk, which in turn can be a media player device 🙂 .