Steve Jobs on Music Piracy and Protection

Posted Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Macintouch links to a fascinating essay by Steve Jobs that was quietly published on Apple's Web site yesterday.

Background: Regulators in several European countries have been making noises about requiring Apple to open up the iTunes Store in ways that would enable songs to play on devices other than iPods.

Jobs outlines the reasons why the iTunes Store must sell content in a way that makes it difficult to pirate. In a nutshell, he says, "the record companies made me do it." That is, Apple's agreements with the recording industry require Apple to wrap each song in a "digital rights management" surveillance bracelet.

The answer? Make the record companies stop requiring the surveillance bracelet. After all, they sell many, many more unprotected songs -- in the form of audio CDs -- than they do protected ones.

It's a sound argument, if you'll pardon the pun. And it's fascinating reading.

Memo to Steve Jobs: more essays like this, please!

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