Reaction to 'Thoughts On Music'

Since Apple released Steve Jobs' article entitled "Thoughts On Music" in which he calls on record companies to allow Apple to sell DRM free content on the iTunes Store, various parties have voiced their reactions.

In an Associated Press article published by Forbes, Mitch Bainwol, chairman and chief executive of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) suggested that Apple rather license FairPlay to other companies to allow interoperability.

"We have no doubt that a technology company as sophisticated and smart as Apple could work with the music community to make that happen," Bainwol said in a prepared statement.

Mr. Jobs addressed such a possibility in his article, however stated that "Apple has concluded that if it licenses FairPlay to others, it can no longer guarantee to protect the music it licenses from the big four music companies."

However, Jon Lech Johansen, who has successfully reverse-engineered FairPlay in the past and has since formed DoubleTwist ventures in an attempt to sell FairPlay compatible DRM to content providers, points out in a blog post that Microsoft's decision to license Microsofts Windows Media DRM 10 (PlaysForSure) to multiple companies has not had any more security breaches than FairPlay.

European consumer groups appear to be coming out with a mixed reaction. Norway's Consumer Counsel appears to not be satisfied with Jobs' comments, however one French consumer group fully agrees with Jobs, and has refocused their efforts on pressuring the music labels.

Reaction to Jobs' article remains extremely positive in MacRumors forums. Also of note, Britain's EMI Music has been experimenting with DRM-free music digital music distribution via MP3, reportedly gaining extremely positive feedback from customers.

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