Steve, I take it all back.

A while ago I responded to Steve Jobs’ Open Letter.

At the time, I wrote:

I stand by what I wrote in that email; Steve’s letter is FUD and nothing more. Well, except maybe it’s good marketing as well.

Well, I don’t stand by that any more. I just read this article (found courtesy of Schneier), which has changed my mind.

It explains, very well, why adding DRM gives no value to Apple, but does give lots of headache. It explains how their deals with studios put them in the unpleasant situation of being on the losing side of an arms race. Even more convincingly (for me, at least) – it points out the limitations in Apple’s DRM: they’ve made no attempt to stop a user from being able to decrypt the music they legitimately purchased.

So, I stand.. well, mostly corrected. I’m still not entirely certain that Jobs’ letter wasn’t FUD, but I’m at least convinced that Apple really would prefer to be able to sell music DRM-free.

Now, back to talking about Twitter and IRC…

Update: Apparently not everyone is convinced: the FSF is composing an open response calling on Jobs to back his words up with action (found via BoingBoing)

Update: No, I don’t buy the arguments in this page about “the basic concept of interoperable DRM makes no sense”. The Coral Consortium’s site has convinced me that that argument is meaningless; it might be a technical issue, but there are business process that can make that go away. However, my original post was stating that that I didn’t believe that Jobs really did want to get rid of DRM – whether interoperable DRM was an issue or not was only one part of his letter, and only part of my response. This new page has made me think that whether the DRM is interoperable or not is mostly irrelevant – Apple would benefit from having no DRM at all even more than they would from interoperable DRM.

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