FROM THE BLOGS

The Buzz on the Beats

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Last week, Apple chief executive Steve Jobs called for an end to anti-piracy software on digital music as a way to let customers listen to their downloads on any device. The record labels responded with a mixture of scorn and indifference to the idea, which would disrupt their security measures.

The debate resonated throughout the blogosphere. Readers weighed in on two washingtonpost.com blogs -- Faster Forward, tech columnist Rob Pegoraro's blog ( http://blog.washingtonpost.com/fasterforward), and Post I.T., The Post tech team's blog ( http://blog.washingtonpost.com/posttech). Reader feedback was all over the map.

On Post I.T., tech reporter Mike Musgrove summarized the Jobs manifesto, which touched on the ineffectiveness of Digital Rights Management, or DRM, software:

[I]n his letter, Jobs says the company sells the music with DRM attached because music companies insisted on it -- even though "DRMs haven't worked, and may never work, to halt music piracy."

Immediately, readers started chiming in. First on the board was "Bernard Meisler," who agreed with Jobs:

DRM does nothing to limit piracy. It's simply a ploy by media companies to sell the same content to consumers over and over.

* * *

Pegoraro, in a posting titled "Steve Jobs to Record Labels: Tear Down This Wall!," noted that Walt Disney Co., where Jobs is on the board of directors, is fond of DRM.

Jobs just rolled a hand grenade down that boardroom table, Pegoraro wrote.

To that, a reader named "Jim" chimed in to challenge Jobs to address DRM throughout the entire iTunes Music Store, notably the movie offerings.

Let's see Steve put his money where his mouth is and release his Disney/Pixar movies without any DRM protection.


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