Steve Jobs says its the Major’s fault that music, including music from iTunes, has DRM on it. The Majors say it is Apple’s FairPlay that is the problem. Now we may be able to find out.
Jobs has been forced out of his protected forcefield and publicly stated that Apple will “embrace wholeheartedly” DRM-less downloads. EMI, for their part, is planning on releasing their entire catalog without DRM to the highest bidder according to the Wall Street Journal, link via Chicago Sun-Times. Now we get to see who is telling the truth.
We should look for a couple of things;
1. Will digital downloads take-off if they are not limited to playing on specific players?
2. Will piracy significantly change?
3. Will another music download site threaten iTunes dominance?
4. Is this viral? Will DRM-less movies be next?
I look forward to seeing what happens, largely because we will get to see how corporate America views their customers. If they see that an easy to use web site with an appropriately priced product is a viable business model, maybe, just maybe, they will start to see the internet as something positive and not merely a thieves’ bazaar.