Last month I wrote an article titled, Digital rights management dissected, where I looked with a cynical eye upon Steve Jobs, Apple, the music industry and DRM.
Earlier this week Steve Jobs announced an agreement with EMI where Apple will sell DRM-free music through its iTunes store. What’s more, this DRM-free music will be higher quality (256 Kbps) and will only cost an extra $0.30.
Jobs’ announcement has been met with applaud by music fans who are rightly fed up with buying a product which is not interoperable and locks them into a particular brand – fans who are generally fed up with being shafted from behind by the music industry.
However, as Charlie Demerjian points out on the Inquirer, Jobs has pulled off one of the oldest PR stunts in the book and everyone has fallen for it hook, line and sinker.
DRM is not being removed, they are selling a completely different product. DRM remains on the all the tracks you have already bought and all the tracks you will buy in the future, unless you are prepared to pay more. The music industry who took away your rights in the first place, are now selling them back to you.
Apple/EMI have dangled the 256 Kbps red herring in front of you, and shafted you from behind again! How does it feel?