Zune Head Calls Jobs’ Challenge To End DRM “Irresponsible”

Feb 7th, 2007 | By | Category: General, iPods & Portable Media Players

Steve Jobs on iPodsWhile Steve Jobs call for the record labels to end DRM has been warmly received around the world, his remarks’ reception from competitors and the labels themselves has been downright chilly.

Executives at the major labels dismiss Jobs’ challenge, saying that eliminating DRM isn’t going to happen. The marketing director for Microsoft’s struggling Zune portable media player brand dismisses Jobs’ remarks “irresponsible.”

The Universal Music Group, the Warner Music Group and Sony BMG Music Entertainment have declined to comment. But several industry executives said they viewed Mr. Jobs’s comments as an effort to deflect anti-DRM criticism from Apple.

Apple has been challenged recently in several European companies because of the lack of interoperability between iTunes and other portable media players. Its copy-protection has been ruled illegal in Norway, and Holland and other countries are challenging the company, too.

Based on the music industry’s response, though, don’t expect an end to DRM anytime soon….

Jobs’ Challenge To End DRM “Irresponsible”

A senior executive at one company said that while labels might experiment with other forms of copy-protection software, “we’re not going to broadly license our content for unprotected digital distribution.”

Another digital music industry executive said that the record companies were concerned that lifting restrictions on digital music might have perilous effects on the parallel market for copy-protected video content.

“It’s a bold move on his part,” said Ted Cohen, managing partner of TAG Strategic, and a former executive at EMI Music. “If anything can play on anything, it’s a clear win for the consumer electronics device world, but a potential disaster for the content companies.”

The RIAA seized on an option that Jobs raised in his comments yesterday, but dismissed Рlicensing Apple’s own copy-protection system. “Apple’s offer to license FairPlay to other technology companies is a welcome breakthrough and would be a real victory for fans, artists and labels,” the Recording Industry Association of America said.

Meanwhile, Jobs‚Äôs statement drew criticism from competitors. Jason Reindorp, marketing director for Microsoft’s Zune portable media player, said Mr. Jobs‚Äôs call for unrestricted music sales was ‚Äúirresponsible, or at the very least na√Øve.”

‚ÄúIt‚Äôs like he‚Äôs on top of the mountain making pronouncements,” adds Reindorp, “while we‚Äôre here on the ground working with the industry to make it happen. ”

via New York Times

7 Responses to “Zune Head Calls Jobs’ Challenge To End DRM “Irresponsible””

  1. Tim Street says:

    Giveitaway, giveitaway, giveitaway now! РI think are the lyrics to a popular Red Hot Chili Peppers song but I couldn’t tell you for sure because the DRM was keeping me from listening to the song.

  2. podcastmama says:

    What happened to poor Steve Jobs’ teeth? Didn’t his mama tell him to floss every day? Or did you leave the baby alone with the box of Sharpies and your .jpg file again?

  3. Weave says:

    Reindorp, calling Jobs “naive”? I wonder if Apple stockholders would agree. A marketing director calling one of the most successful businessmen of our lifetimes “naive” is…well…at the very least, naive.

  4. info says:

    podcastmama – I didn’t notice that earlier, but the picture makes Jobs look sort of like a toothless geezer. He’s still got his wits about him, though.

    Weave – you can’t envy Reindorp’s job, can you? He’s naive to think he’ll have a job long, the way the Zune’s been doing.

    Tim – Steve Jobs talks the talk but I don’t think it’s going to get the job done. Can you get the French Maids to call for an end to DRM? And then they could have a pillow fight, while we wait. Actually, you better make that a slow-motion pillow fight, because it’s going to be a while.

  5. er… like nobody is ripping their music cds to their iPods or other MP3 players? As far as the DRM issue is concerned… what the heck was “MR. Zune Head” thinking of??? Putting DRM onto my own produced MP3 which I may put on to the Zune and giving it a 3-day life…

  6. […] Microsoft spokesman says Jobs’s essay is “irresponsible” […]

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