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“Got kitesurfing on the mind, mixed with some search & classification tech, and a dab of political ranting”

Apple & DRM, More Than Meets The Eye

Posted by direwolff on March 7, 2007

As with most things, taking what’s being said at face value and reacting to it can often result in an inappropriate reaction from not fully understanding the underlying issues. I’m plenty guilty of these leaps of heresy myself, so I’m not throwing stones here, just pointing it out because of an excellent write-up I just read on the issues surrounding Apple’s digital rights management (DRM) strategy that I was not previously aware of, which has drawn from some the wrong kinds of criticisms given the landscape that they are operating under. From Bruce Schneier’s “Schneier on Security” blog, he provides a link to an excellent post on the Roughly Drafted blog titled “Apple’s iTunes DRM Dilemma“.

The post goes into understandable detail on how the iTunes DRM technology works. For those not so interested in the technology aspects (still worth reading though), but more curious about the policy issues around this, skip down to the section titled “Why Apple Cares About DRM” (which is quickly followed by “Why Apple Doesn’t Care About DRM”) and read down through the end of the post. It’s well worth the read and provides some great insights into the issues surrounding Apple’s need to maintain the platform, Jobs’ recent comments on doing away with DRM, the regulatory environment in the E.U., the competitive aspects, and the RIAA’s iron fist in all of this.

For any one interested in the debate surrounding DRM and the role of the various constituents in this ecosystem, this blog post provides a very lucid picture worth reading.

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