Recording industry fires back at Jobs

first_imgThe protections prevent the iPod from playing music bought from many other competing online stores. Jobs said eliminating such restrictions would open the online music marketplace. The major record labels – Universal Music Group, EMI Music, Sony BMG Music Entertainment and Warner Music Group – control about 70percent of the music market and have maintained that DRM safeguards are needed to stave off rampant piracy. Calls to Apple were not immediately returned Wednesday. In his essay, Jobs said Apple is against licensing its own DRM technology, known as “FairPlay,” as an alternative method for making iTunes accessible to all portable players. A recording industry group fired back Wednesday at Apple Inc. CEO Steve Jobs, suggesting his company should open its anti-piracy technology to its rivals instead of urging major record labels to strip copying restrictions from music sold online. Mitch Bainwol, chairman and chief executive of the Recording Industry Association of America, said the move would eliminate technology hurdles that now prevent fans from playing songs bought at Apple’s iTunes Music Store on devices other than the company’s iPod. “We have no doubt that a technology company as sophisticated and smart as Apple could work with the music community to make that happen,” Bainwol said in a prepared statement. In an essay posted on the Cupertino-based company’s Web site Tuesday, Jobs called on record labels to abandon their requirement for online music to be wrapped in Digital Rights Management, or DRM, technology, which is designed to limit unauthorized copying. Several analysts suggested the record companies should follow Jobs’ suggestion. “Clearly, DRM is not working,” said Ted Schadler, an analyst at Forrester Research. “It sends a message to the customer that `we don’t trust you.”‘ Phil Leigh, senior analyst at Inside Digital Media, suggested that removing copy restraints would give the labels’ music more exposure. “Digital music has entered the mainstream,” Leigh said. “The restrictions (the labels) require Apple and others to carry are preventing the market from developing to its full potential – it’s retarding the growth.” Not everyone agreed that dumping DRM is the best strategy for the record labels. “Eliminating online DRM appears to us to be an overly risky move that eliminates the potential for a future digital-only distribution model free of piracy,” Deutsche Bank analyst Doug Mitchelson wrote in research note.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img