Jobs on DRM and Music

bq.Today’s most popular iPod holds 1000 songs, and research tells us that the average iPod is nearly full. This means that only 22 out of 1000 songs, or under 3% of the music on the average iPod, is purchased from the iTunes store and protected with a DRM. The remaining 97% of the music is unprotected and playable on any player that can play the open formats. – “Steve Jobs(Thoughts on Music)”:http://www.apple.com/hotnews/thoughtsonmusic/ I thought this was a really fascinating essay. There is just one thing.
bq.Among the artists who can be found at eMusic are Barenaked Ladies, Sarah McLachlan and Avril Lavigne, who are represented by Nettwerk Music Group, based in Vancouver, British Columbia. All Nettwerk releases are available at eMusic without copy protection. But when the same tracks are sold by the iTunes Music Store, Apple insists on attaching FairPlay copy protection that limits their use to only one portable player, the iPod. Terry McBride, Nettwerk’s chief executive, said that the artists initially required Apple to use copy protection, but that this was no longer the case. At this point, he said, copy protection serves only Apple’s interests. Josh Bernoff, a principal analyst at Forrester Research, agreed, saying copy protection “just locks people into Apple.” He said he had recently asked Apple when the company would remove copy protection and was told, “We see no need to do so.” – “Randall Stross(Want an iPhone? Beware the iHandcuffs)”:http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/14/business/yourmoney/14digi.html?ex=1326430800&en=2c5efe51f9d74dd8&ei=5090&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss Unless Apple is contractually obligated to sell all their music with DRM, and this sentence, “If the big four music companies would license Apple their music without the requirement that it be protected with a DRM, we would switch to selling only DRM-free music on our iTunes store.” certainly makes it sound like they may be, I really think it is time to make DRM optional on an individual basis. I have an iTunes gift card that I received for Christmas that I would love to start using.