Damaged Gears

Evolve your Gears

Splash Damage: The StevieJ, the EU, and the DRM…

with 2 comments

And this may eventually benefit Microsoft in the end (Go figure).

This particular Engadget post is now outlining the fact that the Dutch (famous for their ovens) have now joined the French in wanting Apple to open up its DRM scheme. The end result is, hopefully, allow the consumer to buy a tune from Vivendi Store and play the said tunes on iPod, or allow the same consumer to buy from iTunes and play with his or her Rio or Sony. Though this has a benefitial side effect for average joe like you and me, this law is really for the big labels who wants to bypass the whole Apple iTMS bit, and eat all the profits.  Face it, the big labels would love a way to directly load their content on to the untamed masses' iPod, on their terms, on their pricing.  Something like this was in the making, and the battleground starts in France.  Of all places.

Let's do some math, add it up.

1. The de-facto DRM standard outside of Fairplay is WMA Janus/PlaysForSure.

2. The Portalplayer chip (PDF) that powers the iPod can do WMA Files, including PlaysForSure.

3. Apple may pull out of the France for their iTMS, but if this gains ground in the entire EU, Apple may or may not want to lose their entire European market. Likewise, this movement may very well spread elsewhere, though not bloody likely.

4. During the entire process, Microsoft points out that iPod can indeed use WMA and its DRM Scheme. Microsoft then just "invests" in iTunes/iTMS like it did with its office line.

5. Assuming this pans out the way I think it does, again, not bloody likely, the winner in all of this will be Microsoft's PlaysForSure DRM scheme (can you imagine iTunes w/ WMA DRM?!)

Yikes…

The question then becomes this: Does Apple open up its DRM? Or does Microsoft play the "HERO" and save Apple from having to open its DRM and switch to PlaysForSure?

Yikes, talk about lesser of two evils..

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Written by Damage

03/27/06 at 10:42 am

Posted in Soapbox

2 Responses

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  1. this wont fly outside the EU, go europe but Nth America is owned by corporations, Japan too insular & Australia too eager to kiss up to the US copywrite police.

    atrain

    03/28/06 at 5:18 pm

  2. You know my personal take on this issue. Frankly, this smells of replacing one set of DRM for another. And the consumer having the leeway to bypass Fairplay DRM is just a happy side effect to what the labels want:

    Getting rid of Apple as purveyor of digital music and video.

    The ideal situation is for me to buy music on iTunes and have it work of my MD (as a broad example). The big labels are going to argue that since all of them uses PlaysForSure, that their tracks are cross compatible with one another as so long as it ain’t an iPod and has the PFS logo.

    All this needs now is for the campaign to start, saying that iPods are capable of playing PlaysForSure files, but why has Apple not elect to do so?

    Apple has the most to lose here unfortunately, by either walking out/losing out on the EU market, or to lose control over their media distribution.

    Amongst this and the other APPLE case, it may be that we just might start seeing PlaysForSure logo on the next revisions of the iPod boxes. How ironic that would be?

    Or, maybe this is the iPod killer that Microsoft’s been banging up?

    Damage

    03/28/06 at 10:44 pm


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