I might as well comment comment on Jobs’ recent DRM is bad letter. At first, it was really exciting. But there’s a fair amount of intellectual dishonestly there, too:

Item: The statistics are bogus. You can’t just divide the number of songs sold on iTunes by the number of iPods sold and get anything meaningful. I don’t know if they count me as having bought 3 or 4 of them; I actually own 2 (I lost one, one I got replaced under warranty). Now, I haven’t bought any songs on iTunes, but if I had, I’d put them on all of my iPods. So, if I’m a typical user, his calculation of the number of songs per iPod is off by a factor of 3 or 4.

Item: He claims that licensing FairPlay would make it less secure. I have no reason to believe that; other recent commentariess have pointed to an example of licensed DRM that hasn’t been broken any more frequently than FairPlay, that music companies have been willing to license their music for.

Item: He says he’d be happy to sell MP3s, and invites record companies to begin doing so. The thing is, there are already people who want to sell MP3s on iTunes; Apple won’t let them. If Jobs thinks MP3s are so great, he can start selling them today.

Still, I’m optimistic. For one thing, it’s nice to see somebody important publicly acting as if he wants what’s good for users. Heck, maybe he even partly believes it. For another thing, there seem to be rumors suggesting that the record companies will start making their songs available as unencrypted MP3s; this removes one barrier to that.

Looking forward to how this all plays out.

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