DRM, Apple iTunes Slammed by EU Commissioner
No one really likes Digital Rights Management, or DRM. It's the technology that prevents you from copying certain audio CDs more than a set number of times, or performing similar practices with downloaded music files.
Even Apple CEO Steve Jobs has made it known that he's hardly a fan, proclaiming that an open DRM system would "clearly be the best alternative for consumers, and Apple would embrace it in a heartbeat." Now, the European Union is chiming in, with its Commissioner lashing out at the relationship between iTunes, the iPod, and DRM.
It might be easiest to sum up EU Commissioner for Consumer Protection Meglena Kuneva's feelings with one quote:
"Do you find it reasonable that a CD will play in all players, but an iTunes song will only plan on an iPod? It doesn't to me. Something must change."
Now, Kuneva is clearly very liberal when it comes to protecting the rights of music artists. Not only does she oppose Apple's iTunes strategy, but she also believes the industry should invest in a policy whereby consumers could actually return their downloaded music.
Is it only fair? This appears to be the belief of the European Union, which will explore the lack of interoperability between players like the Sony Walkman, Apple iPod, and Microsoft Zune in
For the record – take it or leave it – Apple CEO Steve Jobs has stated that he would support a digital retail environment free of DRM, so long as the record labels agreed to it.
Not bloody likely.