Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Steven Jobs: Stop Making It Hard For People To Listen To Music

That's what it boils down to: the record companies have all sorts of stupid technological gimmicks to try and fight piracy. All it really does is make it hard for people to listen to the music they want on their iPod or stereo or cell phone or computer or whatever. It doesn't slow down the real thieves a lick. That's why Jobs is calling for the record companies to stop music copy protection and make it easier for people to buy and listen to digital files of music. He'd be a lot more convincing if Jobs didn't refuse to make iPods compatible with other online music stores -- it's a real pain to convert a tune you bought digitally somewhere else to play on an iPod. But Jobs is stating the obvious. In Europe, the courts are increasingly ruling that these sorts of restrictions are illegal. Plus, when record companies say they need to combat piracy and keep these files restricted, they're just being stupid: they sell music and movies every day that aren't restricted in any way: they're called CDs and DVDs. And the second new anti-piracy software is released, hackers post ways to break them. Jobs needed to go much further: calling for an end to ALL the technological gimmicks that rob consumers of their right to watch movies and shows or listen to music in every legal way possible, to make copies for their cars and boats or rip copies to play on their music devices and cell phones or watch on a handheld device. I have a DVD player that freezes up if I try to make an audio cassette copy of a CD, even though that's my right. Do they really think home copying is a problem? All mechanical devices should stop their crazy firewalls that just make life difficult for law-abiding consumers. You fight online piracy by making movies and music available digitally at a reasonable price in a safe enviroment, not by making life hell for the average consumer.

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