In an open letter, Apple CEO Steve Jobs urges the recording companies to abandon DRM (Digital Rights Management) technologies. This is quite surprising to everyone because Apple, with it’s ipod and selling songs (with DRM) from iTunes store is clearly the one most benefiting from DRM. But Jobs thinks there’re 3 ways ahead: continue on the current course with DRM; Apple to license its FairPlay DRM technology to current and future competitors; or to abolish DRMs entirely. Apple clearly favors the third option.
The third alternative is to abolish DRMs entirely. Imagine a world where every online store sells DRM-free music encoded in open licensable formats. In such a world, any player can play music purchased from any store, and any store can sell music which is playable on all players. This is clearly the best alternative for consumers, and Apple would embrace it in a heartbeat. 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. Every iPod ever made will play this DRM-free music.