Stunning analysis. But not in a good way.
Fortune’s Deirdre Terry asks some questions about Jobs’ DRM statement that no one’s thought of:
So yes, it would be more convenient for everyone if all digital files could be played by any player or any other digital device. But where’s the customer clamor?
Could Jobs’ eloquent plea on behalf of consumers all be a gambit to force Apple’s content suppliers to renegotiate their deals and make it possible to download music and video directly onto the iPhone?
Unfortunately for Terry, the reason no one’s thought of them is probably because they’re so blindingly ignorant.
While customers aren’t exactly in revolt over FairPlay (Doctorow’s not a customer anymore), there is ample outcry for DRM-free music and plenty of evidence that DRM is what’s holding back the online music business.
But it’s her main point that’s so eye-poppingly bizarre. There’s absolutely nothing the Macalope knows of from a licensing perspective that would stop Apple from allowing someone to directly buy and download FairPlay-protected music from iTunes on an iPhone. He certainly wouldn’t want to try it using Cingular’s crappy EDGE data transfer speeds and wouldn’t want to try syncing on a regular basis on anything short of 802.11n [Edited for clarity as the Macalope was thinking “syncing” by not typing it. Damn these hooves!]. That’s probably why the iPhone — right now — seems to require USB docking to iTunes to transfer music.
It’s a rather baffling why Terry seems to think that Apple’s deal with the recording companies prevents FairPlay-protected songs from being transmitted over 802.11. That’s obviously not true as you can share your library over a network and stream it to an Airport base station.
Does Fortune pay for analysis like this? And how much?