Then why not do it?
Cory Doctorow says, OK, you want to offer DRM-free music? Do it. There are numerous artists that would love to sell their music DRM-free on iTunes.
That’s clearly a business decision — there’s no technical reason Apple couldn’t offer both DRM-ed and DRM-free songs. But it could easily be contractual. Apple’s agreement with the big four may say they can’t offer DRM-free music as the recording industry executives might fear that the great communist scourge of uncontrolled music files would eat their lunch and make love to their women better than they can.
Jobs has many reasons for challenging the labels — mostly due to Apple’s legal issues in Europe — but that doesn’t make his statement any less significant and Doctorow’s persnickety response doesn’t give it enough credit.
Right now it really does seem that DRM-free music is coming to a Mac (and a PC) near your some time in the not too distant future. Customers want it, analysts want it, and now technology companies want it.