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BBC: "Why I don't believe Steve Jobs"

Bill Thompson doesn't particularly like Apple. In his latest BBC News column, he manages to hit a bunch of anti-Apple notes: Apple is over-covered in by the media, Jobs single-handedly stole attention from the Consumer Electronic Show with the iPhone announcement, that Macs are regularly mentioned in the same breath as the PC, the "reality distortion field", and so forth.

Finally, about halfway down the column, Mr. Thompson makes his point: Apple is bad for refusing to license FairPlay and they are bad for using DRM on tracks that are sold elsewhere without DRM. "Jobs also said that Apple would stop using DRM in an instant if they could...I don't believe him."

He does, however, believe reports that EMI is willing to set up stores without DRM despite any official announcement and he believes that Jobs will be crushed under foot by "those who really understand the music business and didn't sell their souls to the record companies back in the days when they believed in DRM."

I personally think that non-DRM is the way of the future. I also agree with Mr. Thomson's suggestion that removing DRM from sales will open up digital downloads to a much bigger audience of consumers, who are put off by the "only plays on iPods and iTunes" restrictions. I'm just not sure that Apple will be crushed under foot to get there.

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