Earlier this week the Chief Evangelical Officer of Apple
Computers Inc., Steve Jobs, channeled the spirit of Ronald Regan (media moguls tear down these digital walls) and wrote an open letter (read my post here) aimed at the music barron’s in their Bling’d-out offices. In it he basically says that DRM sucks, iPods rock and the labels dont grok the implications of either. Well it was a shot heard around the blogosphere and the commentary came fast a furious from low caste bloggers like myself.
Not to be outdone by the rabble, the unfortunately named IFPI strongman, John Kennedy, posted a retort to Steve (El Capitain) Jobs. His response could be summed up in two words: “You First!” In what I imagine is a whining monotone, he suggests that Steve drop DRM from Apple, Disney and Pixar products as an example to the industry.
In a surprising twist, a well reasoned and thoughtful response was posted by former digital bad boy and tech industry iconoclast, Michael Robertson. Again, you can read his post for yourself, the three word summary: “Put-up or shut-up!”. Michael suggest four things that El Capitain Jobs, could do today to bring about a DRM-free digital music landscape tomorrow.
Former jet-setting playboy booze salesman and current jet-setting playboy music CEO, Edgar Bronfman, took time out from explaining why Warner Music profits were in a freefall, to lambaste Steve Jobs’ letter. Ed is reported to have called Steve’s recommendations “completely without merit or logic”. His comments came during the Q&A session for what must have been a bruising earnings conference call and so his testiness is understandable. If I had to explain to a bunch of cantankerous investors and reporters why profits are down 78%, from $70 to $18 million despite nearly $1 billion in revenues I’d be a bit testy as well. Especially with commentary like this blog post from employees circulating in the ether. Computer World has coverage but the four word summary is: “Its mine all mine!”