While I was tied up, Mr. Jobs stirred the intellectual-property business pot. Even after three days of discussion, there are things worth saying.
First, while I don’t at all hate to say “I told you so”, I’ll contain my glee to the extent of not inserting links to the places where I did. The music biz may be pushing back but the end-game is obvious. Edgar Bronfman can bluster all he wants, but he’s swimming upstream.
Second, Steve’s arithmetic is bogus. He calculates 22 iTMS songs per iPod on the basis that they’ve sold 90 million of them. Well, first of all, how many of those are still in use? Most people I know are on their second or third. Also, the 22 number is useless, whether it’s the mean or median. My feeling is that there’s a large number of people with no, or very few, iTMS tracks on their iPods, and a smaller number with a whole lot. I feel sorry for the latter group.
Steve may let his rhetoric get out of control, but in the other corner is the music biz, and well... my goodness. Via John Markoff, we hear about one senior executive saying “we’re not going to broadly license our content for unprotected digital distribution.” Speaking as one who is the owner of well over a thousand shiny silver disks full of unprotected digital music that they distributed to me happily, I have to say “Get a clue.”
Best of all is the RIAA, saying they’d welcome Apple licensing Fairplay and thus proving that they didn’t actually read what Apple wrote. You know, I used to think that that gang couldn’t possibly be as clueless as they were acting, what with wholesale lawsuits against their customers, that it had to be an aspect of some crafty grand plan that I wasn’t smart enough to get.
I don’t think so. The RIAA? If it had gunpowder for brains, it still wouldn’t be able to blow its nose.