Jon Lech Johansen, or better known as DVD Jon for cracking CSS encryption, posted a
response to Steve
Jobs’ open letter about DRM. As one who clearly stands against the restrictions
placed upon media by corporations, it may be surprising for some to learn that
Johansen isn’t buying Jobs' preach.
One of Johansen’s immediate criticisms are what he believes
to be Jobs’ use of misleading statistics. Jobs said in his letter that customers
purchased a total of 90 million iPods and 2 billion songs from the iTunes store,
which he equated to 22 songs purchased for each iPod ever sold. Johansen points
out that the stats are misleading because not all of those 90 million iPods are
in use, and that some of them may not even be operational.
“It’s the number of iTunes Store customers and average sales
per customer that’s relevant, and Apple has never disclosed these figures,”
Johansen wrote. “Many iPod owners have never bought anything from the iTunes
Store. Some have bought hundreds of songs. Some have bought thousands. At the
2004 Macworld Expo, Steve revealed that one customer had bought $29,500 worth
iPod users who have purchased nothing from iTunes are not at
all locked in to Apple’s technology and cannot be considered as attractive
customers by competitors. Microsoft and Sony (along with the record companies
behind them) want the customers who have already spent a considerable sum of
money on iTunes, proving that they are willing to pay for music. “In effect,
it’s the customers who would be the most valuable to an Apple competitor that
get locked in. The kind of customers who would spend $300 on a set-top box,” concluded
As one who has already reverse
engineered Apple’s FairPlay technology, Johansen takes issue with Steve
Jobs’ claim that opening up FairPlay to others would endanger its security. DVD
Jon points out, “Microsoft’s Windows Media DRM 10 (marketing name PlaysForSure)
has not had more security breaches than FairPlay despite the fact that it has
been licensed to dozens of companies,” adding that Microsoft’s decision to make
the Zune DRM a closed system was a business decision and had nothing to do with
In his most recent post, Johansen said with a grin and a
wink, “Licensing FairPlay is quite feasible, it’s just that Steve doesn’t want
to do so. Of course, from a business perspective I don’t mind.”
quote: Licensing FairPlay is probably possible, but there is no incentive for Apple to do it. Would it even matter? Are there that many people who want to use ITMS downloads on their Zune? Are there any people?
quote: The iPod is a good piece of hardware, but it sells because of the software that works with it.
quote: Every investigation I have read over the past few years (including some statements in Apple's quarterly reports and financial teleconferences) have stated that Apple makes virtually nothing off the iTunes Music Store. They are most certainly *not* "making boatloads on iTunes".
quote: Apple, use misleading statistics? Never!
Apple = Saint
Others = Devil
Every company uses it, to make a bit more profit. That's how todays market works: nobody is innocent, ie, nobody is a saint.
quote: Uh...last I checked hardly anything he's done has been for profit.
quote: Oh wait, DVD JON, this is the guy that figured out how to crack apples DRM and wants to re-sell it to 3rd party companies, like napster and IRIVER, etc.
Jeez, i wonder why he is against DRM? If apple stopped using DRM, all of dvd john's efforts would be for nada.
quote: 90% of the music sold (CD) are without any sort of DRM. What's the benefit of having DRM on that last 10%? If someone can just rip a CD and distribute the whole thing over the Internet what exactly does DRM help?
quote: Putting DRM in these files reminds you that it's illegal to share them and re-enforces a negative view of piracy.
quote: He just doesn't know it yet.