Steve Jobs posted a statement on Apple Inc.'s (NASDAQ: AAPL) website on Tuesday which said his company would embrace the notion of major record companies selling music without the digital rights management software meant to protect against piracy.
In the letter, called Thoughts on Music, Apple's CEO offered his thoughts on the current state of digital media, and also what the future may hold for distribution of copy-protected music. He also proposed a serious look at a world where all music is open, able to play on any device.
Imagine a world where every online store sells DRM-free music encoded in open licensable formats, Jobs wrote. In such a world, any player can play music purchased from any store, and any store can sell music which is playable on all players. This is clearly the best alternative for consumers, and Apple would embrace it in a heartbeat.
Jobs continued, saying 90 percent of the music the records label are currently on compact discs is not protected with DRM anyway.
If such requirements were removed, the music industry might experience an influx of new companies willing to invest in innovative new stores and players. This can only be seen as a positive by the music companies, he said in the statement.
DRM works by ensuring that the music bought through online stores only plays on a certain number of licensed devices. A song bought from Apple's iTunes store, could not be played on non-iPod players, for instance.
DRMs haven't worked, and may never work, to halt music piracy, Jobs said.
He concluded by saying that licensing music DRM-free will create a truly interoperable marketplace. Apple will embrace this wholeheartedly.
Shares of apple closed up 21 cents, or 0.25 percent, to $84.15 on the Nasdaq Stock Market.