Apple CEO Steve Jobs sent a shot across the bow of the recording industry today, issuing an in-depth statement that said that if the recording industry would allow it, Apple would wholeheartedly embrace selling music without digital rights management (DRM).
Imagine a world where every online store sells DRM-free music encoded in open licensable formats. 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.
The recording industry’s Jack Valenti quickly followed suit, issuing his own statement to consumers of digital entertainment.
Hey, here’s an idea. Why don’t you imagine a world where you shut your cake-hole and buy this crap the way we tell you to, huh? Can you imagine that? Huh? Can you? You frickin’ better imagine it or I’m gonna hit you in the head with a frickin’ Zune.
Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer also chimed in, releasing the following statement early this afternoon.
I was totally going to say that. Exactly what Jobs said. Totally. I mean, I was just talking about this. Ask what’s his name… uh… you know… that guy… Nerdie McSweatervest. Slouchy McJuicebox. Uhh… Gates! Anyway, I was tellin’ him the exact same shit the other day. I’m like, hey! Donnie Dorko! DRM! It’s gotta go, baby! But he’s all like, blah, blah, blah, barriers to entry this, blah, blah, blah, leverage technologies that, blah, blah, blah.
Ballmer’s statement was then followed by a statement from open digital rights activist Cory Doctorow:
Phew. Man. That whole thing where I went off on Apple for embracing closed formats… kind of makes me look like an ass right now. Kinda wish I hadn’t written that.
And now I’ve got all my shit in fricking Ubuntu. I don’t know what the hell I was thinking there.
Do you know, I actually cut myself on Ubuntu yesterday? I don’t even know how that’s possible.
Also kind of wish I hadn’t had the Apple logo tattoo lasered off my arm. That hurt like a mother.
Shortly after Jobs’ statement was posted, Apple was sued by Apple Corps for the unlicensed use of the word “Imagine”.