Steven Paul Jobs

Many people don’t consider Steve Jobs a hero of the copyright wars. Their memory only goes as far back as the “FairPlay” DRM bondage inherent in the initial iTunes Music Store.

I think different(ly). I remember Steve Jobs as the guy who single handedly saved copyright’s balance. He repeatedly drummed into consumers’ minds, that every digital copy you buy, is a copy you own. Never accept less.

It was a game changer.

Rest in peace, Steve!

I have have another interesting story about Steve Jobs that, in a strict chronology, would fit here. But, since this vanity blog is in my life’s chronology, Well… I don’t know that story yet! I’m going to save for a later when, hopefully, it will make more sense.

And for those with a fuzzy memory, here is an annotated timeline in support of my assertion.

Jan 9, 2001 Steve announces the iTunes Media Player as part of Apple’s “Digital Hub Strategy”. It was designed so consumers could manage, play and burn their personal MP3 files. iTunes also supported syncing to existing MP3 players like Diamond’s Rio line. In the minds of the recording industry, none of these files had been “legitimately acquired.” The industry, of course, didn’t sell MP3 files. Jobs sided with consumers.

Feb 22, 2001 Apple launches “Rip, Mix, Burn.” Ad campaign touting the benefits of its new CD burning iMacs. The industry was not amused!

Oct 23, 2001 Apple launches first iPod. “A thousand songs in your pocket.” All of which had to be ripped from your personal CDs or downloaded from others who did so. All on a Mac. The original iPod didn’t work with PCs.

Apr 28, 2003 Apple launches iTunes Music Store. It only runs on a Mac. Because of Apple small market share, the music industry thought of it as a “low risk test”.

October 2003 Apple finally launches iTunes Music Store for the PC. Its popularity explodes. The industry quickly begins to lament its loss of control.

May 30, 2007 Apple begins offering music DRM free iTunes Plus tracks for an additional cost.

Jan 6, 2009 Apple removes all DRM from the iTunes Music Store.

Nov 14, 2011 Apple launches Music Match as part of iCloud. It “legitimizes” previously ripped MP3 files by substituting a downloadable, an industry sanctioned AAC file, in the users iCloud directory.

Steve Jobs, Apple CEO
2002, Wall Street Journal interview

“If you legally acquire music, you need to have the right to manage it
on all other devices that you own,” said Jobs.

Jobs also told the interviewer that Apple believes more than 80
percent of consumers are willing to pay for digital music, “But there
is no one offering you a choice.”

Michael Eisner, CEO Disney
Mar 1, 2002

Eisner’s recently testified before the United States Senate Commerce
Committee about the potential threat that computer use has to music
and movie distribution. Eisner accused the computer industry of
considering piracy its new “killer app.” He singled out Apple’s “Rip,
Mix, Burn” ad campaign of 2001 as an example of this type of behavior.

Apple’s ad campaign suggested to potential buyers “that they can
create a theft if they buy this computer,” said Eisner, who otherwise
ignored Apple’s iPod ad campaign, which features prominent warnings
against stealing music.

P.S. Oh, by the way, In October of 2001, Brewster Kahne finally launched the Internet Archive’s “Wayback Machine”. And Yes! He did preserve the dancing hamsters!



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