Apple criticises labels over MP3 freedom

Steve Jobs calls for the end of Digital Rights Management

Apple have claimed record labels are at fault for the much criticised protection on MP3s in their iTunes store.

They also suggest that the protection that leads to iTunes files’ incompatibility on other MP3 players is actually detrimental to the music industry.

In an open letter on Apple’s site, Chief Executive Steve Jobs said: “If such requirements were removed the music industry might experience an influx of new companies willing to invest in innovative new stores and players.”

Apple claim that the four biggest record corporations, Universal, Sony BMG, EMI and Warner, wouldn’t license their music to iTunes without the presence of protection software, termed DRM (Digital Rights Management).

Jobs implies that this protection is ineffectual, saying: “The music companies sell the vast majority of their music DRM-free, and show no sign of changing this behaviour, since the overwhelming majority of their revenues depend on selling CDs which must play in CD players that support no DRM system.”

Jobs also refutes the claim that the presence of DRMs mean the consumer is automatically locked into one brand of player and store, arguing that only three per-cent of songs on an average iPod originate from the iTunes store.

To read the full letter, go to Apple.com.