writes "Posted at The Register is the RIAA's official response to Steve Jobs open letter decrying DRM and asking the recording industry to seriously consider allowing DRM-free music. They have this to say about it:
The RIAA has seized on the weakest part of Steve Jobs' anti-DRM manifesto by banging on Apple to license its FairPlay technology to other companies. The section in question from Steves letter, which quite clearly states the problems with this approach reads:
"Apple's offer to license FairPlay to other technology companies is a welcome breakthrough and would be a real victory for fans, artists and labels," the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) said. "There have been many services seeking a licence to the Apple DRM. This would enable the interoperability that we have been urging for a very long time."
The second alternative is for Apple to license its FairPlay DRM technology to current and future competitors with the goal of achieving interoperability between different company's players and music stores. On the surface, this seems like a good idea since it might offer customers increased choice now and in the future. And Apple might benefit by charging a small licensing fee for its FairPlay DRM. Jobs may be a smooth talker, but against such circular logic, even he can't win."
However, when we look a bit deeper, problems begin to emerge. The most serious problem is that licensing a DRM involves disclosing some of its secrets to many people in many companies, and history tells us that inevitably these secrets will leak. The Internet has made such leaks far more damaging, since a single leak can be spread worldwide in less than a minute. Such leaks can rapidly result in software programs available as free downloads on the Internet which will disable the DRM protection so that formerly protected songs can be played on unauthorized players.