What is interesting is that all the reporting I came across which made reference to DVD-Jon seemed to infer that he was against the Steve Jobs proposal. None of that reporting made reference to his self-interest in the matter. So, once again, I am left with a bad taste about the reporting which I think took comments out of context, failed to note interests and generally used such comments to support their own case.
As for DVD-Jon and a few others, I still have one big gripe which is that they talk about this as a technical issue. It is not and never has been. It is a commercial and a legal one. Apple has podcasts downloadable from iTunes for free and without DRM wrappers. It is clearly technically straightforward to allow DRM-free music on iTunes. However, none outside a close coterie of music industry execs, lawyers and music download services has any knowledge of what has been agreed. I am more willing to give Jobs the benefit of any doubt here about his intentions and reasonings. And, I am willing to give him a lot more credit for taking the stance he has, even if at this time it is without real actions.
Thanks Matt for the link.
Back to the original post, left unedited:
Famous for breaking various encryption and DRM schemes, DVD-Jon (Jon Lech Johansen) is quite a cult hero for many.
I was however quite surprised to see his comments regarding Steve Jobs open letter as carried by a number of sites, this one being quite typical. Most sites I read on this covered DVD-Jon's history, and therefore appeared to give more credence to his views because of this, even though they appeared somewhat at odds with his past. Surely, even better with which to criticise Steve Jobs' letter?
But then, I remembered reading about what DVD-Jon is up to. He now lives in California and is a key employee at Double Twist Ventures. Their mission? Quoted from the Wikipedia entry for DVD-Jon:
DoubleTwist would license the ability to apply FairPlay to media companies who wanted their music and videos to play on the iPod.
In other words, Double Twist's business model is entirely dependent upon the continuation and prevalence of DRM, especially as relates to Apple's Fairplay. As usual, poor journalism is a contributor here and should have picked this up rather than just referring to his history. I see no hypocrisy in Jobs statement, but a huge wad of it from DVD-Jon.
In a further note of irony, it should be remembered that DVD-Jon's home country is Norway - perhaps the most aggressive country pushing for changes in Apple's policies.
Tags: Apple, DRM, DVD-Jon, Steve Jobs