Wednesday, January 09, 2008

The Lock-in

I am so sick of this crap. Some noodle over at business-weak did it again today. He was talking about iTunes and movies and iPods and DRM and dragged in the tired, lame-ass babble about Apple not wanting to give up its iTunes lock-in and have to compete with other mp3 players.

People, people, people.

The man in the moon is not made of green cheese.

Toads don't give you warts.

The earth is not flat, nor does the universe revolve around it.

Sneezing three times in a row does not mean you're pregnant.

There is no Apple lock-in. None. It does not exist. The roughly 3% of songs on iPods that are downloaded from iTunes have DRM on them. That leaves ~97% of the music on iPods NOT CONTAINING DRM OF ANY KIND. That is not lock-in.

The frigging innertubes are chock-a-block full of music with NO COPY PROTECTION.

It is possible to download a recording of any singer, instrumentalist, barking dog, and random fart-like noise on the internet for free – without DRM. Right now. Anything you want is just lying there waiting for a home. All you have to do is pick it up and take it. You have to be illiterate, blind, and crazy not to know that infinite free music is available. You almost have to kick free stuff out of your way to move about the web. Yet right there, on the corner of Free and Unencumbered, the iTunes store has sold 3+ BILLION tracks. Who bought those songs?

The punditbot made the suppository that Apple wouldn't be in a hurry to drop their DRM because of wanting to keep the non-existent lock-in. The very first record company that offered to sell unencumbered tracks on iTunes is doing so. It's called EMI. Have you heard of them? Reluctant to give up DRM? Based on what? The voices in your head? Get a frigging grip, man. The facts are pretty easy to see. Apple eagerly dropped DRM at the first opportunity. They haven't been offered another chance. The measurable data says Apple will drop DRM like a hot turd from a high horse as soon as the RIAA decides to stop shooting themselves in the foot.

The other part of that assertion is that Apple is afraid of competition. Shit. The only thing Apple has to worry about is that they'll become a real monopoly by default. The rest of the tech industry doesn't seem to be able to get any of their innovations out of committee – and just for the record: A yellow, paisley, leather case cover on a cheesy-ass laptop is NOT innovation. Successfully selling a piece of shit like that for $13.2k is innovative in a P.T. Barnum sort of way, but there sure as hell isn't any technical advance involved.

So, hey there! Business-weak! Are you not looking at facts? Too stupid to get facts? Or are you deliberately lying?

Okay. One more cup of coffee. But that's it. I get edgy.