Norway Responds to Jobs’ “Thoughts on Music”

MacNN is reporting on Norway’s response to Steve Job’s open letter to the music industry that was posted yesterday.

Senior advisor Torgeir Waterhouse of the Norwegian Consumer Council has this to say:

“We’re happy to see Steve Jobs take on the responsibility that follows from Apple’s role as one of the leading companies in the digital sphere and comment on the complaint issued by the Norwegian Consumer Council,” Waterhouse told MacNN, referring to Jobs’ letter. “Our concern is of course that it’s Apple and [the] iTunes Music Store [that] should be addressing the issue of record companies and DRM themselves if it needs to be addressed – and as we’ve stated earlier it’s iTunes Music Store that’s providing a service to the consumers and therefore has the responsibility to offer up a consumer friendly product.”

“[Steve Jobs] also goes on to turn the whole issue on its head by stating iPod owners are not locked into [the] iTunes Music Store – the issue our complaint [addresses] is of course the opposite, iTunes Music Store customers are locked to the iPod.”

The article wraps up with these final comments from Torgeir in reference to Jobs’ willingness to sell DRM free music to consumer if the studio would let them:

“This is really good news – news that should be put into action as soon as possible to bring us all one important step closer to a well functioning digital society.”

It seems very clear to me, at this point, that Norway and any of these other countries joining with them, are going after the wrong group of people. Apple, Microsoft, and anyone else selling mp3 players with locked down music, are not the problem.

The Recording Industry is.

What Norway should be doing (in my opinion) is telling the Recording Industry to either sell their music online DRM free…or get their music out of the country. Completely. CDs and all.

Apple, Microsoft any any other mp3 player manufacturer are not capable of making this decision. They HAVE to have industry approval to do it. Apple may be in the best position to change the status quo…but ultimately the ball is in the record label’s court.

Comments

  1. Maybe they’re not going after the recording industry because they know Apple won’t sue children or little old ladies.

  2. I grew up in Minnesota, and I can tell you, Norwegians are just not right in the head.

    They can see the tractor in the ditch but not the snowstorm that drove it there. If a tornado picks up your cow and smashes it into their barn, they’ll charge you for fixing the barn.

  3. EXACTLY. Norway wants action, not words? It’s like they’re demanding that Key Food sell purple tomatoes. But Key Food can’t do that unless some farmers step up and grow them. Apple is a retailer, they can only sell what suppliers give them to sell. As of now the major record labels only supply DRM-encumbered music downloads. Your proposal is a great one: Norway can pressure the suppliers to much greater effect than by a stupid lawsuit against the retailer.

    Of course, there are some ways Apple can – and might – push this. A great suggestion I saw is to license the Beatles’ catalogue. Since they aren’t beholden to the big labels, introducing Beatles music as the first without DRM would make a great splash. Likewise, Apple gets music from many labels who don’t care about DRM. Apple sells plenty of music that also appear on eMusic as DRM-less MP3s. Why not sell those tracks without DRM? (Of course that would also strike a blow at eMusic, Apple’s biggest, if still pretty small, competitor.)

  4. This is great^^
    Seems like it’s all gonna get better now :)
    Oh, and BTW, Bob: Don’t you f**king talk bad about norwegian you bastard!
    I’m one myself and proud of it. Americans sure ain’t no better.

  5. Gary Morgan says:

    Since legal wrangles with Finland, Norway, France, Germany and the Netherlands will ultimately cause a heavy drain on Apple in terms of legal costs, perhaps Apple should withdrawn iTunes from that market – at least for a while. iTunes is not a high profit making venture anyway. Let some parts of Europe stew in their own juices for a while.

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