Brad King who writes about emerging technology and culture for MIT's Technology Review is speaking out against Apple's digital restrictions [sic] management (DRM) strategy:
...Jobs' deal with the entertainment industry and its DRM practices are bad for consumers....[having to hack DRM to DVD-ize TV recordings] is not what really, really sticks in my craw. I reserve that (possibly irrational) anger for the iPod and iTunes, two music products that are so restrictive in their licensing and user set-ups that I have never been able to bring myself to download the software to purchase music through iTunes or pony up the cash to by an iPod....Jobs has, by and large, become a proxy for the music and movie industries in the continual eroding of consumer rights in a digital age. And -- for everyone who shells out their hard-earned money for the latest and greatest gadget -- you've all fallen for it.
What's unfortunate about King's original post is that he had to start off by apologizing because he knew his opinion wouldn't be very popular with the Apple crowd. What's even more unfortunate is that due to the comments he received, he apparently had to update his entry with an even more fleshed out defense of his position. It's proof to me that a lot of people are so star-struck by Apple's offerings (or Jobs, or Bono) that they're willing to do more than just turn a blind eye to the havoc being wrought on consumers. In a merger of forces with the dark side, they're willing to defend it too. How sad. Perhaps King's closing thought more eloquently cuts to the chase of my sheeple blog:
..what really gets to me is that I think all of the Apple users around the planet know this already, but simply have stopped caring -- and I can't figure out why. However, I think I may have figured it out, thanks to one unnamed person who said to me: "Yes, but the iPod is so cute."
So, to Brad, welcome to the good fight (where you're standing shoulder-to-shoulder with the likes of Cory Doctorow, the Electronic Frontier Foundation's John Gilmore, and Doc Searls... see his posting from CES where DRM is at this very moment being irretrievably driven into our rights like a wooden stake). There's no need to apologize. Those people owe you an apology and will probably do so when they finally realize the seeds they've sown. We can use more voices like yours calling out to the masses from the respected techno-campuses in Cambridge and other locales. Written with no apologies.