Responding to thoughts on music

I spent most of last night offline, and only logged on at midnight to see what was up. Well, it turns out that a lot was up, and I felt compelled to spend the next couple hours crafting my response to the news at the mediadescri.be blog:

The majors’ implicit message in floating the idea of DRM-free music was, “You may enjoy your position as the major digital music portal today because of the dominant position we granted you, but we can take it away and open it to all comers by advocating MP3s.”

That brings us to today. Steve Jobs’ “Thoughts on Music” is a masterful document…. It is an open letter to the majors in response to the anti-DRM whispering campaign of the past couple months. Jobs calls the majors’ bluff and says, “Go ahead, punks. I’ll call your bluff. Let’s all sell DRM-free music. Apple still has the clout to offer the most compelling top-to-bottom experience.” In one swift blow, Jobs has cut off any majors-initiated whispering campaign at the knees by getting worldwide attention as only he could.

I sort of bury the lede, but I like how the thousand-word post is pull-quoteable. I’m also fairly pleased to have something to say about the issue that’s at least a little off the beaten track. Sadly, there are thousands of responses already, and it’ll be hard to get any attention. I do faintly regret that I hadn’t gotten to writing up the first half of the article (that the anti-DRM whispers are really the majors trying to find a bargaining wedge with Apple) earlier, as those thoughts had been forming for a while, but I like how it all comes together with yesterday’s news.