3GSM - After Jobs criticism, Warner exec defends DRM

Warner Music Group's CEO encouraged interoperability in the digital music industry.

The head of Warner Music Group defended the use of DRM (digital rights management) with digital music on Wednesday in an apparent response to recent criticism from Apple CEO Steve Jobs.

Jobs roiled the music industry last week by suggesting in a letter published on Apple's Web site that the music labels are to blame for the fact that music from Apple's iTunes music store can only be played on Apple's iPod music players -- something Apple has been criticized for.

"DRM and interoperability are not the same thing," Edgar Bronfman Jr., chairman and CEO of Warner Music Group, said in a speech at the 3GSM World Congress in Barcelona on Wednesday.

"We believe in interoperability," he said. "Consumers want it and should have it. We at Warner, and I hope the rest of the music and content industry, will make it as easy as possible to achieve interoperability."

Jobs said last week that Apple uses a proprietary DRM system because the music industry requires it to fix any failures in the technology in a short amount of time. If Apple shared its DRM technology it would not be able to meet that requirement, he said.

Bronfman did not mention Jobs or Apple by name but his remarks appeared to be in response to the criticism.

Apple has come under fire, particularly in Europe, for its DRM technology, which ties its music stores to its players. Apple isn't alone, however. Microsoft and Sony also operate digital music stores that require customers to play the music only on their own music players.

iTunes is the biggest digital music store, however, and the second largest, eMusic.com, only sells music that has no DRM.

Jobs also wrote that he would prefer to sell music without any DRM protection.

That's a concept Bronfman doesn't think is up for discussion.

"I don't agree that intellectual property should have no protection. We should all agree that intellectual property deserves some measure of protection," he said. "But that is distinct from the issue around interoperability."

Today's music protection environment isn't ideal, Bronfman admitted.

"There can't be so much protection that we create a poor consumer experience. We need to work to find perhaps a better balance than works today."

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Nancy Gohring

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill


I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?