Argument against FairPlay licensing bogus?
Feb 8, 2007
So one needs to step back and think about the alternatives. Apple's closed FairPlay DRM model has been under a fair amount of criticism recently. It's something I've personally never been fond of at all either. In his letter, Jobs argues against opening up the model and licensing it to partners, claiming that it would result in a higher probability of the DRM system getting compromised. However, is this really true?
Ars Technica's Ken Fisher examines Jobs' claim by comparing FairPlay against Microsoft's open DRM model (codenamed Janus), and shows how FairPlay was compromised more often than Janus in the same timeframe, although Janus was being used by several Microsoft partners. Jon Johansen (aka DVD Jon), who became famous for breaking FairPlay several times, also weighs in with his thoughts, dismissing Jobs' claim. It's an interesting perspective, and one that I'm more inclined to agree with.
What do you think? Does Jobs' argument really hold true against the facts that have been presented? If we put aside the thought of an ideal world where DRM ceases to exist, would you rather have Apple license FairPlay to partners for the sake of interoperability, or would you prefer that it be left just the way it is today?