Rumors Swirling Around Apple’s Fairplay DRM

    January 17, 2007
  is reporting that Apple will announce this week that it is opening up it’s Fairplay DRM so that it may be licensed by device manufacturers who are members of the “Made for iPod” group of manufacturers.

Please don’t let it all be a dirty lie; could Apple really be cracking when it comes to DRM? Might it be possible that the company is actually putting its ear to the ground and hearing the pulse of the consumer?

Nothing is official as of yet, but if it’s true, the announcement could mark a monumental first step in loosening up the notoriously stringent content Fairplay restrictions that have been ever bemoaned by audiophiles the world over.

More from the piece:

This will have the effect of enabling you to play songs bought from the iTunes Store through third party devices like hi-fis using digital connections. It may also mean that devices like iPod docks will be able to display more information – artwork and other track info, for example – which is stored alongside the protected audio.

John Falcone over at Crave (a division of CNET) weighs in as well:

If it pans out, the change could be a big deal and a positive development for consumers. Thus far, paid iTunes content has remained locked within Apple’s proprietary ecosystem, shackling buyers with “iHandcuffs” that essentially forces them to use Apple hardware and software if they wish to enjoy iTunes-purchased media (music, movies, TV shows). By licensing FairPlay to other companies, iTunes media get the potential to be more transportable.

Of course, all of this is merely speculation as Apple has neither confirmed nor denied the validity of this rumor.

Some analysts see the move as a preemptive strike to appease Apple’s “Made for iPod” partners, encouraging them to stay on board rather than migrate toward Microsoft’s Zune media player.

I’m not sure how much I buy into that logic, however, seeing that Zune isn’t even close to challenging iPod for portable media supremacy. It would be the equivalent of the New England Patriots going out and acquiring free agents in order to prevent them from signing with the an Arena League team.

Why would you fear that kind of inferior competition?

More news on this as it develops; hopefully Apple will shed some light on the subject later this week.

Add to | Digg | Reddit | Furl

Joe is a staff writer for WebProNews. Visit WebProNews for the latest ebusiness news.