Steve Jobs: world’s best linkbaiter

Wow, I was just doing my link blog and I see I’m the last guy in the world to link to Steve Jobs’ memo about DRM. Let me get this straight. He sells my family three iPods that have DRM on them, then he turns around and says “that game is over.” Yeah, I’m not cynical. He gets everyone in the blog world to say “yeeehaaww.”

Meanwhile we all forget that the iPhone isn’t open to third-party developers and that the iPod has near-monopoly-status marketshare already.

So, why is he doing this? Maybe he noticed that most iPod users don’t buy many songs from iTunes. Why? We’d rather get a CD from Amazon, rip it ourselves so it doesn’t have DRM, thus denying Steve Jobs his rightful $.99 a song.

But, like I said, I’m not a cynic. And, in case you’re already sick of Steve’s DRM memo, I only put three things onto my link blog about it with dozens of other things that aren’t on TechMeme or Digg.

Oh, and thanks Gerald Buckley for the kind words about my link blog. I love his metaphorical imagery: “In Guy Kawasaki speak… he eats like a hummingbird and poops like an elephant. If you don’t yet subscribe to Mr. Scoble’s link blog you might consider it. There are some fine gems in that poop!”

Poop, poop, poop, er, “J, J, Shift-S, J, J.”

165 thoughts on “Steve Jobs: world’s best linkbaiter

  1. I haven’t posted because Scoble was late to the party, and I knew John C. would take care of it, but here are two points:

    1. Scoble bitches about Apple and Jobs not blogging for more than 2 years, and when Steve does a direct communication with the web audience, he is labeled a “linkbaiter.”

    (This alone, on multiple levels, disqualifies Scoble and anyone who agrees with him from using anything close to a hypocrisy argument.)

    2. The iTS has surpassed Amazon on the list of the largest music distributors. People do not prefer to buy non-DRMed CDs from Amazon over the iTS anymore. Please check for facts if you want to make such silly arguments. WalMart, yes. Target, yes. Amazon, no.

  2. I haven’t posted because Scoble was late to the party, and I knew John C. would take care of it, but here are two points:

    1. Scoble bitches about Apple and Jobs not blogging for more than 2 years, and when Steve does a direct communication with the web audience, he is labeled a “linkbaiter.”

    (This alone, on multiple levels, disqualifies Scoble and anyone who agrees with him from using anything close to a hypocrisy argument.)

    2. The iTS has surpassed Amazon on the list of the largest music distributors. People do not prefer to buy non-DRMed CDs from Amazon over the iTS anymore. Please check for facts if you want to make such silly arguments. WalMart, yes. Target, yes. Amazon, no.

  3. No Jeff, he really isn’t.

    Note how, while he’s all over everything Apple, he avoids tons of MS silliness. Why?

    Not because he’s a shill, but because Apple gets him hits and links in FAR greater numbers than MS.

    Scoble: He’s the new Dvorak

    At least he’s not Enderle, that would require lithium and a straightjacket, ’cause that man is KAH-RAAAYYY-ZEE!

  4. No Jeff, he really isn’t.

    Note how, while he’s all over everything Apple, he avoids tons of MS silliness. Why?

    Not because he’s a shill, but because Apple gets him hits and links in FAR greater numbers than MS.

    Scoble: He’s the new Dvorak

    At least he’s not Enderle, that would require lithium and a straightjacket, ’cause that man is KAH-RAAAYYY-ZEE!

  5. Robert — do you and Thurrott call each other and collectively decide when to say stupid BS about Apple? Is that part of keeping your MS/Windows street cred intact? What gives?

    You’re better than this Robert. Way better. I expect this sort of shit from Thurrott, but not you.

  6. Robert — do you and Thurrott call each other and collectively decide when to say stupid BS about Apple? Is that part of keeping your MS/Windows street cred intact? What gives?

    You’re better than this Robert. Way better. I expect this sort of shit from Thurrott, but not you.

  7. fifthdecade: where have I said above that DRM is good? I think it’s pretty clear that I agree with Steve Jobs but just am questioning his motivation for doing this now.

  8. fifthdecade: where have I said above that DRM is good? I think it’s pretty clear that I agree with Steve Jobs but just am questioning his motivation for doing this now.

  9. Hmm. You’ve spent too much time in Europe. With the wrong people, obviously. How else can you take such a stance against common sense?

    Two weeks before Vista was launched, most people would have said that DRM was bad; two days after Vista launched and we have Vista inspired DRM scandals left right and centre – FAR worse than anything Apple has had anything to do with.

    Yet when someone comes along and rocks the Microsoft boat by saying “The Emperor has no clothes” and castigates the content providers for their DRM restrictions, you suddenly change position.

    Are you now saying that “DRM is good, after all, Microsoft has it, so it must be, right? I used to work there!”

  10. Hmm. You’ve spent too much time in Europe. With the wrong people, obviously. How else can you take such a stance against common sense?

    Two weeks before Vista was launched, most people would have said that DRM was bad; two days after Vista launched and we have Vista inspired DRM scandals left right and centre – FAR worse than anything Apple has had anything to do with.

    Yet when someone comes along and rocks the Microsoft boat by saying “The Emperor has no clothes” and castigates the content providers for their DRM restrictions, you suddenly change position.

    Are you now saying that “DRM is good, after all, Microsoft has it, so it must be, right? I used to work there!”

  11. Stefane is absolutely right, and it’s a point almost all of you are missing: DRM isn’t about piracy, it’s about restricting fair use. It’s about limiting customers, revoking rights guaranteed by law in order to create new “revenue streams.” It’s about enforcing the bullshit end-user licenses we agree to whenever purchasing a copy of an album, movie, software, etc. It’s about being anti-consumer. And to succeed, it will have to balance the annoyance with benefits so it can achieve wide adoption.

    The DVD is a good example. How annoying is it that you can’t make a backup of a tiny plastic disc prone to scratches without violating the DMCA? Or in a non-trivial manner? How many dead DVDs do you own, scratched to oblivion–or just enough that the movie stops halfway through? I own VHS cassettes from the 80s that still play perfectly today; a good number of the DVDs I purchased in the 90s are gone, and can’t be copied on new VHS VCRs.

    The Zune is also classic. An hypothetical unrestricted MP3 that you squirt–maybe you own it, maybe you wrote and recorded the song yourself–gets a bullshit DRM layer that causes it to explode. DRM restricting your legitimate rights.

    The record companies know exactly what they’re doing. And Steve Jobs is trying to change the conversation and make it about the customer again. That’s something Apple is very good at.

  12. Stefane is absolutely right, and it’s a point almost all of you are missing: DRM isn’t about piracy, it’s about restricting fair use. It’s about limiting customers, revoking rights guaranteed by law in order to create new “revenue streams.” It’s about enforcing the bullshit end-user licenses we agree to whenever purchasing a copy of an album, movie, software, etc. It’s about being anti-consumer. And to succeed, it will have to balance the annoyance with benefits so it can achieve wide adoption.

    The DVD is a good example. How annoying is it that you can’t make a backup of a tiny plastic disc prone to scratches without violating the DMCA? Or in a non-trivial manner? How many dead DVDs do you own, scratched to oblivion–or just enough that the movie stops halfway through? I own VHS cassettes from the 80s that still play perfectly today; a good number of the DVDs I purchased in the 90s are gone, and can’t be copied on new VHS VCRs.

    The Zune is also classic. An hypothetical unrestricted MP3 that you squirt–maybe you own it, maybe you wrote and recorded the song yourself–gets a bullshit DRM layer that causes it to explode. DRM restricting your legitimate rights.

    The record companies know exactly what they’re doing. And Steve Jobs is trying to change the conversation and make it about the customer again. That’s something Apple is very good at.

  13. Schlammschlacht – that is the german word for this sort of legal battle.

    http://www.out-law.com/page-7689

    They say their products are declared illegal in Norway. The concept they are dicussing is “contract law”. They violate the basics of contract law. Just for the record, I listen to no musik anymore. This is much better to watch and relax :-)

    Just a joke – what is a stock market bubble?

    http://finance.yahoo.com/q/bc?s=^DJI&t=5y&l=on&z=m&q=l&c=

  14. Schlammschlacht – that is the german word for this sort of legal battle.

    http://www.out-law.com/page-7689

    They say their products are declared illegal in Norway. The concept they are dicussing is “contract law”. They violate the basics of contract law. Just for the record, I listen to no musik anymore. This is much better to watch and relax :-)

    Just a joke – what is a stock market bubble?

    http://finance.yahoo.com/q/bc?s=^DJI&t=5y&l=on&z=m&q=l&c=

  15. Mike, you know why i hate it when people get all emotional about something and then back down?

    because at that point, it’s like they lost their passion, they were afraid of raising a stink, and they get boring.

    When Mike Bartosh died, I used a quote from Mel Brooks in the post I did on it, because it described him:

    ”Look, I don’t want to wax philosophic, but I will say that if you’re alive you’ve got to flap your arms and legs, you’ve got to jump around a lot, for life is the very opposite of death, and therefore you must at [the] very least think noisy and colorfully, or you’re not alive.”

    if you think something’s stupid say so. Don’t tiptoe around it, afraid to hurt a feeling. Speak boldly and bluntly. If you find out you’re wrong, accept that gracefully, but never give into the people who counsel passivity.

    If someone can’t handle that, then instead of you apologizing and shoring up their self-esteem, maybe they need to question why they need others to feel good about themselves. So someone calls you an asshole.

    So what?

    I mean it.

    So

    What.

    Maybe you were. Maybe you didn’t mean to be, but you were. What, you’re supposed to run and hide, or stop being who you are because someone didn’t like it? You’re supposed to judge yourself on what random people you don’t know think? [waves dismissively] pfeh. Doesn’t make you a bad person, it just makes you human. Everyone’s an asshole throughout the day. It’s unavoidable.

    In many ways, being an asshole is how you stand up for yourself. Disagreeing is an inherently offensive thing to do. You’re telling someone “I think you’re wrong.” It’s your inner asshole that gives you the strength to do that, to ford your own course when everyone else says “No, do it OUR way or you suck”.

    Bah. If you cannot say what you feel, if you cannot say what you mean, then why bother speaking at all.

  16. Mike, you know why i hate it when people get all emotional about something and then back down?

    because at that point, it’s like they lost their passion, they were afraid of raising a stink, and they get boring.

    When Mike Bartosh died, I used a quote from Mel Brooks in the post I did on it, because it described him:

    ”Look, I don’t want to wax philosophic, but I will say that if you’re alive you’ve got to flap your arms and legs, you’ve got to jump around a lot, for life is the very opposite of death, and therefore you must at [the] very least think noisy and colorfully, or you’re not alive.”

    if you think something’s stupid say so. Don’t tiptoe around it, afraid to hurt a feeling. Speak boldly and bluntly. If you find out you’re wrong, accept that gracefully, but never give into the people who counsel passivity.

    If someone can’t handle that, then instead of you apologizing and shoring up their self-esteem, maybe they need to question why they need others to feel good about themselves. So someone calls you an asshole.

    So what?

    I mean it.

    So

    What.

    Maybe you were. Maybe you didn’t mean to be, but you were. What, you’re supposed to run and hide, or stop being who you are because someone didn’t like it? You’re supposed to judge yourself on what random people you don’t know think? [waves dismissively] pfeh. Doesn’t make you a bad person, it just makes you human. Everyone’s an asshole throughout the day. It’s unavoidable.

    In many ways, being an asshole is how you stand up for yourself. Disagreeing is an inherently offensive thing to do. You’re telling someone “I think you’re wrong.” It’s your inner asshole that gives you the strength to do that, to ford your own course when everyone else says “No, do it OUR way or you suck”.

    Bah. If you cannot say what you feel, if you cannot say what you mean, then why bother speaking at all.

  17. Steve Jobs sells DRM even on music that music companies don’t require DRM on. This proves that Steve jobs is just trying to put himself in a position where he can tell himself that he had something to do with the end of DRM. It’s a well known fact that the record companies are all discussing removing DRM. Steve probably knows more about this, and he’s making a power play here just to make it seem like he had something to do with it.

    What the music companies sell elsewhere has no bearing on what they license to Apple for iTunes.

    Hell, you can’t even get ONE license from Sony or Universal for all countries. You have to do them separately. Lame.

  18. Steve Jobs sells DRM even on music that music companies don’t require DRM on. This proves that Steve jobs is just trying to put himself in a position where he can tell himself that he had something to do with the end of DRM. It’s a well known fact that the record companies are all discussing removing DRM. Steve probably knows more about this, and he’s making a power play here just to make it seem like he had something to do with it.

    What the music companies sell elsewhere has no bearing on what they license to Apple for iTunes.

    Hell, you can’t even get ONE license from Sony or Universal for all countries. You have to do them separately. Lame.

  19. “How about France, Germany, Denmark and Norway?”

    I think the UK sells twice as many ‘tunes as all those countries combined.

    Yawn.

    “And spare us the sexist rubbish.”

    Spare me the tech chicks saying unbelievably stupid things.

  20. “How about France, Germany, Denmark and Norway?”

    I think the UK sells twice as many ‘tunes as all those countries combined.

    Yawn.

    “And spare us the sexist rubbish.”

    Spare me the tech chicks saying unbelievably stupid things.

  21. [...]Yeah, losing the money pile that is Norway would really kill the momentum that the undisputed market dominator has with its culturally-defining device.[...]

    How about France, Germany, Denmark and Norway? These aren’t some fly-over states inhabited by people who’ve only just discovered the combustion engine…

    And spare us the sexist rubbish.

  22. [...]Yeah, losing the money pile that is Norway would really kill the momentum that the undisputed market dominator has with its culturally-defining device.[...]

    How about France, Germany, Denmark and Norway? These aren’t some fly-over states inhabited by people who’ve only just discovered the combustion engine…

    And spare us the sexist rubbish.

  23. “It was only a matter of time until Apple was forced to make this move.”

    Yeah, losing the money pile that is Norway would really kill the momentum that the undisputed market dominator has with its culturally-defining device.

    I guess those 2 billion iTunes downloads and the dominant market share among players really backed Jobs into the corner.

    Thanks for proving the old addage: “Girls are dumb.”

  24. “It was only a matter of time until Apple was forced to make this move.”

    Yeah, losing the money pile that is Norway would really kill the momentum that the undisputed market dominator has with its culturally-defining device.

    I guess those 2 billion iTunes downloads and the dominant market share among players really backed Jobs into the corner.

    Thanks for proving the old addage: “Girls are dumb.”

  25. I’m right there with you– what you mean when you say you “bought iPods with DRM” is that you bought the iPods so that they could all play all the crap you downloaded from iTunes.

    It was only a matter of time until Apple was forced to make this move. We’re all about sharing.

  26. I’m right there with you– what you mean when you say you “bought iPods with DRM” is that you bought the iPods so that they could all play all the crap you downloaded from iTunes.

    It was only a matter of time until Apple was forced to make this move. We’re all about sharing.

  27. I’m not attacking you by calling you an ass, I’m calling it like I see it. I have nothing against you. If I did, I wouldn’t read your blog. That’s simple.

    Here’s how I see it: Someone you don’t like to agree with (for whatever reasons) publicly speaks about something you agree with, benefitting your stance. All you can say is that he’s being an opportunist. But that defies logic.

    How is DRM beneficial to a technology company? It’s not if you’re Apple because it’s that much more work for you to support it. Also, it limits your market: if someone has a Zune, they can’t buy songs from iTunes, and if someone has a huge library of PlaysForSure, they might not buy an iPod (where the money is) because they’d have a bunch of useless music they couldn’t use on it. Of course they couldn’t buy a Zune either, but that’s for another time.

    Apple has never needed or liked DRM. The music industry required it. I address this on my own blog…

    But that doesn’t prevent everyone who doesn’t like Apple from spreading FUD about their stance on DRM. Steve clarifies, and it’s opportunism. But, wait, even if it were opportunism, isn’t that what a for-profit company is supposed to do? Find opportunities in the market? But what’s really being said here is “our product is best, the market is backing us up, and we don’t need artificial barriers to restrict competition. Bring it on.”

    My point to my first reply, and this reply is simply, “Don’t come from the John C. Dvorak and Rob Enderle school of FUD and yellow journalism. Don’t post stuff that’s blatantly wrong just to get hits on your blog and stir up commotion.”

  28. I’m not attacking you by calling you an ass, I’m calling it like I see it. I have nothing against you. If I did, I wouldn’t read your blog. That’s simple.

    Here’s how I see it: Someone you don’t like to agree with (for whatever reasons) publicly speaks about something you agree with, benefitting your stance. All you can say is that he’s being an opportunist. But that defies logic.

    How is DRM beneficial to a technology company? It’s not if you’re Apple because it’s that much more work for you to support it. Also, it limits your market: if someone has a Zune, they can’t buy songs from iTunes, and if someone has a huge library of PlaysForSure, they might not buy an iPod (where the money is) because they’d have a bunch of useless music they couldn’t use on it. Of course they couldn’t buy a Zune either, but that’s for another time.

    Apple has never needed or liked DRM. The music industry required it. I address this on my own blog…

    But that doesn’t prevent everyone who doesn’t like Apple from spreading FUD about their stance on DRM. Steve clarifies, and it’s opportunism. But, wait, even if it were opportunism, isn’t that what a for-profit company is supposed to do? Find opportunities in the market? But what’s really being said here is “our product is best, the market is backing us up, and we don’t need artificial barriers to restrict competition. Bring it on.”

    My point to my first reply, and this reply is simply, “Don’t come from the John C. Dvorak and Rob Enderle school of FUD and yellow journalism. Don’t post stuff that’s blatantly wrong just to get hits on your blog and stir up commotion.”

  29. “Apple doesn’t control the rights to the music is sells, the record companies do. Same with the Zune music store, and it has even MORE restrictions. Furthermore, MS is paying a BRIBE to Universal for every Zune it sells in order to get the muisc at all!”

    Yeah, I must’ve missed Scoble’s scathing retort to that DRM clusterfuck…

    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=robert+scoble+Zune

    Ah, the results speak for themselves. If that preening Mac vs. PC retard-o-fest video didn’t prove you’re still a technically incompetent Microsoft fanboy, this does.

    Scoble’s Modus Operandi:

    1. Damn [insert company he works for or used to work for] with some minor quibbles.

    2. Bask in an artificial impartiality.

    3. Shit all over the nearest competitor like a rabid dog with diarrhea.

    4. ???

    5. Profit!

  30. “Apple doesn’t control the rights to the music is sells, the record companies do. Same with the Zune music store, and it has even MORE restrictions. Furthermore, MS is paying a BRIBE to Universal for every Zune it sells in order to get the muisc at all!”

    Yeah, I must’ve missed Scoble’s scathing retort to that DRM clusterfuck…

    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=robert+scoble+Zune

    Ah, the results speak for themselves. If that preening Mac vs. PC retard-o-fest video didn’t prove you’re still a technically incompetent Microsoft fanboy, this does.

    Scoble’s Modus Operandi:

    1. Damn [insert company he works for or used to work for] with some minor quibbles.

    2. Bask in an artificial impartiality.

    3. Shit all over the nearest competitor like a rabid dog with diarrhea.

    4. ???

    5. Profit!

  31. Steve Jobs sells DRM even on music that music companies don’t require DRM on. This proves that Steve jobs is just trying to put himself in a position where he can tell himself that he had something to do with the end of DRM. It’s a well known fact that the record companies are all discussing removing DRM. Steve probably knows more about this, and he’s making a power play here just to make it seem like he had something to do with it.

    I can see Steve Jobs sitting with Al Gore in a few years. Al says, you know Steve, I did some critical research, which is responsible for the internet, without which your great safari browser, would just be browsing the local hard drive!! I know Al, Steve says, but I did put an end to that nasty DRM! Yeah, you are great Steve, Al says. Steve says, I know Al, we both are great people!.

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