Posted by: Rob Hof on December 27, 2005
At what point does Apple’s DRM strategy and chokehold on the entertainment industry constitute a tying violation that trustbusters must pay attention to? Given all the trouble DRM is causing, this seems to me to be a bigger fish for Spitzer to fry than the one about collusion. If Apple is monopolizing the digital music distribution channel (and judging by the way the record labels are whining, it does), then, is it a tying violation if Apple’s technology is required to get at all that digital music? Particularly if Apple is refusing to license it to competitors (a.k.a. foreclosing on competition)?
I can’t speak for the legal implications, but those are pretty interesting questions. Me, I agree with Rex Hammock and Dave Winer that buying a CD and ripping it to your MP3 player (in effect backing up your digital music before you even put it on an MP3 player) is the only way to go until Apple and others make it dead easy to recover music lost in a hard-disk crash.