THE LEFSETZ LETTER: Hilary On Huffington

And this is why Democrats are losing in D.C. Complete avoidance of the ISSUE!

The issue isn't Apple not licensing Fairplay, it's the usage of DRM technology to begin with, and that's secondary to the primary issue of DISTRIBUTION and how P2P eclipses the iTunes Music Store, Rhapsody and all of the other crappy alternatives.

God, Apple's success isn't testimony to a bully forcing its viewpoint on the populace, rather a forward-thinking company creating something SO hot that the public clamors for it, buys it, even though it's EXPENSIVE! If the record business stopped beating up Apple and looked at it as a teacher, THEN progress would be made.

The iTunes Music Store is a sideshow. Plain and simple. If Hilary Rosen wanted to have an impact in the marketplace, she would talk about licensing P2P distribution. But if she did that, her former employer, the RIAA, would freak out. So, knowing who she owes, Hilary avoids the problem. THIS is why people have tuned the Democrats out. They've sold their souls to the corporations, but their main constituency is the PEOPLE! God, the corporations are the BASE of the Republican party, in order to succeed as a Democrat, you've got to give the PEOPLE something. The people aren't clamoring to play copy protected AACs on third party players, they're desirous of avoiding being sued by the RIAA.

Apple has ninety percent of the hard drive-based marketplace. And even though it only entered the flash business a handful of months ago, and had supply problems, in the first quarter of 2005, it already captured 57% of the market for THOSE devices. So, where is this huge group of people complaining that they can't use songs from the iTMS on their non-Apple players? Maybe those using Rhapsody and all the competitors who not only employ Microsoft's WMA format, but don't even make products usable on Apple Computers? And Apple's the culprit here?

FURTHERMORE, built into iTunes, which works on both Mac and Windows, is MP3 support. Which is a format all hand-held players use (except, of course, for some Sonys, which use their own special format). Why isn't Hilary beating up Microsoft, stating that it doesn't ship Windows Media Player with MP3-ripping support? That you've got to purchase an extra module, which most ignorant people aren't even aware of. Yes, Steve Jobs creates a totally user-friendly, seamless solution, and for this Apple gets CRAP??

And if the RIAA didn't insist on copy protection, if songs were sold in an open format, this wouldn't be a problem to begin with, would it?

But people don't want copy protected tracks for a buck. They want trading of a boatload of product. The key is to license this. If someone would just speak English in D.C., the public might pay attention, the record companies could stop bitching and start reaping.

But no, here we've got old wave politicians spewing their encrusted, paid for crap on the Internet. Just because you read it on a computer screen doesn't mean it's enlightened.

Hilary Rosen's Blog

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