In an article in today’s Boston Globe, Bray blasts Apple for not opening up the iTunes Music Store’s Digital Rights Management to RealNetwork’s online music store, or other stores. How is that “opinion” construed as “yellow journalism?”
First, what’s yellow journalism? Here’s a great quote from TNT:
“In 1898, newspapers provided the major source of news in America. At this time, it was common practice for a newspaper to report the editor’s interpretation of the news rather than objective journalism. If the information reported was inaccurate or biased, the American public had little means for verification. With this sort of influence, the newspapers wielded much political power.”
“In order to increase circulation, the publishers of these papers often exploited their position by sponsoring a flamboyant and irresponsible approach to news reporting that became known as “yellow journalism.” Though the term was originally coined to describe the journalistic practices of Joseph Pulitzer, William Randolph Hearst proved himself worthy of the title. Today, it is his name that is synonymous with “yellow journalism.”
It certainly appears that writer Bray has concocted a non-story story about Apple encouraging people to steal digital music. Is there proof offered to support the accusation?
In the tradition of yellow journalism, of course not. The headline simply states that “Apple’s music operation hits a sour note.” What’s the sour note? Bray wants Apple to let the iPod play music from other online download music sites, like RealNetworks.
Since over 70-percent of all online download music sales in the US come from Apple’s iTunes Music Store, it also appears that Bray is in the vast-less minority. Everyone else is voting with their purchases. What does Real’s online store offer that iTunes Music Store does not?
• More songs
• Better quality recordings
• Compatibility with Mac and Windows
• Compaitiblity with most popular music players
• Easier purchase capability (have you tried Real?)
Bray says consumers pay a price for Apple’s DRM system, called FairPlay. However, the “price” being paid isn’t described. In fact, there are few “facts” to support any argument presented in the piece at all.
“Songs purchased from iTunes can be played only on a limited number of computers, and on only one portable music player, Apple’s iPod. Music lovers don’t seem to mind, though. Apple has sold about 3 million iPods, making it the most popular such device on earth.”
How does that have anything to do with encouraging people to steal digital music? Did you ever watch the old TV program, Quantum Leap? Get ready.
Bray says that keeping music sold on the iTunes Music Store only available on the iPod and allowing only iTMS music to play on the iPod is an incitement to steal music.
“It’s also an incitement to steal music. Only honest music lovers have to worry as they buy from RealAudio or iTunes or the new, legal version of Napster, about which music players will play which songs. RealNetworks’ new technology offers a way out: an all-purpose antipiracy system that will work with everybody else’s, making it easy for consumers to stay on the right side of the law. But Apple’s not having it, because Steve Jobs is a jealous god who will have no false technologies before him. As a result, the heretics will say the heck with it, log onto Kazaa or some other peer-to-peer file-swapping service, and steal music instead. Since his amazing comeback as Apple chief executive in 1997, Jobs hasn’t made a single major mistake—until now.”
Whoa. What’s that all about? Is that a quote without support, or what? Is it “yellow journalism?” Note that definition again:
“to increase circulation, the publishers of these papers often exploited their position by sponsoring a flamboyant and irresponsible approach to news reporting that became known as “yellow journalism.”
Without citing any supporting trends, facts, figures, or any other quotes from industry insiders (except the ever-present Tim Bagarin, known as the “I’ll give you a quote. What do you want me to say” industry guru, Bray leaps from the Apple – RealNetworks jockeying for marketing position issue (Apple’s winning this one), to telling the world that Apple is encouraging people to steal music.
Shame on you, Hiawatha Bray. Shame on the Boston Globe for such apparent “yellow journalism” tactics. This is not 1898. People pay more attention today.
Bray’s rant can be found Here.
What’s his view of “yellow journalism”?
“Sheesh! A little perspective, please. Think it through.
Real is trying to create a market in which its DRM becomes the standard, because it runs on anything. In such a market, the incentive to steal music is lessened, because there’s none of the current head-scratching about whether this or that file will play on this or that player.
Apple wants a world in which iPod players can only listen to iTunes music, or raw MP3s. All other DRMs are verboten.
So what happens if the only legal copies of a particular tune are available only in a non-Apple DRM? iPod listeners will either do without—or swipe the stuff. This would be equally true if Rio users wanted to listen to something available only through iTunes.
It’s obvious that this approach encourages music theft. How much theft, I dunno. But inevitably, some fans will respond by hunting up unprotected, illegal MP3s of desirable files.
From the music industry’s standpoint, the best approach is a universal DRM or at least multiple interoperable DRMs. Exclusivity only benefits Apple—nobody else. And in the process, the company sets back the cause of digital music.
That’s my column and I’m sticking to it!
Come on, Hiawatha. Real’s stuff does NOT run on anything. Like Mac’s, for instance. Head scatching? Since Apple handles 70-percent of the legal downloads there doesn’t seem to be that much “scratching” of heads, don’t you think?
The quantum leap that users will do without music or swipe stuff isn’t answered with anything but perverted logic.
Now, would you like to know what’s on people’s iPods; legal or illegal music? The latest poll can be found by clicking Here.