Apple challenges music firms on anti-piracy stance

SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) - Steve Jobs on Tuesday issued a challenge to the music industry, saying Apple Inc. would support an open online music marketplace if the four largest music companies would allow their music to be sold in digital form without anti-piracy protections.

Jobs' proposal is controversial because record companies would have to drop their insistence on the use of digital-rights management software that blocks unauthorized downloads. But Jobs, outlining his stance in an essay posted on the Apple Web site, maintained that by doing so, the entire music industry would benefit.

Jobs said the so-called DRM software hasn't "worked, and may never work, to halt music piracy," and said the music companies receive few benefits from selling 90% of their music on CDs, which don't have the software built in, and the balance online with DRM technology.

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