'DRM Can be Experimented With', says RIAA Chief

A lot was made over Steve Jobs message to the RIAA Tuesday. The message, which gained widespread publicity in no small part due to the blogosphere, essentially said, “Hey we’re Apple. We built iTunes on FairPlay (Apple’s DRM scheme) because the music industry wanted it so, but we’d really like the music industry to reconsider DRM because it is failed and hurting them more.”

Today, the Washington Post would like you to believe that there was a flat out No from the music industry as stated by the headline, “Job’s Music Proposal Rebuff.” The Post does a fine job in spin here, especially since the chairman of the RIAA was quoted as saying:

“We don’t think that a wholesale abandonment of DRM is necessary,” said Mitch Bainwol, chairman and chief executive of the RIAA. “I think you’ll see some experimentation, but that’s a lot different from a policy saying ‘forget it.’ “

Da da da dum. In fact, the RIAA is recognizing the obvious and unarguable failure of DRM, but recognize that the principle of DRM is generally good – protect copyright holders, protect the industry, etc. The implementation sucks.

Tangent: I guess that’s always the struggle – principle vs. implementation. I wonder how often we can find that principle in other parts of life?

Hey, there’s room to compromise here, /methinks. I interpret this as an olive branch from the music industry to Apple, Microsoft and all the other music store-style companies out there. Come to the table. We may not agree right now, but let’s work something out that makes us all happy. I think Jobs should take that invite.