Sunday, February 11

Apple vs. Warner Music, who do you believe?

From: / Companies / Media & internet - Digital music rights furore deepens

"Edgar Bronfman, Warner Music?s chief executive, on Thursday slapped down Steve Jobs?s suggestion that record companies do away with copyright protections for digital music in order to spur the market?s growth.

Mr Bronfman, speaking to investors as Warner announced its earnings, called Mr Jobs?s argument ?completely without logic or merit? and said his company was committed to the continued use of copyright protections, known as digital rights management, in the same way that software makers and film studios safeguard their intellectual property.

Mr Bronfman is the first head of one of the major record companies to publicly reject the Apple chief executive?s suggestion, which was published as an open letter on Tuesday. Several, however, have privately fumed about the idea, calling it disingenuous.

The goal of making it easier to play music on different devices, they said, could be easily achieved if Apple would licence its own DRM software, known as FairPlay, to competitors ? something that European regulators are pressing it to do.

As the dispute dragged on, Warner?s earnings reflected the shaky state of a music industry struggling to offset a continued erosion in the CD business with new digital sales. For the quarter, Warner?s revenue fell 11 per cent from $1.04bn to $928m while its net income slid 74 per cent to $18. At midday, its shares had dropped more than 5 per cent to $20.31.

While digital revenues increased 45 per cent to $100m from the same quarter a year ago, they dipped $4m from the previous quarter, underscoring some analysts? concerns that the furious growth in digital music sales was beginning to moderate."

It's still early in the process, but do you believe the guy on the sinking ship or the guy who's ship has full sail. Forgeting "logic" for a second, has more *merit*?

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