No one is innocent

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So spoke monkey boy Steve Ballmer when he accused iPod users have having devices filled with pirated music. Just in the same way as open standards means compatiable with any 32bit version of Windows, so pirated means not using proprietary Microsoft technology. If you are offended about being called a thief, you can tell Steve what a klutz he is here.

My comments to Microsoft yesterday were as follows:

As an iPod owner I am considering taking legal advice with regards comments that Steve Balmer made that have been widely reported in the media. I do not have pirate content on my iPod. I found his remarks very offensive and will be reconsidering my own and my companies use of Microsoft Office in the future.

I expect a written apology to be forthcoming.

If you are struggling for sufficiently expressive words to use in your complaint have a look here.

UPDATE: Microsoft replied to my comments below



Date:Thu Oct 07, 2004 06:56:00 PM BST

Subject:CST177380468ID – RE:Microsoft.Com ContactUS


Thank you for contacting Customer Support with your feedback. We apologize for the delayed response.

I realize that you are reacting on and are offended on a comment made about the music format in Apple’s iPod. We would like to assure you that when Steve Ballmer implied that most of the music on iPods were stolen, he absolutely did not intend to single out iPod owners for criticism. In fact, given that they have access to their very own – and very popular – online music store, they are likely among the most law-abiding consumers of digital music.

But the reality is that piracy remains high in terms of illegal downloads of music, and while online music services are getting better and better and winning more customers, piracy is still a major problem both on the PC and on devices. Microsoft Windows Media digital rights management (DRM) is a great way to limit piracy, and the main point Steve was trying to convey was that it requires a coordinated effort among many industry partners to do it right. More information on this platform is found on this page: http://www dot microsoft dot com/windows/windowsmedia/drm/faq.aspx If you have other suggestions or comments, please feel free to send us another e-mail.


Teresa Customer Support

Windows Media DRM has been around for a while, it can be used to limit DRM but has had a limited popularity with consumers hence the reason why iTunes Music Store has much more traffic than the likes of OD2. In fact Apple’s Fairplay system has been accepted my all the major record labels and many UK independent labels such Ministry of Sound (who have their own download service based on Windows Media DRM) have complained about not been allowed on to iTMS fast enough. There is also the wider question of whether DRM is counterproductive and would recommend a read about this initative from successful independent European record label !K7 Records.UPDATE TWO (Friday October, 8 2004 late):

This entry has made the hallowed webpages of El Reg. You can read senior writer John Lettice’s take by following this link.

The Register is read by some 2.4 million individuals worldwide who are interested in technology, if you are one of those readers welcome.

Note: I put the dots in the MS URL so as not to increase the Google Page Ranking of their ‘great way to limit piracy’ but still allow those interested to get the web address for their own interest.

UPDATE THREE (Saturday October, 9 2004):

Wilkommen to any readers of IT&W and Mac Daily News