If Steve Jobs is really serious about wanting to get rid of DRM and not just hoping to sway European regulators to blame someone other than Apple for the vertical integration of music downloads, he should take Larry Lessig’s suggestion:
But then here’s a simple next step: There are artists on iTunes whose creative work is Creative Commons licensed. Colin Mutchler is one. When his stuff first went into iTunes, he requested the DRM be turned off. The request was refused. But if no-DRM is Apple’s preferred policy, then let them begin here.
Ed Felten’s response to the Jobs letter is also interesting. I agree that Jobs is framing the debate. Jobs knows the record labels aren’t ready to drop DRM entirely, and he wants to convince people that as long as the record labels won’t give in, Apple has no intention of licensing their FairPlay DRM to anybody. I don’t object to that framing too much, in that I have no interest in “open” DRM. I don’t buy DRM-protected music.
Update: Jon Gruber’s analysis is worth a look.