Apple's Steve Jobs Calls for DRM-free Music

In a rare and revealing open letter posted to Apple's website, co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs outlines the rise of iTunes and the bargains Apple had to make along the way, and he imagines the a future that could be DRM-free if the major lables would let it be so. In the piece, called Thoughts on Music, he states "Imagine a world where every online store sells DRM-free music encoded in open licensable formats. [...] This is clearly the best alternative for consumers, and Apple would embrace it in a heartbeat. If the big four music companies would license Apple their music without the requirement that it be protected with a DRM, we would switch to selling only DRM-free music on our iTunes store." It has long been suspected that it was only on the insistence of the "Big Four" music labels that Apple's FairPlay DRM was developed, and Jobs has previously stated that they tried to make it as unobtrusive as they could get away with. Note that he does not comment about any DRM on MacOS X or their tightly-controlled upcoming iPhone.