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Here we'll explore the nexus of legal rulings, Capitol Hill policy-making, technical standards development, and technological innovation that creates -- and will recreate -- the networked world as we know it. Among the topics we'll touch on: intellectual property conflicts, technical architecture and innovation, the evolution of copyright, private vs. public interests in Net policy-making, lobbying and the law, and more.

Disclaimer: the opinions expressed in this weblog are those of the authors and not of their respective institutions.

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June 16, 2004

The Sony-fication of Apple?

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Posted by Ernest Miller

Jupiter Research analyst David Card points to a Wall Street Journal article that isn't freely available online that has some interesting statements from Steve Jobs (Jobs Changes Tune?):

The Journal says Apple's - or is it Pixar? - Steve Jobs is advising holding off on HD DVDs until they're secure [apparently DRM].

This is actually sort of interesting. Could this be the beginning of some tension between Jobs as consumer electronics/PC person and Jobs as content person? Will this mean the Sony-fication of Apple?

UPDATE

JD Lasica has much more: Has Jobs gone Hollywood?.

Comments (3) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: IP Abuse


COMMENTS

1. cypherpunk on June 16, 2004 4:51 PM writes...

Sony's situation is a bit different, as the various divisions are under the same financial roof. The job of top management is to maximize profits, and they make their tradeoffs between supporting content and supporting technology on that basis.

But with Jobs, Apple shareholders get no benefit when he takes positions to support Pixar (and vice versa). Now, it's their own fault that they have put themselves into this position by allowing their CEO to wear these two hats. But still it is much more questionable whether Apple will permit Jobs to advocate positions that will harm Apple's interests. His calls to reduce the availability of HD DVDs and to keep the new DVD recorders out of home computers can only hurt Apple.

Anybody else would be fired out of hand for taking such positions. Jobs may be an exception; Apple probably needs him more than he needs Apple. But still I'm sure he will receive enormous pressure from Apple stakeholders to moderate his position on this issue. They can't allow their CEO to work actively against the company's interests.

Permalink to Comment

2. christian on June 16, 2004 5:51 PM writes...

Uh, while I'm not happy with the shift in tone, exactly how is this a turn against Apple's interests? Apple's interests right now are more focused on the music side of things. And there Apple has to make nice with folks like the music companies. The ones who colluded to keep Apple out of Europe until Napster launched first.

So the way I see it, this is Jobs swallowing his pride on the subject and doing what needs to be done for Apple.

And I still don't like it much. But I'm also not too frightened. I don't actually believe that Apple will be content to take a back seat when it comes to digital content.

Permalink to Comment

3. Robert Boylin on June 16, 2004 6:31 PM writes...

The N.Y. Post claimed yesterday that Steve Jobs was in talks with N.Y. bankers and Miramax co-founders Bob and Harvey Weinstein to form a new film company. The same report said there was a Weinstein-led group also trying to buy MGM. Perhaps Jobs is getting a larger 'content' hat to wear at such meetings.
Apple is definitely looking at video distribution on the web as the next big thing. It is in his and Apple's benefit if the Studios get that DRM right and stay out of Microsoft's bed.

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