Four Years Ago, Steve Jobs May Have Backed French Law



Yesterday BoingBoing’s Cory Doctorow rightly called out Apple’s hypocritical “state-sponsored piracy” response to France’s new law against vendor lock-in.

One of the big reasons the iPod took off is because of Napster and other file-sharing services. People suddenly had huge collections of digital music on their computers, but no easy way to take it with them when they left the house.

Now it appears Steve Jobs himself once agreed with the thinking behind the French law, which is to protecting consumers’ right to move content they buy from one device to another.

Le iPodIn a 2002 interview with the Wall Street Journal, reprinted in part at Macworld, Jobs said:

“If you legally acquire music, you need to have the right to manage it on all other devices that you own.”

Compare that to what French lawmakers had to say this week:

“The consumer must be able to listen to the music they have bought on no matter what platform,” Martin Rogard, an adviser at the French Culture Ministry, told the Financial Times.

Image courtesy of

(Via SiliconBeat)

12 responses to “Four Years Ago, Steve Jobs May Have Backed French Law”

  1. CG5Addict says:

    The difference being “all other devices that you own” and ” music they have bought on no matter what platform.”

  2. chris says:

    So if you can burn a CD with music that you bought from iTunes, and then reimport it as a unprotected MP3 file, what is the big deal? Isn’t this how Jobs et. al. convinced the big 5 that there was protection while giving a slight wink to the users?

  3. Tim says:

    Though it may be hypocritical, I think Jobs still has the right to be pissed at this new law. I mean, it was only four years ago that he gave that interview, but technology changes, and circumstances change. He has to do whats best for Apple at the time.

  4. Jim Hillhouse says:

    Well, of course Jobs has changed his tune. Back in 2002, Apple was just coming off of life-support, the iPod was just one of many, but not the 800 lbs. Gorilla, of digital music players, and iTunes was no big deal. Things have changed. And now Apple has a majority market share that it needs to defend. This isn’t about philosphy, it’s about profits, something very important for a publically traded company.

    As an Apple shareholder, I want Jobs & Co. to do everything they can to maximize Apple’s, and thus my, return on investment. In 2002, that was just getting iPod sales going. Now, it’s own the digital entertainment market.

  5. Bercana says:

    PLEASE stop block justifying your website copy… very very baaaaaad idea.

  6. ajkdc says:

    What hypocracy? Everyone knows what Steve meant was “If you legally acquire music, you need to have the right to manage it on all other APPLE MANUFACTURED devices that you own.”