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Ballmer Says iPod Users are Thieves

CmdrTaco posted about 10 years ago | from the hurting-my-feelings dept.

Media (Apple) 1108

A 'music thief' (apparently) writes "According to Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft: "The most common format of music on an iPod is 'stolen'." He appears convinced Microsoft will lead the way in Digital Rights Management and also believes Microsoft will steal a march on Apple in making the digital home a reality because Apple "doesn't have the volumes". "There is no way that you can get there with Apple. The critical mass has to come from the PC, or a next-generation video device," he said."

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Filty thieves (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10427814)

They stolds it frums us.

Quickie Slashdot Poll... (5, Interesting)

turnstyle (588788) | about 10 years ago | (#10427944)

Ok, Slashdotters!

1) Roughly what percent of your music collection is unauthorized files from P2P like Kazaa, FTP, etc.?

2) Roughly what percent of your music collection comes from sources like iTunes Music Store, eMusic, etc?

3) Roughly what percent of your music collection comes from shareable sources like Creative Commons-licensed music?

4) Roughly what percent of your music collection comes from rips of your own CDs?

5) Roughly what percent of your music collection comes from rips of friends' CDs?

(and what am I missing?)

Re:Quickie Slashdot Poll... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10427972)

(and what am I missing?)

Ummm, roughly what percentage of Slashdotters will be answering a 5 part percentage survey at 6:30 am PST?

Re:Quickie Slashdot Poll... (3, Interesting)

gowen (141411) | about 10 years ago | (#10428020)

1) Roughly what percent of your music collection is unauthorized files from P2P like Kazaa, FTP, etc.?
Maybe 1%. And (honestly) I tend to delete what I don't like and buy what I do.
2) Roughly what percent of your music collection comes from sources like iTunes Music Store, eMusic, etc?None at all.
3) Roughly what percent of your music collection comes from shareable sources like Creative Commons-licensed music?
None at all.
4) Roughly what percent of your music collection comes from rips of your own CDs?
Maybe 5-10%
5) Roughly what percent of your music collection comes from rips of friends' CDs?
2% ish.

Vinyl, baby, vinyl

Re:Quickie Slashdot Poll... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10428021)

1 - 99%
2 - 0%
3 - 0%
4 - 1%
5 - 0%

Re:Quickie Slashdot Poll... (3, Interesting)

Sique (173459) | about 10 years ago | (#10428033)

Your are missing

6) Roughly what percent of your music collection is your own music?

7) Roughly what percent of your music collection is your friends own music?

So for me this comes down to:

5) 75% (6 MP3s, sent to my by friends, because they wanted me to hear those songs.)
7) 25% (2 MP3s, the one was mixed by a friend of mine who is sound engineer, the other one was performed by another friend of mine)

Ok, this boils down to eight pieces of music stored on my computer :)

Ballmer and FUD? Who would have thought?! (4, Insightful)

garcia (6573) | about 10 years ago | (#10427816)

Billing Microsoft as the good guys and Apple the villains of the piece - at least as far as corporate America, rather than users, is concerned, Ballmer said: "We've had DRM in Windows for years. The most common format of music on an iPod is 'stolen'."

I don't understand the "corporate America" distinction. Is he talking about people downloading stuff to their iPod from the computers at work and stealing it that way? Because just about every Windows user I know has a computer at least 50% full of stolen shit (usually including the OS itself). MSFT is somehow not supporting theft because they don't have an iPod clone and their OS has DRM? I would go so far as to claim that PocketPCs support piracy but MSFT didn't create the hardware they just created the software. I guess you have to do both to support the thieves.

Sorry, that doesn't make me think any less of the iPod and it certainly doesn't make me think any more highly of Windows.

Re:Ballmer and FUD? Who would have thought?! (4, Informative)

tha_mink (518151) | about 10 years ago | (#10427877)

The "as far as corporate America..." means that if the world was using a Microsoft based device, then they could force everything to be played in a format in which they could use their DRM system to insure that everything played was paid for and legal.

Which means that corporate America (ex. the music industry) should start helping MS gain more market share in that market.

Re:Ballmer and FUD? Who would have thought?! (4, Funny)

jaavaaguru (261551) | about 10 years ago | (#10428015)

Just like they can insure that all installations of their software are perfectly legagl. I'll believe it when I see it.

Re:Ballmer and FUD? Who would have thought?! (1, Redundant)

Pig Hogger (10379) | about 10 years ago | (#10427901)

I dont understand the corporate America distinction. Is he talking about people downloading stuff to their iPod from the computers at work and stealing it that way?
He means serfs who work for croporations - versus - hordes of unwashed barbarians who are in their own (gasp!) houses on their own (gasp!) time. The croporate environment being as holy as any given monastery (or religious order) during the medieval period (AKA dark ages).

Re:Ballmer and FUD? Who would have thought?! (0, Troll)

khrtt (701691) | about 10 years ago | (#10427938)

..every Windows user I know has a computer at least 50% full of stolen shit (usually including the OS itself)

50%? Are you kidding? It's rare to see a Windows computer with less than 100% pure, unadulterated, stolen shit in it. Seriously, unless it's a corporate computer, have you really seen one where the user would have paid a single red cent for any of the soft/data, other than the kids' games?

Re:Ballmer and FUD? Who would have thought?! (1)

leroy152 (260029) | about 10 years ago | (#10427956)

No, he's talking about the difference between what corporations want, such as more control over how and what plays their content, and users, who want something that just works.

As for your own opinion, I agree, but it's irrelevant to the position Microsoft are attempting to make. You're not a large media corporation, or media industry association who is concerned about all these pirates whom exist solely to put them out of business.

Re:Ballmer and FUD? Who would have thought?! (5, Interesting)

hype7 (239530) | about 10 years ago | (#10427983)

I don't understand the "corporate America" distinction.


it has to do with the fact that the RIAA wants DRM, and the user doesn't. so Ballmer's looking after the corporate interests ahead of the user interests.

What's funny is that he doesn't realise that new entertainment formats are mostly demand driven. People don't like div-x (the old one, where you had to "connect" to get movies), people don't use it. Same with DVD-A and SACD. Invariably, formats with draconian restrictions on them don't work. And although he wants to label people thieves, there's a very good reason why the iPod is popular, and MS's DRM isn't. The irony is Ballmer himself points it out in the article - "My 12-year-old at home doesn't want to hear that he can't put all the music that he wants in all of the places that he would like it". This isn't about stealing, it's about fair use. 12 year olds just want to do whatever they want to do with their music - like the rest of us. If stolen, free music is the only way we can get there, then so be it. Why pay for restrictions, when freedom is quite literally free?

It makes me laugh, the 12-y-o son of the man running the most powerful IT company in the world gets it, but Ballmer himself doesn't.

Which oddly enough is a theme repeated in the second article - his vision for the digital home - which involves "converged devices that integrate video, audio and computer technology". He's pretty much ripped off Steve Jobs' digital hub strategy [macworld.com] from two years ago... and then he goes on to say: "There is no way that you can get there with Apple."

Sorry Steve, the only organisation you can be guaranteed to not get there with is Microsoft. It makes poor copies of good products, labels consumers who want freedom "thieves", and calls out organisations who innovate as not being good enough.

-- james

Re:Ballmer and FUD? Who would have thought?! (1, Interesting)

javax (598925) | about 10 years ago | (#10427996)

I suspect that Windows users have - at average - more stolen mp3 files than Mac users.

Re:Ballmer and FUD? Who would have thought?! (5, Funny)

mahdi13 (660205) | about 10 years ago | (#10428004)

"There is no way that you can get there with Apple. The critical mass has to come from the PC, or a next-generation video device,"
I want what he's smoking!

Pot... (5, Funny)

mikeophile (647318) | about 10 years ago | (#10427817)

meet kettle.

Re:Pot... (5, Insightful)

frankthechicken (607647) | about 10 years ago | (#10427865)

Agreed, taking Ballmers arguements, I think it could be almost guarenteed that as much music stored on an iPod could be considered stolen as that found on a PC.

Especially when you consider the fact that most iPod owners are Windows users, and the music they've uploaded was previously on their PC.

Part of the reason people steal music is money, but some of it is that the DRM stuff out there has not been that easy to use.

Found this quote interesting, does it really state that people want to use DRM to copy music at home, but can't quite figure out how to use it?

Re:Pot... (4, Funny)

rseuhs (322520) | about 10 years ago | (#10427951)

Ballmer: "We are going to continue to improve our DRM, to make it harder to crack, and easier, easier, easier, easier, to use."

I guess that will be done by developers, developers, developers, developers...

FP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10427827)

frost pist

most common format is stolen (1)

Threni (635302) | about 10 years ago | (#10427828)

The most common format is mp3. So...mp3 is stolen?

Keep trying, Steve.

Jobs Says Windows users are Dorks (2, Funny)

hejog (816106) | about 10 years ago | (#10427830)

More on this at 11.

Re:Jobs Says Windows users are Dorks (4, Insightful)

hype7 (239530) | about 10 years ago | (#10428017)

I think Jobs would be more likely to say Microsoft executives are dorks.

And unlike Ballmer in everything he's said in those two articles, Jobs would be damned right.

-- james

He's got a keen business sense (5, Insightful)

TimmyDee (713324) | about 10 years ago | (#10427831)

That's exactly how you win customers -- by alienating them.

Re:He's got a keen business sense (5, Insightful)

tha_mink (518151) | about 10 years ago | (#10427912)

That's exactly how you win customers -- by alienating them.

His target "customers" are people like the music industry which he is not alienating. He knows that users are stupid for the most part and will buy what's cheaper and more popular so he doesn't mid alienating them.

Re:He's got a keen business sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10427929)

And its really funny to see Microsoft talk about stealing.

Re:He's got a keen business sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10428031)

And its really funny to see Microsoft talk about stealing.

Heh... what are you talking about? It's funny to see *any* of the OS (vendors) talk about stealing...

He's got the wrong business sense (5, Insightful)

rseuhs (322520) | about 10 years ago | (#10428025)

Alienating them works quite well when you have a dominating position in the market: Breaking your wordprocessing format will force your users to upgrade, breaking SMB compatibility will temporarily make life harder for Samba and - you got it - will force some users to upgrade, too.

I think the higher-ups at Microsoft have completely lost the sense of how to do business in a healthy market.

That's why everything Microsoft does fails or produces massive losses when not being pushed by the PC domination.

Just look at Hailstorm. Or XBox. Or Windows/Alpha.

But... (4, Insightful)

PenguiN42 (86863) | about 10 years ago | (#10427832)

... you can use iPods with the PC. What's this about "critical mass"?

Not stolen (1, Flamebait)

keoghp (457883) | about 10 years ago | (#10427834)

Most music (all music) on my iPod is not stolen. I just can't get at it. The battery went AWOL.

Too late in the game (5, Insightful)

SpooForBrains (771537) | about 10 years ago | (#10427835)

M$ systems sell very well. M$ peripherals, not so much. No amount of FUD, or lawyer-posturing, will get an M$ audio system into people's pockets over the iPod. It's too late.

Re:Too late in the game (1)

Ark42 (522144) | about 10 years ago | (#10427958)


MS Mice sell very well. In fact I own 4 IntelliMouse Opticals. Wouldn't surprise me if MS just rebranded them, but I've never seen the same thing available from another brand. Most mice are either wireless or curved all stupidly (both very annoying, the second being extremely annoying if left handed, or amidextrious, especially when placed in a computer lab that isn't used by just right handers)

Re:Too late in the game (1)

hype7 (239530) | about 10 years ago | (#10428044)

M$ systems sell very well. M$ peripherals, not so much. No amount of FUD, or lawyer-posturing, will get an M$ audio system into people's pockets over the iPod.


Hey Ballmer! The avalanche has already started. It is too late for the pebbles to vote.

-- james

Mad? (5, Funny)

Peridriga (308995) | about 10 years ago | (#10427841)

I really don't know why Balmer is so mad at Ipod?

He really seems to love his [mac.com] ...

Re:Mad? (-1)

hejog (816106) | about 10 years ago | (#10427868)

Ipod? iPod iPod iPod iPod iPod iPod iPod!

Re:Mad? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10428024)

Branded? Tool Tool Tool Tool Tool Tool Tool!

Re:Mad? (0, Flamebait)

LaCosaNostradamus (630659) | about 10 years ago | (#10428027)

I can only assume Ballmer's got an MBA (too lazy to goog for it now) ... so I can then only assume that after 6 years of college, this man is unable to distinguish copyright infringement from actual theft.

All I have on my iPod... (5, Funny)

Realistic_Dragon (655151) | about 10 years ago | (#10427844)

...is 74.8 stolen copies of Windows XP Professional.

Re:All I have on my iPod... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10427872)

Do you plan on installing all of those copies on PC's you purchased which are currently running Linux by any chance?

Re:All I have on my iPod... (4, Funny)

LaCosaNostradamus (630659) | about 10 years ago | (#10427982)

Once the US finds another "Cybersecurity Chief", you are soooooo busted!

Must come from where? (4, Funny)

gr8_phk (621180) | about 10 years ago | (#10427845)

"The critical mass has to come from the PC, or a next-generation video device," he said."

I think he means: 'the critical mass has to come from windows'. Why? No technical reason, it's just because people at MS will have a temper tamtrum if this doesn't go their way.

Re:Must come from where? (1)

joper90 (669321) | about 10 years ago | (#10427948)

Exaclty.. its very school yard.. infact more playground/kindergarden

temper tamtrum is exactly the right words.

In other news, (2, Funny)

Pig Hogger (10379) | about 10 years ago | (#10427851)

Photocopiers are being used en masse to steal books.

Film at 11.

Re:In other news, (1)

Rufus211 (221883) | about 10 years ago | (#10427935)

Video cameras are being used en masse to steal films.

VHS at 11.

Don't feed the trolls (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10427858)

Maybe we should simply ignore papa-troll in the future.

If MS would only use half the resources they use for creating FUD and smear to make their products better, this would be a much nicer IT world.

Volumes/Next Generation (4, Insightful)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | about 10 years ago | (#10427863)

``Microsoft will steal a march on Apple in making the digital home a reality because Apple "doesn't have the volumes". The critical mass has to come from the PC, or a next-generation video device''

Seems to me that Apple is a lot more successful in pushing large volumes of next generation devices than MS.

Re:Volumes/Next Generation (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10427950)

When you see an iPod on the cover of Newsweek with a large peice inside about how Apple and Jobs have created one of the biggest fashion trends this century, one which rivals the introduction of the Sony Walkman in the 80's, I'd say that Apple have been pretty damn successful in pushing the concept of the "Digital Home".

I've not see anything exciting come from Microsoft in a very long time. I don't believe people are all that interested in the sort of "Digital Home" Microsoft seem to envision, either.

Hrm.... (-1, Redundant)

Ibanez (37490) | about 10 years ago | (#10427866)

They sure as hell have a pretty big lead so far. Maybe they're mad that lead happens to be in the PC market as well...

Blake

Taken out of context... (5, Insightful)

vortexjc (818906) | about 10 years ago | (#10427870)

I took that comment as Steve Ballmer saying more digital music is pirated then not. Does everyone on this board actually disagree with that?

Re:Taken out of context... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10427966)

Yeah but he is trying to blame that fact on apple. When it has nothing to do with apple.

Re:Taken out of context... (1)

Triddle (793231) | about 10 years ago | (#10428008)

Napster, Kazaa et al prove you to be right...

I got two words for you, Ballmer ... (0)

LoudMusic (199347) | about 10 years ago | (#10427875)

"So."

It's NOT stolen (-1, Redundant)

Roark Meets Dent (650119) | about 10 years ago | (#10427878)

Music you didn't buy may be a copyright infringement at best. It is NOT "stolen" since the owner did not lose anything. Anyway this is just one more reason not to pay MS one single dollar for their OS or any of their other garbage, if it's going to pay for them to lobby against your freedom to choose your own formats and force you into THEIR choices for the best restrictions on your use of your own computer equipment.

I'm either being synical (5, Insightful)

MikeDX (560598) | about 10 years ago | (#10427880)

Or did MP3s only become popular *BECAUSE* the music was stolen in the first place anyway?? And so the trend

Mp3s -> Mp3 Players -> ???? -> Profit ?

I may not be speaking for the masses, but the key thing about having my music in my player of choice (Archos AV340) is the fact that I can take the music from *any* source, and because I choose to download the mp3s rather than re-recording from original Vinyl, ripping from CD, remastering from cassette, 8track etc Is purely a matter of my taste and value of my time.

Prevent people from using music easily that they ALREADY LEGAL OWN in one format or another, and see that format/player go the way of the BETAMAX.

Re:I'm either being synical (2, Interesting)

Roark Meets Dent (650119) | about 10 years ago | (#10427918)

Good point here actually - if you have purchased a copy of music on tape, CD, or vinyl, are you entitled to download the same exact music so you have it on your PC? It seems to me there's no question that this would be OK, you're just saving the time of "ripping" it yourself. RIAA would consider this "stealing" otherwise their whole case against P2P would be out the window.

Dance, Monkey boy! (1)

jshark (623406) | about 10 years ago | (#10427881)

Well, it it pisses off Ballmer that makes me want to run out and get one all the more (as if I didn't already covet those owned by my friends).

As expected... (1)

tdvaughan (582870) | about 10 years ago | (#10427882)

This speech [craphound.com] seems to have had zero affect on Microsoft. Lets hope its predictions (i.e. that DRM is bad for Microsoft) are accurate.

Owning an iPod I find I buy more (5, Insightful)

your_mother_sews_soc (528221) | about 10 years ago | (#10427887)

I find I buy more music now that own an iPod. And I am not implying that I ever "borrowed" any previously. I have about 700+ tracks on my iPod and when the feeling moves me I go to iTunes and buy another album. The ITMS library is growing, too, and now includes a sizeable collection of the works of Brian Eno (great for coding, writing specs, so on.) I don't know where Monkey Boy Ballmer gets his info, and wouldn't want to go there. Unless all the interns at Microsoft trade music freely ...

Oh ya... (0)

TintinX (569362) | about 10 years ago | (#10427890)

... and Microsoft have never stolen anything.

Balmer is an idiot. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10427892)

This infuriates me. I'm an iPOD user and a significant portion of my music is from itunes, and what isn't from itunes is ripped from my CDs.

I am not a thief.

Balmer, sit on one.

Lets fight (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10427893)

Thems fighting words.

How much of your iPod is stolen? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10427899)

I have an iPod. So does my wife, my sister, and two friends. I helped them ALL to import their music collection to their iPod. I know that some of the music has been downloaded, but in about 100 GB worth of iPod music, I would estimate that over 98% of the music is legitimate music.

I urge them to use MP3 (or some other non DMAC format) because it is a pain when using multiple computers, but I can assure everyone, that most of the music in this case is legitimate.

So I ask everyone... how much of your iPod is "stolen"?

B

Unreal. (5, Insightful)

Weaselmancer (533834) | about 10 years ago | (#10427900)

From the article:

"We've had DRM in Windows for years. The most common format of music on an iPod is 'stolen'."

Because everybody knows windows is all about security. If you put a pirated mp3 on a windows box, the drm system won't allow you to access it. All the windows boxes running eMule and Kaaza are merely figments of your imagination. They're iPods. Honest.

In other news... (1, Funny)

famebait (450028) | about 10 years ago | (#10427906)

...the pope recommends catholicism for an optimal afterlife.

Where have I heard this before... (2, Insightful)

lukewarmfusion (726141) | about 10 years ago | (#10427909)

"There is no way that you can get there with Apple."

You can't get to there from here. You have to go somewhere else first.

Seriously, he has a point about Microsoft having the market share and audience already. But they're also the Evil Corporation (even to some of my non-geek friends that don't read Slashdot). Their products are reknowned for their ability to crash and break. Things are hard to use. People can't support them.

Why would you want the computerized house when they can't get a freaking desktop PC to work right? Sorry hon, I think our refrigerator is broken. Let me see if there's a Windows Update for it.

That's funny... (1)

MacOS_Rules (170853) | about 10 years ago | (#10427910)

Every Windows user I know has a copy of Kazaa which they use to acquire music. Every Mac user I know uses the iTunes Music Store (and somewhat fanatically, too!)

Now keep in mind, we're on a college campus Mr. Ballmer, so yes, we don't count.

He doesn't get it (5, Interesting)

bblazer (757395) | about 10 years ago | (#10427916)

Since I got my iPod and used a decent music service iTunes, there have been no 'shared' music on my player. Balmer thinks that Apple cant get the job done - can he say iPod for Windows? As long as Apple continues to make accessories for other OS'es, they will have no problem competing.

Behold (1)

ch-chuck (9622) | about 10 years ago | (#10427917)

As msft attempts to steal the iPod paradigm, just like they did the graphical desktop, lan, internetworking, etc.

In other news, What A Msft Ho [kanawha.us]

Before you argue... (2, Interesting)

MosesJones (55544) | about 10 years ago | (#10427919)


Think about it....

CD's, DVD's all were successful either because of the PC or the "next-generation device".

Of course one could argue that the iPod is the next generation device and just needs to be expanded to the stage where it does video.

Hang on, then hasn't Balmer just predicted that the biggest portable music player will get to define the format in the same way as VHS beat Betamax ? Maybe the only real issue is...

Will Apple learn and license ?

Its a long way around the story but I've just realised that this is Barmy Monkey begging Steve Jobs to license the iPod technology as Microsoft can't compete with the market leader.

And he couldn't just say that because it hurts to much.

The "stolen" format (3, Funny)

BlueTooth (102363) | about 10 years ago | (#10427922)

Yes, the "stolen" music format...aka MP3 ... when those Franhofenzeigen guys invented MP3 compression, I don't even know why they went with the .MP3 extension. It would have been a lot clearer if they had just gone with the .stolen extension.

type: audio-x/stolen

Funny about that DRM thing (1)

ZorbaTHut (126196) | about 10 years ago | (#10427923)

A few days ago I went to dump a DVD on Windows so I could send a video clip to a friend. Oddly, copying files didn't work. I presume this was because of that above-mentioned DRM thing.

Took me all of five minutes to find a utility to work around it.

When are these people going to realize that DRM is utterly ineffective?

Compulsory DRM (1)

Lurker McLurker (730170) | about 10 years ago | (#10427925)

It could be possible to get a law passed which made DRM madatory on digital music players. Could this be the next RIAA tactic? To have audio players that can only play formats which include DRM. Any player that supported MP3 could be outlawed on the grounds that it was possible to play "stolen" music on it.

What about other players? (1)

Winterblink (575267) | about 10 years ago | (#10427927)

Somehow Ballmer forgot that the iPod is but one of many different players out there. I guess that means owners of Creative hardware, showcased on Microsoft's music sales site, are only putting 100% legit content on their players, and that Microsoft has been the key to that?

FUD and nothing more (4, Insightful)

jbarr (2233) | about 10 years ago | (#10427928)

Yet another attempt to disseminate the false notion that MP3 files amount to stolen music. If I purchase a CD and rip it to MP3s for my own use, the resulting files are certainly not stolen--plain and simple. And if I get them from a legal online source, again, they are not stolen.

Just because someone COULD steal something doesn't mean they will, and doesn't automatically make the something stolen.

Translation (heh) (1)

jayhawk88 (160512) | about 10 years ago | (#10427934)

"Hey, Music Industry! See how good we are? We're towing the piracy line good and proper! Please give us money!"

You know, sometimes it's just nice to see Microsoft sucking up to someone else for a change.

well, personally (1)

Mr.Coffee (168480) | about 10 years ago | (#10427946)

i blame it all on Ieve and Iserpent.

if god had intended for music to cost money, he would have put little quarter slots behind our ears.

The most common format of music... (4, Insightful)

aredubya74 (266988) | about 10 years ago | (#10427961)

...on an iPod is 'stolen'.

Balmer, "iPod" can easily be replaced with "Windows" in your preceding statement. MP3 has been the de facto standard for music files for 7-8 years now, maybe longer. Were iPods around 7-8 years ago? No. What were they played on? Windows, under Winamp. The masses have understood how to rip their own (un-DRM'd) CDs since the turn of the millenium. Napster, Limewire, Kazaa, eDonkey and many more of flourished (til legal proceedings crush each) with trading of these files. I don't recall using my iPod to access any of these services. Oh yes, that's right. I used my Windows-running PC.

I know it's FUD, but this is just plain lousy FUD. Anyone with half a brain can see right through his attempt to link Windows with anti-piracy.

Nice quote... (5, Funny)

VFVTHUNTER (66253) | about 10 years ago | (#10427963)

from Ballmer:

"My 12-year-old at home doesn't want to hear that he can't put all the music that he wants in all of the places that he would like it," he joked.

Translation:
"When I tried to use my kid's iPod on a recent family trip, my son told me to shove my Barry Manilow CD up my ass."

Stolen?!? (1)

grimsweep (578372) | about 10 years ago | (#10427965)

Historically, the Windows interface is a complete rip.

If their OS runs on as many computers as they say it does, I think that outnumbers all of the iPods in use by a fair bit...

Bill is rubbing off on him (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10427967)

AN OPEN LETTER TO HOBBYISTS
By William Henry Gates III

February 3, 1976

An Open Letter to Hobbyists

To me, the most critical thing in the hobby market right now is the lack of good software courses, books and software itself. Without good software and an owner who understands programming, a hobby computer is wasted. Will quality software be written for the hobby market?

Almost a year ago, Paul Allen and myself, expecting the hobby market to expand, hired Monte Davidoff and developed Altair BASIC. Though the initial work took only two months, the three of us have spent most of the last year documenting, improving and adding features to BASIC. Now we have 4K, 8K, EXTENDED, ROM and DISK BASIC. The value of the computer time we have used exceeds $40,000.

The feedback we have gotten from the hundreds of people who say they are using BASIC has all been positive. Two surprising things are apparent, however, 1) Most of these "users" never bought BASIC (less than 10% of all Altair owners have bought BASIC), and 2) The amount of royalties we have received from sales to hobbyists makes the time spent on Altair BASIC worth less than $2 an hour.

Why is this? As the majority of hobbyists must be aware, most of you steal your software. Hardware must be paid for, but software is something to share. Who cares if the people who worked on it get paid?

Is this fair? One thing you don't do by stealing software is get back at MITS for some problem you may have had. MITS doesn't make money selling software. The royalty paid to us, the manual, the tape and the overhead make it a break-even operation. One thing you do do is prevent good software from being written. Who can afford to do professional work for nothing? What hobbyist can put 3-man years into programming, finding all bugs, documenting his product and distribute for free? The fact is, no one besides us has invested a lot of money in hobby software. We have written 6800 BASIC, and are writing 8080 APL and 6800 APL, but there is very little incentive to make this software available to hobbyists. Most directly, the thing you do is theft.

What about the guys who re-sell Altair BASIC, aren't they making money on hobby software? Yes, but those who have been reported to us may lose in the end. They are the ones who give hobbyists a bad name, and should be kicked out of any club meeting they show up at.

I would appreciate letters from any one who wants to pay up, or has a suggestion or comment. Just write to me at 1180 Alvarado SE, #114, Albuquerque, New Mexico, 87108. Nothing would please me more than being able to hire ten programmers and deluge the hobby market with good software.

Bill Gates

General Partner, Micro-Soft

What's his f'ing point? (4, Insightful)

GoMMiX (748510) | about 10 years ago | (#10427968)

According to Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft: "The most common format of music on an iPod is 'stolen'.

Uhh, yeah... And the most common format of music on a Windows PC iiiiiissss...........? Uhh huh, yeah.

So, if ANY company is accountable for music theft -- OBVIOUSLY it's Microsoft - they have the 'volumes,' right?

Bah! /end rant

So what? (4, Insightful)

YeeHaW_Jelte (451855) | about 10 years ago | (#10427971)

Most microsoft users are thieves too ... if they actually bought the OS chances are they're running at least one piece of software which was copied illegally.

And then again ... wtf? Stolen? Copyright infringement is not the same as stealing something, whatever the demagogues like Balmer want you to believe.

Well he is right (2, Insightful)

hsmith (818216) | about 10 years ago | (#10427980)

I mean who would buy a 40gig iPod and spend $10,000 to fill it up with MP3's on iTunes? But the real point is, music is still over priced, $.99 for a song, again still is over priced. And then again, so is windows XP Professional @ $199.99... Then again, MS does allow for a certain 'level' of priacy to go on so they do remain the dominant OS.

hmm...? (4, Funny)

DeusExMalex (776652) | about 10 years ago | (#10427981)

under the induce act, wouldn't this hold balmer liable for inducing his customers to steal music?

Probably true (0)

Mr_Silver (213637) | about 10 years ago | (#10427985)

According to Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft: "The most common format of music on an iPod is 'stolen'.

Pretty true. I'm sure that there will be 10 or so +5 rated posters who say that all the music on their iPod is legit, but Slashdot isn't indicative of the world and you'd be niave to think anything else.

He appears convinced Microsoft will lead the way in Digital Rights Management

Probably true. Microsoft have control of the desktop market and are playing into the content providers hands. They'll happily embrace anything which is stricter on the end-user in the name of revenues and he knows it.

also believes Microsoft will steal a march on Apple in making the digital home a reality because Apple "doesn't have the volumes".

Again probably true. Think a couple of years down the line when you either have a choice of 4 models supporting AAC+ or 150 products all supporting WMA.

Not forgetting the intense competition from both hardware manufacturers and those who run WMA music stores - in which both will be aiming to provide the best features and functionality for the best price. When Apple's only competition is themselves, then there is less of an incentive (look at Palm procrastinating for years as a fine example)

Generally I think he's pretty much on the ball, although I have no doubt that the predictable response from Slashbots will be "i won't buy from Microsoft" and "All my music is legit" - when, in fact, there are a lot of people who will and also have large numbers of music on their iPod which is legally questionable.

An open letter to Microsoft (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10427986)

Blow me.

Once again..... (2, Insightful)

Roskolnikov (68772) | about 10 years ago | (#10427987)

yet another obvious attempt by Microsoft to discredit a company or product that they see as a threat to their ever shrinking market space; good ol screaming balmer would have you use Windows media with *new and improved* drm. Too bad it doesn't sound good and too bad that the 'theives' format on my iPod is aac and protected aac.

Yeah, and? (5, Insightful)

hattig (47930) | about 10 years ago | (#10427989)

If someone has a budget for buying CDs/music each year, say $300, then even if they download extra music illegally, no-one is losing out as long as the consumer is still spending what they have budgeted to spend.

Music is a commodity these days. It isn't special like it was in the 50's. People expect music at all hours, but it isn't priced right to meet the current usage of music, so people download the extra music they need to fill in the gap.

I don't see how Microsoft can claim any kind of moral superiority over Apple. Apple at least had the decency to offer reasonably priced legal music quite some time ago. Per-song pricing allows you to take a small risk to discover new music, or just get the 2 good songs on a modern pop album that are any good. MSN Music is a lot more recent.

I can only assume that Microsoft will be designing Media Software that will not play non-MS-approved content. Otherwise how can it tell whether a song you are playing is something you ripped yourself, or downloaded? Surely you could burn a CD and re-rip if Microsoft enforced that type of requirement?

These big companies are only pissed off because online music sharing allows people to discover new music that isn't on the big labels, and then spend money on that music instead of HypedTrash. Most studies show that music purchasing hasn't dropped since file sharing started, at the worst it fluctuated in line with the economy, at best it has actually soared over what it should have been.

Silly Ballmer, Microsoft is for Kids (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10427991)

Mabey Microsoft will start being like the RIAA and start sueing their iPod using users.

What I love is the double talk. Sure, iTMS and iPod has well over a majority market share. Despite the iPod mini's price and availability, it has talken over the high end market. The iPod can't ship enough, and everyone wants one. The iPod has moved beyond a mp3 player that appeals to the few and now is like the PS2, it's everywhere, people want it. And with recent Apple job postings, they arn't stepping down now. I've seen Apple haters come around and actually think about getting a nee iMac or PowerBook. I used to be a huge Windows user, now I'm going to get a PowerBook soon.

If Microsoft wants to win, they need to play fair and smart. They are being watched like no other company in history. If they are really smart, they would rent out FairPlay and work into WMP10 the ability to convert iTMS files into protected WMAs.

Open Market (3, Interesting)

Shotgun (30919) | about 10 years ago | (#10427997)

So in an open market, where I can choose among a number of devices that all do the same task, why would I choose the device that treats me as a criminal.

If I am a criminal, why would I buy the device that makes my job/avocation more difficult.

In either case, why would I buy the device who's biggest cheerleader treats me with such disdain.

Consumers want too much (4, Interesting)

Wansu (846) | about 10 years ago | (#10428000)


... according to Ballmer.

"My 12-year-old at home doesn't want to hear that he can't put all the music that he wants in all of the places that he would like it,"

I don't want to hear that either.

The most common format of music on my WinXP box... (5, Interesting)

intheory (261976) | about 10 years ago | (#10428002)

...is stolen.

So what if "[you've] had DRM in Windows for years" Microsoft? Windows did anything but halt the 13.6 million Napster users [wikipedia.org] "stealing" music, et cetera.

He is right (3, Insightful)

smartin (942) | about 10 years ago | (#10428005)

Only a monopoly has the clout to force something that the consumer does not want (DRM) down their throats. Apple's can only try to entice the consumer with high quality products, variety, good service. They don't have a chance.

Tragedy (2, Insightful)

Cros13 (206651) | about 10 years ago | (#10428009)

The real tragedy is some ppl will associate his words with the ipod.

Well , maybe, but... (1)

Lolaine (262966) | about 10 years ago | (#10428026)

Also, Mr Ballmer, the most common Software format on Windows is also "Stolen".

He is insane? (1)

suezz (804747) | about 10 years ago | (#10428034)

My favorite part. "However, Ballmer conceded it isn't going to be an easy battle to win. "Most people still steal music," he said. "We can build the technology but there are still ways for people to steal music."" I think he is starting to crack. Is he calling the people that buy his crap OS thieves? He is also saying that you can pay us to stop the stealing but there will always be somebody stealing music no matter what you pay us. So just pay us anyway and we won't defend you if you get arrested. Does anybody else have a problem with this line of thinking? First he is calling everybody a thief and then he says pay us even though we can't stop people from stealing. So am I missing something - Like the point? I wish him and bill would just shut up and stop spreading fud - so now they want people to stop buying the ipod - soon they will probably start having legslation to have it outlawed. what a joke!

Translation (1, Funny)

orangeguru (411012) | about 10 years ago | (#10428035)

... another heavy skinhead makes verbal attack against arty-farty digital gadget.

Unless something better and cheaper comes out of his arse we won't listen ...

Steve Ballmer is a Douchebag (5, Interesting)

Greyfox (87712) | about 10 years ago | (#10428036)

But we already knew that. No one's going to buy his intentionaally crippled device, and we've already seen repeatedly just how well copy protection works in the commercial market. Microsoft will try to ram their device down the throat of the marketplace with their usual tactic (Sell as a loss-leader until no competition is left, then dramatically raise prices) but people have already had a taste of actually being able to choose how they want to do things, so I don't believe it will work this time around.

So Steve, STFU and GTFO. The reflected light from your forehead is blinding us.

Let's see (1)

neonstz (79215) | about 10 years ago | (#10428037)

Yes, most of the music I've got on my iPod is "pirated" mp3s. However, lets look a little bit closer.

Number of CDs I bought per year before I got an iPod: ~2-4
Number of CDs bought so far in 2004: ~15

15 may not be a huge amount, but it's more than 4. So what if 95% of my mp3s are not paid for, I spend more money on music now than two years ago.

Apple beat them to it (4, Insightful)

archeopterix (594938) | about 10 years ago | (#10428041)

IMHO, Apple is already there with ease of use (who'da thought) and choice of songs.

The thought that Microsoft can compete with "better" DRM is laughable. Show me a user that will switch to another DRM system, because, you know - it's better at limitting your freedom better, so you should switch to it, you filthy thief, right?

My thoughts for Ballmer: good luck in alienating your potential customers!

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