Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Steve Ballmer: where is your survey? :: The London News Review

follow-up on the Steve Ballmer story from yesterday
But what's most odious about this non-statement is the word 'most'. None of the iPod-users I know have been surveyed about this. You can put anything the hell you like on an iPod, so long as it supports formats which aren't crippled with corporate padlocks. Recordings of birdsong, stuff off the radio, your own CDs, you friend's band, stuff from covermounts... it's up to you. No-one knows what's on iPods, and a hunch based on what you're most scared of isn't much use to anyone. So let's have none of this nonsensical, unresearched scaremongering guesswork.
But that's not the only way that Ballmer is offending clear thinking.
There's Ballmer's model, which treats all music fans as irredeemably criminal, and wants to constrain their behaviour to a form which fits the way the current, temporary music industry currently likes things. There's the totally free model of transferable files. And there's Apple's model, which treats us a little more grown-up, but allows some free action, within reasonable constraints.
And the most sensible model is not the one in the middle. You don't stop people doing something because they might do something illegal. That's plain bad lawmaking and the record shows that these laws don't work.

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