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Monday, August 13, 2007

What are the Odds of Apple Opening Up Its FairPlay DRM?

Chatting with an exec at Vongo this morning, I needled him a bit about the service's incompatibility with Macs -- you can't even see what movies are in their library, or learn about how the service works if you're using a Macintosh.

He parried by saying that there is already a version of the Vongo client that will run on Mac OSX. The only thing they're waiting for is for Apple to decide to license their FairPlay DRM to video services other than Apple's own iTunes.

Wouldn't that be nice? Apple only offers movies and TV shows for purchase; other services let you rent movies, or even pay a monthly fee (Vongo's is $9.99) for unlimited access to movies and other video content.

I asked the Vongo exec whether they had any sense of what the timeframe might be for Apple opening up FairPlay. "There's no sign that's going to happen anytime soon," he said.

What do you think? What are the odds that Apple ever opens up FairPlay voluntarily (without a court order)?

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