Mitch Bainwol, chairman and chief executive of the Recording Industry Association of America, instead urged Apple to open up its proprietary digital rights management software so that users can play songs bought on iTunes on other devices, according to the Associated Press. That's the same idea being pushed by some governments in Europe.
Both sides claim that they are worried about security. Apple has said opening its technology up would enable hackers to figure out how to thwart it. The record labels have been worried about piracy over the Internet for years. What both sides are really concerned about is the bottom line.
Apple is coming under increasing pressure from some governments to allow people who don't own iPods to be able to download songs from iTunes. The company doesn't want to be forced to be magnanimous and lose any of its considerable advantage it enjoys in the marketplace against upstarts such as Microsoft Corp.'s (Nasdaq:MSFT) Zune.
The record companies continue to struggle even with the boost in digital music spurred by Apple. Data from the RIAA shows that the total value of music shipped during the first six months of the year fell 6.1 percent to $4.9 billion. Shipments of physical units fell 15.7 percent while digital revenue soared 86.6 percent and ringtones grew by 97.5 percent.
So, it's in the interest of both sides to find a way to work out their differences. Apple and the music industry have always had a love-hate relationship. They at least need to create a situation where they can tolerate one another while muttering insults under their breath,