Napster CEO Calls Steve Jobs "Frightened"

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Napster CEO Chris Gorog wasnit pulling punches in an interview with Engadget published Monday, saying that Apple CEO Steve Jobs must have been frightened to send out an e-mail to record execs pointing out holes in Napster security. In the interview, Mr. Gorog was asked about the iPod, which he called your grandfatheris Oldsmobile, and talked up Windows Media Audio as the future of digital music.

When asked about reports that Mr. Jobs had sent an e-mail to record execs about an easy way around Napster To Go -- the companyis implementation of Windows Media (WMA) digital rights management (DRM) that allows users to take rented music with them on their digital media devices -- encryption, Mr. Gorog told Engadget:

My first reaction was that he must be pretty frightened of the Napster To Go technology to be so petty. Frankly, thatis what I think the impetus was for him to fire that off. It was really pretty silly.

He was claiming we had some sort of security gap, and of course we didnit. That technology — like recording something off of a radio broadcast — had been out there for 10 years. Certainly his service is susceptible to it as well.

We saw it as a sign of weakness, that heis very concerned about a technology that makes his hardware and his software irrelevant in our view.

He further went on to say he doesnit expect Napster will ever be hacked, that WMA DRM is "pretty good," that the limitations Napster places on how many devices and computers (three and three, respectively) is "liberal," and that iPod users will eventually get tired of all the obstacles they have in the digital music world.

"The Apple technologies will always be what they have always been: really great in a completely closed, proprietary world," he said. "But at some point, people will lose their sense of humor about that when they realize that theyire constantly running into situations and obstacles where they have a technology that has not been built on an open platform."

The full interview covers many other topics, including Napsteris background, the challenges posed in licensing music from publishers, Napsteris business model, subscriptions, and much more. We recommend it for anyone interested in the digital music industry, though we should not that the interviewer didnit challenge Mr. Gorog on any of his assertions.

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