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Tuesday, February 13, 2007, 08:05 am PT (11:05 am ET)

Jobs gains support from Yahoo, Monster on DRM issue

Executives from both Yahoo and Monster Cable are the latest industry figures to throw their weight behind Apple chief executive Steve Jobs when it comes to DRM-wrapped audio tracks.

"I've long advocated removing DRM on music because there is already a lot of music available without DRM, and it just makes things complicated for the user," Dave Goldberg, head of Yahoo Music, told the Silicon Valley Watcher.

Goldberg said that Yahoo Music has engaged in experiments where it has offered music without DRM and witnessed a boost in sales.

Meanwhile, Monster Cable chief Noel Lee was also quoted in a company press release Tuesday as fully supporting the ideology presented in Jobs' open letter on DRM, title "Thoughts on Music."

"Monster Cable shares Mr. Jobs' vision of breaking constraints for legal music downloads," said Lee. "We've always believed in the power of music. So much so, we launched Monster Music to introduce high definition surround to the world without restrictions."

The leading manufacturer of high performance cables says its Monster Music service boasts a format known as the SuperDisc, which not only contains high definition surround tracks but DRM-free files. The firm, based in Brisbane, Calif., was recently successful in negotiating DRM-free files with Universal and their multi-platinum selling rock band 3 Doors Down for a SuperDisc release entitled, Away from the Sun, Live from Houston, Texas.

But for Jobs, who claims Apple would "embrace" DRM-free music should the four major record labels abolish their anti-piracy requirements, the tide has not been completely in his favor.

In an immediate response to the Apple cofounder's February 6th letter, Electronic Frontier Foundation urged Jobs to put "his music store where his mouth is" by promptly stripping the company's proprietary Fairplay DRM protection from independent music on the iTunes Store for which it is not required.

Jon Lech Johansen, an infamous DVD protection cracker known as DVD Jon, seconded the motion and even did some background research on the matter.

"It should not take Apple’s iTunes team more than 2-3 days to implement a solution for not wrapping content with FairPlay when the content owner does not mandate DRM," he said. "Actions speak louder than words, Steve."