As has been discussed on this site, music copyright protection is extremely important to the RIAA and especially the four big music companies, Universal, Sony BMG, Warner and EMI.
DRM has met with much derision and scorn by music enthusiasts who want their legally obtained music to be free of restrictions. Sony's major faux pas.
Steve Jobs writes intelligibly about the current state of affairs on his blog. He offers three future potentials:
"The first alternative is to continue on the current course, with each manufacturer competing freely with their own “top to bottom” proprietary systems for selling, playing and protecting music. It is a very competitive market, with major global companies making large investments to develop new music players and online music stores.
The second alternative is for Apple to license its FairPlay DRM technology to current and future competitors with the goal of achieving interoperability between different company’s players and music stores. On the surface, this seems like a good idea since it might offer customers increased choice now and in the future.
The third alternative is to abolish DRMs entirely. Imagine a world where every online store sells DRM-free music encoded in open licensable formats. In such a world, any player can play music purchased from any store, and any store can sell music which is playable on all players. This is clearly the best alternative for consumers, and Apple would embrace it in a heartbeat. If the big four music companies would license Apple their music without the requirement that it be protected with a DRM, we would switch to selling only DRM-free music on our iTunes store. Every iPod ever made will play this DRM-free music."
Read Job's post 'Thoughts On Music" here