The Macalope Weekly: Leopards and monopolies and DRM! Oh, my!

Coming Soon! Depending On Your Definition Of “Soon”!

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The big news for the week—and we’re talking monumental, stop-the-virtual-presses-type news—is that Snow Leopard is coming in the first quarter of 2009!

Totally! It’s 100% guaranteed in the bag! We’ll all be rollin’ with Snow Leopard in January! March at the latest! Word to your mother!

Well, OK, it was on this one guy from Apple’s slide (note to Dan, snow leopards don’t pounce—they are amongst the deadliest but also the laziest of cats and kill their victims from a reclined position on the couch). But, you know, it’s not like Apple’s ever said they’d deliver an operating system at a certain time and then, well, failed to deliver it at that time.

Except the last time. And probably some other times.

OK, look, can we all just agree to be happy when Snow Leopard eventually ships in June?

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Psystar Does Not Pass Go, Does Not Collect $200

Yes, a judge has dismissed the Psystar monopoly suit against Apple! Yay! Christmas is saved!

What, you weren’t worried about that? Yeah, well, neither was the Macalope. It’s a little hard to make the case that the company with the 7 percent market share is a monopolist. Yes, there’s more to the equation than that, but when Apple’s attorney can basically make the case to the judge through nothing more than a series of eye rolls, nasal snorts, guffaws and dismissive exhalations of air, this outcome’s not surprising.

DRM Is Dead! Long Live DRM!

Good news may be on the horizon, music lovers! iTunes is increasingly the last digital stronghold for copy-protected music and it looks like Apple may be in negotiations with the major recording companies to end this unfortunate chapter in our species’ history. Let us all join hands and move forward together as one toward a bright future of openness and harmony, brothers and sisters!

Meanwhile your video content is still locked up tighter than the pretty nuns at the convent. Indeed, it looks like Apple’s even bowed to some of the more heinous inventions of those who do not believe in openness, fairness and butterflies. Not Apple! But, Steve Jobs hates DRM! Yes, Apple! And Steve Jobs doesn’t really care that much!

Truth be told, the Macalope thinks this is a pretty lame move on Apple’s part. This is not even comprehensive copy protection—it just stops you from viewing content on a bigger screen. C’mon, Hollywood (and Apple). Don’t you have something more important to do?

But why the disconnect? Why is music getting more open while video stays mired in the sticky DRM secretions of the so-called “entertainment industry”. Long ago, the industry was able to define how DVDs and DVD players were designed and the rest is history.

Inevitably, however, it seems the two paths must converge. But the ubiquity of ways to view media has certainly slowed things down. One of the reasons Napster took off because there simply was no way to acquire music online legally at the time. While the oughts have seen the downfall of music DRM, perhaps the tens will see the downfall of video DRM.

If not, the Macalope’s hoping it sees the advent of the long-promised hovercar. C’mon, Detroit. It’s the least you could do for all that bailout money you want.

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