Real Networks boss says Ipod owners are obtaining music illegally

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Real Networks boss says Ipod owners are obtaining music illegally

In an interview with The Guardian, the chief executive of Real Networks, Rob Glaser, voiced a concern on how Ipod users are getting their hands on music. “About half the music on Ipods is music obtained illegitimately either from an illegal peer-to-peer networks or from ripping friends’ CDs, which is illegal,” he said.

The inference is, of course, that Ipod owners are, for the most part, stealing their music. “The average number of songs sold for the iPod is 25,” he said. However he was taking more of a shot at Apple than at Ipod users, saying that stealing music is “the only way to get non-copy protected, portable, interoperable music,” slamming the proprietary nature of Apple’s Ipod and Itunes system.

He was talking up Real’s own entry into the legal music downloading business, and talking down the lateness of it. When asked if Real is a bit like the Sun Microsystems of media downloads, indicating that the firm does not have the critical mass to make sure they get the right content and the right number of users, he replied: “I don’t think it is going to be a winner-takes-all game. I think we’ll have good share and Microsoft will have good share, and there may be one or two others. I think particularly as we move into a time where consumers want content to work on multiple platforms, the strong early position we have built on the mobile media market will help us on the PC as well.”