Looks like the US Congress is finally waking up to the downside of drm. The congressional intellectual property committee held a meeting about the interoperability, or lack of it, of online music services. A quote from one of the politicos:
"This interoperability issue is of concern to me since consumers who bought legal copies of music from Real could not play them on an iPod" The industry are urging the lawmakers to keep their noses out of this particular market. Napster representative, William E. Pence, for example said the government "historically not been a participant in competition between early-stage consumer technologies."
Interoperability will eventually come home to roost on the music industry, Apple, Real et al because people will no accept the daft prospect of having to buy a range of different digital music players to play music sold to them by different companies. The sooner the better.