So you’re Apple, and you make all your money selling iPods. You invest in the Music Store to make the iPod even more attractive, never intending to make much margin on the 99 cent downloads. But here’s the problem &mdash you really don’t want every other maker of portable digital music players to free-ride on your Music Store investment. After all, the Music Store is supposed to make the iPod more attractive than the competition.
Here’s where FairPlay comes in. It’s a great barrier to entry that keeps the iPod as the exclusive device for the Music Store. Competitors who dare to reverse engineer the protocols or otherwise support interoperability find themselves staring down the barrel of the DMCA.