PyMusique vs Apple

Let fans decide on digital rights

The argument over the use of digital rights management (DRM) to control the distribution and use of music and other content took an interesting turn this week…

…What Jon and his fellow programmers have done is work out exactly what information the iTunes client sends to the store, and what responses it gets back when someone buys a song and downloads it.

Jon earned the nickname “DVD Jon” for his exploits
Then they have written their own program that does all of the same things with one key exception: their code does not add the FairPlay digital rights management wrapper to the downloaded music file.

Instead of having to accept the limitations that Apple has placed on what you can do with the music you have purchased, you can use your own judgment as to what is fair and legal…

…It is great having people like Jon around because he combines astonishing technical ability with devotion to the spirit of copyright law and the importance of “fair use” rights.

That is, the freedom to do things like make copies for personal use, or keep backups, or just play music on any computer or portable player you happen to own.

For him, the purpose of PyMusique is not to encourage people to break copyright law but to point out how technology is being used to take away freedoms that we should be fighting to preserve.

I agree with what the article says. Apple’s ‘FairPlay’, and indeed any DRM scheme is destined for failure. Why should I buy a tune from Apple, when I cannot play it on my iRiver? When I cannot use my Linux box to play it on my Home Stereo?

here is a simple solution for those who, like me, disagree with Apple’s approach to selling music online and that is not to buy any.

I do not buy locked-down music, so I will not buy songs from iTunes or anywhere else that limits what I can do with them.

Instead, I use sites like betterPropaganda, which have indie artists and unlocked files.

But most of the time I simply buy CDs and rip them to my hard drive.

I get the artwork, I get a high quality copy of the music that I can re-copy at any time if I should lose my digital version, and I get a music file I can play on any device I choose, now or in the future.

That’s what I do. I do not share my Ogg files with folks that do not own the CD, and I only play them in my truck, or on my home system, or when I DJ Raves.

Just kidding about that last one.

Or am I?

-Tsyko

4 thoughts on “PyMusique vs Apple”

  1. Or, I can pay $15 for a physical CD, rip it, play it anywhere, anytime, <B>and</B> have a physical backup that will last 20 some odd years.<BR/><BR/>I agree that at a certian price point it will work – Heck, iTunes is at most folks price point right now. That is one rocking service.<BR/><BR/>I guess that I am not trying to convince people to not use it – just be aware of the licensing restrictions.<BR/><BR/>That is what it comes down to with Any IP/DRM/License. Be aware of what you are buying. I feel that people should have the freedom to use any licensing scheme that they want for their creative work. However, they should also respect the licenses of the IP that they use in their works.<BR/><BR/>So if Band A or Record Label A wants to release all of their music via DRM that restricts their use to only the Purple iPods, great! I will not buy it, but that should be their choice.

  2. Assuming you could purchase single machine downloads for all the machines you desire to have the music on (yes a big assumption) there is obviously a price point at which you would prefer cheaper, multiple downloads to a single multi-use download.<BR/><BR/>If for example you could download a song to 5 machines for 10 cents each, or download a multi-use version for a dollar, most people would probably pich the single use downloads. Fairly quickly I expecet that the multi-use services would disappear for lack of a sufficient audience.<BR/><BR/>I expect also that the companies would make a whole lot more money off of 10 cents per download per machine than they do from the current 1 dollar per song. Not because people have more than 10 machines, but because they would download a lot more songs, more frequently.

  3. Well, if I can buy a CD that I can use in any CD Player for 15 bucks, and it has 10 – 15 songs on it (about an hour’s music) the asking .99 for a song that I can only play with one application on one computer is pretty poor.<BR/><BR/>I think that we need to keep the idea of fair use. If I pay money for something, then I should be able to use it, no?<BR/><BR/>I guess I just feel that when I buy a thing, that I should have ownership of that thing. If that thing is a copyable thing, and the license that I buy it under says that I am not to give it to others, then I do not give it to others. If I do, I should be held accountable under the law.<BR/><BR/>I am not saying that Apple is Evil for selling their songs like this, just that I will not buy them. If I had all windows and Apple at home, this would not be such an issue.<BR/><BR/>So, I still buy CD’s, I rip them onto my harddrive and use them that way. I guess that it’s just personal choice now.<BR/><BR/>What I do not look forward to is a day when we "abandon the concept of ‘fair use’". If CD’s are no longer sold, I will have to bow to the mass media and get the songs from iTunes, or Wallmart online or what ever. But you can bet that I will be working at removing the DRM wrappers so that I can enjoy them on my Linux boxes, my Home Stereo and in my Truck…

  4. I been been interested in the digital rights/copywrite debate for a long time now.<BR/><BR/>My conclusion, provisionally at least, is that we may need to abandon the concept of ‘fair use’. I am not entirely happy about this, but technological changes have always resulted in changes in copywrite law, and I think this might be a needed rememedy.<BR/><BR/>I think that there would be less anger if the concept that you were purchasing use of a song on a particular machine, rather than purchasing the song itself, and that it would go along way to solve a lot of these issues. <BR/><BR/>Now, whether the price for a song on a single machine should still be a buck or if it should be less as a result is a different issue.

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