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?