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All ITunes Songs to Be DRM-free, Apple says

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

Wednesday, January 7, 2009
11 years ago5,576 views

From an Apple press release (edited to remove some clutter like inline trademark symbols):

<<Apple today announced several changes to the iTunes Store. Beginning today, all four major music labels – Universal Music Group, Sony BMG, Warner Music Group and EMI, along with thousands of independent labels, are now offering their music in iTunes Plus, Apple’s DRM-free format with higher-quality 256 kbps AAC encoding for audio quality virtually indistinguishable from the original recordings.>>
apple.com/pr/library/2009/01/0 ...

James Xuan [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

Apple's DRM-Free isn't actually DRM free though :)

Still good news, Steve Jobs has hated DRM for a long time.

The industry doesn't like iTunes. See how Amazon got DRM before iTunes, and now that iTunes has it they have to give the industry pricing flexibility unlike Amazon.

Mrrix32 [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

The only reason I use iTunes is when I can get free songs off there (Winning vouchers/special offers). Their songs are the most expensive I've seen online.

And their going to charge you to remove the DRM from songs you already have :(

Colin Colehour [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

[put at-character here]James Xuan, Why do you think Apple's iTunes Plus songs aren't DRM free?

James Xuan [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

Apple embeds your name and e-mail address into each file, so if you end up sharing it on trrents etc. they know who leaked it.

And, that sir, unless I'm mistaken is DRM in a non-traditional sense.

pcadvisor.co.uk/blogs/index.cf ...

Colin Colehour [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

DRM as defined in Wikipedia:
<< Digital rights management (DRM) is a generic term that refers to access control technologies used by hardware manufacturers, publishers and copyright holders to limit usage of digital media or devices. The term is used to describe any technology which makes the unauthorized use of media or devices technically formidable, and generally doesn't include other forms of copy protection which can be circumvented without modifying the media or device, such as serial numbers or keyfiles. It can also refer to restrictions associated with specific instances of digital works or devices. >>

Since your free to play that song on any machine, then no, it's not a DRM issue. DRM restricted you from playing a purchased song on more than 5 computers/ipods. With iTunes plus songs you don't have that restriction.

If your paranoid about having your name and email address inside your songs, you could use 3rd party software to remove it. I dont' see a problem with having my name in a file that I purchased because I don't share music on p2p sites or torrent sites.

Tony Ruscoe [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

> Apple embeds your name and e-mail address into each file, so
> if you end up sharing it on trrents etc. they know who leaked it.

I have no problem with Apple doing this. DRM-free music isn't about being able to share it illegally, it's about owning your own music.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

> DRM-free music isn't about being able to share it illegally

Unrelated to the name/ email issue, but I think DRM is also about legal sharing. Or may I not buy a song for my wife and then email it to her computer in the next room in this same house? (Not to mention making a "mixed tape" for a friend, though that would be another interesting discussion, as we were able to do this stuff legally AFAIK on 80s tapes.)

Tony Ruscoe [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

Of course. Like in the old days, it was seen as being acceptable to borrow cassettes from your friends and make copies. Even though I'm sure it was still technically illegal to make a copy, I doubt anyone was ever prosecuted for doing it though. But if you copied them and tried to sell them on a market, that was illegal and you'd probably get taken to court...

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

> Even though I'm sure it was still technically illegal to
> make a copy

Why do you think it was illegal to make a copy to give to a friend?
Is there any info on this? Not quite sure what to search for in Google, my tries weren't too successful.

Tony Ruscoe [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

There's something on Wikipedia that points out it was controversial:

<< Most cassettes were sold blank and used for recording (dubbing) the owner's records (as backup or to make mixtape compilations), their friends' records or music from the radio. This practice was condemned by the music industry with such slogans as "Home Taping Is Killing Music". However, many claimed that the medium was ideal for spreading new music and would increase sales, and strongly defended at least their right to copy their own records onto tape.

[...]

Various legal cases arose surrounding the dubbing of cassettes. In the UK, in the case of CBS Songs v. Amstrad (1988), the House of Lords found in favor of Amstrad that producing equipment that facilitated the dubbing of cassettes, in this case a high-speed twin cassette deck that allowed one cassette to be copied directly onto another, did not constitute the infringement of copyright.[23] In a similar case, a shop owner who rented cassettes and sold blank tapes was not liable for copyright infringement even though it was clear that his customers were likely dubbing them at home.[24] In both cases, the courts held that manufacturers and retailers could not be held accountable for the actions of consumers. >>

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compact_ ...

And here's a link to the "Home Taping Is Killing Music" article:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Home_Tap ...

I think I was always under the impression that making a copy for yourself was legal but making a copy and giving it to a friend or making a copy from a friend's copy was illegal – but I'm not sure where I got that idea from!

Mrrix32 [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

<<I think I was always under the impression that making a copy for yourself was legal but making a copy and giving it to a friend or making a copy from a friend's copy was illegal>>

I'm pretty sure this is how the law works in the UK isn't it? If you give a couple of friends a copy of a song and they pass it on to a couple of their friends, how is this different from a p2p network?

As for personal copies, the law is a bit fuzzy. I believe that personal copies are allowed, but some companies argue that they should be EXACT copies (eg. if you buy a CD, you can copy the CD to another but not rip it to MP3). Which is completely ridiculous.

Note: I am no expert on the law, this is just how I believe things to be.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

> how is this different from a p2p network

Mrrix: Copyright laws in the past often got stronger over time, not weaker. Hence many things that you think of as illegal now may not have been at one time. So it's worth looking into each case. Copyright laws aren't fixed in time and scope, they're changing to what society demands, what lobbyists of corporations convince politicians to rule in favor of, they sometimes do change with technology (less so than would be common sense perhaps, these days), and so on.

For instance, when Disney set out to create movies by using the stories of the Brother's Grimm and other creators (Snow White, Pinocchio, Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan etc.). Look at the following from Lawrence Lessig's Free Culture:

<<In 1928, the culture that Disney was free to draw upon was relatively fresh. The public domain in 1928 was not very old and was therefore quite vibrant. The average term of copyright was just around thirty years—for that minority of creative work that was in fact copy-righted. That means that for thirty years, on average, the authors or copyright holders of a creative work had an “exclusive right” to control certain uses of the work. To use this copyrighted work in limited ways required the permission of the copyright owner.

At the end of a copyright term, a work passes into the public domain. No permission is then needed to draw upon or use that work. No permission and, hence, no lawyers. The public domain is a “lawyer-free zone.” Thus, most of the content from the nineteenth century was free for Disney to use and build upon in 1928. It was free for anyone— whether connected or not, whether rich or not, whether approved or not—to use and build upon.

This is the ways things always were—until quite recently. For most of our history, the public domain was just over the horizon. From 1790 until 1978, the average copyright term was never more than thirty-two years, meaning that most culture just a generation and a half old was free for anyone to build upon without the permission of anyone else. Today’s equivalent would be for creative work from the 1960s and 1970s to now be free for the next Walt Disney to build upon without permission. Yet today, the public domain is presumptive only for content from before the Great Depression.>>
authorama.com/free-culture-4.h ...

A mix tape given to a friend for instance, to return to that subject, is both a) a creative remixing and b) noncommercial, and thus may well be considered "fair use." The act of copying is not disallowed when it is fair use (by US law).

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

On the subject of legality of copying tapes in the 1980s, many people in this Reddit thread say "illegal" (reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comment ...), but here's one other view:

<<Legal. Though that may depend on the jurisdiction. I know that it was 100% legal in Germany. Empty tapes had a small fee added to their price there (it was called GEMA-Gebühr) to compensate artists for the putative losses from home copying.>>

James Xuan [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

I don't have a roblem with it, I buy al my music from the iTunes store and many of my tracks aren't iTunes plus, however, having their name and email address embeded definately limits (or manages) their right (albeit, perhaps, not in some countries) to share music with people.

If I want to gift or sell my track to someone,why should my name be embeded in it, if I am not the owner. You may say I am still the owner, beccause you can only resell physical media, and that it is *written into the license* wen I bought the song that I cannot resell my music. This is limiting (or managing) the right (albeit, perhaps. not in some countries) to resell or git music to people.

We seem not to remember how we used to be able to sell music on, and for some reason don't see this applying to digital media, because that is how we have been conditioned by the industy, much like the "downloading movies is stealing" propaganda forced upon by hollywood in movies.

wonder [PersonRank 3]

11 years ago #

Wait a minute!!!

Does this mean that now you can download music from more than a certain number of of computers onto your ipod without the risk of losing your music just like you can with the zune?

I always wanted to buy an ipod but I wanted to wait until I was able to download music from more than a certain number of computers. Is this now possible?

There are no more restrictions just liek with zune?

Is it true?

James Xuan [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

You have always been able to do that, wonder :D

What this means is that there is no danger of losing music if iTunes shuts down and you can copy it to as many computers and iPods as you want.

wonder [PersonRank 3]

11 years ago #

[put at-character here] James Xuan

I thought the ipod "ties" or "marries" to the computer thus limiting you on how many computers you can use?

prowse [PersonRank 1]

11 years ago #

[put at-character here] wonder

DRM did the tie, not the devices. It is true that now you will no longer lose your songs upon syncing. Also, even though at the start of the week, the iStore was only giving us an all-or-nothing approach to the DRM-free upgrades, Apple is "fixing" the issue, by issueing credits to everyone who has converted (all their library at one go) so far this week, and giving us all a click-whatever-you-want-to-upgrade button next to each song in the list provided by the Store. Whole or partial albums will also be availble per picking.

This fix is in response to thousands of complaints from die-hard Apple fanbois as well as casual iTunes users (especially the PC side) from emails, blogs, netcasts, etc. For instance, since only songs you have purchased (free downloads are NOT counted in this tally) from iTunes starting from day one will show up in the upgradeable list, people who may have deleted many songs previously purchased did NOT want to have to buy them again, let alone only with the 1.29 price point option available (conflicting with their new pricing).

Also, the new pricing structure is .69 and .99 are at 128kbps and 1.29 are 256kbps.

The same general rule changes also apply to MUSIC videos (NOT video rentals)

prowse [PersonRank 1]

11 years ago #

By March 09 ALL songs in the whole iStore catalog will be DRM-free, but:

.69 songs will = 128kbps VBR (yes, V BR)
.99 songs will = 128kbps CBR
1.29 songs will = 256kbps CBR

James Xuan [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

Are you sure your facts are correct about the pricing prowse?

I was under the impression that 69c was for catalogue tracks, 99c for normal tracks and 1.29 for special edition/music the label thinks is in high demand or for tracks that were previously "Album Only"

This thread is locked as it's old... but you can create a new thread in the forum. 

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