Apple Store iTunes DRM Protests


I just saw on Boing Boing that there are going to be a ton of anti-DRM protests tomorrow, June 10, at Apple stores around the country .

We spend a lot of time talking about the idiocy of Digital Rights Management (DRM) technology in the magazine, but this is a great opportunity to go out, and educate some of the general public about the problems inherent with buying music from the iTunes Music Store. When people ask why buying music from iTunes is bad, we have a convenient bulleted list that you can print and take with you.

  • Apple's DRM tech limits the number of copies you can make of songs you purchase. They can change the number of songs at any time.
  • DRM vendors, like Apple, can (and already have ) change the terms of use for your music months or even years after the purchase
  • DRM schemes, like Apple's Fairplay, lock you into one brand of player forever (or as long as you want to listen to your music). iTMS music doesn't work on any MP3 player but the iPod
  • You can't sell or loan used iTMS music to your friends
  • iTMS limits the number of times you can burn purchased music to CD
  • The bottom line is that DRM technology is supposed to stop Internet piracy, but it's trivial for pirate to circumvent, and all it takes is one pirate to post an unencrypted file on the net before anyone has it. All it does is prevent honest, paying users from doing what they want with music they purchase

Buying music from iTunes is dangerously convenient, but it's a Bad Thing. When you purchase a music CD, you can easily copy it to an open format, play it on any music player you'd like, sell or loan it to a friend, or copy it as many times as you'd like.

I'll be at the San Francisco Apple Store Saturday (June 10) morning about 10:30 AM, wearing a Maximum PC fleece (my bunny suit is at the cleaners). Hope to see you guys there!

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