Apple hides account info in DRM-free music, too

Dear Apple and EMI,
eat shit.

While I don’t mind my iTunes account details being embedded in the music I purchase, I have a problem when I want to share my purchased music with my husband (or vice versa). Being in the same family, we should be allowed to use/exchange products, as it’s already legal with DVDs and CDs. The last thing I want is a lawsuit from RIAA just because Apple didn’t know that a “Loli” can be married to a “Queru”.

13 Comments »

Dimitar Uzunov wrote on May 31st, 2007 at 3:50 AM PST:

What do you think about pirating? or boycotting them?


mikesum32 wrote on May 31st, 2007 at 4:51 AM PST:

What part of DRM-free are you not getting ?


This is the admin speaking...
Eugenia wrote on May 31st, 2007 at 5:24 AM PST:

When a file contains information that tags the user or the machine that it runs on, that part is DRM. And the fact that the sold songs don’t have the Apple DRM anymore does not make them DRM-free. As far as I am concerned, the current solution is semi-DRM and does not get me in the clear if JBQ buys a song and gives it to me. Apple has not cleared this bit up at all.


This is the admin speaking...
Eugenia wrote on May 31st, 2007 at 7:00 AM PST:

I don’t pirate. And I don’t want to have offline PCs and strip data manually, it’s stupid. I just want it to the be right way.


Adam Scheinberg wrote on May 31st, 2007 at 8:20 AM PST:

While I hear what you’re saying, this is **not** DRM until they restrict the content. There are no /rights managed/ by this information, thus, it is not DRM. It’s certainly not ideal, but there’s no prevention going on now.

On top of that, you can copy and burn the files without restriction.

While having personal information tagged in files is far from ideal, I think everyone believes it’s superior to having actual DRM present in the files.


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Eugenia wrote on May 31st, 2007 at 8:39 AM PST:

Maybe. But it’s not good enough for me. I need the assurance that I can use my husband’s purchases and vice versa.

You know what? Screw that. I am calling Apple.


This is the admin speaking...
Eugenia wrote on May 31st, 2007 at 9:41 AM PST:

I spent about an hour on the phone with Apple.

The first tech support guy, Paul, did not even know the difference between DRM and DRM-free. Then, after almost an hour of wating, Mike comes to the phone and says that they won’t sue. I mentioned RIAA but he said something to the effect of “no, you won’t get sued, members of the same family should be able to share music”.

My problem is, how will they know that my husband and I are in the same family, especially because we don’t share the same surname or have US marriage papers? He was not able to answer that.


mikesum32 wrote on May 31st, 2007 at 11:24 AM PST:

You will have the ability to play it, it’s DRM free, but it is tagged with your name. I can understand you worrying about it being tracked back to you, or even it being in the file in the first place. When did iTunes start spying for the RIAA ? It doesn’t. Apple doesn’t. Apple wouldn’t, they know better.

If you’re that paranoid, why not have an offline computer play your music ? Why not strip the data out yourself ? I’m sure you or JBQ could whip something up. It is not a violation of the DMCA because it isn’t DRM, you are free to do so.

I encode my CDs in Monkey’s Audio. I can play it in windows, linux or beos or I could use flac to encode as well. We have a good pawn shop in town where CDs around 2 or 3 dollars when purchased one at a time, but 1 dollar when you get (around)5.

You have to worry about putting them up on pirate bay or on a file sharing program, and that’s it.


mikesum32 wrote on May 31st, 2007 at 9:57 AM PST:

If you give a song to JBQ, then what ? Then nothing, unless he shares it himself and it gets loose.

Then maybe Apple might want to have a word with you. I’m sure it’s trivial to delete any information you don’t want. In a week or two you’ll see tools to expunge any private data.

Are you afraid of being taken to court or afraid of people finding out what music you listen to ?


This is the admin speaking...
Eugenia wrote on May 31st, 2007 at 10:18 AM PST:

>If you give a song to JBQ, then what ? Then nothing,

HOW do you know that? JBQ uses a Mac for iTunes and I use a PC. Apple’s iTunes can VERY easily figure out that the username on the AAC is not the same as the iTunes on the current computer. Even if we are on the same family, our iTunes installations and iPods are different.

I see no guarantees whatsoever that Apple don’t give this bit of information to RIAA and that RIAA won’t file a lawsuit.

You are putting too much faith to Apple that they will figure out who is who and let it be. I don’t.

>In a week or two you’ll see tools to expunge any private data

I am sorry, but I don’t want to use such tools. Neither JBQ wants to. I believe in out of the box solutions and that’s what iTunes is. If I must use (usually) buggy shareware, well, I better purchase the CDs then and do the ripping myself.


Jeff wrote on June 1st, 2007 at 6:05 AM PST:

My question is, legally, what gives you and JBQ the legal right to “share” songs? I thought the license is to the individual, not to the household, or family. What prevents each of you playing the same song at the same time while using different players, in different locations?


This is the admin speaking...
Eugenia wrote on June 1st, 2007 at 6:51 AM PST:

>what gives you and JBQ the legal right to “share” songs?

The fact that many licenses allow that, and what Apple told me today on the phone, they hold that true too. The law does not say otherwise anyway. And besides, it would be stupidly stupid to buy the same album from iTunes 2 or 3 or 4 times for all family members. Just stupid. I prefer to continue doing what we currently do if that’s the case: buy CDs and rip them.


mikesum32 wrote on June 1st, 2007 at 7:58 AM PST:

If these were DVDs there would be no laws to shop you sharing or renting.

Software licenses and the music industry have their “nose in your business.” Almost everything else is covered under “first sale doctrine.” That basically mean “I bought it. It’s mine to do with as I please.” That’s why there are no Blockbusters for music.

Software is mixed bag, a mishmash of court rulings, as to whether you own a copy and are free to do with it as you please. You might as well flip a coin.


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