Yet the dream of a copy-proof song or movie is a logical absurdity. DRM systems — built over a span of years at a cost of millions — are routinely cracked in an afternoon by bored teenagers. BigChampagne, the P2P (peer-to-peer) monitoring service, reports that it takes a mere 180 seconds for a DRM’ed song released on the iTunes Store to show up as a free P2P download. Anyone who thinks that companies are going to make bits get harder to copy in the future is either not paying attention or kidding himself.
Any company that thinks it can make bits harder to copy should go have a talk with the NSA about encryption. If they of all organizations are worried about being able to keep secrets secret, what chance can there ever be for consumer-oriented copy prevention?
I begin to question the writer’s motivation for this article when I hit this:
Although Apple’s DRM is wholly ineffective at preventing copying, it does manage to raise the cost of switching from an iPod to a competing device. Every iTunes song you buy for 99 cents amounts to a 99 cent tax on switching from an iPod to a Zune. That’s because your iTunes songs won’t play on your Zune — or on any other player, save those made or licensed by Apple. Jobs tries to skate around this in his memo, suggesting that only a tiny fraction of the music on iPods comes from his music store, and so the anti-switching effects are minimal.
Oh come on. To even be able to run the iTunes software, you need some oomph on your PC. And even PCs with minimum ooph come with CD burners. Only a fekkin retard would buy tracks in AAC when it’s the same price to burn them to CD and simply have iTunes rip them to DRM-free MP3s. The additional effort is minimal and is not a big roadblock.
And this next bit especially makes me grit my teeth at the audacity of the writer — and his possible contempt for his readers:
If you rip your own CDs and load them onto your iPod, you’ll notice something curious. The iPod is a roach motel: Songs check in, but they don’t check out. Once you put music on your iPod, you can’t get it off again without Apple’s software. No recovering your music collection off your iPod if your hard drive crashes. What’s more, Apple prevents copying indiscriminately. You can’t copy any music off your iPod. Apple even applies the no-copying measure to audio released under a Creative Commons license (for example, my own podcasts), which prohibits adding DRM. The Creative Commons situation is inexcusable; because Creative Commons licenses are machine-readable, iTunes could automatically find the C.C.-licensed works and make them available for copying back to your computer.
For Christ’s sake, man! People are not as stupid as you seem to believe they are! Look at this!
I’ve had search engine results from people looking for such a utility come to my blog to that post. And I’m simply linking from another post.
Whenever I see articles that raise certain pat objections against the iPod, my Propaganda Disinformation Alarm sounds. Some writers cry cry cry about the “Apple monopoly” of music. Why haven’t I seen the same hue and cry during the past decade over Microsoft’s monopoly of the desktop and its attempted metastisizing into everything else that requires software?