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6.18.2004 

DRM: Making Outlaws of Us All

Cory Doctorow makes one of the best cases I've heard yet against Digital Rights Management (DRM), using the iTunes DRM as an example of how it hurts consumers:
As it was Apple rewarded my trust, evangelism and out-of-control spending by treating me like a crook and locking me out of my own music.
One of the reasons I'm okay with the DRM in iTunes is because... I can circumvent it. Were it not for programs like Hymn (formerly Playfair) and FairTunes that allow me to listen to the music I've purchased in whatever format I'd like; I would not have purchased a fraction of the songs from iTMS that I have. Yet, obviously, when I use an application like Hymn or FairTunes to convert songs from Apple's proprietary format to AAC, I'm in direct violation of the DMCA.

In other words, the only reason I purchase music legally is because I'm a criminal.

Update:
iTunes 4.6 has disabled the functionality of all of the above programs. Not that you still can't remove the DRM.

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  • hi, i'm mat honan, a writer in san francisco, california.
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