Story Tools: PRINT | Text Size: S M L XL | REPORT TYPO | SEND YOUR FEEDBACK

Puretracks, unlocked MP3s and Apple's iTunes

by Saleem Khan, CBC News Online

Confusion over Puretracks' new MP3 collection — which is free of anti-copying measures — just got a little less confusing. The workaround for users of the Firefox Web browser that saw MP3 tracks they downloaded misnamed as Windows Media ".wma" files has been fixed. Meanwhile, the attention around the online music store's growing pains has once again focused attention on digital rights management (DRM) software.

DRM, the grab-bag term for the digital locks that often fetter software and particularly music, was the focus of Apple CEO Steve Jobs' open letter on DRM and music, in which he wrote that he would make all tracks in the iTunes store DRM-free if the recording industry let him.

At least one digital rights activist isn't buying it. In an essay for Salon.com, Toronto-born Boing Boing editor Cory Doctorow argues that Jobs probably prefers DRM because it locks iTunes users into the Apple technology ecosystem, which means they have to keep coming back for more — and pay for the privilege.

Jobs' DRM stance has historically been all over the map. He's defended and decried DRM and consumer rights depending on which way the wind blows, and the spirit moves him. There was the "Rip, Mix, Burn" campaign, when Apple celebrated the idea that you could take DRM-free music off of CDs and load it onto your iPod (if you want to do the same thing with a DRM'ed DVD, you're an outlaw). Back in 2002, he went on the record with this gem: "If you legally acquire music, you need to have the right to manage it on all other devices that you own." But later, an Apple attorney told a tech conference that Apple would keep its DRM even if the labels asked to have it removed. And when Real announced that it had put a Real DRM player on Apple's iPod so that you could listen to its DRM music on Apple's player, Apple responded with legal threats.

Doctorow also paints a clear picture of the actual — rather than purported — utility of DRM:

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.

Doctorow outlines the problems with DRM and some of the recent history in the text, which is well worth reading if you buy or listen to digital music, or know anyone who does.

« Previous Post | Main | Next Post »

This discussion is now Open. Submit your Comment.

« Previous Post | Main | Next Post »

Post a Comment

Disclaimer:

Note: By submitting your comments you acknowledge that CBC has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Please note that due to the volume of e-mails we receive, not all comments will be published, and those that are published will not be edited. But all will be carefully read, considered and appreciated.

Note: Due to volume there will be a delay before your comment is processed. Your comment will go through even if you leave this page immediately afterwards.

Privacy Policy | Submissions Policy

Story Tools: PRINT | Text Size: S M L XL | REPORT TYPO | SEND YOUR FEEDBACK

World »

Attack on Sufi mosque in Egypt's Sinai leaves at least 235 dead video
Gunmen attack a crowded Egyptian mosque during prayers, blasting helpless worshippers with gunfire and rocket-propelled grenades and blocking their escape routes, in the deadliest-ever attack by Islamic militants in the country.
False alarm sparks panic on London's Oxford Street
Panic erupted among Christmas shopping crowds on London's Oxford Street as armed officers raced to respond to reports of shots being fired in the area but police said later they had found no evidence of gunfire or casualties.
China says it will inspect kindergartens after chilling abuse report
Dozens of upset parents gather outside a kindergarten in Beijing run by a U.S.-listed company to demand answers, after reports emerged alleging some children had been molested, abused and left with what appeared to be needle marks on their bodies.
more »

Canada »

Basil Borutski guilty of murdering 3 women in shocking killing spree
Basil Borutski has been found guilty of murdering three of his former partners in a shocking one-day spree that's been called one of the worst cases of domestic violence in Canadian history.
Tearful Justin Trudeau apologizes to N.L. residential school survivors video
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau formally apologizes to former students of Newfoundland and Labrador residential schools, acknowledging words alone aren't enough to heal the wounds, and the apology is accepted by an emotional Toby Obed.
Canadian charged in Yahoo hacking case to plead guilty in U.S., court records say
A Canadian accused by the United States of helping Russian intelligence agents break into email accounts as part of a massive 2014 breach of Yahoo accounts is expected to plead guilty next week, according to court records.
more »

Politics »

New Canada should fight for open internet, says former head of FCC audio
The former head of the Federal Communications Commission in the U.S. has a strong warning for Canada: do what you can to protect the internet.
MPs to demand government put interests of citizens 1st after auditor's report audio
Two senior members of the Commons' powerful public accounts committee say they will start enforcing the auditor general's demand that government departments and agencies put taxpayers' interests first when delivering services.
Liberals show 'lack of respect' with invites to LGBTQ2 apology event, say NDP
The NDP says Justin Trudeau's government is showing a lack of respect to the very community it is trying to apologize to next week by treating some members of that community as an afterthought.
more »

Health »

Sorry - we can't find that page
 
CBC.ca

Sorry, we can't find the page you requested.

  1. Please check the URL in the address bar, or ...
  2. Use the navigation links at left to explore our site, or ...
  3. Enter a term in the Quick Search box at top, or ...
  4. Visit our site map page

In a few moments, you will be taken to our site map page, which will help you find what you looking for.

more »

Arts & Entertainment»

'I'm glad it's going slowly — You don't deserve a bullet:' Uma Thurman slams Harvey Weinstein
Actress Uma Thurman has posted icy American Thanksgiving tidings for disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein and his "wicked conspirators."
As It Happens How a Missouri orthodontist's nerdy T-shirt design got a new life on Stranger Things
Since 1982, Missouri orthodontist Wes Allai has been giving his new patients a T-shirt of his own design which reads: "Brace yourself for the future."
Trump supporters confuse LaVar Ball with LeVar Burton; tweet hate at Star Trek actor
Thanks to Donald Trump's feud with basketball dad LaVar Ball, some of the U.S. president's followers are attacking actor LeVar Burton on Twitter.
more »

Technology & Science »

New Privacy while shopping online worries Canadians — but it doesn't stop them, poll suggests
A growing majority of Canadians regularly shop online, despite concerns about what companies do with the pile of data being collected on them with every visit.
NASA satellite imagery provides animation of 'breathing' Earth video
It's a view of Earth you've likely never seen: a living, breathing Earth.
Video Scientists uncover how trees talk and work together
Trees aren't as solitary and independent as you might believe. Scientists have discovered that the trees of the boreal forest communicate and work together to share resources, fight animal predators and even change the weather. CBC-TV's The Nature of Things takes a look at how they do that.
more »

Money »

Starting with 'eastern bastards' remark, Notley wins over Calgary business crowd
Two years after struggling through a speech in front of an awkwardly silent business crowd, Rachel Notley stood before the Calgary Chamber again on Friday and opened with a joke.
New Privacy while shopping online worries Canadians — but it doesn't stop them, poll suggests
A growing majority of Canadians regularly shop online, despite concerns about what companies do with the pile of data being collected on them with every visit.
GO PUBLIC Bell's 'Let's Talk' campaign rings hollow for employees suffering panic attacks, vomiting and anxiety
Current and former Bell employees have written CBC's Go Public to describe the toll of aggressive sales targets on their health at a company well-known for its "Let's Talk" campaign — a massive initiative to improve mental health.
more »

Consumer Life »

Sorry - we can't find that page
 
CBC.ca

Sorry, we can't find the page you requested.

  1. Please check the URL in the address bar, or ...
  2. Use the navigation links at left to explore our site, or ...
  3. Enter a term in the Quick Search box at top, or ...
  4. Visit our site map page

In a few moments, you will be taken to our site map page, which will help you find what you looking for.

more »

Sports »

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Kaillie Humphries' gold caps Canada's medal haul at Whistler World Cup video
Kaillie Humphries added to her World Cup women's points standings lead Friday night, getting her second win of the season and giving Canada a two-race sweep of bobsled golds on the day.
Duhamel, Radford lead after pairs short program at Skate America
Canada's Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford lead after the pairs short program at Skate America on Friday night, putting them in strong position to win a second Grand Prix event.​
Video Let's Play Operation With Olympic Ski Slopestyle Gold Medallist Dara Howell video
Dara Howell is many things, including an Operation aficionado. Well, kind of. Get to know Huntsville, Ontario's Olympian and X-Games medallist better before she competes at this weekend's World Cup in Stubai, Austria.
more »

Diversions »

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
more »