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iTunes: Don't Leave Home With Them 725

Posted by michael
from the apple-is-too-u.s.-centric dept.
BadDoggie writes "Politech is reporting that your 'ownership' of music purchased from Apple's iTunes isn't what everyone considers ownership. According to the license, 'Apple may use technologies to verify' that you have not 'use[d] or attempt[d] to use the service from outside of the [United States]'. This includes Canada. Apple's 'technologies' delete the bought-and-paid-for files with no refund and no replacement when & if you leave the U.S." Update: 07/25 16:23 GMT by P : The post to Politech says the songs would "disappear," not be deleted; from the context, it seems they were merely unplayable, not deleted. Update: 07/25 21:34 GMT by M : Apple has contacted the guy, and is apparently making him happy. However, the question remains: Apple definitely doesn't want people buying new songs from outside the U.S., but do they intend to generally permit foreign users to reauthorize (in effect, retain access to) the songs they have already purchased? Apple's policy is very unclear on that point.
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iTunes: Don't Leave Home With Them

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  • by Burb (620144) on Friday July 25, 2003 @10:28AM (#6531727)
    You know, I never knew that before. Thanks, Slashdot!
    • You wouldn't know from the phone system. You don't have to use international dialing to get Canada. Its just one more area code (or more accurately, several more). Go figure.
    • by diverman (55324) on Friday July 25, 2003 @11:28AM (#6532314)
      No it's not. Canada is just a US territory. We just let them think they're a country. ;)

      J/K! I tease my Canadian friends with this all the time. Heh. Always gets them fired up. *grin*

      -Alex
  • by Unknown Poltroon (31628) * <unknown_poltroon1sp@myahoo.com> on Friday July 25, 2003 @10:28AM (#6531732)
    WHY?!
    Sigh. I think its time to give up on online music, and since i refuse to buy cds anymore, Im just gonna go buy a kazoo.

    • download it from kaz...

      D'oh.
    • Can I join your band? I have some saucepans and wooden spoons.
    • Re:Heres a question. (Score:3, Informative)

      by ichimunki (194887)
      Why don't you check out emusic.com? They give you plain old mp3s and rely on your sense of ethics and existing copyright laws to keep you from infringing. Not only that emusic.com has a working Linux client (sorry, it is not free software), but the client is only needed for downloading. Once you have the mp3, you're set. I realize that some people consider their quality and/or selection to be limited, but it's certainly a value when you consider that you get unlimited downloads with your monthly subscriptio
      • Re:Heres a question. (Score:3, Interesting)

        by PsychoKiller (20824)
        I'll never use emusic's service. I signed up for their trial offer, and I gave them my email address with -emusic added to it. Now I get about 3 spams a week send to that address.

        Even if it wasn't their fault, they have never responded to my emails informing them of the spam, and by ignoring it, they lost me as a potential customer.
  • no friendly DRM (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Götz (18854) <waschk@MENCKENgmx.net minus author> on Friday July 25, 2003 @10:29AM (#6531734) Homepage
    This teaches us one thing: There's no friendly DRM, DRM is always bad, especially if you notice it when it's too late. I hope the users will learn from this and boycott the iTunes store unless they remove the DRM from their songs.
    • Re:no friendly DRM (Score:5, Insightful)

      by OmniVector (569062) <see [ ]homepage ['my ' in gap]> on Friday July 25, 2003 @10:43AM (#6531904) Homepage
      DRM is always bad, especially if you notice it when it's too late.
      This is what people many don't realize, unfortunatly. The words "Digital Rights Management" impose the wrong feeling on people in the first place. It sounds more like it's empowering the user, when instead it's empowering the media corporations.

      I hope the users will learn from this and boycott the iTunes store unless they remove the DRM from their songs.
      Unfortunatly, as many have already said, this is the RIAA's doing, not Apple. It's kind of like the region encoded DVD situation. there is no good reason for the consumer why DVD X should only work in country Y. But it's there due to international restrictions/licensing/laws etc.
      • Re:no friendly DRM (Score:5, Informative)

        by Pieroxy (222434) on Friday July 25, 2003 @10:49AM (#6531966) Homepage
        This stupid law (DVD region) is actually not enforceable in Europe. More and more DVD players out there are multi-zone by default, in the store.
        • Re:no friendly DRM (Score:3, Informative)

          by Götz (18854)
          This stupid law (DVD region) is actually not enforceable in Europe.
          I don't know about your country, but here in Germany we have the new European Copyright law that makes it enforceable. I guess it would also be illegal to crack rot13, as that's a technical prevention measure.
      • Re:no friendly DRM (Score:3, Insightful)

        by malfunct (120790)
        Yeah, its funny whose rights are actually being managed. Its totally about the rights of the company (and sometimes it manages more rights than the companies actually have). That said there are uses for DRM that benifits you and I. E-mail with DRM is interesting because it allows you to verify that the sender actually sent the message and the person read it was the person meant to read it. DRM on executables could allow only programs you want to run on your computer to run, viruses woudln't be able to run b
    • Re:no friendly DRM (Score:4, Insightful)

      by multiOSfreak (551711) <culturejam@g m a i l.com> on Friday July 25, 2003 @11:28AM (#6532307) Homepage Journal
      There's no friendly DRM, DRM is always bad
      ...especially if you are stealing (or copyright infringing, if that term is more suitable).

      I think the Apple Music Store's DRM is the only reasonable implementation I've seen.

      Bottom line is that you have to read the EULA or TOS (or whatever) before you buy. Crying after the fact is just crying.
  • But... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 25, 2003 @10:29AM (#6531737)
    What about a country that's under US administration? does that count?

  • C'mon guys (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MemeRot (80975) on Friday July 25, 2003 @10:29AM (#6531739) Homepage Journal
    Apple's distribution rights are obviously limited to the US by the contracts they signed with the music companies. Or do you think Apple insisted on this themselves?
  • by chrisbw (609350) on Friday July 25, 2003 @10:31AM (#6531764) Homepage

    ...there's a chance that this was something that was mandated by their contractual obligations with the labels providing the music.

    Hopefully Apple will be able to secure international licenses and make this a moot point.

  • Backups (Score:5, Insightful)

    by miket01 (50902) on Friday July 25, 2003 @10:31AM (#6531767) Homepage

    Well, here's a good reminder to read the license before paying good money for DRM'd "product".

    Also, one could avoid this problem by burning the tracks to CD as back-up, which Apple can't really do much about no matter where you take them.
  • by artemis67 (93453) on Friday July 25, 2003 @10:31AM (#6531771)
    According to the article, you either have to volunteer the change of address info to Apple, or change the address on your credit card.

    So, don't tell Apple you moved and tell your credit card company that you lost your card and need a new one.

    You won't be able to purchase new music, but at least you won't lose your existing songs.
    • by Arker (91948) on Friday July 25, 2003 @10:46AM (#6531928) Homepage

      According to the article, you either have to volunteer the change of address info to Apple, or change the address on your credit card.

      I didn't think the blurb could be exactly correct. When i go to iTunes (I'm using a Swedish IP) the message I get says that I won't be able to purchase music unless my billing address is in the United States. So it wouldn't make sense for them to let me buy it with a stateside billing address then delete it when I download it, now would it?

      It's damnably stupid to have such Mickey Mouse restrictions in the first place, but you know the record companies must have insisted on language to that effect if they were to do business at all.

  • by IDigUNIX (544392) on Friday July 25, 2003 @10:32AM (#6531783)
    "use[d] or attempt[d] to use the service from outside of the [United States]'. This includes Canada."
    Whew, for a second there I was thinking that we'd annexed Canada. Eh? I think that to be more clear, they should also specifically state that Mexico is outside the US. And, for those who are still in denial, they should state that New Jersey IS part of the United States.
    • I've lived in New Jersey 24 years, and I must say I have to contradict your statement.

      The following reasons apply:

      1) When leaving the country of New Jersey, you must always pay "export duties" on yourself. This is obviously an attempt by our ruthless dictator to keep us from leaving!

      2) When traveling to see friends and/or family, you are taxed dutifully by what are call "tolls". These tools are again the attempt by our ruthless dictator to limit our movement and freedom of expression beyong our own neighborhood.

      3) The currency exchange rate between US Dollars and NJ Dollars is horrendous. For example, a house that costs you $200,000 in Pennsylvania will translate to $500,000 just for crossing into our evil dictatorship. The worst part is, NJ does not have it's own currency so we must still use US dollars. The ruthless dictator obviuosly wants us to feel insignificant and poor compared to your Americans! We can't afford homes... we buy cardboard boxes and pay rent on sidewalk squares.

      4) Same exchange rate goes for car insurance!

      5) Speed limits are still 55mph on many roads! Even the residential ones! Obviously the evil dictator wants us all to conform to his strict policies!

      6) We can't pump our own gas! Yes, that's right, the evil dictator has his hencemen pump gas for us... depriving our God given right to fuel our own automobiles!
  • by pcaylor (648195) on Friday July 25, 2003 @10:33AM (#6531799)
    Before condemning iTMS as being the ill-begotten spawn of the RIAA, Satan and Bill Gates, maybe the ex-pat should have tried calling Apple and talking to a real live person.

    Apple is very upfront that the service isn't available outside the US (at least not yet) and they have apparently put in technical measures to enforce that. The key is if you can talk to a person on the phone or via email and get them to override a false positive. If you can, then this is a minor annoyance. If you can't, then Apple needs to rethink their system

    Also, note that you can continue to play music you already purchased outside the US. It is only new purchases or reauthorizing music that you can't do outside the US
  • by Paradox (13555) on Friday July 25, 2003 @10:36AM (#6531833) Homepage Journal
    "Using the service" means trying to use the iTunes store. It doesn't mean listening to your music outside of the US. Right now, Apple only has the legal end worked out while you're in the US. It makes sense that they don't want a repeat of the iTunes "sharing" fiasco. What they are saying here is:

    IF you attempt to use the service from outside of where they can legally sell you the music, then they MIGHT be able to delete the files you obtained illegally after you download them. WHEN at some later date your country is serviced by iTMS then you can now use the service from that country.

    ITunes keeps your authorization offline, and it's a seperate file that you can backup and keep (so you'll be able to play your music even if apple's serves go down). So listening to your music abroad definitely doesn't count as infringement, since no service interaction is required.

    That seems pretty reasonable to me. These "tools to detect" are probably somehow worked into iTunes, so it's not like Apple somehow is sneaking spyware into your system. Relax folks. iTMS isn't suddenly evil or anything. I really doubt that even authorizing your laptop while abroad is illegal.
  • by Yosho (135835) on Friday July 25, 2003 @10:36AM (#6531839) Homepage
    How about quoting what it really says?

    Purchases from the iTunes Music Store are available only in the United States and are not available in any other location. You agree not to use or attempt to use the service from outside of the available territory. Apple may use technologies to verify such compliance.

    All this is saying is that you may not use the iTunes service outside the US. This is likely not of their own choice, but because of agreements with the record labels that restrict them to distribution in the US.

    Furthermore, it says nothing like, "Apple's 'technologies' delete the bought-and-paid-for files with no refund and no replacement when & if you leave the U.S." You're welcome to listen to your music anywhere you please. Read in the proper context, "Apple may use technologies to verify such compliance," obviously means that if Apple detects you using the iTunes service from outside the US, they'll stop you. Is that so harsh?
  • by raptor21 (47540) on Friday July 25, 2003 @10:38AM (#6531860)
    The author of the article claims he reinstalled his powerbook. And tried to redownload his purchased songs after changing his address permantly on both his credit card and iTunes to an outside US address.

    Well that doesn't say apple will suddenly disable all your music files if you step out of US soil for say a week or a month.

    Apple'sn policies clearly state that you may only purchase songs in the US.
  • by 91degrees (207121) on Friday July 25, 2003 @10:39AM (#6531863) Journal
    All sales are final etc. If it's a sale, can they unilaterally withdraw the sale based on a spurious interpretation of their terms and conditions?
  • by davids-world.com (551216) on Friday July 25, 2003 @10:40AM (#6531873) Homepage
    The critique may be acceptable (music label's haven't arrived in the global economy/international culture yet), but Shawn Yeager's motivation is possibly not.

    The guy that complains about Apple's restrictice licenses not only USED TO WORK FOR MICROSOFT, he also developed MusicDirect.com [musicdirect.com], a direct competitor to the iTunes Store. (Read it yourself on his Home page [shawnyeager.com].

    As the french say: honi soit qui mal y pense. ("shamed be he who thinks evil of it")

  • by Frogmanalien (521225) on Friday July 25, 2003 @10:43AM (#6531907) Homepage
    Not to sound rude, but all you yankees moaning about how this service is limited to the US- at least you get the service to begin with! We're still waiting for a launch in the UK/Europe... And there's a thought- maybe once international liscensing is in place it maybe possible to take your music elsewhere. Everyone seems to be slagging off Apple for introducing a revolution that is "perfect" - but there's no such thing as a bloodshed free revolution. Give Apple some time, voice your opinion/feelings to Apple so they know how you feel, and maybe they'll solve the hitch. Legal hurdles aside, time changes everything... I think.
  • by MichaelCrawford (610140) on Friday July 25, 2003 @10:45AM (#6531922) Homepage Journal
    You can avoid being sued or arrested if you download legal music instead of getting your tunes from the p2p networks. You also don't need to deal with Digital Rights Management.

    Many unsigned musicians provide free downloads of their music on their websites as a way to attract more fans. Here's some from my friend Oliver Brown [kingturtle.com] for example. Many such musicians, while relatively unknown, are as good as any major label band and certainly an improvement over the pablum they serve up on ClearChannel.

    You can find many more examples in my new article:

    The article also explores some of the historical and legal issues behind copyright, and suggests steps the file traders can take to make file sharing legal.

    If you're a musician who offers downloads of your music, I can link to your band's website from the article if you give my article a reciprocal link. Please follow the instructions given here [goingware.com]

  • He's full of it. (Score:4, Informative)

    by Visigothe (3176) on Friday July 25, 2003 @10:45AM (#6531923) Homepage
    ...and by "it" I mean he's not telling the whole truth.

    I have iTMS files on my powerbook. I travel internationally at least once a month, and I have *never* experienced a problem. Once the files are on your HD, they play just as they normally would if you were right at "home"

    I have a nasty feeling this is some FUD, clear and simple. After all, this isn't an "article" this was an email.

    Sigh.
  • Not exactly typical (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Alcimedes (398213) on Friday July 25, 2003 @10:48AM (#6531947)
    although i can't condone the fact that his songs no longer work, i feel i should point out two things.

    1st, no company has yet gotten authorization to distribute musical content outside the US. i'm guessing this is a record label issue.

    2nd, in his case he had to reinstall everything. it asked to reverify his address, but he'd changed his address on his credit card. it was Canada now, not the US. not sure what else they could have done. if they sell songs outside of the US, they get in big trouble.

    if he hadn't wiped everything, his songs would still be working today.

    the "technology" they used to verify he was a US customer was his credit card billing address.

    (which makes me think that someone could try a PO box in the US and then get their mail forwarded to Canada and get around the US restriciton)

  • This makes sense (Score:5, Informative)

    by holt (86624) on Friday July 25, 2003 @10:49AM (#6531965) Homepage
    He tried to reauthorize the songs after his billing address has changed to outside the US. If you have a US address, you're fine, no matter where your computer sits. How do I know? I studied in Ireland during the last school year, and I downloaded a number of songs from iTMS, using my US-based credit card with my US-based address.

    The moral? The license agreement says you aren't to export the songs. This has nothing to do with DRM - it would still be a breach of contract (thus revoking your license to use the songs) to export the songs even if iTMS was giving you straight MP3s.
  • by jeeves99 (187755) * on Friday July 25, 2003 @10:51AM (#6531985)
    iTMS music can be authorized on 3 computers. If you move to an area of the globe not serviced by the iTunes validation servers, just find a friend you trust and ftp/scp/carrier-pigeon your purchased songs over to him. Then get him to authorize his computer on your account (as I said, friend you trust as you are giving them your password). He/She can reencode your songs as mp3s and transfer them back. So now you can play your music. Was that so hard?

    That being said...

    What's all this mindless chatter about how DRM is evil and how we should boycott companies that use it? DRM is necessary because people have shown the willingness (and in some cases zeal) for stealing material. Apple couldn't have left DRM out if they wanted to get even some indie labels to sign on. Don't blame apple, blame "the man" and the hordes of people who frequent sharing establishments. The fact that apple pushed real hard to allow a more lax DRM than given by other music services speaks volumes. Apple wants you to be able to burn mixes, play on iPods, and share the music between your home and work computers. Sure, its DRM'd and there are a few glitches (ie: out of country), but its the best "the man" will let us do. I'm happy with that for the moment.
  • by alistair (31390) <alistair AT hotldap DOT com> on Friday July 25, 2003 @10:54AM (#6532016)
    A number of people seem to be commenting on this article as if the songs stop working as soon as a user leaves the US. However, in this case the guy is saying he had to completly reinstall his powerbook and wanted to retrieve his DRM certificate to allow him to use the songs he had purchased, and Apple's policies wouldn't allow this.

    So it is a major flaw, but one I suspect that is by accident rather than design. Apple has promised the music industry that it won't allow downloads of songs from outside the US, which this policy enforces. What I suspect that haven't done is work out a way to allow users to keep their existing account but not allow future downloads now they know you aren't in the right geography. They don't do intrusive testing, only when the user in this case informed them they were outside the US (and the service is VERY clear when you have to sign up that you have to be in the US, it's not really small print).

    So Apple haven't been as comprehensive in their use case mapping as they should have been, and obviously didn't cover the 0.01% case of customers who move from the US but need to access their existing tunes, loses their key and has no backup. They have however, proved to the copyright owner that their regon specific policies are being enforced, which is the only thing which gives us access to this service at present. If you disagree with them, fine buy CDs, break the law or campaign for change but there are many of us happy with 99% of these terms of service who simply wish the service would be expanded to more geographies and platforms.
  • by MarkWatson (189759) on Friday July 25, 2003 @10:54AM (#6532017) Homepage
    At least a couple of times a month, I spend an hour or two just listening to the music samplers, and perhaps buying a few songs. For a dollar or two, I am entertained, and I end up with a new songs to listen to. I am very happy with Apple's service.

    For permantent copies, burn an audio CD.

    When I first heard of Napster, I quickly downloaded 7 or 8 songs that were old favorites - in all cases I had bought the LPs, but had lost the records or they were damaged. (fair use?) However, I was turned off by some aquaintences collecting thousands of songs that they did not buy.

    Not to go off on too big of a rant, but it seems like too many people think that it is OK to break the law: steal music, steal cable TV, let dogs off of leashes where it is not permited and they become public nuisances, etc., etc.

    If you think about it, people who steal stuff on the internet might end up contributing to loss of freedom on the internet - not worth it! As multi-national corporations take over media and general control of governments, I believe that keeping the internet free becomes a major concern and goal.

    Sorry about being negative, but: isn't it a worry that when large numbers of people break laws, and this data is available to the government, that this is a form of 'crowd control'?

  • BS (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Have Blue (616) on Friday July 25, 2003 @11:02AM (#6532079) Homepage
    The idea that Apple somehow remotely deleted his songs is utter bullshit. Read the article. He reinstalled his system, thus erasing at the very least Apple's authorization token. He attempted to re-authorize his computer using a Canadian credit card, which Apple does not permit and has been very open about not permitting. This is like moving to the UK, breaking your old R1 DVD player, buying a new one at the store down the block, and complaining that its PAL signal won't work with the rest of your legacy equipment.
  • This isn't news (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Rogerborg (306625) on Friday July 25, 2003 @11:09AM (#6532150) Homepage

    If you live outside the USA, you'll already be well aware of this. The bulk of online music and movie providers are only licensed for US distribution, and everyone else is told to get stuffed.

    This is no different from the US getting movies and Region 1 DVDs first, and those who live outside the USA are well used to working around these restrictions. My primary consideration when buying a DVD player was "Is it region free/easy to switch to region 1?", and I regularly buy region 1 DVDs, usually well before and for less money than the region 2 release.

    Similarly, I'd have no qualms about using a US based HTTP proxy to obtain music or movies from US licensed sites,then I'd make damn sure to convert it to a non-crippled format before considering the transaction complete.

    But given that I don't even have the option to pay for it, and that I'd have to "scam" them to get it, that's not very likely, is it? So, what's my incentive to stop sharing?

    Sorry, US buddies, but this is just a case of getting a taste of what it's like for the rest of us. Sucks, doesn't it?

  • by failedlogic (627314) on Friday July 25, 2003 @11:12AM (#6532178)
    I often whistle or hum tunes while I play my iPod.

    I don't want to run the risk of freely distributing the tunes, breaking the law and having them deleted to people who haven't purcahsed the songs. Please plug your ears when I walk buy. I will wear a shirt to advertise my presence encouraging everyone not to listen.
  • And they... (Score:3, Funny)

    by dark-br (473115) on Friday July 25, 2003 @11:16AM (#6532209) Homepage
    ...laught at me when i wraped even my socks on tinfoil.

    If theres any typo on this post, well, its one of the problems with tinfoil :/ its not translucid.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 25, 2003 @11:22AM (#6532251)
    First of all, read the damn article.

    Most of you haven't even read the article and already condemning the ITMS. Like some have said, the guy deleted his songs, changed his address to a non US address, and tried to download the songs again!

    Second, that whole "iTMS songs won't play outside the US" is BULLSHIT. I've been outside the US many times and my songs play on my powerbook just fine... nothing deleted... no errors.. even when i'm hooked up to the internet!

    I thought slashdotters were smart people.. always skeptical about new news. I guess you guys just believe everything you see, just like every other lemming out there.
  • by Zo0ok (209803) on Friday July 25, 2003 @11:31AM (#6532347) Homepage
    When I, from Sweden, open up iTunes Music Store it tells me:

    The iTunes Music Store is not available in your country yet. You will be able to browse music and listen to previews, but you won't be able to purchase music unless your billing address is in the United States.

    Me thinks:

    "yet" indicates the service will come to me. Thus it does not make sense they hunt me down now.

    "unless your billing address is in the United States" indicates that if I just provide a proper billing address they dont care where or who I am. ...could be that Apple must consider customs regulations in Europe... and selling to me would be illegal export.
  • by ReallyQuietGuy (683431) on Friday July 25, 2003 @11:32AM (#6532353)

    is there any way we can tell if this was something apple wanted to restrict their users from doing, or is it something the RIAA made them do?

    the music store does not only carry independent music. i don't believe the RIAA had no say in the terms by which the the service is provided. i am typing this on a windows machine and not a mac, but i still think apple is "innocent" of this

  • by alchemist68 (550641) on Friday July 25, 2003 @11:35AM (#6532375)
    Does anyone honestly believe that Apple has any REAL control of the iTunes Music Store? Agreements with the record labels had to be made. This is above all else, a money making venture, a software service to which Apple excels. And just to remind everyone, the reason we have DRM today is because people abused digital media in the past, and there is ample evidence to support that argument. Apple gives us more freedom than most, but just because it has approximately 4% market share doesn't mean the record labels give away all that freedom to the independently thinking few. When iTunes 4.0 was released, many people abused the internet file sharing feature and Apple taketh away.
  • Delete??!! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by horsie (91009) on Friday July 25, 2003 @11:39AM (#6532418)
    From the blurb:

    "Apple's 'technologies' delete the bought-and-paid-for files with no refund and no replacement when & if you leave the U.S."

    Talk about sensationalism. The article in no way mentions that the files were deleted. They just wouldn't play. Sheesh.
  • by sunking2 (521698) on Friday July 25, 2003 @11:52AM (#6532545)
    I just looked over the license (albeit really quickly) and saw nothing about deleting files. Also, at least the way I read it, this seems to really be applied only to connecting to the iTunes store. Not to playing music you've already downloaded.

    This basically seems to say, 'to connect to iTunes you need to be situated in the US." Which probably makes sense when you talk about legal jurisdictions.

    But, like I said, I only scanned through things real quicklike.
  • by Goo.cc (687626) * on Friday July 25, 2003 @12:00PM (#6532604)
    1.) You can't reauthorize songs you purchaed if you move out of the country.

    2.) You can't listen to them on anything that can't run iTunes (Macs, and soon Windows).

    3.) You are dependent on the continued existence of Apple to be able to authorize the playback of them.

    Yes, I know that you can burn them to CDs but those CDs will not sound as good as the ones you buy in the stores, unless you have poor hearing. In my opinion, CDs are still the best option, although copy protection threatens those of us who like to listen to them on open source
  • by zerofoo (262795) on Friday July 25, 2003 @12:05PM (#6532651)
    Music is overpriced: $17 - $20 for a CD is outrageous. DVDs cost much more to produce and have higher quality content...yet only cost $5 to $10 more than an audio CD.

    Bad music is bundled with good music: Anyone who has bought a CD with one or two good songs knows he/she was forced into buying all the crap to have that one good song.

    There is no legal way to buy unrestricted music: Music consumers want to play their purchased music on any device they see fit. They purchased the music, why shouldn't it be playable on any device they own? - not just a limited number of devices.

    Piracy is not the problem: Piracy is a symptom of a market need that is unmet. Much like the speakeasys of the prohibition, when consumers want something, there will ALWAYS be someone to fill that demand. Right now, the only way to get reasonably priced, unrestricted music is to download it or copy it from someone else.

    Until these problems are fixed, the music industry will always be fighting an uphill battle.

    -ted
  • Service != Songs (Score:4, Informative)

    by DdJ (10790) on Friday July 25, 2003 @12:08PM (#6532677) Homepage Journal
    They can verify that you don't use the service from outside the US. That has little to do with using the songs outside the US. As long as I live in the US, and only use the serivce from within the US, what have I got to worry about? Playing back the songs I've purchased does not invlolve using the service at all.
  • Never deleted (Score:3, Informative)

    by Rosyna (80334) on Friday July 25, 2003 @12:20PM (#6532798) Homepage
    It never says the files were deleted. It just says the information that authorized his computer to play those files he purchased was lost during the reinstall and because he moved out of the US he was not able to get the authorization rights for said files. They were not deleted.
  • Burn a CD (Score:3, Insightful)

    by UtSupra (16971) <alfredo@octavio. n e t> on Friday July 25, 2003 @01:20PM (#6533439) Homepage Journal
    This is stupid. You can't use the iTunes Music Store unless you have a credit card associated with a US address. So he should have known that. More important he should know you should back up files in a readable format before reinstalling. In the case of AAC protected files that means burning a CD.
    What he did is the equivalent of losing the CDs, that's all. You bought them, you didn't protect them, you lose them...
  • by Calibax (151875) * on Friday July 25, 2003 @01:48PM (#6533711)
    I just spent two weeks in Britain. Nothing happened to my iTunes purchased files, they were not deleted, they were not changed in any way, and I had no problem playing anything. This story is completely false.

    The story is based on an email (not an article) by Shawn Yeager, a guy who has worked for Microsoft and has developed a competitive product named MusicDirect. So either this guy was very confused or he was deliberately trying to hurt his competitor.

    If it was the latter, he succeeded beyond his wildest dreams, thanks to Slashdot running this on the main page. It seems that the best thing to do is:

    1. Write inflamatory email
    2. Alert SlashDot to the existance of said email
    3. Wait until SlashDot posts it on front page
    4. Profit!!!

    This was not responsible reporting by SlashDot. Mud sticks, regardless of whether it should have been thrown, and by its irresponsible reporting SlashDot was being used to throw FUD around. This is the sort of thing I expect from SCO, not from SlashDot.

  • by daveschroeder (516195) on Friday July 25, 2003 @01:58PM (#6533809)
    ...or at least a workaround. As originally posted here [macslash.org]:

    Get a "disposable" MasterCard from webcertificate.com [webcertificate.com]. You can use any other current credit card to purchase the card. (There is, of course, a service fee associated with it.) But the card can be associated with any address you wish, including a US address (just make sure the city/state/zip association is a valid one; other information can be bogus).

    This was originally billed as a way for any international user with a credit card to purchase music from the iTunes Music Store. However, it appears that this method could be used to just get yourself a credit card number that's associated with a US billing address for the purposes of associating it with your AppleID. See webcertificate.com's faq [webcertificate.com] for more info.

    In sum:

    iTunes Music Store does not "check" to see where you are via IP address, or any other network method.

    Music you own is never "deleted".

    The only reason this user encountered the issue is because he had to reinstall his entire OS, and reauthorize the computer with a credit card whose billing address had since been changed to a non-US address - this didn't specifically disallow him from playing his purchased music; rather, it didn't allow him to REauthorize the computer in order to play the purchased music. As others have said, this seems to be more of a unique situation/accident than intentional on Apple's part (notwithstanding the valid legal considerations Apple has).

    Music you burn to CD from iTunes Music Store is yours to keep - FOREVER. No matter where you move. You DO own the music you buy from iTunes Music Store. (Unlike other sites [buymusic.com]).

    As soon as international licensing arrangements are worked out, more and more countries will have iTunes Music Store available.

    Apple did much better than anyone else [chron.com] with keeping broad rights with the user/customer, where they belong.


    And, finally, a letter from the Canadian equivalent of the RIAA:

    The reason why the Apple iTunes Music Store isn't yet available outside the US is because Apple hasn't made arrangements to obtain the rights outside of that country (this is called "clearing the rights" in the music business).


    I run the largest music licensing agency in Canada, CMRRA. On behalf of our clients from around the world, we represent the owners of the vast majority of songs used in Canada.

    Yesterday afternoon I placed a call to Apple Canada to open a discussion on the licensing of Apple's online music store in Canada. Apple's Canadian office is basically a sales operation; no products are designed or produced by Apple in Canada, to the best of my knowledge.

    I'm hoping to set up a meeting with Apple, probably in Cupertino, in the next two weeks. We're looking forward to doing business with Apple - among other things, our clients don't make any money saying, "no". Until we've cut a deal with Apple, it won't be possible for them to do business in Canada - that's why I'd like to negotiate that deal and have it set up as soon as possible.

    We love Mac and iTunes, too! We're sure that a substantial number of Canadians are going to want to do business with Apple, and we look forward to our discussions with them.

    All Apple has to do is call me back to set up the meeting.

    David A. Basskin
    President
    Canadian Musical Reproduction Rights Agency Ltd.
    Toronto, Canada

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