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Apple Hunts Playfair in India 782

Posted by michael
from the from-hell's-heart-i-stab-at-thee dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A news posting at Sarovar.org says that they have to take down the 'PlayFair' program upon receiving a notice from Apple's attorneys. They are awaiting their attorneys' response. This is bad news for all those who appreciated this cool program. Let's hope that 'PlayFair' might appear in some other country now."
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Apple Hunts Playfair in India

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  • A few thoughts (Score:2, Insightful)

    by daveschroeder (516195) * on Friday April 16, 2004 @12:06PM (#8881742)
    1. The iTunes Music Store - and thus all other worthwhile online music stores that follows - would have *existed* in the first place if it wasn't for *some* DRM capability. Apple's is the most flexible, least intrusive of all other current implementations (other than no DRM at all).

    2. Remember, if Apple chose to "fight the good fight" against DRM, we wouldn't have an iTunes Music Store at all. Apple put in the LEAST DRM it could get away with.

    3. Whether or not the DMCA is unconstitutional is irrelevant to the fact that, at least with regard to Sourceforge, Apple used a law in existence in its favor - how can it be faulted for that?

    4. With refard to Sarovar, Apple did nothing more than make with is essentially an intellectual appeal. Apple didn't "force" anyone to do anything.

    5. If you don't like the iTunes Music Store license, don't buy music from it. Please, no lame arguments about "stealing" vs. "copyright infringement", and "fair use" vs "licenses I didn't sign", or "playing music **I paid for** anywhere". We all agree with you. By the way, breaking DRM isn't civil disobedience: civil disobedience involves some kind of personal sacrifice on your part - and if that personal sacrifice is going to jail and/or getting fined for violating US law, unconstitutional or no, then don't bitch about it. Publicize it, but don't bitch. THAT'S civil disobedience. And maybe it will change the law(s).

    6. We all know that many here are against *any* DRM, on principle, no matter how unintrusive. That's another argument all together...should rights owners have *any* rights to protect/monitor/control their products? A huge matter, to be sure...but be that as it may, Apple tried for the best possible balance in favor of consumers, and did a pretty darn good job. Remember, too, that one DRM element is keeping iTMS purchases tied to the iPod, which is how Apple chose to deploy this service. It's their service and products; if you don't like it, don't use or buy them. It's your choice.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 16, 2004 @12:09PM (#8881796)
    It seems as if their strongest argument is "take it down because Sourceforge did".
    Not only that, the PlayFair program is against the express provisions of our Information Technology Act, 2000 and the Copyright Act, 1957 and you are equally liable as accessories,
    I'm not familiar with what they are referring to. Is that Indian law, or are they doing some cross-ocean hand-waving and hoping Sarovar doesn't notice?
  • Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by minus_273 (174041) <{moc.oohay.MAPS} {ta} {aaaaa}> on Friday April 16, 2004 @12:11PM (#8881835) Journal
    Why? if you dont like the itunes licence, don't use it. There are other ways of getting music online either legally or illgally. There are WMA options or you could just buy a real CD. When you bought the song on itunes, you agreed to the licence
    The way people are talking here, it is ok if you bought a box of GPL software, decided it had commercial potential then released it. I make the comparison becasue, like the GPL, in the itunes system, you understand clearly what you agree to when you get it.
    How is violating the itunes licence (that being you can share it with 3 machines, unliited ipods yada yada yada) different from voilating the GPL?
  • by bennomatic (691188) on Friday April 16, 2004 @12:12PM (#8881840) Homepage
    APPLE IS NOT THE BAD GUY!

    OK, I'll admit it, I'm a long-time Apple user. But I'm not too quick to defend them when they are wrong. The first poster had a good point in that ITMS would not even exist without some DRM, and the reason for that is not because of Apple or any other retailer. It is because without the DRM, the RIAA would not permit any sort of digital distribution.

    You want fair use? Fine! Write your own program for doing whatever you want. But to distribute a public project which is essentially a tool for excising the golden egg from the goose is not a sustainable action. Didn't anyone read Aesop's Fables as a kid?

    Forget Aesop. What about Jurassic Park? Aren't there a million examples of the same moral? "Just because you CAN do something doesn't make it right."

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 16, 2004 @12:12PM (#8881854)
    how would you react if, hypothetically, it was Microsoft or Real who introduced iTMS. Exact same conditions, etc, etc. And then someone cracks the DRM, and they use DMCA to hunt down them down. How would you react? Please be honest.
  • Re:A few thoughts (Score:2, Insightful)

    by JanneM (7445) on Friday April 16, 2004 @12:13PM (#8881862) Homepage
    PlayFair is perfectly legal in most jurisdictions. What we have is a large corporation throwing their legal and financial weight around to stop something that is not wrong in any way.

  • Re:Do this instead (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MoneyT (548795) on Friday April 16, 2004 @12:13PM (#8881863) Journal
    With the exception that the terms of purchasing the songs from the iTMS as specificaly stated in the contract presented to you before you enter into the transactions was that you would not circumvent the DRM on the file.
  • I Wonder... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by tealover (187148) on Friday April 16, 2004 @12:13PM (#8881868)
    I wonder if this were Microsoft rather than Apple trying to inflict the US legal system on a foreign country in this manner, would the person who submitted this article have a different reaction and would the reaction of Slashdotters be more hostile?
  • by DAldredge (2353) * <SlashdotEmail@GMail.Com> on Friday April 16, 2004 @12:15PM (#8881885) Journal
    Doesn't SAMBA take away Microsoft and their partner companies golden goose? What about Linux and Unix?

    Apple should improve their protection, not try to hide the fact that it is fucked up.

    PS. So much for Apple being different than other companies.
  • by Tyler Eaves (344284) on Friday April 16, 2004 @12:19PM (#8881940)
    5000x a day is nothing.

    Let's assume the file is 500k.

    That's 2.5GB a day. Not much at all. Sounds like it at first, but it isn't. That's roughly 100MB per hour, 1.5MB per minute, 0.25MB / 250Kb / 2Mbit a second. Most cable connections could support that.
  • Re:A few thoughts (Score:5, Insightful)

    by seanadams.com (463190) * on Friday April 16, 2004 @12:19PM (#8881941) Homepage
    It doesn't matter. The cat is out of the bag.

    And the more Apple tries to stuff it back in, the more attention they draw to the futility or DRM and the existence of playfair.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 16, 2004 @12:19PM (#8881944)
    If I want, I can put these songs on my iPod and listen to them wherever I go

    That is the situation if you have the iPod, which plays the obscure non-standard AAC format. Most digital music players play MP3 format files.
  • by adzoox (615327) * on Friday April 16, 2004 @12:20PM (#8881958) Journal
    You had to post this AC because it couldn't be further from the truth.

    Apple exists to serve... it does NOT serve to exist. Why push Music and Garageband? Serve a market. Why push iMovie and create iDVD? Serve a market. Why create a niche hardware item like the iSight? Serve with the BEST camera and the best solution for video conferencing. Gateway for instance - they build computers to make a profit - no innovation - nothing special - they serve to exist!

    This is the REAL disadvantage to releasing programs to Windows users. It really sucks that Apple has to deal with this and the "/. mentality" that everything should be free. That's communist. Apple is capitalist. They have a solution, it's paid. You have a free solution - Kazaa /P2P!

    I agree with the parent. If you don't like Apple DRM - don't try to circumvent it by HACKING IT - just do something that HAS NOT BEEN termed illegal - go buy the CD and then sell the CD back to a used store once you've ripped it. You'll come OUT WAY ahead of iTunes prices.
  • Re:A few thoughts (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 16, 2004 @12:25PM (#8882035)
    The iTunes Music Store - and thus all other worthwhile online music stores that follows - would have *existed* in the first place if it wasn't for *some* DRM capability.

    If this is true, and I sincerely hope it is NOT, then perhaps online music stores shouldn't exist at all.

    As of this moment we have a legal, cheap, and DRM free way to get music: buy used CDs.

    Everyone here seems to only be concerned with moving forward and having online music stores as soon as possible... what they don't realize is that because of the DRM we are moving BACKWARD. All the freedoms that we HAD with regular retail don't exist with the online stores, and already music companies are starting to experiment with DRM on regular CDs.

    So here is what I say: buy CDs or don't buy music at all. If you choose to use these services because they are convenient or whatever then you are just saying to the corporations: "I will take any crap that you want to give me as long as I get exactly what I want right now"

    Sounds kind of childish, doesn't it?
  • Re: (Score:4, Insightful)

    by r4bb1t (663244) on Friday April 16, 2004 @12:28PM (#8882063)

    Why does it automatically become evil when a company wants to defend a product/scheme/etc. that they have spent time, money, and man hours developing?

    Apple isn't breaking down doors, calling the FBI, pillaging homes. They're sending legal notices asking politely for people to take down content. That's how the system works.

    Unfair at times it may be, it doesn't mean that the entire system is corrupted and we should brand Apple with a scarlet letter. If you don't like the way things work, then send letters to your Congressman/woman about our copyright law. Send email to Senators about the DMCA. Get involved, and things will change.

  • Re:A few thoughts (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DAldredge (2353) * <SlashdotEmail@GMail.Com> on Friday April 16, 2004 @12:28PM (#8882065) Journal
    This is the samething as the USA parking an aircraft carrier off a country then making a 'request' they do something. While it is a 'simple request' it is backed up by a Nuclear armed air wing and an entire carrier battle group.

    Apple has a lot more resouces than most people and can make good on their threats.
  • by Vandil X (636030) on Friday April 16, 2004 @12:28PM (#8882066)
    It seems to me that many of the copy-protection-circumvention programs that have come out in recent years (DeCSS, PlayFair) are not meant for piracy as much as they are to enable users of Linux and Unix to play DRM'd/locked content because they don't want to use the media on a Windows or Macintosh computer.

    If Apple developed iTunes (and iPod drivers) for Linux and Unix, perhaps the number of people trying to circumvent the DRM would decrease.

    As it stands, you can only buy online music if you use Windows or Mac OS X --a set up that accounts for 98% of computer users, maybe, but obviously the remaining 2% (Unix/Linux users) know how to code.

    C'mon Apple, OS X is "based on Unix", so how hard could it be to port iTunes over to Linux and Unix? If you really want to set an online music standard (and possibly reduce OSS-attempts at circumvention), you gotta give Linux some love.
  • by gpinzone (531794) on Friday April 16, 2004 @12:31PM (#8882118) Homepage Journal
    Apple exists to serve... it does NOT serve to exist.

    Tell that to the stockholders.
  • Re:my usage (Score:3, Insightful)

    by SuiteSisterMary (123932) <slebrun@noSPAm.gmail.com> on Friday April 16, 2004 @12:33PM (#8882138) Journal

    When you set up your iTunes account, were you misled in any way about what machines you'd be allowed to play the files on? About how many times you could transfer the files? Stuff like that?

    Do you complain about not being able to drive your car on the sidewalk? It's your car, after all, you should be able to drive it however you want it.

    You want iTunes for Linux? Petition for iTunes on Linux.

  • Re:I Wonder... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by deepestblue (206649) <slashdot@nOSPAm.ksharanam.net> on Friday April 16, 2004 @12:33PM (#8882146)
    Score: 4, Insightful? Last I heard, the "Information Technology Act, 2000 and the Copyright Act, 1957" are Indian laws.
  • by daveschroeder (516195) * on Friday April 16, 2004 @12:36PM (#8882177)
    >>Apple put in the LEAST DRM it could get away with. > >I think it's more of a technical inefficiency and incompetence >than trying to make life easier for the hackers. Really, if I use a >protection/license management system for my new software >and use a weak one, do you think I'm acting friendly or you >think I'm just stupid?

    I think that being able to...

    - play the music on three different computers

    - play the music on an unlimited number of iPods

    - burn any and all music to CD an unlimited number of times, stripping all DRM, and then play anywhere (or rerip in any format, transcoding losses [which I myself can't detect] aside)

    ...is being "friendly", and very, very smart (by virtue of getting all 5 major labels to let Apple skate with such comparatively unrestrictive DRM)

    It's not incompetence at all. Since all DRM can, and will, be broken - from a technological standpoint; perhaps not a legal one - then by your definition, they're all "incompetent". I don't think any of these people think DRM can't be circumvented; they just know that the content providers want it, and these laws like the DMCA are getting pushed through Congress. If *anything*, Apple is in a *better* position to influence copyright and content protection laws for the better. Had they done no DRM, we'd have no major label music on iTunes Music Store, and thus no iTunes Music Store as we know it (i.e., successful), and Apple wouldn't have any relevance whatsoever in this discussion at all.
  • Re:Do this instead (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mst76 (629405) on Friday April 16, 2004 @12:36PM (#8882183)
    Which, of course, would only be binding in those jurisdictions where such a condition would actually be legal and enforceable. In Sweden, for example, any DRM used specifically for the purpose of hindering fair-use provisions (such as copying, media transfer and so on) are explicitly allowed to be circumvented.
    Maybe this is one of the reasons that iTMS is not offered in Europe (yet?).
  • Re:A few thoughts (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DoubleD (29726) on Friday April 16, 2004 @12:36PM (#8882189)
    1. I understand Apples motives for using DRM and cannot fault them for it.

    2. Apple did good job balancing the demands of the copyright holders with the wants of the people.

    3. The heart of the issue. Legally Apple is 100% right here but ethically I believe they are lacking, just because it is law does not make it ethical (Jim Crow laws for example).

    4. Dang make me read the article will you . They were "nice" only because they didnt have the legal leverage to do anything else.

    5. Hmm, I would define breaking DRM as civil disobedience, by the qualities of being both non-violent and ... well disobedient.

    6. DRM is fine with me, it is the copyright holders decision to use such and the users decision on whether to patronize DRM enable products. This again leads to the real issue. Making DRM circumvention illegal. DRM should be a technical inhibition not a legal one. Hiding the fact that Fairplay is breakable does not make the issue go away.

    DRM, copyright, fair-use, and circumvention form a system of checks and balances. By making circumvention illegal the balance of power has been shifted too far in the direction of copyright holders. Reference the history of copyright and it's original purpose of encouraging the distribution AND rentry into the public domain of created works while allowing the creator to profit. Existing copyright law already provides a method of going after copyright violations. It is not useful or beneficial to legislate against every possible method by which someone could break the law. If you want to have a free society you have to depend the idea of a social contract [reference.com].

    ok enough blabbering out of me.
  • by MoFoQ (584566) on Friday April 16, 2004 @12:39PM (#8882236)
    What about Canada? The recent court rulings have been pro-consumer so it might be safe-haven for PlayFair.

    Or how about the Norway? The courts there said that DeCSS (AAC-DRM is to music as CSS is to video) didn't infringe, especially since the intent of the utility was not to make illegal distribution but to enable normal use on unsupported systems (OS's).

    One way (and better than what they did) to get rid of Playfair is for Apple to release a Linux player to eliminate the main legal objective for PlayFair.

    O yea, as for that first post [slashdot.org] that essentially says "Take it or leave it," ...well..would you buy a car that has its hood welded shut? And I tend to argee with this guy [slashdot.org]; the pro's don't outweigh the cons. Why buy a cake that no one can eat when the intention is to eat it?
  • Re:A few thoughts (Score:4, Insightful)

    by westlake (615356) on Friday April 16, 2004 @12:41PM (#8882273)
    It doesn't matter. The cat is out of the bag. And the more Apple tries to stuff it back in, the more attention they draw to the futility or DRM and the existence of playfair

    more likely Apple moves to stricter controls to keep the record companies from pulling content from iTunes

  • by reiggin (646111) on Friday April 16, 2004 @12:43PM (#8882317)
    The bigger problem is getting Quicktime on Linux. That's a lot of iTunes underpinnings right there. Quicktime has been on Windows for ages and has some of Apple's APIs included. That made getting iTunes on Windows a little less troublesome. Linux is a bit of a bigger project, I'm sure, despite the "UNIX based" nature of OSX. As much as I'd like to see iTunes on Linux, I don't see it happening unless Apple suddenly open-sourced it and let others do the work. I suspect that their R&D will be directed elsewhere.
  • Re:Why? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 16, 2004 @12:45PM (#8882368)
    Why?

    Let's see...
    a.) Apple doesn't support iTunes on linux... or any system except for MS-windows-32 (only intel version) and Mac-os-X (do they even support MacOS 9?)

    b.) iTunes doesn't run on Wine.

    c.) Buying Real CDs would be an option, except recently, many of those are copy protected as well.

    I don't want to steal anything, I do want to play the music I bought on the computer I want to, with the normal players (Rhythmbox or XMMS) - is that really so much to ask?

    As for "don't use their service then", that sounds nice, but, please, tell me, which service should I use? None? Oh, that's realistic. Apple is the best service for us to use because:
    a.) AAC is crackable more easily than WMA, and AAC is more of a standard than WMA.
    b.) AAC sounds better than wma or mp3 (in my experience anyhow).
  • by bogie (31020) on Friday April 16, 2004 @12:46PM (#8882380) Journal
    People act like this is a tool that let's you hack into the Itunes Store and get Free unencrypted files that are then automatically shared for Free on the Net. Gimme a break. Playfair is one of a million other things people use "not in accordance to manufacturer guidelines". Just because its Apple we supposed to give them a free pass for cracking down? What's next? If I use my Oven to dry clothes instead of cook food do I go to jail because the Oven maker says your not allowed to put anything but food in it? And don't give me any of this "well don't buy from Itunes" crap.

    Gotta love a whole generation of people who have nothing better to do then get all up in arms because *gasp* you change the file format on a product you already own. Lastly of course my favorite response is when people say its "O.K," if you go from digital->digital(CD)->digital but not if you go from digital->digital(Playfair)->digital. If the end result is the same what the heck is the difference besides one method being slightly easier than the other. Oh right, the whole "not in accordance to manufacturer guidelines"...

    Sorry you think Playfair ruined your favorite incarnation of DRM. If this makes you uncomfortable you better get out of computing now because it just going to get worse.

    btw I understand you can do this with Applescript as well. So is Apple going to sue Apple now?
  • linux (Score:2, Insightful)

    by minus_273 (174041) <{moc.oohay.MAPS} {ta} {aaaaa}> on Friday April 16, 2004 @12:47PM (#8882401) Journal
    This thread has been very intersting.
    at the moment, i am ripping out references to the GPL from a copy of the linux 2.6 kernel source i have been doing some research with.
    Once that is done, i will post a tar.gz it on a site binary only.
    Come and stop me.
    If you do, i will put it up on p2p networks. What isnt GNU supposed to be different? infomation wants to be free. I dont like copyrights.
  • by Luscious868 (679143) on Friday April 16, 2004 @12:48PM (#8882428)

    How many computers do you have? You can authorize the files to be played on up to three computers, and if you have more than that, just set up a iTunes server. I have one box that has iTunes which I buy the music from. Then I just leave iTunes running all the time and I can then access the music from any computer in my house.

    (you can also just burn the song to CD and rip it back as mp3...)

    While what you say is true, there are those that are concerned that one day something may happen to the iTMS and they might not be able to access the music they've purchased.

    Now, as you pointed out, you can simply burn the files to a CD and then re-rip them as MP3's, AAC's or whatever format you like. However, the act of burning and re-ripping is circumventing the DRM, which is a violation of Apple's license agreement and possibly the DCMA. Since a user would be in violation of Apple's license if they burn and re-rip or if they use PlayFair to strip the original of the DRM, why would you not just make your life easier and use PlayFair? It eliminates some steps and ensures that the quality of the audio won't be degraded. In either circumstance, PlayFair or burning and re-ripping, you're circumventing DRM. Since that's the case, it's better to do it the easy way.

  • by Zastrossi (603991) on Friday April 16, 2004 @12:48PM (#8882433) Homepage

    Let me quote Cory Doctorow here, who is fond of saying:

    No consumer ever woke up in the morning and said "you know, I want to do less with my music today".

    For me, it's the principle of the thing. If you look at the last hundred and fifty years of technological development, copyright regularly gets broken. It's happened again with peer-to-peer file sharing networks.

    DRM represents and maintains the status quo. Artists still get shafted while studios make more profit and we get less control over the music we 'own'. Furthermore, it endorses instead of punsihing an industry that refuses, again and again, to embrace technological change. Alternatives like voluntary collective licensing of music file sharing [eff.org] offer a way forward.

    In my view, buying from the iTunes store is a tacit approval of the music industry and its appalling treatment of its consumers over the past five years. Me, I'm waiting for a paradigm shift.

  • Re:A few thoughts (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TimTheFoolMan (656432) on Friday April 16, 2004 @12:50PM (#8882453) Homepage Journal
    Oh puhlease... trying to make an association between your quote from MLK Jr. and your dislike of DRM makes your argument look ridiculous.

    Suggesting that DRM is a black/white right/wrong issue is pretty ridiculous. You no doubt would love to protect your own rights to things you have of value (you do lock up your valuables... right?). Are you suggesting that because I have a moral problem with the idea of things being locked up, and found a site that allows me to successfully pick any MasterLock, that it's now perfectly OK for me to come by when you're not home, pick the lock, and take what doesn't belong to me?

    I can agree/disagree with the IMPLEMENTATION of DRM in this case, or I can say that it's a mixed bag. In my opinion, it's a mixed bag, and people who are going out of their way to circumvent the MINIMAL DRM on iTunes are simply looking for a way to justify immoral/illegal behavior.

    Tim
  • Re:Fine by me. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Brian Blessed (258910) on Friday April 16, 2004 @12:50PM (#8882464)
    > I could care less about this program.

    I'm not a iTMS customer, but I care about this program.

    It's the thin end of the wedge, and we need to be reacting to these DMCA takedowns. I don't see any reason for someone to be unable to choose to distribute the source code to any program that they have created. I want to protect this idea as a fundamental principle because otherwise more companies or "industry groups" will erode it and attack other free software projects.

    We shouldn't be in a position where people are talking about whether ${SOME_COMPANY} will permit us to distribute our programs.

    - Brian
  • by Adriax (746043) on Friday April 16, 2004 @12:51PM (#8882485)
    Apple should improve their protection, not try to hide the fact that it is fucked up.

    So you WANT them to become like microsoft when it comes to DRM? Crippling the song to the point you can't even listen to it without calling the company up and requesting a 64byte key code that's only good for that particualr 30 seconds?

    There's not much you can do to "improve" drm. You can strengthen it, but that takes the usability away from the end user.
    Playfair is going to be used by competing DRM designes as proof that apple can't protect your content, and therefor shouldn't be used. And the RIAA is going to use it to bully apple into imposing stronger DRM methods or risk losing the "privelages" to distribute RIAA approved music.
  • Re:linux (Score:3, Insightful)

    by acceleriter (231439) on Friday April 16, 2004 @12:53PM (#8882521)
    The GPL is only a workaround to hoist copyright on its own petard. No one would bother with a binary copy of the Linux 2.6 kernel source, because pristine copies can be had anywhere. Either the GPL is valid or copyright is not--that's the whole point of the GPL.
  • Re:A few thoughts (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mark-ss (576434) on Friday April 16, 2004 @12:56PM (#8882587) Journal
    The previous author should probably review this: (University of Washington) Computer Usage Limitations [washington.edu].
  • Re:Why? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Byzantine (85549) * <carson@sdf. l o n e s t a r . o rg> on Friday April 16, 2004 @12:56PM (#8882598) Homepage Journal
    As for "don't use their service then", that sounds nice, but, please, tell me, which service should I use? None? Oh, that's realistic.


    Er, why is that not realistic? If you don't like the terms (or price or restrictions or whatever) of their service, you don't use their service. You find somebody else. That's pretty much the definition of capitalism.
  • by cpt kangarooski (3773) on Friday April 16, 2004 @12:56PM (#8882604) Homepage
    DRM is simply unacceptable. Frankly, I'm in favor of revoking the copyrights of any work that is authorizedly subjected to DRM, and to not only legalize, but encourage the circumvention of DRM. Obviously, it's perfectly fine for encryption to exist -- but there's certainly no reason we have to encourage it in the realm of works that are supposed to be published.

    You want fair use? Fine! Write your own program for doing whatever you want.

    That is also unacceptable, and frankly it's very hostile. You are basically saying that people who want to record a show off TV should have to invent and build their own VCRs; that people who want to xerox a page from a book should have to develop their own xerox machine. It's the kind of inanity that I normally only associate with people who have weevils infesting their brains. People typically create tools not only for themselves, but for the benefit of other people who may not be so able to make their own tools. Hell -- I feel quite confident that you didn't build your own computer from the grains of sand level on up. You relied on others, and that's _great_. Why should it be any different here?

    It is because without the DRM, the RIAA would not permit any sort of digital distribution.

    Then fuck them. Let's work on reforming the law so that they can't prevent it in the first place.
  • by Have Blue (616) on Friday April 16, 2004 @12:59PM (#8882637) Homepage
    This comes up in every thread that remotely relates to Apple, and the answer is always the same: OS X has a huge number of libraries not present on Linux, mostly relating to the GUI. There's no Quicktime, no Carbon, no Cocoa (which has diverged significantly from *Step by now), and no Quartz. OS X apps do not resemble Linux apps in any way internally, and it would be just as hard as porting to any other OS.

    And it wouldn't reduce circumvention attempts, as it would be exposed even more to the "everything must be free forever" crowd.
  • by Sloppy (14984) * on Friday April 16, 2004 @12:59PM (#8882642) Homepage Journal
    You would think that argument would work, but the same argument would have also applied in the MPAA-vs-2600 case. 2600 lost.
  • Re:A few thoughts (Score:4, Insightful)

    by fatphil (181876) on Friday April 16, 2004 @01:00PM (#8882664) Homepage
    Because in almost all sane jurisdictions all things are legal unless they fall into a class of things that is defined to be illegal.

    So the onus is on _you_ to explain why, in India, PlayFair is _illegal_.

    FP.
  • by bennomatic (691188) on Friday April 16, 2004 @01:00PM (#8882671) Homepage
    If it's just about playing the files on Linux, why does it actually need to strip off all of the protection leaving an easy-to-distribute copy on the drive? Why not make something that mimic's iTunes' method of authenticating the file? Build in a little system to let your Linux machine be one of the three authorized machines that FairPlay allows.

    I'm sure Apple would not like something like that, but at least that's defensible and would not kill the goose with the golden egg, since it does not actually defeat the DRM terms to which the RIAA agreed when they licensed their content to the ITMS.

    There are three reasons not to do something this way:

    It's harder!
    Cry me a freakin' river. If you don't like the DRM, go buy the CDs at a store and rip them to MP3s yourself!

    But I want to distribute my MP3s over Kazaa because information wants to be free!
    Information wants to be free as in speech, it's true. But that doesn't mean that it should be free as in beer. Beer wants to be free, but someone does actually have to pick up the tab if you want there to be more beer. Yes, I know all the arguments, and I have not lost any sleep over Metallica's lost sales, but all in all, I believe that the artist who creates something should be allowed to make the decision as to how it is distributed, and their fans should respect that decision.

    I want to put this music on some device other than that damned overpriced iPod!
    So use a different music service! All the other services support much more byzantine DRM which fills the coffers of a bigger, badder company, which will not be named here. The merits of the iPod vs. other players can be discussed ad infinitum, but if, at the end of the day, you want to download your music legally and use a non-iPod device, just use a different service. Or buy the CDs and rip them yourself.
    I guess there is another reason, a la Mt. Everest. I want to challenge the DRM because it's there. I don't have a good argument against that. Do it all you like. Just don't distribute the program so that anyone else can do it without a shred of technical knowledge.

    In short, do the right thing, m'kay? It's worth it in the end.

  • by WinDoze (52234) on Friday April 16, 2004 @01:01PM (#8882685)
    I 100% agree with you, BUT:

    they don't want to use the media on a Windows or Macintosh computer

    I really want to use iMovie and Sherlock, but I don't want to use them on a Macintosh, I like my Windows machine. I'm out of luck. There's nothing forcing Apple to make Windows versions of this software because I want it. If I want it bad enough, I have to buy a Mac. Just as a company can't force you to buy something, you as a customer can't force them to make something!

    Again, I agree, in an ideal world...
  • Re:A few thoughts (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SideshowBob (82333) on Friday April 16, 2004 @01:05PM (#8882768)
    You are either for DRM technology, or you are against it. I am against it.

    And therefore you have 2 choices, to subscribe to the iTMS or not.

    It is NOT ethical to subscribe to the iTMS (and thus, agree to the EULA) with the full intent of violating what you are agreeing to. Same deal as GPL violators.

  • Re:A few thoughts (Score:2, Insightful)

    by h4x0r-3l337 (219532) on Friday April 16, 2004 @01:08PM (#8882813)
    No, what we have is a bunch of freeloaders that, for all their talk about how they'd buy music if only they could buy it in some *other* way, are really nothing more than thieves. Read any of the discussions about the music industry from *before* iTunes came along. Pretty much everyone said that if the record companies allowed them to buy individual songs instead of whole albums with only 2 good songs on them, they'd buy more music. Now that option exists, and what happens? Some kid breaks the DRM mechanism, and everyone jumps to his defence, because all they really want is FREE (gratis) music. All that talk about buying songs was just that: talk.
  • by RatBastard (949) on Friday April 16, 2004 @01:16PM (#8882943) Homepage
    If you don't like iTunes DRM, don't buy from them. Go to the store and buy the CD! Or, buy it from Amazon or some other online retailor!
  • Re:Love the tone (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 16, 2004 @01:18PM (#8882992)
    As an artist myself, I'd LOVE to reply to the comment. I have no problem with p2p music sharing, it helps expose people to music. If someone likes it enough, they will buy the cd.

    But you have no idea how the music buisness works. The only real money made for an artist is through merchandise AT the shows. You don't get your paycheck by playing, but by selling your wares at a venue. "But you get $50,000 for each show!" Okay, now, subtract 7 hours of labor for the 20-some guys setting up the eq. The $20 / hour the soundman gets. The traveling expenses, room use, security, yadda yadda.

    While society has been "raping our minds" for years, it's a simple matter of believing lies, or finding your own truths. And advertising makes the world go round. Get used to it, it's not going away anytime soon.

    Oh, by the way, artists don't need you, the consumer to rip them off. The record labels do that job for you.
  • Re:A few thoughts (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Spankophile (78098) on Friday April 16, 2004 @01:26PM (#8883133) Homepage
    Gaaahhhh..

    I'm so SICK TO DEATH of people comparing IP "piracy" with theft of physical goods.

    THEY ARE NOT THE SAME.

    If I break into your home, and steal your TV, you are out a TV. If I use a special HU Card or what-have-you to "steal" satalite TV, strangely enough, your satelite TV still works.

    If I download a movie with BitTorrent, share a song with Kazaa, put some games up on eMule, paste a .txt file of the latest Stephen King novel on my website, guess what? Your copies of all those things STILL WORK. Furthermore, the authors' copies of said items still exist.

    Copyright infringement is much different from theft, in that IT DOESN'T DENY the "victim" of WHAT WAS PREVIOUSLY HAD.

    So yes, go ahead and "break into" my p2p share folder, and "steal" whatever you like. In fact, I encourage it. But leave my TV alone. I only have one of them.
  • Re:A few thoughts (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 16, 2004 @01:28PM (#8883169)
    " So far, what has Apple done?

    They've sent out two letter to two different organizations.

    Total cost to them: Probably $300 + overnight mail fees.

    I don't see how this is "throwing their legal and financial weight around".

    Replace Apple with SCO in the above post and see if you still like the message.
  • Re:A few thoughts (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Znork (31774) on Friday April 16, 2004 @01:29PM (#8883176)
    Sigh. For the billionth time, the GPL is not an EULA. The GPL is a copyright permission license. To violate the GPL you have to be engaging in distribution.

    It would be the 'Same deal as GPL violators' if someone set up their own webshop, copied and sold iTMS content.

    EULA's may, or may not, be enforcable. It's by no means a certain thing, and in the case of Apples EULA for iTMS it goes straight up against the First Sales Doctrine, which means that copyright law can very well trump the contract EULA trying to limit buyers rights beyond what copyright law permits them.

    It's not even close to the 'same deal'.
  • Re:A few thoughts (Score:3, Insightful)

    by kimgh (600604) on Friday April 16, 2004 @01:29PM (#8883179)
    In addition to the points made in the parent, I'm willing to bet that Apple is required by its contracts with the music companies to defend the copyrights of said companies. If Apple didn't do what they are doing about this, the music companies might be able to sue Apple for breach of contract.

    So, however odious these moves might be to some (doesn't affect me, I don't use Playfair or anticipate the need for it), Apple is probably legally required to defend its rights in this matter. Complain to the music companies, not Apple....

  • Re:A few thoughts (Score:5, Insightful)

    by greenhide (597777) <jordanslashdot&cvilleweekly,com> on Friday April 16, 2004 @01:32PM (#8883231)
    Okay, I think the point is this:

    If you have a file in AAC format, you got it through iTunes. And if you got it through iTunes, then you signed the User License, a legally binding agreement. Sure, you probably skimmed it because it's long, but that's expected, and it's legal. Part of the agreement no doubt said that you respect the DRM that exists in the files that you download.

    So anyone using PlayFair to overcome the DRMs is essentially in breach of contract.

    That all being said:

    STOP COMPARING THIS TO MLK AND THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT!

    Sorry for shouting, but this seriously has me PO'd. There's a huge difference from being banned from a restaurant because of the color of your skin, and being prevented from making unlimited copies of a song you like, or using that song wherever you want. I understand there are some usese of FairPlay that might fall under the traditional definition of Fair Use (perhaps!) but you all are kidding yourselves if you think that pissing and moaning about DRM is going to change anything.

    If you want to effect real change, vote with your pocketbook. Stop buying new records especially at national chains. Go to local music stores and buy used CDs. Hell, buy vinyl. Only buy music that is made and distributed by independent labels.

    And, while you're at it, take it upon yourself to do something good and worthwhile for the world -- help tutor someone, volunteer time at a soup kitchen, or even just talk to a friend who seems in the dumps. Surely there's something better to do than waste it arguing about whether or not Apple should be doing what it's doing.
  • Fair use in the UK (Score:2, Insightful)

    by j-b0y (449975) on Friday April 16, 2004 @01:35PM (#8883270)
    Doesn't even exist I believe; at least not in the context of making copies for personal use, at least according to this Register [theregister.co.uk] article. At least in the US there is at least some legal protection (currently under attack, admittedly)

  • Re:A few thoughts (Score:2, Insightful)

    by TimTheFoolMan (656432) on Friday April 16, 2004 @01:38PM (#8883312) Homepage Journal
    OK... try rewiring the cable coming into your house to get HBO/Showtime/Whatever. Don't think "theft of service" is going to apply?

    Let's say it cost you several thousand to generate some document that you've got on your hard drive and I hack into the box and get it. Is it now OK because I was smart enough to get it and you weren't smart enough to protect it?

    I'm SICK TO DEATH of people trying to justify stealing material that's clearly protected by copyright, and using arguments like "most of the songs on the CD are trash" or "the artists aren't getting much of the revenue anyway."

    I violate the speed limit on a regular basis, but I'm not about to whine about it when I get caught. At least be mature enough to admit that what you're doing is no different (legally or morally) from stealing tangible goods.

    THEY ARE THE SAME. It denies the victim revenue.

    As I've stated elsewhere, that doesn't mean that piracy is always a bad thing. In the case of AutoDesk, pirated copies of AutoCAD propelled it into the dominant market position much faster than it would have ever arrived there otherwise.

    By the same token, the record companies are being short-sighted if they think that pirated MP3s aren't helping to sell more music. Even so, if you violate the copyright and have stolen (not paid for) the goods that you now possess, you're stealing, even if the person you "stole" from still retains their copy.

    This isn't rocket surgery.

    Tim
  • Re:A few thoughts (Score:2, Insightful)

    by sp67 (159134) on Friday April 16, 2004 @01:41PM (#8883361)
    1) Ok, so you're against DRM; then don't ever touch anything DRM'ed, and advocate repealing DRM off the face of the Earth. But taking a DRM'ed piece of IP and violating the licence you got it under won't help the cause and certainly won't make you a better person; it's a licence nobody shoved down your throat, just like the GPL.

    2) Why is it that when you accept some DRM you automatically accept it all? Do you apply this principle to everything you do? Why must everything be black or white? Since I'm in the mood, let's start a It's extremist people like you that make the Hitlers, Stalins and MacCarthys of this world, that trumpet "You're either with us or against us" from some high moral ground and have no respect for moderate people with a third opinion and an understanding of the art of compromise that makes the world a place to live for everyone, not just the righteous
    Ok, now that I got this out of my chest, I in fact admire people like RMS, who turned a principle into a movement that really changed the world, and it did so for better. But I hate to have to deal with people like him, because life is rarely black or white, it's mostly shades of gray and you have to adapt.
  • Re:A few thoughts (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pla (258480) on Friday April 16, 2004 @01:46PM (#8883430) Journal
    Not that it stopped me from downloading it. I don't like being told by whatever power that I can't read forbidden text.

    I think that counts as the best possible outcome we can achieve in the current legal climate - That we can download it regardless of legality. Apple wants to squash it, and in trying to do so, have guaranteed it immortality (almost a software equivalent of martyrdom).

    Personally, I downloaded it because of the legality, as I have done with several similar programs (DeCSS, Waste, PadLock, etc) in the past. I don't even have an iPod, nor an iTMS account, nor will I ever (I would rather pay a few bucks more for a physical CD of the music, and keep all my own ripped music as OGGs, not AACs). But because Apple decided to go after them, I grabbed a copy.

    You could call this "petulant" if you wanted, but really, what more can we do? "Civic Duty" advocates might say "vote". Market-focused individuals would say "vote with your dollar". But put simply, neither of those matters, nor does any other action I could take. "The little guy", ie, almost all of us, has absolutely no say in what the government or corporate America does, we can at best try to poke sticks into the chinks in their legal armor.


    I do have to wonder, though - Why has Apple gone after PlayFair, but not VideoLan (which can also remove FairPlay, though taking just a bit more effort)? I do have a theory on that - VideoLan's ability comes directly from "DVD Jon", who already won (in his own country) a very similar precedent-setting case - Namely, over DeCSS. If Apple went after him, his lawyer would just point to his earlier victory and call it a day.
  • Re:A few thoughts (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rendler (141135) on Friday April 16, 2004 @01:54PM (#8883546)
    Nice, except you're missing the whole point of people being able to already download the same songs somewhere else in MP3 format. All unencrypted, and quality as good (or near as to be indistinguishable by most people) ... and get this, FOR FREE. But guess what? The people who are actually using Playfair aren't doing this. They're using it to remove DRM from files which they've paid for. And what use would it be for someone who wants it for free to go through the process of decrypting DRM'ed AAC files when they can get the same files quicker and easier somewhere else. Then even if the people who have removed the DRM were to share those files who would want them? Seriously who would want AAC music files that plays on how many portable players? How many PC media players? Not many.
  • by kitzilla (266382) <paperfrog AT gmail DOT com> on Friday April 16, 2004 @01:55PM (#8883558) Homepage Journal
    It really sucks that Apple has to deal with this and the "/. mentality" that everything should be free. That's communist.

    There's never really been a true communist society, but the idea that everything is free ain't communist. Marx thought everyone was entitled to equality of wages (whether this compensation is in the form of money or goods and services is beside the point). Taking someone's work without consent and depriving them of their wage is simple theft.

    It's not romatic, idealistic, or civil disobedience. It's stealing.

  • Re:A few thoughts (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ryanwright (450832) on Friday April 16, 2004 @01:56PM (#8883573)
    Some kid breaks the DRM mechanism, and everyone jumps to his defence, because all they really want is FREE (gratis) music.

    This has nothing to do with getting free music. All of the songs available on iTunes are freely available anywhere else on the Internet. Nobody is breaking iTunes' DRM for the purpose of "stealing": You have to pay for the song before you even get the chance to break the DRM.

    No, the reason it's been broken, and the reason I am applauding their efforts to continue to do so, is because Fairplay isn't fair for me. I can't listen to it on portable MP3 players other than iPod. I can't put the files on my server and freely play them from any computer. I can't play them from standalone hardware players. I can't burn a hundred of them to a CD in data format and pop that disc in my in-car MP3 player.

    These are for legally purchased songs that I own, and I should be able to do what I please with them. Playfair solves this.
  • by shrubya (570356) on Friday April 16, 2004 @01:56PM (#8883581) Homepage Journal
    Q: What if Microsoft did the same thing that Apple is doing now?

    A: The rules for a CONVICTED CRIMINAL MONOPOLIST should be -- and are -- stricter than those for a fairly competing business.

    *****

    If Apple successfully squashes all other sellers of digital music (or personal computers, or whatever), then yes, they should be morally condemned for closed policies. Maybe even legally force them to open up their system. But that "if" has not happened yet.
  • Re:Too little ... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by in7ane (678796) on Friday April 16, 2004 @01:58PM (#8883614)
    Keep in mind that Apple may not even care about 'getting it back' as was the case with the studios and DeCSS, it's profits are not directly affected since the music store is not profitable, iPods are, and the only downside is the labels complaining. So as long as Apple is seen to be making an effort (for the program not to be readily available) that's all that's required.

    Keep in mind that everything Apple has done has been to remove the program, not to go after the author.
  • by unicorn (8060) on Friday April 16, 2004 @02:10PM (#8883800)
    Playfair assists in removing DRM from songs you personally have already purchased from iTunes store. It does nothing to strip DRM off songs that someone else bought. It doesn't help you get stuff from iTunes from your *nix box.

    So in order to use Playfair, you're already a mac or PC user anyhow.
  • Re:A few thoughts (Score:3, Insightful)

    by aminorex (141494) on Friday April 16, 2004 @02:11PM (#8883811) Homepage Journal
    A perverse and irrelevant analogy is always a
    powerful rhetorical device for deluding your readers, so, congratulations.

    There is NO USEFUL ANALOGY between the use of physical locks and the use of DRM in iTunes.
    The purpose of DRM is to rob the public domain
    for personal gain. The purpose of a padlock is
    to protect personal property from public depredations. They are OPPOSITES.
  • Re:A few thoughts (Score:4, Insightful)

    by black mariah (654971) on Friday April 16, 2004 @02:16PM (#8883888)
    3. The heart of the issue. Legally Apple is 100% right here but ethically I believe they are lacking, just because it is law does not make it ethical (Jim Crow laws for example).
    First of all, thank you for not being a moron. The amount of people that bring this up as a 'moral' issue pisses me off. Morals and ethics are completely different things, although they may appear the same to some degree.

    Now I get to tell you you're dead wrong. ;-) Apple is being COMPLTELY ethical. They have a deal to uphold with major music distributors. They seriously don't give a shit about a bunch of geeks running around proclaiming 'civil disobediance' by not paying for a $1 song. Their main goal is to KEEP THE DEALS WITH THE RECORD COMPANIES. While what they're doing may not be in the best interest of J. Random Hacker, it IS in the best interest of EVERYONE ELSE IN THE KNOWN UNIVERSE. People like me don't care about DRM. If it leads to lower prices ($1 per song? Sold.), I DON'T CARE. Apple is running in the right direction, and everyone should be encouraging them. Paranoid tinfoil lovers aside, if DRM ever gets to the point that people don't like it... THEY'LL STOP BUYING IT. The general public will only put up with so much bullshit, and people are not as stupid as slashdotters seem to think.
  • Re:A few thoughts (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nehril (115874) on Friday April 16, 2004 @02:24PM (#8884002)
    (bear with me for a moment here) My computer/car/walkman don't play 8-Track tapes. Knowing this limitation of the 8-Track Tape format, I don't buy any 8-Tracks, at any price. I don't fault the manufacturers of 8 Track tapes or units for this.

    So, if you know that iTMS downloads don't meet your needs and are not compatible with whatever mp3 player you want, why did you buy anything from iTMS?

    The restrictions and usefulness of what you get for 99 cents are clearly and unambiguously disclosed before purchase. The terms are good enough for a great many people. There's really no need for PlayFair.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 16, 2004 @02:31PM (#8884119)
    "If you don't like iTunes DRM, don't buy from them"

    No, the point is to keep breaking the DRM until one of two things happen:

    1) They say "Oh, we'll make it so tough that you won't like it". Good! Then people will understand why DRM is bad, and why it limits us in unacceptable ways.

    2) They finally say "Shit, this DRM is useless, its always broken, maybe I should give people the same rights as they have with a CD".

    3) Apple's music store isn't magic. Its selling mediocre quality music at a premium price. Its not a "good deal" or "revolutionary".

    Acceptance of any DRM will simply lead to more rights erosions. Its the old "how to boil a frog" debate over and over. Don't you get it? When the price on itunes goes to $2/tune because of record company greed, will you finally "get it". probably not. You'll make another excuse because you think iTunes is magic.

    You're a fucktard.

  • Re:A few thoughts (Score:4, Insightful)

    by AstroDrabb (534369) * on Friday April 16, 2004 @02:37PM (#8884188)
    What crap! Have you seen the numbers from Apple on the millions of songs they have sold? How is that just talk? Also, PlayFair is about an owner who doesn't want DRM. They have that right. PlayFair only works for songs you have purchased!!!! Again, where is there anything wrong with this? Without PlayFair, a user can still burn their iTMS songs to a CD and then rip those to non-DRMed audio files. So how is PlayFair allowing a user to do anything more then what Apple already allows a user to do? Once a song is sold, it belongs to the purchaser. Granted, the purchaser is still not allowed to distribute that song, however, they may do what they want with their copy. Apples own DRM allows the DRM crap to be removed just as easily as PlayFair does, so why is Apple's method OK? I guess just because it is from Apple?

    A copyright holder has rights over distribution. They have no rights on usage and monitoring after they sell a copyrighted work. What right does Apple or the RIAA/MPAA have to control how you use their copyrighted work? They have none.

    I personally have never used iTMS (or any other music store) and never will until DRM is removed (which may never happen). I cannot understand how people don't care about these companies telling them how they can use a product after they make a purchase. Do people put up with this for other industries? Would you buy a car from Ford that only allowed one person at a time and had security devices to try to enforce that rule? What if Ford sold a car that would only work on Sundays? Would you put up with that? I don't think most people would. Yet, they bend over for software and media companies and let their fair use right be stripped away. Now some end-user is fighting to keep their fair use rights and you call them a theif? How stupid of you.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 16, 2004 @02:38PM (#8884200)
    4. With refard to Sarovar, Apple did nothing more than make with is essentially an intellectual appeal. Apple didn't "force" anyone to do anything.

    Even though Sarovar.org did take the project `PlayFair' down, they didn't do anything with the user account of the playfair project admin. He is ranked 8th and will be moving up. If anybody wants to support the author they can rate this author by logging onto http://sarovar.org/

  • by diamondsw (685967) on Friday April 16, 2004 @02:39PM (#8884213)
    Okay, this is stupid and is pissing me off.

    Folks, Apple isn't getting special treatment - if any other music store had come out with similar universal licensing terms, interface, and products, we'd say the same things. The fact is that NO ONE HAS.

    Microsoft is the company that gets special treatment of another kind - everything they do is viewed with suspicion. However, there's a good reason for that - they have a long history of manipulating the market and twisting everything to their own ends whether or not that benefits consumers. Apple, meanwhile (and a great many other companies), have a history of doing things expressly for the benefit of their customers.

    Look at IBM. People used to view them the same as we view Microsoft today, and for good reason. Then they changed, and after years and years (over a decade's worth) of just creating great technology, contributing to the community and other "good works", IBM is viewed as a positive company. Apple has created great technology, contributed to the community (Darwin, KHTML contribs, expanding the reach of UNIX-kind) and other "good works". Microsoft has created lots of crappy technology, stifled and attacked the community (even its own) and engaged in criminal business practices time and time again, and been convicted!

    So get off your high horse about people being mindless followers of Apple. Apple has every reason to have its followers, supporters, and admirers.
  • Re:A few thoughts (Score:3, Insightful)

    by AstroDrabb (534369) * on Friday April 16, 2004 @02:45PM (#8884312)
    "IP" rights? Since when did "IP" rights extend to an end-user after purchase? Apple has no right to tell an end-user who legally purchases a song from their store how and where they can listen to that song. That has nothing to do with "IP" rights and everything to do with control. This application only works for songs that are legally purchased. It also does not allow any more use then Apple's own DRM. With a song from iTMS, you can burn it to a music CD and then rip it DRM-free. PlayFair does the same thing except for require the user to burn an CD. So how is Apple's method OK and PlayFair's method "stealing" or "piracy"?

    Also, how in the world can you compare the GPL to this crap? The GPL is about giving end-users MORE rights then standard copyright laws allow. Apple's DRM is about taking away rights that standard copyright laws and Fair Use laws allow. There is no comparision.

  • by d34thm0nk3y (653414) on Friday April 16, 2004 @02:55PM (#8884526)
    But if you had an 8-track transcoder to put those tracks onto a player you could play in your car is that illegal or immoral (in India so no DMCA)?
  • Re:A few thoughts (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AstroDrabb (534369) * on Friday April 16, 2004 @02:56PM (#8884572)
    DO you even know what PlayFair does? It does not "crack" Apple's DRM. It still requires you to purchase the song and then it will strip the DRM using valid keys. This is no different then what is allowed by Apple's DRM now. You can purchase a song and burn a music CD and then rip the CD to a non-DRMed format. Why should an end-user who paid for a song have to go through the process of burning and ripping to get thier non-DRMed song when they can use this program? I know, because Apple doesn't what any end user to shift the format from AAC to say MP3. That would allow an end-user to actually exercise choice and purchase a portable music player other then Apple's iPOD.

    One other thing I just thought of. Why is Apple the one going after this program? They are not the ones who wrote the FairPlay DRM. Do they even own the copyrights? It would be kinda funny if they have no legal right to enforce the copyrights.

  • Re:A few thoughts (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Brian Blessed (258910) on Friday April 16, 2004 @03:03PM (#8884675)
    > So anyone using PlayFair to overcome the DRMs is essentially in breach of contract.

    So what? I have no contract with Apple because I haven't used the iTMS. I also am not infringing the copyrights on any of their content.

    I simply do not want to see companies deciding whether particular pieces of software (not their's) can be distributed.

    I can't believe the number of sanctimonious comments around here that suggest that the existance of this program is wrong. Why is it? (given that, as the same people point out, the DRM doesn't stop potential infringments anyway).

    - Brian.
  • by Powercntrl (458442) on Friday April 16, 2004 @03:04PM (#8884690)
    It takes forever, and you lose all the metadata!

    PlayFair allows you to strip the annoying DRM from the M4P files while preserving the metadata. Those of you saying "burn and re-rip" are missing the point. Time is a finite resourse and PlayFair makes the converting process MUCH quicker, so you can spend time enjoying your music instead of messing with it.

    You can then use a utility like the free dBpowerAMP with an AAC plug-in to convert to LAME MP3, WMA or even OGG, while still preserving the metadata. The last step is to use an MP3/WMA/OGG tag utility program to use the metadata to rename the file to something more meaningful than ITMS's default "[track] [title].m4a"

    I've converted over 151 protected iTunes tracks this way so I could play them on my MuVo2. With the WinAmp AAC plugin, I can also play my iTunes purchases on my old laptop that still runs Windows 98. Thank you PlayFair!
  • Re:A few thoughts (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ryanwright (450832) on Friday April 16, 2004 @03:35PM (#8885139)
    You make a good argument, however, it's really not related to the argument at hand. Forget the reason why I bought the tracks; the question is, now that I have them, should I not be able to do with them as I please?

    The restrictions and usefulness of what you get for 99 cents are clearly and unambiguously disclosed before purchase.

    Agreed, however, if I have a way to get around these restrictions and make my purchase more useful for me, is it immoral or unethical to do so? Assuming I don't distribute the music to others, this is just like modifying any other product. If I want to cut a hole in the top of my monitor for a cupholder, it's my business. Same game if I want to remove a "feature" (DRM) from my music files.
  • Re:A few thoughts (Score:3, Insightful)

    by AstroDrabb (534369) * on Friday April 16, 2004 @04:04PM (#8885560)
    Suggesting that DRM is a black/white right/wrong issue is pretty ridiculous. You no doubt would love to protect your own rights to things you have of value (you do lock up your valuables... right?). Are you suggesting that because I have a moral problem with the idea of things being locked up, and found a site that allows me to successfully pick any MasterLock, that it's now perfectly OK for me to come by when you're not home, pick the lock, and take what doesn't belong to me?
    Man, you are brainwashed by the corporations. What you wrote is so far off-base. These people are not stealing. They are doing what they want with a product that they purchased since PlayFair only works on songs you have paid for! If you came to my house and I sold you a table, do I have the right to tell you when and how you can use it? What if I put DRM into the table and it would prevent you from using that table that you PURCHASED from me how and when you like? This example is what is happening with DRM crap. Copyright holders are not "letting" us use their work. They are SELLING us a copy of the work and that copy is now OUR property to use as we please and even sell. Apple's and other companies DRM implementations are trying to prevent that and prevent your Fair Use rights.

    DRM is black or white. If you accept ANY DRM now, you are giving the green ligth to companies to continue to tighten the restrictions. Later versions will come out that have tighter control. For example, I bet MS's version will take away more rigths from the buyer then Apple's version and the RIAA will like that version more. So what does the RIAA do? They only let the "lattest/hottest" titles go to the MS music store. By accepting ANY DRM, you are giving control to the RIAA/MPAA and other companies that they are looking for and will use.

    and people who are going out of their way to circumvent the MINIMAL DRM on iTunes are simply looking for a way to justify immoral/illegal behavior
    How in the world do you come up with this crap? PlayFair does not allow a user to do anything that Apple's own DRM does not allow them to do. With a regular iTMS song, you can burn and rip to get a DRM free version. The PlayFair program does the same thing. PlayFair only works on songs that you have PAID FOR. So just what bad thing does it do? It saves a user from having to go through the long process of burning and ripping. To me that is a good thing.
  • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DAldredge (2353) * <SlashdotEmail@GMail.Com> on Friday April 16, 2004 @04:38PM (#8885936) Journal
    If apple didn't bill itself as a 'enlightened' company that things would be different. But the do say they are different but when it comes down to it they aren't.

    The fact that you are willing to defend their lies just shows how much of a blind fanboy you are.

    (Fuckit, if I am going to be mod bombed as a troll then I will give them a reason to mod me down.)

  • Re:A few thoughts (Score:3, Insightful)

    by zurab (188064) on Friday April 16, 2004 @05:06PM (#8886250)
    The restrictions and usefulness of what you get for 99 cents are clearly and unambiguously disclosed before purchase. The terms are good enough for a great many people. There's really no need for PlayFair.

    Well, it's reasonable for Apple to make any product they want, in the format of their choice, with any DRM scheme they wish. They, obviously, are not required to accommodate everyone, or any group in particular.

    Having said that, in my opinion, it's also reasonable to attempt to crack a DRM or an encryption scheme in general. How do you think research is done in that area? Yes, DMCA makes some things illegal, but DMCA is what's self-contradicting and sometimes unreasonable, to say the least about it.

    I think it makes a great deal of difference whether Apple is selling or renting the music. IANAL, so maybe a lawyer would shed more light, but if Apple is renting the music, then they have a say on how it may get played, on what hardware, software and who they are renting to, and for how long. On the other hand, if they are selling, then they have less powers after the sale is complete. There's 2 issues that I see:

    1. What rights can Apple take away from you as a condition of a sale (not lease/rent/licensing)? Can they take away your fair use rights? If so, then "fair use" is not a "right" after all. So, is Apple really renting the music?

    2. The DMCA says that you cannot circumvent the encryption scheme; but DMCA also says it wants to do nothing to limit the "fair use" rights. I don't recall a court case, but one judge ruled that that's OK, as long as you are not trafficking the circumvention device, or breaking the encryption. Well, quite frankly, I don't see how that's OK - it's either limiting the free speech, or fair use, or both; so maybe higher courts, maybe the Supreme Court, needs to resolve that contradiction in the DMCA itself.
  • Freenet! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by DaCool42 (525559) on Friday April 16, 2004 @05:53PM (#8886783) Homepage
    If anyone has a copy, post it up on freenet. This is just the kind of thing that freenet is good for.
  • Re:A few thoughts (Score:2, Insightful)

    by BasilBrush (643681) on Friday April 16, 2004 @06:23PM (#8887141)
    The difference is that they publically demonstrated and were willing to face the legal consequences to publicise their cause. They weren't running off to another country where they think the laws weren't enforced as strongly. And don't pretend that stripping DRM off files whilst skulking in your bedroom is the equivalent of civil disobedience, either. Nobody knows you have done it. The only cause you are serving is yourself. If you truly object to it, organise a demonstration outside Apple offices and get the press in. Then, and only then can you start to think about talking about civil disobedience.

    DRM isn't the equivalent of segregation by a long chalk. If you don't approve of DRM, don't buy DRMed music. Nobody is forcing you. Go to the music store and buy CDs instead.

  • Re:A few thoughts (Score:3, Insightful)

    by TheRaven64 (641858) on Friday April 16, 2004 @06:43PM (#8887317) Journal
    I can't help wondering if this is the entire point of the exercise. Steve Jobs is on record as saying that he doesn't believe DRM can work. Whatever else he may be, he is not stupid, and I'm fairly sure he knows that suppressing this is only likely to ensure wider distribution and more publicity. Which will then serve to prove him right. Steve Jobs on an ego trip, who'd have thought it?
  • Re:A few thoughts (Score:3, Insightful)

    by BillyBlaze (746775) <tomfelker@gmail.com> on Friday April 16, 2004 @07:02PM (#8887451)
    They seriously don't give a shit about a bunch of geeks running around proclaiming 'civil disobediance' by not paying for a $1 song.

    The whole point is that these particular geeks are paying the $1 for the song, and are getting screwed anyway.

    Also, DRM will continue to get more restrictive, but this has nothing to do with the public being stupid. The RIAA controls all the popular music, and they can choose to only offer it to resellers with increasingly restrictive DRM. Yes, this will hurt sales. The RIAA will then blame piracy and get the politicians, who are as stupid (or as paid off) as Slashdotters think, to make still more draconian copyright laws.

  • Re:A few thoughts (Score:3, Insightful)

    by TiggsPanther (611974) <tiggs@m-void.c o . uk> on Saturday April 17, 2004 @12:34PM (#8891903) Journal
    Some kid breaks the DRM mechanism, and everyone jumps to his defence, because all they really want is FREE (gratis) music. All that talk about buying songs was just that: talk.

    Bullshit!
    I want to buy music digitally(*). Currently I can't easily. But I still buy CDs. Hell, bought two classics by The Pixies last week. I could easily of grabbed all the songs and more off P2P. But I didn't.
    That said, I'm anti-DRM. At least, DRM that's tied to platform lockin.

    (*) I did use the Bleep/Warp store to buy some Aphex Twin. The only thing stopping me using them more is their lack of music I'm in a hurry to get. Again, I could easily fire up my P2P program and grab whole albums, but when whole-albums are involved I really do prefer actually buying them.

    iTMS looks almost perfect to me. They have a lot of stuff available. Probably more than anyone else. Problem is, by the time they get the European copyright issues or whatever's holding them up over here sorted out and can actually open over here, I'll have defected more from Windows than I already have.

    (Yes, I know we have the "MyCokeMusic" over here. I just had a look. The main page then launches a Flash window to do the actualy browsing in.
    Errrrrrrrrm. No!)

    Unless Apple bring out official iTunes/iPod support to Linux, then the only way I'd be able to use their service would be by some sort of circumvention method. And I'm pretty certain I'm not the only one.
    And seeing that, unlike me, some people can actually code, then there will always be people who will right workarounds for themselves. And then, inevitably, make them available.

    It's no different to Region-coding and CSS in DVDs to me. If I buy something, I don't want people telling me on what platforms I can and can't watch them on. It doesn't necessarily mean I'll download stuff for free instead. It just means I'll either find a hack, or go without.
    And the amusing (to me) thing is that the companies would probably rather I did the latter. But its the former that allows me to buy stuff and put money in their pockets.

    Tiggs

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