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Monday, March 10, 2008

Apple and their worthless DRM

Anyone who has ever purchased music from the iTunes store knows that every song purchased comes in Apple's annoying "Protected AAC" file format. Like everything else Apple does, they would prefer that their music not be played on anything other than Apple software and hardware.

Since I use Ubuntu Linux (read: no iTunes), it is extremely inconvenient for me to buy songs through Apple because I cannot play the DRM'ed files. Though it is possible to remove the DRM by burning audio CDs, that's a lot of work to just get a couple songs onto my Ubuntu Linux.

Thankfully, a couple months ago I ran across a cool little program called MyFairTunes, which was a one-click DRM stripper for those pesky AAC files. A minute or so later, all my downloaded music was DRM free and able to play on Ubuntu.

Once again, Apple is stepping in and ruining what is easy and legal.

Today I downloaded a song and went to convert it to an unprotected MP3 file. MyFairTunes gave me an error so I went to Hymn-Project.org (the MyFairTunes main site) searching for a resolution. Shockingly I ran across this post.

Apparently Apple has filed a Cease and Desist order against the site and the Hymn Project is no longer allowed to offer download links for the programs.

Like I needed more reasons to dislike Apple and their closed-minded ways.

Using MyFairTunes to remove Apple's foolish DRM is COMPLETELY LEGAL. I bought the songs, why can I not put them on whatever devices I want to? This right falls under the Fair Use clause in copyright law.

Apple's iTunes End User License Agreement (EULA) does outlaw cracking the DRM on their songs, although that is no surprise. What else would you expect from a company that will not let their operating systems run on anything other than their hardware?

What is tough to understand is how Apple thinks they aren't violating the same thing they are fighting. Although CD ripping has been a computer standard for some time now, how is it different than cracking DRM off of a download? There is no difference between ripping a purchased CD and cracking purchased DRM'ed content. Both methods result in unprotected purchased content ending up on a computer.

What is unfortunate is that the Hymn Project did not in any way condone piracy. Essentially, Apple has alienated every user of the Hymn Project's software.

Regardless, Apple can enjoy their DRM'ed crap. Once my gift card runs out, I will be switching to Amazon or one of the other DRM free music providers. They "get" consumers, while Apple is so far behind the times. DRM is dead Apple, get over it.

Until then, I guess I will just have to burn audio CDs to rid myself of the infernal DRM.

1 comment:

katy voorhorst, compaq user and non- iPod owner said...

Okay...so what have we learned here?

A few things:

1. Apple is hardcore shitty.
2. iAnything is not worth anyone's money. Unless you want to purchase an iLife, which is
a. expensive, and
b. stupid.
because when you want to switch to something more sensible and, hmm, what's the word I'm looking for, oh yeah... USEFUL, you're screwed. You've put too much time and money into putting up with iTyrant and there's no point.

Basically, Apple is trying to take over the world.
And I hate them for it.

This is ridonculous.