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Protesting Apple's DRM

timothy posted more than 8 years ago | from the while-babies-starve dept.

148

tedet writes "On the heels of the recent DRM news from Bruce Perens, the UK Parliament, and the Norwegian Omsbudman, Defective By Design is planning a flash protest this coming Saturday targeting Apple Stores throughout the United States. Defective by Design is targeting Apple because '[a]s the largest distributor of DRM infected technology, Apple has set a new low in the mistreatment of our freedoms.' We can expect more hazmat suits, and they created some art specific to this action. Hopefully these direct actions by Defective by Design will get the U.S. up-to-speed with its continental counterparts." (Of course, some people are happy with Apple's DRM as a compromise which helped legitimize online music sales.)

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Flash Protest? (3, Insightful)

necro81 (917438) | more than 8 years ago | (#15495735)

It can hardly qualify as a flash protest if you announce it to the world days in advance.

Re:Flash Protest? (4, Funny)

Pantero Blanco (792776) | more than 8 years ago | (#15495889)

Well, it can, but I sure hope that's not what they're planning.

Why this is Dumb (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15497447)

I have a pretty good understanding of DRM and yes, APPLE is the market leader in online (drm'd) music sales. However, this is all due to the trickle down effect created by groups like the RIAA.

No major label will sell drm-free music. Emusic, the number 2 online store sells mostly drm-free indie label and back catalog stuff b/c no major label will allow them to sell the next Britney Spears album without some alleged protection.. And- if they did allow this, it would cost a pretty penny.

Apple just happens to be the number one player in the market due to their success with the IPOD. The labels had online stores and failed in the past. Every legit apple competitor, outside of emusic, sells DRM'd files. I don't think this is by choice.

If you want change, you need to start with the source. THE RIAA. THE MPAA. They set the terms that allow Apple to sell their content.

If I'm wrong, please enlighten me.
Thanks!
Kwame

Yes it's DRM, but... (5, Insightful)

HRH King Lerxst (79427) | more than 8 years ago | (#15495755)

Since Apple's implementation is the least obtrusive and most user friendly, does it make since to protest? Why not go after more draconian DRM?

Re:Yes it's DRM, but... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15495878)

oh i see, DRM's fine so long as the software is easy to use... riiight..

Re:Yes it's DRM, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15496087)

Yes, exactly. DRM is fine as long as it allows me to do everything I want. If not, I buy something else and don't whine about it. Pretty simple, huh?

Re:Yes it's DRM, but... (4, Insightful)

Incongruity (70416) | more than 8 years ago | (#15496169)

oh i see, DRM's fine so long as the software is easy to use... riiight..

To a point, yes, actually. DRM is hated so much by many people because it makes software very difficult to use even when you're not doing anything that would violate anyone's rights. If someone could offer a mystical, magical DRM solution that never so much as made a peep unless the user was actually (and let's say blatantly) violating copyright and not protected by fair use exemptions, etc. etc. and it was 100% accurate, the only people who would care would be those who are breaking the copyright law (as to the validity/fairness of those laws, I'll leave that for another time...) because everyone else would not even know the DRM software was there... And that's almost what Apple's DRM software does. I've only been aware of it once and that was when I had made a few too many copies of one of my playlists that contained iTMS purchased songs (which I was, in fact, backing up (mmm hmm)).

Now where Apple's DRM scheme fails the usability metric is in that music protected by it is unusable with other music players/systems -- that's a huge crimp in usability but at the moment it's mitigated by the fact that Apple makes the best (IMHO) portable players out there and they dominate the market so in practical terms, a minority of people are affected by this. Nevertheless, as I said, this does make Apple's DRM scheme fail my usability test and therefore it's short of that perfect ideal, of course.

Re:Yes it's DRM, but... (1)

zephos (877875) | more than 8 years ago | (#15497079)

What you are essentially arguing is a digital version of the "if you aren't doing anything wrong then you have nothing hide so we should be allowed to monitor your behavior" excuse. DRM technology shows a distinct lack of trust between buyer and seller on the part of the seller. Apple's DRM technically is monitoring my behavior in an attempt to prevent me from doing anything to break the law. This sounds great, but it has the exact same problems as any other monitoring problems.

"If someone could offer a mystical, magical video surveillance solution that never so much as made a peep unless the user was actually (and let's say blatantly) violating any law and it was 100% accurate, the only people who would care would be those who are breaking the law..."

Right, you'd totally agree to that. Basically that's what DRM is doing to your computer. As most people object to the above, most people _should_ object to the DRM technology. It is my computer, I'm presumed innocent until proved guilty, so assume I'm a law abiding citizen [its bloody insulting to your consumers to assume they are criminals] and prosecute me when you catch me breaking the law.

If they don't trust me not to break the law I am certainly not going to trust them to do the same.

Re:Yes it's DRM, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15497848)

There is a way to unencrypt songs that you've bought actually:

http://hymn-project.org/ [hymn-project.org]

Re:Yes it's DRM, but... (1)

NaugaHunter (639364) | more than 8 years ago | (#15499918)

Now where Apple's DRM scheme fails the usability metric is in that music protected by it is unusable with other music players/systems

Given that it's the easiest (if not only) DRM method to burn non-encumbered CDs from, it's not like it completely fails. It just hits the 'Annoyingly Inconvenient' mark instead of 'Blatantly Impossible' that most do.

I'll never understand the 'locked-in' complaint. Music has always been locked into the media - it's not exactly easy to play an 8-track on a record player, and don't get me started on getting music off of those old cylinders. Having to manually burn bought songs is really not much different than taping off CDs or albums in the old days*. Would it be nice if there was no DRM at all? Of course; and it is available from independent artists and even some major artists if you look, but that's not realistic to expect from RIAA at this point in time.

* Yes, I'm using 'old days' to refer to taping songs off of vinyl. Heck, I remember we had one player that could stack maybe a dozen albums. Of course, this was also back in the day when most albums would have at least one side worth listening all the way through.

Absolutely agree... (3, Insightful)

TheRealStyro (233246) | more than 8 years ago | (#15495982)

Apple's Fairplay DRM scheme is one of the best I've used. Apple allows you to make audio CDs and doesn't have a problem with file/image backup applications.

Do I wish Apple's DRM were better and less restrictive - you betcha! The price per song should be lower and with public disclosure of how much each party receives from each sale. The bitrate should also be higher to handle some more complex pieces of music. The number of CD burn times for each song should also be increased, not decreased. Video content should be able to be burned onto a standard and/or HD/BD DVD.

Too bad emusic cannot charge on per song basis; non-DRMed content is great (subscriptions suck).

Re:Absolutely agree... (1)

falcon5768 (629591) | more than 8 years ago | (#15496039)

When it first came out they did tell you what the breakdown was. Apple gets just enough to keep their servers running and to improve iTunes (less than 10% of the sale), the company gets all the rest but there was a requirement that a decent percentage of it HAD to go to the artist not like 50% of it, but enough that it was valid and not the artist was getting 2 cents when the label got 88.

Unfortunaly I cant seem to find the old page on thier site that spelled it out.

Re:Yes it's DRM, but... (0)

HRH King Lerxst (79427) | more than 8 years ago | (#15496007)

s/since/sense/

Re:Yes it's DRM, but... (4, Insightful)

ElleyKitten (715519) | more than 8 years ago | (#15496113)

Since Apple's implementation is the least obtrusive and most user friendly, does it make since to protest? Why not go after more draconian DRM?
Because they believe that all DRM is bad. Maybe it doesn't seem so bad now, but once people are used to the "friendly" DRM, then the less and less friendly DRM will be more palatable, and pretty soon everything you do on a computer is controled by the "content providers", kinda like in this scenerio [gnu.org] . I'm not sure if it'll get that bad, but a little DRM can go a long way.

Re:Yes it's DRM, but... (1)

Kosmatos (179297) | more than 8 years ago | (#15496188)

Thanks for the link to that "Right to Read" story, it was fun.

Least of all evils? (2, Insightful)

Millennium (2451) | more than 8 years ago | (#15496557)

I agree with you that DRM is an inherently bad technology, but I can't help but agree that the protests are better directed at more draconian schemes. The RIAA doesn't need Apple: should Apple pull out of the DRM game, the RIAA will simply move to stores with even worse models; God knows there are enough of those to keep the RIAA satisfied.

If the protests are to be truly effective, then they need to recognize that RIAA will always be as draconian as they possibly can. Thus, the protests should be focused to push RIAA to less draconian schemes than the status quo, not more. You don't do that by targeting moderates like Apple; you do it by targeting the more draconian stores. Then, as RIAA is forced to become accustomed to less draconian schemes (because the market won't stand for more draconian ones), you tighten the noose, continually pushing RIAA toward better schemes until you finally get them off of DRM completely.

Is this more difficult than simply targeting the largest vendor? Of course it is. It's also much slower. But it has a far lower chance of unintended consequences.

Re:Least of all evils? (1)

Ohreally_factor (593551) | more than 8 years ago | (#15499023)

The priority is publicity, gained as cheaply and with as little effort as possible. Apple is a convenient target, as they have many retail locations distributed across the country (and throughout the world). This will be much easier to pull off compared to a "million nerd march" on Washington DC, Hollywood, or on Redmond.

So, I think they don't really care that they're not attacking the the worst offenders. They just want the attention, and they're going to get it.

Re:Yes it's DRM, but... (1, Insightful)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 8 years ago | (#15497243)

Well put!

What the grandparent asks is a little like "Shouldn't the police be going after the crack dealers producing the expensive, crappy crack noone wants, rather then the dealers with the pure, cheap crack?"

(to extend the always brilliant DRM vendors / drug pusher analogy)

Re:Yes it's DRM, but... (1)

Penguin Programmer (241752) | more than 8 years ago | (#15496579)

Unobtrusive, user-friendly DRM is the worst kind. When DRM is in-your-face and prevents the average user from doing something, the average user notices and realizes how stupid it is. With unobtrusive, user-friendly DRM, the average user will, most likely, never even know about it.

Unobtrusive, user-friendly DRM lulls consumers into thinking that DRM is acceptable. It's not.

Re:Yes it's DRM, but... (1)

Lussarn (105276) | more than 8 years ago | (#15497362)

Apple uses DRM for vendor lockin purposes (and is on its way to monopoly), that is the worst kind of DRM imaginable. Which DRM is more obtrusive and draconian according to you? Play for sure? Anybody can licence it, it's not in any way good at all but it sure as hell doesn't have the restrictions Apple puts on the DRM.

Re:Yes it's DRM, but... (2, Insightful)

bjohnson (3225) | more than 8 years ago | (#15498534)

You're equally locked in with Plays For Sure: that ONLY works with Windows.

Baby steps (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 8 years ago | (#15497402)

Have you ever seen a baby cheetah? Awh, cute cuddly and barely able to stand upright let alone run. Yet within a year or two it will out accelarate a ferrari.

Some people are worried about DRM and Trusted Computing. Not because of what it is today but of what it might become in the future.

Examine your own words. You claim that Apples DRM is the obstrusive and user UN-friendly. Oh not as bad as others but what kind of recommondation is that? Sniffing pee ain't as bad as sniffing pure amonia. Do you want to clean my toilet?

Yes there are worse DRM at the moment but they are not a success. Apples is and while Steve Jobs at the moment is labelled as the saviour of consumers (I doubt it, this is Steve "Disney" Jobs we are talking about but that is another story) it is still very clear that the content owners are not happy with it and pressuring Apple to increase the DRM.

Is Apple really going to keep standing up to them. Is this the maximum level of DRM OR is this the famous baby step. Getting us used to DRM so that it can be slowly increased overtime until we have no rights left?

Lets not forget that BEFORE iTunes came along DRM was unacceptable. Now it is accepted by a lot of people. The first step has already been taken.

Yes a lot of this reeks of paranoia but the thing about paranoia is that it ain't real paranoia if they are really out to get you.

Not Apple perse (although again the disney link makes me doubtfull) but has the record industry found a usefull ally in Apple nonetheless? Not that they seem very gratefull but a lot of mankinds worse moments arrived through stupid coincedences and people thinking that for now the lesser of two evils is all for the best.

There are three camps in this battle. Those who believe that all DRM and Trusted Computing is a path to hell, those who believe it will be good and the saviour of mankind and those in the middle who just want their content. The problem is that the two extremes must be extremes. DRM and Trusted computing can't be half measurers. They require ABSOLUTES. In away Apples DRM is just a piss poor copy protection easily circumvented. For someting to be really DRM you must not be able to circumvent it.

So if you want to be in the middle good luck. You might find out that once you made that first step the next steps come a lot easier. Especially when billion dollar companies are tugging on your arms.

If Apple increases its drm, can you resist?

No reign of terror comes without a warning sign. The trick is to regonize the warning signs. Prophets and madman are good at it. The funny thing is that they are often the same person. They just go from madman to prophet after it is too late and we wonder why nobody said something before it all went to hell.

Re:Baby steps (1)

mrraven (129238) | more than 8 years ago | (#15497880)

That's true except I can and do play non DRM'd mp3s on my ipod now. If that changes I'll reflash it with ipod linux (which does work on my nano I've tried it): http://ipodlinux.org/Main_Page [ipodlinux.org]

Same thing for OSs if OS X gets over DRMed I'll reformat mt HD and install Ubuntu for PPC. Thankfully Dapper Drake is usable by ordinary non geek god human beings. I'm just grateful there are options now if DRM gets too onerous/

Well, if that is allowed ofcourse (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 8 years ago | (#15498177)

By the Trusted Computing hardware. Wich your mac might already contain. Notice how with game consoles we already seem to accept that the company tells us what we can and cannot do with our property.

Most products you buy you are free to use them in anyway you see fit. With game consoles this is no longer the case. Wonder what will be next?

Apple sure didn't seem to like people hacking their OS to run on other hardware nor for that matter people hacking their hardware to run other OS'es.

Just because today you have a freedom don't count on it being there tomorrow unless you are willing to fight for it today.

Re:Well, if that is allowed ofcourse (1)

jZnat (793348) | more than 8 years ago | (#15498306)

You can still mod your game consoles. Even if the DMCA were somehow able to prevent the sale of mod chips, you could still hack your own mod chip together with some instructions a some experience with EE.

Starting your post in the subject is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15499591)

really annoying.

Re:Yes it's DRM, but... (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 8 years ago | (#15497703)

And at least Apple's is cross-platform. I can't watch AOL's "Go2TV" web-based TV shows because it uses Microsoft DRM, which is not only more intrusive than Apple's, but doesn't even work on OS X. Which is a shame, because I love Head of the Class.

Yes, it's Murder, but (1)

ClamIAm (926466) | more than 8 years ago | (#15500296)

Since Mr. Guillotine's implementation is the least painful and most user friendly, does it make sense to protest? Why not go after more draconian execution methods?

It makes NO sense to target Apple... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15495780)

The problem's DRM, not Apple. Therefore, make sure you add Redmond to the flash mob as well, along with the various headquarters of the xxIA sites, etc.

Re:It makes NO sense to target Apple... (3, Insightful)

TheGavster (774657) | more than 8 years ago | (#15496043)

Ask someone to name an online music store, they'll name iTunes. Ask them to name an MP3 player, they'll name iPod. If you want to target the biggest guy in the business, Apple's it.

Re:It makes NO sense to target Apple... (2, Insightful)

mr_matticus (928346) | more than 8 years ago | (#15497378)

Yeah, but topple the well-meaning and unobtrusive big guy and what you end up with is the coronation of a dictator. I wonder if Sony will be buying SanDisk's mp3 player division soon...

Re:It makes NO sense to target Apple... (1)

bky1701 (979071) | more than 8 years ago | (#15498561)

But Apple IS a major problem. They have a totally (maybe not so anymore.... meh) locked system full of DRM, they control most of the mobile music industry and they are not afraid to flex their proprietary-system muscles. If everyone was to buy a mac today, we would instantly be in the "Microsoft worst case scenario" as far as DRM and system control goes. Not that Apple is far from that as things stand, but anyone that cares about it doesn't use a mac.

Pipe dream (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15495800)

Hopefully these direct actions by Defective by Design will get the U.S. up-to-speed with its continental counterparts.

Yes, a bunch of random people in hazmat suits passsing out flyers is really going to make a HUGE difference. Really!

In the defense of Apple. (5, Interesting)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 8 years ago | (#15495813)

Its obvious that this group complaining about Apples "number of copies" is making a point by not providing all the relevant information. As such their honest and integrity are questionable. Apple's number of copies only applies the number of times a specific playlist can be burned if that playlist contains protected music. Want to burn it again then make a new one.

Still its not like its hard to circumvent the DRM in iTunes. The easiest to understand for layman is to burn to music CD and rip back to MP3.

On the point of legally purchased. You enter a contract with Apple when you purchase a protected track. You don't have to buy it from them if you don't agree to their terms. Go buy the CD. DRM rules are not applied to items you RIP yourself as the agreement of that purchase did not involve Apple.

Now, should Apple decide to apply DRM rules to items not purchased through them, specifically CDs you own, then I can see a real reason to cry about it. My first action would be to not upgrade to such a version of iTunes and forever leave the service. My previously purchased music will still work fine, Apple will just be out a lot of customers until they change their tune.

As for the other services, you are not required to use them either. Don't like the idea of a subscription, then fine don't use one but why in the hell must you bitch about products you won't use because you don't like them? Do you just have to be a victim?

Re:In the defense of Apple. (1)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 8 years ago | (#15495859)

Now, should Apple decide to apply DRM rules to items not purchased through them, specifically CDs you own, then I can see a real reason to cry about it.

Doesn't Windows Media Player do something like this by default? I don't really use the program, but I know there's the checkbox to "Acquire licenses for music I rip myself" or something like that that's enabled by default. Knowing MS, I've always interpreted it as "Apply DRM to my own music so I don't accidentally let someone else have it." Or am I totally off base here (entirely possible)?

Re:In the defense of Apple. (1)

Tim C (15259) | more than 8 years ago | (#15497022)

I don't really use the program, but I know there's the checkbox to "Acquire licenses for music I rip myself" or something like that that's enabled by default.

Actually, it's "Automatically acquire licences for protected content". It applies to content that you somehow obtain that's protected (ie already DRMed), not to music you rip yourself.

The CD ripping functionality in WMP defaults to unprotected, fixed-rate WMA, with options (in WMP 10) for VBR WMA, lossless WMA and mp3. I've no idea how they compare, as I never use it, I use CDex. (That's one reason I know what the defaults are - I've never touched those settings) I do remember that the mp3 ripping options are pretty basic unless you buy a plugin (but then mp3 is a licensable technology).

Re:In the defense of Apple. (3, Insightful)

Mateusz Misko (980942) | more than 8 years ago | (#15495909)

You don't have to buy it from them if you don't agree to their terms.
Now it seems like a valid argument. But I think many people are afraid that if the DRM technology spreads they won't have a choice anymore.

Re:In the defense of Apple. (1)

cowscows (103644) | more than 8 years ago | (#15497185)

That's an unrealistic worry. If all the labels that exist today went totally DRM tomorrow, it would be a matter of days before new companies sprang up to fill the market of providing un-DRM'ed media. Even if the RIAA got dozens of laws passed to try and stop it.

Many different drugs are highly illegal, and their production and physical nature makes distributing much more complicated than digital files. Yet there's still plenty of market for them, because the demand is there.

Wherever there is demand, capitalism will find a way. No matter how hard anyone tries to control information, it's just too easy for us to share it now. We'd have to live in a society controlled to a level approaching what I hear North Korea is supposed to be like before they could stop us from sharing music, and if that was the case, hard-to-copy music would be the least of our worries.

Re:In the defense of Apple. (1)

Mateusz Misko (980942) | more than 8 years ago | (#15497671)

Illegal — that's the keyword.

I, too, think that the music is overpriced but still I'm willing to pay for the tunes I really want to listen to. I'd just like to be able to listen to the purchased music on all my devices, without paying for each new format invented. If I have to pay for each format/device then I'd rather choose to stop listening to new artists alltogether.

For people like me all-DRM world is an end to our already limited freedoms. Being technically able to download mp3s from the Internet doesn't automatically mean I want to go this road. Maybe I'm just a sheep in the pack but I'd love to remain a peaceful law-abiding self.

A telling sign... (0)

ihatewinXP (638000) | more than 8 years ago | (#15496411)

Sorry in advance,

I always use /. for cheap market research. I know the crowd, I am the crowd. I looked at this story and was very interested to see what the comunity thought. Not to hop on the bandwagon, after reading the initial write-up (and not RTFA) I was clearly marked "morally ambiguous" myself. But glancing over to "Read more.." I saw that there were only 35 or so comments.

On an Apple post. On the front page. With all kinds of stories around and above it actually garnering attention.

Its not that this story isnt flamebait, it is. But the telling sing is that no one really knows how to take it. It does suck. Apple has a _shit_ license (as I am now reading) but it is still miles ahead of the rest of the industry....

IMHO I think they are right to protest. Apple has the power now, and Apple is much more susceptible to publicity than any other... hell, almost any other company period. Getting in Apples face for just _a few_ of our rights back would be worth it at this point.

And maybe Apple would even be happy to acquiesce to such a request at this point.

Re:In the defense of Apple. (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 8 years ago | (#15497084)

Apple's number of copies only applies the number of times a specific playlist can be burned if that playlist contains protected music. Want to burn it again then make a new one.

That doesn't hold any water with me. If I buy the songs I should be able to burn them in any order I want, as many times as I want. I also shouldn't have to lose quality to play them on a device that doesn't support FairPlay, but does support mp4 audio.

On the point of legally purchased. You enter a contract with Apple when you purchase a protected track.

You know, that's the music industry's argument, too. They claim you're purchasing a license to listen to the music, and that the license does not include the right to copy.

With music on physical media, Fair Use law trumps any kind of bullshit "licensing agreement" and you are clearly permitted to make copies for Fair Use purposes. Why should digital downloads be any different?

Don't like the idea of a subscription, then fine don't use one but why in the hell must you bitch about products you won't use because you don't like them?

What I don't like is that coporations, which are purely legal entities, are able to ignore the law - fair use - simply because they can afford to fatten the pockets of politicians. If we don't fight against DRM, eventually you will only be allowed to run binaries signed by the hardware manufacturers or something. If that's what you want, that's nice, but it's not what most of us want, and it won't be good for anyone but those people already exploiting the system in order to sneer at the law and amass large piles of money.

If you don't like someone's comment, you don't have to read it, why the hell would you bitch about it instead? Same logic. Or lack thereof.

iTMS users actually DO license music (1)

Sloppy (14984) | more than 8 years ago | (#15498475)

On the point of legally purchased. You enter a contract with Apple when you purchase a protected track.
You know, that's the music industry's argument, too. They claim you're purchasing a license to listen to the music, and that the license does not include the right to copy.

No, there's a difference. The "music industry" sure wants people to believe that they license music when they buy a CD, but they're just plain wrong and they don't have the evidence to back it up, because licensing simply does not occur in the retail transaction. The best argument they have (and it's pretty wacked out and dishonest) is that in states that have adopted the Uniform Commercial Code, if one of the parties in a transaction thinks that there is a secret hidden contract that the other party doesn't know about, then maybe there really is a secret hidden contract that can be enforced. (Like I said, it's wacked out and dishonest.)

With customers of the iTunes Music Store, though, the contract actually is part of the transaction. Every user agrees to it it ***prior*** to any money exchanging hands, prior to having music data sent to them, and the contract is displayed in a manner that the user actually knows that it is happening. It really is part of the transaction and it's right out in the open where everyone can see it.

iTMS customers, unlike retail music and software customers, actually do license the stuff rather than buy it. And that's one of the reasons I think protests like this are a good thing: Apple really is implementing a business model that is completely new to most of their customers, which also happens to be strongly against the interests of those customers.

Apple is doing something very distasteful and threatening here, but it's not dishonest the way the rest of the music industry is trying to be.

Re:iTMS users actually DO license music (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 8 years ago | (#15498640)

If you go back and read my comment more carefully, you won't find me saying that what the user does with apple buying from the iTMS isn't a contract. What you'll find is me asking why it should be any different. Thank you, goodbye.

Re:iTMS users actually DO license music (1)

Sloppy (14984) | more than 8 years ago | (#15498871)

It should be different because the user knowingly consented, without trickery on Apple's part. Apple said, "Here, smoke this. It's crack." and the user said, "ok" and lit up.

Re:In the defense of Apple. (1)

Castar (67188) | more than 8 years ago | (#15497430)

Still its not like its hard to circumvent the DRM in iTunes. The easiest to understand for layman is to burn to music CD and rip back to MP3.

This is why Apple's DRM is the most insidious. It exacts a lot of control, but is fairly easy to get by. It gets people used to the idea of DRM, and at the same time lulls them into complacency about DRM ("It's not so bad!"). It's obvious to someone circumventing it like you propose that it's a loophole - there are a few big ones, and they're easy to find.

But in a little while, when Apple closes those loopholes? You'll have no one to complain to, because all music will be AAC DRM format, and Apple will shrug and say "It's always been this way, we just fixed the flaws." And some people might be unhappy, but most will shrug and figure it was good while it lasted, but *because* it always had the feel of a loophole, they won't feel "robbed".

Apple's DRM is like the lukewarm water, and we're the frog being put in. Don't be surprised when they turn up the heat.

Re:In the defense of Apple. (1)

Sloppy (14984) | more than 8 years ago | (#15498372)

C'mon, you say their "honest and integrity are questionable" but then follow it with..
Still its not like its hard to circumvent the DRM in iTunes. The easiest to understand for layman is to burn to music CD and rip back to MP3.

..as though destructively-lossy transcoding really counts as circumvention. By that same logic, any DRM on digital music or video is easy to circumvent, because a user can always make an analog copy and then redigitize it.

FWIW, I agree with what you say that people choose to enter into this contract with Apple. If they really don't like it, they should Just Say No. But

why in the hell must you bitch about products you won't use because you don't like them? Do you just have to be a victim?

you miss the point of the protest. Perens, etc aren't doing this because they like being the victim. They're protesting in order to educate and raise awareness. Even if you don't smoke crack, it's ok to try to get the message out to cracksmokers about the risks.

apple not that bad (2, Insightful)

gaminRey (569220) | more than 8 years ago | (#15495816)

IMO, apple has one of the least obtrusive DRM setups available. Sure the fact that it isn't open to other players makes things difficult, but compared to the rediculous systems the RIAA/MPAA has come up with, Apple's stuff is great.

Re:apple not that bad (1)

radarjd (931774) | more than 8 years ago | (#15495902)

compared to the rediculous systems the RIAA/MPAA has come up with, Apple's stuff is great.

I'm not sure what you mean. Neither than RIAA or MPAA come up with DRM systems. I can tell you that at least with the RIAA, their member companies do have to evaluate and approve a DRM system before they'll let you sell music, but they themselves do not describe it. Certainly, the major record labels have to have approved of Apple's DRM just the same as any others'.

In summary, members of the RIAA do not "come up with" DRM. They do approve (or disapprove) of various implementations. They have approved Microsoft's, Real's, but also Apple's. If you want to blame someone for crappy DRM, blame the right people.

Now, blame for DRM at all, that is properly placed on the members of the RIAA...

Eheh (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 8 years ago | (#15497467)

RIAA/MPAA wants to rape your ass, Apple just wants you to give him a blowjob.

Compared to what the RIAA/MPAA want to do to you Apple stuff is great. Right?

DRM is an absolute. iTunes DRM is not complete. Steve Jobs realized that for now this is the maximum he could get away with. Question is, is Steve Jobs going to lessen the DRM as the RIAA/MPAA smartens up OR is he going to increase the DRM as the public gets used to it.

What do you think? To invoke godwin, the consumer is poland during WW2. It doesn't really matter who wins the DRM war, poland is going to get it up the ass sooner or later.

I like Apple's DRM (1)

stlhawkeye (868951) | more than 8 years ago | (#15495836)

It's a reasonable limitation. My only complaint about Apple has nothing to do with their DRM, but rather being locked into iTunes + iPod. If Microsoft did this, we'd scream bloody murder, monopology, technical hegemony, etc. Apple doing this is ok for whatever reason. Probably because their market share is paltry and when the underdog uses the overdog's tactics to score a victory, it's hard not to cheer. Anyway, I invite people who object to Apple's DRM to do so, and do so effectively, but if we send a message to the content cartels that even as generous a policy as Apple's isn't generous enough, I don't expect them to do anything but say, "fuck it" and crank it up. I suppose there's something to be said for not taking table scraps when you want the whole turkey and believe that you're entitled to it.

Microsoft is locking you in! (1)

fribhey (731586) | more than 8 years ago | (#15496719)

My only complaint about Apple has nothing to do with their DRM, but rather being locked into iTunes + iPod.If Microsoft did this, we'd scream bloody murder, monopology, technical hegemony, etc.

i disagree because Microsoft IS DOING THIS. their DRM is locked into Windows.... last i checked it doesn't work on Mac OS X.

why people are completely ignoring that fact is beyond me.

what's their solution? (2, Interesting)

ulysses38 (309331) | more than 8 years ago | (#15495837)

i'm interested to see how they would set up a legal music downloading system with absolutely no DRM wrapper. also, does their language seem...well, a little orwellian?

from TFA:

"DRM gives them that power over you. Your devices will have to do their bidding. That is what DRM is about, taking the control away from you, and giving it to Big Media and companies like Apple. The hardware and software they sell you will enforce their rules, by removing your rights. As the largest distributor of DRM infected technology, Apple has set a new low in the mistreatment of our freedoms."

Re:what's their solution? (1)

Mournblade (72705) | more than 8 years ago | (#15497070)

"i'm interested to see how they would set up a legal music downloading system with absolutely no DRM wrapper."

http://www.emusic.com/ [emusic.com]

Non-DRMed VBR MP3s.

Re:what's their solution? (1)

TecKnow (902884) | more than 8 years ago | (#15498365)

Even this service has quite a few flaws, here's what comes to mind while signing up for my 'free trial' an indie music catalog I can't search without giving them my credit card number, that's a huge red flag. Subscription service not a use based service, that's another. HTML newsletters, have another! Proprietary software, that shockingly requires an installer program on OS X yet another!

Look, I realize that in theory if you cancel before your trial period is up you don't get charged, and that you don't *have* to sign up for the newsletters or install their prorpiretary download manager, but in many ways this isn't any better than predatory CD clubs. The business model is based on the idea that some fraction of people won't use all their monthly downloads, effectivly wasting money, that most people will elect to install the software or sign up for at least one of the newsletters, thus permitting at least some spam. I'm really just not that enthused by business models based on customer stupidity, be it this or DRM.

Re:what's their solution? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15497133)

i'm interested to see how they would set up a legal music downloading system with absolutely no DRM wrapper

Perhaps like emusic.com [emusic.com] , or magnatune.com [magnatune.com] , or allofmp3.com [allofmp3.com] ? Why must there be a DRM wrapper? Everything on iTunes is aready available FOR FREE on P2P networks, yet iTunes is still selling millions and millions of songs.

also, does their language seem...well, a little orwellian?

The language sounds Orwellian, as it should. DRM is not about combating piracy. DRM about control, private property, rights of first sale, free speech, and personal freedom-- all subjects about which Orwell wrote very eloquently.

Re:what's their solution? (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 8 years ago | (#15497732)

Also, TFAuthor really need to figure out how punctuation works. That was terrible.

I'd even hesitate... (2, Interesting)

Carnage Pants (801975) | more than 8 years ago | (#15495843)

... to call it DRM. It's pretty simple to get around, and it was obviously meant to be that way. Any time I buy things from the iTunes Store, I back it up to a CD for two reasons. One, so I have a back-up, and two, so I can use it in my car. Once you have it on a CD, you reimport it to your HD and, voila. You've set the music free. It's not only inexpensive, but also prudent. I'm sure lots of people know this, but it's obvious that some still don't and the bad press that results from it is unfortunate for Apple.

Re:I'd even hesitate... (1)

xusr (947781) | more than 8 years ago | (#15496832)

There are two problems with this solution:

1. It sounds bad
2. It takes too much time.

Seriously, 128Kbps is bad enough as it is. To burn it and then reimport it is absolute murder. Of course, modern audio "engineering" and radio leaves very little detail worth preserving.

Re:I'd even hesitate... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15497148)

Seriously, 128Kbps is bad enough as it is. To burn it and then reimport it is absolute murder. Of course, modern audio "engineering" and radio leaves very little detail worth preserving.

I'm under the impression that burning the audio to a CD results in a lossless AIFF copy, which you import as an identical AIFF copy and use as such, in iTunes or an iPod. Granted, it takes more space.

AC

Re:I'd even hesitate... (1)

Carnage Pants (801975) | more than 8 years ago | (#15499067)

Re-importing it as 160 or 192, I really have no problems with it. But then, the music I listen to (industrial) is so static-filled and coarse anyway, that maybe I just can't tell.

Why blame Apple? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15495870)

People should be blaming the record companies who wouldn't put their music up on the store unless Apple implemented some kind of DRM. And fairly weak DRM at that.

But nobody is forcing people to use the iTMS. If you don't like it, then just buy the CD which can be ripped and used in any device.

Re: CDs can be used in any device (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15500279)

That is not the intention of some of the people making the CDs, and it cannot be assumed to be the case forever. The recent UK Parliament report made the assumption that in the future CD copy protection may succeed, and even if it doesn't the CD format will likely not be around forever.

I've been tempted to use ITunes recently as it is the only place where I can find a particular song I want. I run only Linux at home though, and this song isn't reason enough for me to suddenly invest a lot of money in Windows or Macintosh. Chances are I'll buy the song at work and make a copy there which I can reencode as Vorbis at home, but I shouldn't have to do that.

The biggest problem with DRM I find is that is locks people into a given software or hardware platform. Long term it allows the content industry to dictate which platforms can play future media. The content industry effectively have the power to kill off Linux by requiring DRM from the proprietry vendors. I expect Microsoft and Apple know this all too well which is why they're quite happy to support DRM.

Given that the DRM doesn't actually stop piracy at all. I can't see how Apple can claim this with their iTunes system (The name they give it is a misnomer so I won't use it). The only purpose of DRM is to achieve vendor-lockin to the player platforms.

This is misdirected (5, Insightful)

therealking (223121) | more than 8 years ago | (#15495901)

DRM exists because the RIAA wants it there. Apple is contractually bound to sell thier music with DRM on it. They can't just remove it at thier own discresion.

Go protest the RIAA membership companies, oh wait then you'd have to deal with the real problem. Nevermind.

Re:This is misdirected (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15495942)

Dead-on right. How is Apple at fault here? Without the DRM in place, iTMS wouldn't have much to offer. As it stands, iTMS popularized legal music downloading, and as such might be considered the first step towards reforming the industry.

This sounds almost as silly as those goofball PETA protests (though, admittedly, the "rather go naked than wear fur" campaign was interesting on at least one level).

Re:This is both correctly directed and misdirected (0)

davecb (6526) | more than 8 years ago | (#15496219)

The companies who make up the RIAA don't generally have stores themselves. Instead, they sell through quasi-independent dealers, or through Apple, in part to avoid being subject to sucg inconvenient things as customer complaints, protests or boycotts.

One therefor aims one's protests toward the people who are the agents for the DRM'd music, and whose profits are directly affected by public picketing.

--dave

Re:This is misdirected (1)

BitGeek (19506) | more than 8 years ago | (#15496871)


TOTALLY. Apple pushed really hard for a liberal license, and got it. And now the world has embraced this liberal license.

IF they want to bitch, they should bitch to the RIAA.

I think this is really about people wanting to steal content and do so conveniently. Its not that hard to steal content, and Apple is at best providing an inconvenience to it.

Talk about misguided, but then, its european socialists who think that profit is evil, so what can you expect?

Re: This is misdirected (1)

gidds (56397) | more than 8 years ago | (#15497875)

You don't think that, say, if you were to protest to the RIAA, they'd say "Nothing to do with us. We don't even sell music. Go and complain to the people who do."?

And maybe that Apple might be grateful for the protest, as it'd give them more leverage next time they're negotiation with the RIAA?

I've posted before [kuro5hin.org] that ultimately, no form of DRM can be reasonable. Apple's may be more lenient than most, for which kudos to them. But it's still going to prevent all sorts of fair, licensed and/or legal use, and will do so more and more in future. A protest to the greatest provider of DRM, even if not the most heinous, doesn't seem unreasonable to me.

What about other Apple products? (0, Troll)

moe.ron (953702) | more than 8 years ago | (#15495922)

Is this protest really all about ITunes or are they also concerned with the DRM protections in OSX that prevent you from installing OSX on non-Apple hardware. Or how about the protections in Apple hardware to prevent you from installing a non-Apple OS on it? I actually forget there's DRM in ITunes because it is so weak and easily ignored, but what they've done with Macs and OSX is neither weak nor easily ignored. If you have a license to OSX, why should Apple decide what you install on it? If you own a Mac, why should Apple decide what you install on it?

Re:What about other Apple products? (1)

timster (32400) | more than 8 years ago | (#15496014)

Well, I think we should note that a copy of Windows which can be installed on a machine other than the one it was purchased with costs an extra $100. So Apple isn't entirely alone in this practice; by far the majority of operating system software purchased is tied to a specific computer. Many people don't realize that it's illegal to move that OEM copy of Windows to a different machine but it is.

I'm not aware of any protections on any Apple hardware which prevent the installation of a non-Apple OS. Early Intel Macs came with an EFI-based firmware which Windows doesn't support, but that was a technical restriction, not a DRM one.

Re:What about other Apple products? (0, Troll)

moe.ron (953702) | more than 8 years ago | (#15496227)

Well, I think we should note that a copy of Windows which can be installed on a machine other than the one it was purchased with costs an extra $100. So Apple isn't entirely alone in this practice; by far the majority of operating system software purchased is tied to a specific computer. Many people don't realize that it's illegal to move that OEM copy of Windows to a different machine but it is.

Right, but if I go to Staples and buy a retail copy of WinXP, I can take that and install it on a machine from any vendor. Apple ties you down to their hardware. While I can understand why they do this, they're a hardware vendor first and foremost, it is also the single example of DRM from Apple that really ticks me off. I was all set to buy OSX until I found out I would have to buy a Mac to run it on.

I'm not aware of any protections on any Apple hardware which prevent the installation of a non-Apple OS. Early Intel Macs came with an EFI-based firmware which Windows doesn't support, but that was a technical restriction, not a DRM one.

Thanks for clarifying. I knew Windows wouldn't run on the new Intel Macs, but was clear on why. I was under the impression this was something intentionally done on Apple's part.

Re:What about other Apple products? (1)

xero314 (722674) | more than 8 years ago | (#15496716)

Right, but if I go to Staples and buy a retail copy of WinXP, I can take that and install it on a machine from any vendor.
This argument doesn't make any sense at all. If you buy a retail copy of WinXP you can't go out and install it on a machine from any vendor. I know I can't install windows XP on the machine I am typing this on right now, nor can it be installed on many other computers out there. It's also possible that if I was able to get it to install it wouldn't support all of the components I use. Windows and Linux are actually an exception in the history of OSes. The original OSes where not only tied to a specific vendor, but also to a specific machine, and there was no way to remove or replace it. Even windows to this day is tied to specific hardware. It runs on x86 architecture only, and it will not run on all machines with an x86 cpu, all though you are lead to beleive that.

Apple is very smart to keep there OS tied to their hardware. This is a big reason behind Apple stability. They can concentrate on supporting a small set of hardware and not worry about a thousand conflicting drivers. It's stupid that this argument never even came up when macs ran on power architecture. Stop thinking of Mac intel machines as the same thing as windows intel machines, they have components that are not the same. An Apple coreduo machine is not a dell coreduo machine evenif the processors are the same.
I knew Windows wouldn't run on the new Intel Macs.
This is out right false, as the guy who sits a couple desks down from me is right now running windows XP on his MacBook Pro.

Re:What about other Apple products? (1)

blugu64 (633729) | more than 8 years ago | (#15496745)

Well it's a good thing they don't sell OS X for PC's Reatil isn't it? How exactly where you going to buy it anyway?

Re:What about other Apple products? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15496054)

moe.ron, you certainly are one. There are no protections in Appe hardware to prevent you from installing a non-Apple OS on it. Boot Camp, anyone? PPC builds of Linux? I fail to see how Apple is deciding what you can install on your Mac.

Re:What about other Apple products? (1)

WombatControl (74685) | more than 8 years ago | (#15496381)

Or how about the protections in Apple hardware to prevent you from installing a non-Apple OS on it?

There are no such protections. In fact, Apple has provided a semi-official way of doing just that [apple.com] . The only reason why Windows doesn't natively boot on a Mac is because Macs use EFI, which Windows does not yet support.

Add in Parallels [parallels.com] which provides virtualization support and you can have a machine that runs Mac OS X, Windows, any Linux distro, Solaris, OS/2, QNX, or damn near any other OS you can think of - without the need to reboot the machine.

Given that my Mac has nearly a dozen OSes installed on it through virtualization at the moment, it's clear that your argument is simply untrue.

Defective by Design (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15495960)

My, they did label themselves appropriately didn't they?

someone needs to wake up and smell the money trail (1, Interesting)

mAIsE (548) | more than 8 years ago | (#15495971)

If it wasn't for consumers (who are at least semi happy about it) then this wouldn't exist and its popularity is growing. If apple did want to sell music that was not DRM'ed the recording cartel of america wouldn't sell it to them (RIAA).

Is it possible apple is in a catch 22 here, they want to sell non DRM'ed stuff but the content cartels wouldn't dare let them ?

What is the point? (5, Insightful)

sakusha (441986) | more than 8 years ago | (#15496009)

If you want to protest, the usual method is by "voting with your feet." That doesn't mean marching in the streets, it means walking out and choosing another vendor. If you don't like iTunes DRM, then don't use it. Buy something else, like an unprotected CD and rip it yourself.

Re:What is the point? (1)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 8 years ago | (#15497337)

If you want to protest, the usual method is by "voting with your feet."

You sir, have no idea what protest [time.com] means.

Note that I am not likening this flash protest with Rosa Parks - just pointing out the absurdity of your statement.

If you don't like iTunes DRM, then don't use it.

DRM is coming, better to fight it early, raise the profile of what DRM means & attack its current most visible form.

Re:What is the point? (1)

sakusha (441986) | more than 8 years ago | (#15497912)

You sir, have no idea what protest means.

Note that I am not likening this flash protest with Rosa Parks - just pointing out the absurdity of your statement.

Nice link to a story about the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott. Did you mean to imply that an iTunes boycott as I suggested, is not a protest?

Re:What is the point? (1)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 8 years ago | (#15498068)

Nice link to a story about the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott.

I think it was actually a story about someone protesting about the terms of a service they were using.

Re:What is the point? (1)

Sloppy (14984) | more than 8 years ago | (#15498508)

If you want to protest, the usual method is by "voting with your feet."
Yes, that's a good idea. But if you care about the issue and other people, rather than just yourself, then there's an even better way to protest. It's called "voting with your mouth" where your try to make the non-voters and default-voters aware of the issue, so that they'll vote with you.

Or as I said in another post, it's ok for someone who is not a cracksmoker, to try to persuade other people to refrain from smoking crack.

Hypocrites (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15496017)

Take a look at the bottom of the defectivebydesign.com webpage:

DefectiveByDesign.org is a campaign of the Free Software Foundation Empowered by CivicActions.com Copyright © 2006 Free Software Foundation, Inc., 51 Franklin Street, Fifth Floor, Boston, MA 02110-1301, USA. Verbatim copying and distribution of site content permitted worldwide, without royalty, in any medium, provided this notice, and the copyright notice, are preserved.

That's right, there are restrictions to using the contents of their website!!! Doesn't matter how "friendly" these restrictions are, the very fact that there are restrictions is EVIL! Heck, I can't even modify their copyright block, that's right, there is content on their site that I can't modify! I suggest they send some guys in hazmat suits over to their own offices and start the cleanup pronto.

Re:Hypocrites (1)

doshell (757915) | more than 8 years ago | (#15496453)

That's right, there are restrictions to using the contents of their website!!! Doesn't matter how "friendly" these restrictions are, the very fact that there are restrictions is EVIL! Heck, I can't even modify their copyright block, that's right, there is content on their site that I can't modify! I suggest they send some guys in hazmat suits over to their own offices and start the cleanup pronto.

I think you miss the point. The point is not to abolish all rights to one's own work; it is to prevent the adoption of intrusive devices that restrict the ways in which customers can make use of a product they have legally purchased.

They'd be hypocrites if you had to pay them in order to view their webpage, and then your browser automatically shut down access to it after you'd read it n times (and the browser's makers would be sued under the DMCA if they didn't implement this measure). All they're requesting in the copyright note you refer is that you quote their message and its origin properly (you don't even have to ask for permission as long as you follow the rules). Likewise, I don't agree that you should rip others' music and distribute it as a creation of your own (without giving credit). But I despise DRM because it strips me off my rights to fair use.

Re:Hypocrites (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 8 years ago | (#15499068)

If your web browser prohibited you from removing the notice that would be DRM. As such, it doesn't. So what does that mean if you violate the terms of this license? It means that a person will have to enforce the license, by prosecuting you in a court of law.

APPLE GETS A FREE PASS EVERY TIME!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15496067)

The fanboys on this site amaze me. They complain about DRM, but Fairplay is ok because it is from Apple. Microsoft gets berated for vendor lock in, but yet with Apple you can't even choose your own hardware. I wish Slashdot returned to its roots of being an Open Source/Linux site, instead of some marketing machine for Steve Job and Co. Actually if Slashdot was still an open source advocacy this comment would get modded insightful, instead it will get modded flamebait because I insulted the fanboys and their precious company.

Re:MORON GETS IT WRONG EVERY TIME!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15496205)

Guess what, jackass. More than one person reads and comments on Slashdot. Different people have different opinions. What a concept!

Very stupid (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15496150)

What the FSF is trying to do is raise awareness of DRM and call attention to things that might lead more people to oppose DRM.

The problem is that Apple's unobtrusive approach to DRM is, by itself, the best argument for DRM one is likely to find, so by bringing this to everyone's attention the FSF is only hurting their own case. Those people who see that protest are going to walk away with that message "oh, so DRM is that thing that the iPod has. well the iPod's never kept me from doing anything I want to do, so I guess that means DRM isn't that bad". Then the next time they see something about an unambiguous abuse of DRM, the drm==ipod association the FSF created in their mind will rear up and they'll go "oh, but drm is just that thing the ipod has. surely this isn't that bad."

I was hoping the FSF would finally be the one to force the DRM problem into the consciousness of "normal america" but it's clear that no, the FSF still has no idea how people's minds work. I guess we can write this protest campaign off as ineffectual from here on out, and the best we can hope for is that it will manage to avoid hurting the digital freedom cause.

Why the heck isn't the FSF using their time protesting Apple to complain about and call attention to Apple's use of TPM/TCPA/Palladium [google.com] in the new macs? That's:
  1. A real issue
  2. One that precious few people are aware of, and there's precious little information available about even for the people who are aware
  3. Irrelivant to trust of Apple-- Saying "but DRM lets Apple do terrible things to you later!" will get immediately brushed off as "oh, Apple wouldn't do that". But once TPM is present, it can be abused by anybody. You can get people to believe "TPM will let people do evil things to you later" without broaching the impossible task of convincing them "Apple is doing something evil to you now".
FSF, where is your brain?

Re:Very stupid (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 8 years ago | (#15498050)

I was hoping the FSF would finally be the one to force the DRM problem into the consciousness of "normal america" but it's clear that no, the FSF still has no idea how people's minds work. I guess we can write this protest campaign off as ineffectual from here on out, and the best we can hope for is that it will manage to avoid hurting the digital freedom cause.

I'm a bit torn on this issue. I think they did choose a good target for publicizing DRM. Everyone knows what an iPod is and anyone can understand "you can't move you music to a competing player." DVDs are more common, but most don't implement any of them and "you can't skip the commercials" is less likely to anger the masses. The problem is, unless they bring MS's WMD format into it hard and right away all they will do is drive people to the competing WMD format which is worse and is promoted by an exploitive monopoly with some really savvy marketers (see plays-for-sure). This campaign could blow up in their faces. People will think, "well MS doesn't even have a player so we'll go with that." By targeting Apple exclusively I think they are making a huge mistake.

Re:Very stupid (1)

babbling (952366) | more than 8 years ago | (#15499171)

No, DRM is that thing that the iTunes Music Store has, and when iPods aren't so cool anymore, people are going to quickly realise that all the music they bought from the iTunes Music Store is useless for their new music players.

Protest DVDs and PS2 games! (2, Insightful)

2nd Post! (213333) | more than 8 years ago | (#15496152)

They are much more numerous than iTunes tracks, and are equally DRM restricted!

If you have a problem with Apple DRM... (1)

exp(pi*sqrt(163)) (613870) | more than 8 years ago | (#15496180)

...buy products using other people's DRM. It's that simple.

Protesting that a company selling a product that you are at liberty to buy (or not) is a restriction of your freedom has got to be just about the most bizarre thing I've heard since, well, at least 6am this morning.

Re:If you have a problem with Apple DRM... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15496576)

RAmen! May you be touched by his noodley appendage!

The protest isn't aimed at changing Apple's mind. (1)

babbling (952366) | more than 8 years ago | (#15499194)

The protest is there to get people asking "what is this DRM thing?" and to bring about awareness of DRM. Most people don't realise it exists yet, or if they have been obstructed by it, they assumed the problem was something of a technical nature as opposed to something that Apple did on purpose.

Buying other DRM products is a stupid way of "getting back at Apple".

We're sending a message to consumers not to Apple (1, Informative)

Markusis (46739) | more than 8 years ago | (#15496597)

The bigger problem with this whole DRM mess is that consumers don't really understand what they're buying. They don't understand that Apple controls everything about what they can do with the content that they're buying. They don't know that they're giving up rights that they have always had in order to get music on to their iPod.

To answer the poster who said that this protest is misdirected and that it should be targetting the RIAA, if the RIAA had stores set up in malls that gather lots of foot traffic we might be targetting them as well. But like I said, it's not really about telling Apple that the process stinks, it's about telling consumers. This of course means that the main goal is to have the protest picked up by some mainstream media outlets (even small local newspapers and such).

The real problem is that the situation we have now is one where the law didn't fit the needs of big-media, so they made the technology work the way they wanted __in spite of the law__.

How cool would it be if there was a law that said it was illegal to create a copy protection mechanism that offered the copyright holder more rights than the law did. Since such a law will probably never exist the market is our only chance to change how the system works and that involves informing consumers.

Infected? (1)

Frobozz0 (247160) | more than 8 years ago | (#15496836)

I'm pretty sure my high school debate teacher told me that, if I want to win an argument, I don't want to alienate the audience. By claiming that the software is "infected" you pretty much loose before you can make your pitch.

Re:Infected? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15497407)

> By claiming that the software is "infected" you pretty much loose before you can make your pitch.

Yes, the argument should be tightened up, it's a bit loose now. If they don't make their point more clearly, they will lose the debate.

The Apple DRM people forget about... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15497147)

Isn't just limited to Apple iTunes Music Store purchases. Lets talk iTunes and the iPod.

Now to start things off, while they do fix a lot of problems, lets ignore third party utilities for the time being so you can understand what I mean by "not limited to online purchases."

There is no way to officially pull music you put on your own iPod off(again, ignoring 3rd party stuff). Earlier iTunes versions apparently had this feature, but Apple removed it. I doubt that I am the only one who has limited hard drive space, and would love to just grab tracks and albums off the thing when needed. You could drag the oddly named mp3 files off of it, but I would prefer it keep my naming scheme that apparently a XML file in iTunes keeps track off.

You have to use their software to work with the iPod. Don't' get me wrong, I fully understand and support the need to use official software to handle this stuff... But this isn't something more open like a drag & drop type system where you can just d&d stuff on and off your DAP...

Can't use iTunes to browse and listen to music on my iPod. Ok I admit, I don't have a big enough hard drive to hold all the music CDs I own and ripped. It would be nice to just use iTunes to interface with the thing(i.e. quickly search for songs) and allow me to play stuff off of my iPod. And even if I could use it...

Your iPod is tied/registered to certain computers, and it still isn't really yours. Apple wants to limit you to X computers, so you can't just plunk it down anywhere and put/pull stuff off of it. I also had the unfortunate experience when upon having to kill iTunes because it was hanging(no ADD "OMG SLOW must kill it now" stuff, it lasted for about an hour or two) it failed to recognize my iPod as being mine. Yep, so if it wasn't for the solution on the Apple website, all the work I did getting stuff on there and set up would have been a loss. I would have had to reformat it, put junk back on my puny hard drive, and load it all up again if it wasn't for that solution....

Go ahead and list all my errors, the first/third party solutions to these problems, that these problems exist with other companies players/software, etc that wasn't the point of my comment. My point is that there is more to DRM then just locking & controlling content you purchased from an online store.

Re:The Apple DRM people forget about... (1)

Rivendell (543219) | more than 8 years ago | (#15499233)

"There is no way to officially pull music you put on your own iPod off" ...and once I open a can of beer, there is no way for me to unopen it. Should I be upset with the good people at Sprecher about this? "You have to use their software to work with the iPod." "Can't use iTunes to browse and listen to music on my iPod. Ok I admit, I don't have a big enough hard drive to hold all the music CDs I own and ripped." ...and if you just picked up your shiny new iPod and were surprised by this, you can take it back for a refund. Maybe Apple should have personally consulted with you about what features to put in iPod/iTunes and developed an "AC" version for you. In the real world, that just isn't likely I like to play Grand Theft Auto, but it doesn't work on my hardware. If GTA was really the most important requirement for me, I would have bought a PC instead of a Powerbook. "Yep, so if it wasn't for the solution on the Apple website," ...So you are using the iPod as an expensive external drive, you had a problem, the Apple web site provided a solution. I don't see the iPod really being marketed as a external hard drive, and at $300 for 30 GB, it's easily 4 times the cost for 1/3 the storage of storage solutions built for that purpose. It really sounds like the iPod isn't right for you. Fortunately you have a lot of choices other than iPod, or perhaps ipodlinux.org if you really must have the iPod hardware. Instead of whining about Apple's DRM and your puny hard drive, return that iPod and spend $50 on a larger drive. Outside your return period? Right now on Ebay bidding is up to $44 for a broken iPod. Surely a working iPod will fetch enough to get a decent hard drive and maybe an audio player more aligned with your needs. As far as I know, there isn't a law that requires you to buy an iPod. Next time you are in the market to purchase something, do a little more work researching the capabilities before you make your purchase.

Backfire of the Bunnysuit (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 8 years ago | (#15497664)

In my mind, you show up at an Apple store dressed in a Hazmat suit and you are just begging to be mistaken for the Intel bunnysuit [jeffbots.com] guys. Most people will probably see this and think it's advertising the new Intel chipped computers!

In fact that would be pretty hilarious, find some of the protesters outside the store and slap them on the back to let them know what a good job they are doing... with an Intel Inside sticker in hand.

Life sure is good. (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 8 years ago | (#15498743)

Really good even. Somebody should tell these guys that you protest a corporation's actions by not doing business with them. Which obviously would mean not buying songs from iTunes. I'm not sure that not buying an ipod counts, most mp3 players support one drm format or another these days.
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