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Apple Sends Cease-and-Desist To the Hymn Project

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the lawyers-code-and-money dept.

Music 444

Troed writes "Tools for removing DRM from iTunes-purchased songs (myFairTunes7, QtFairUse6) have been available from the Hymn Project Web site for some time. These are legal in many countries. But on the 20th Apple sent a Cease and Desist note to Hymn's ISP, forcing the site admins to remove all download links. It is speculated that this is due to a new tool being created (Requiem) that attacks Apple's FairPlay DRM through cryptographic means instead of by copying the unprotected music from memory while it is being played. But since the tools are no longer available (after several days there are still no public mirrors), discussion around this topic has died out. Many users buy music from the iTunes store and rely on DRM removal to be able to play the content on their mobile phones. Apple may be on dangerous ground here, since those users might now start checking out competing services."

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Evil (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22528862)

Now tell me how is this not evil and not unlike Microsoft?

In Apple's defense (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22528930)

Look, they are a business, and need to make money, at the very least just to pay the bills and survive. Running iTunes must cost a bundle. If everyone pirated their music, this great service would be gone. Additionally, they have no choice - they have to pay the RIAA etc for the music to begin with. It's like stealing a coke from a small grocery store owner - you're not screwing coca cola over, your screwing the store owner over.

Re:In Apple's defense (5, Insightful)

Nicholas Evans (731773) | more than 6 years ago | (#22528970)

Yes, the evil pirates are ruining iTunes by not using it to buy their mus-wait, what?

Try more along the lines of buying coke from a small grocery store and then pouring the coke into a big jug so it takes up less space in your fridge, then discarding the cans.

Coke is a controlled substance (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#22529292)

Try more along the lines of buying coke from a small grocery store
Don't you need a doctor's prescription and a state/province ID for that?

Re:In Apple's defense (2, Insightful)

phulegart (997083) | more than 6 years ago | (#22529470)

Actually buying cans of Coke and pouring them into a larger jug to save space in the fridge will affect the quality of the drink. It will go flat quite quickly once those cans have been opened, regardless of how quickly you fill the jug, and regardless of how little air you leave in the bottle.

Try this little experiment. Purchase two 20oz bottles of Coke. Open one of them for a few seconds, and then close it up. Put both in the fridge for a few days. Then, open them both up and sample them both. You will find a measurable difference in quality.

Now, you begin to approach what happens to the DRMed music that is purchased from iTunes, burned to a CD, and re-ripped.

Of Course, one could always rip into a lossless format, instead of mp3.

Re:In Apple's defense (5, Insightful)

faaaz (582035) | more than 6 years ago | (#22529022)

Your analogy is flawed. A better analogy would be walking into a store and buying a coke. When the coke is bought you find out that it is, in fact, chained to the store and you have to drink it inside. Hymn is the glass you pour the coke into in order to be able to chill outside where you want to be.

Re:In Apple's defense (5, Insightful)

SeaFox (739806) | more than 6 years ago | (#22529382)

Your analogy is flawed. A better analogy would be walking into a store and buying a coke. When the coke is bought you find out that it is, in fact, chained to the store and you have to drink it inside. Hymn is the glass you pour the coke into in order to be able to chill outside where you want to be.

Your analogy is also flawed. Because the fact the Coke was chained to the store was no secret. It's not something you didn't find out after you bought it. It's more like you bought the Coke knowing full well it was chained to the store but also knew that if you bought this special Hymn glass you could take the Coke outside, and you assumed you'd always be able to do that. But suddenly Apple came along and sent a C&D to the company making Hymn glasses.

Re:In Apple's defense (1, Insightful)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 6 years ago | (#22529054)

What are you going on about? How does stripping DRM from itunes-purchased tracks affect Apple's bottom line at all?

Re:In Apple's defense (5, Funny)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 6 years ago | (#22529144)

because apple makes money selling ipods and anyone buying competing music players is STEALING from apple's investors.

Re:In Apple's defense (2, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#22529386)

How does stripping DRM from itunes-purchased tracks affect Apple's bottom line at all?
Two reasons:
  • Sales of other digital audio players increase at the expense of iPod players, as Lehk228 alluded to.
  • Record labels become more likely to withdraw works that they control from iTunes Store.

torrents (5, Insightful)

TI-8477 (1105165) | more than 6 years ago | (#22528864)

I assume that anyone who has the original installer could upload it to the pirate bay as a torrent, right?

Re:torrents (2, Informative)

bigskank (748551) | more than 6 years ago | (#22529028)

Or, you could just google it and find the current version of the software on Softpedia or any one of a dozen other download sites.

LINK? (3, Funny)

Virgil Tibbs (999791) | more than 6 years ago | (#22529140)

a thousand internets for the first link to a working mirror two thousand internets for everyone who subsequently mirrors it ten thousand internets for the first person to get it hosted on apple.com

Re:torrents (5, Interesting)

v1 (525388) | more than 6 years ago | (#22529254)

A new version of itunes doesn't just come out for bug fixes and enhancements. Apple is well known for both passively and actively combating software that works against their DRM.

I had an itunes plugin awhile ago that mounted a second ipod on your itunes list, with an important difference. You could drag music FROM the second pod to your library. Very neat hack, using apple's built-in plugin architecture for itunes. It didn't break any of the rules.

At that time there were three itunes updates in two weeks. The first two attempted to detect and deactivate the plugin, looking for strings of code from the plugin. Each time the author quickly released a newer version that got around the checks. The third release of itunes in that run looked specifically for the plugin by name, and deactivated it. The author at that point decided he was fighting a battle he wasn't going to win, and stopped releasing updates.

Now while I think he should have kept trying, as the mac users would not have tolerated a new itunes update every week, I see why he did it.

The problem with the torrent isn't that it's hard to distribute an old release, it's that it's hard to keep distributing new updates every week after apple breaks it again. That's why they had a web page for updates, and that's why apple CnD'd it.

The CnD is questionable, and it's very likely there was no legal teeth to it. The text of the CnD is usually just a formality covering up the sabor rattling of a large company that is ready to drag you into a meritless yet expensive lawsuit, to discourage your legal behavior.

Let me be the first to say... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22528866)

Fuck Apple, and fuck DRM.

Re:Let me be the first to say... (1)

doyoulikegoatseeee (930088) | more than 6 years ago | (#22529062)

LOLZ GOOD JOB BRO!

Why put up with that crap? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22528868)

P2P. You could call it stealing, but I call it sharing.

Re:Why put up with that crap? (5, Interesting)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 6 years ago | (#22528982)

In my view you can't steal something unless you're depriving the original owner of it's use. Copying is copyright infringement, and whether that's right or wrong is left an an exercise to the individual.

It's theft of service (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22529048)

Let's say you go get a hair cut. Then you walk out without paying for it. You haven't deprived anyone of physical property, however it is still "theft of service".

Now, in the case of copyrighted material... The original creator of the content has performed a service for you, that you are accepting by obtaining that content. Their service was actually creating the content for you and a bunch of other people -- you all split the service providers fees evenly (just like a group of people going to see a movie -- the theater owner is charging for several thousand dollars for that movie showing, and everyone in attendance is splitting the cost of it evenly).

Since it would be extremely inconvenient for a content producer to go and collect fees from everyone that wants that content prior to them releasing it, we as a society have created a system of laws (copyright) which allows the service to be performed up front, and the collection for that service to take place on the back end. And anyone who takes advantage of that service (outside the normal bounds of copyright law) have committed a "theft of service", no different than walking out of a barber shop without paying, or sneaking into a movie theater without paying.

Re:It's theft of service (5, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | more than 6 years ago | (#22529208)

Let's say you go get a hair cut. Then you walk out without paying for it. You haven't deprived anyone of physical property, however it is still "theft of service".
But you aren't paying for an item, you're paying for the time and energy that the barber uses to cut your hair. If a barber chooses to cut your hair, then he doesn't have that time available to cut somebody else's. Theft of service is a concept which was developed to deal with times when the commodity being sold was both rivalrous and intangible so that services that people need would be available to those willing to pay. It isn't a concept which logically extends to items which are either non-rivalrous or are tangible in nature.

If you were to download a song or software program off of a p2p network, you haven't prevented the bits from being sold to other people, the business is no better, or worse, off than it would have been had you chosen to not use it at all. In some ways, the company might even be better off for you having done it, because if you've downloaded an installed their program in that manner you haven't joined a competitors install base, and they can use the install as an indication of prevalence anyways.

I wish trolls like you would come up with a better set of analogies, because this is just as tired as it always was, and it isn't even logically consistent.

I don't personally agree with downloading content without respecting the licensing agreement and paying any relevant fees, but it really undermines the interests of the content producers to have trolls like you trying to make analogies which are as severely distorted as this one is. This isn't any different than any other situation where you have free riders using a resource without contributing to its creation or upkeep.

Re:It's theft of service (3, Insightful)

The Anarchist Avenge (1004563) | more than 6 years ago | (#22529256)

Actually, your analogy is flawed. Downloading music is more like walking over to a barbershop, taking notes on the hairstyle of a person walking out the door, then going home and giving yourself an identical haircut. Uploading is walking out of the barbershop after you've purchased a haircut, and screaming "ANYONE WHO WANTS TO LOOK AT MY HAIRCUT IS WELCOME TO".

Re:It's theft of service (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22529304)

Your analogy is equally flawed.

If you want to listen to a song, take notes, and then record your own cover of that song (for your own enjoyment and not for distribution), you can. That would be identical to the haircut.

Re:It's theft of service (2, Insightful)

BronsCon (927697) | more than 6 years ago | (#22529276)

You deprived a paying customer, who could have received that service, of the service which you did not pay for. You deprived the person providing the service of the ability to make money from that service during the time they were servicing you. Yes, I would say that is theft. More so, even, than stealing a CD, where you are only preventing the owner of the CD from using it.

Re:It's theft of service (1)

log0n (18224) | more than 6 years ago | (#22529302)

Exactly! I've said this for a while now.. been modded to hell and back over it many times..

Anytime you end up with something you didn't pay for, it's theft. Everyone focuses on the method of obtaining and claim, that's not theft, it's infringement - and completely neglects what the infringement gained. People need to stop looking at the means of transfer as the problem, and that they deprived someone else of payment as the problem. THAT'S THE THEFT (with a count of copyright infringement)!

Believe in IP = TROLL (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22529412)

The new commandment of Slashdot: "Thou shalt not believe in Imaginary Property. Unless said Imaginary Property happens to be free software, in which case it most definitely is not imaginary. Anyone violating the GNU GPL will suffer the death of a thousand slashdottings."

It's not a site for tech professionals any more, it's a circlejerk for pirates seeking moral justification from each other. Hey guys, if it's fine to break an IP license for a movie, song or game, it's fine to break it for the Linux kernel as well, since that "property" is no less "imaginary".

Re:It's theft of service (1)

geekboy642 (799087) | more than 6 years ago | (#22529480)

I didn't pay for Linux, Firefox, Apache, PHP, or The GIMP. Was that stealing?
I don't pay for air and sunshine. Is that stealing?
I don't pay for the music I listen to on the radio. Is that stealing?

I don't pay for the music I listen to. Is that really stealing?

Re:It's theft of service (4, Insightful)

khellendros1984 (792761) | more than 6 years ago | (#22529494)

But....have I deprived someone else of payment? I prefer some forms of music that I prefer. However, my preference isn't $15 strong per CD. If I couldn't get the music for free (or at heavily reduced price), then I would choose to have it unavailable. Their price isn't worth it to me; my next choice would be radio and streaming audio, by which I would also be "deriving someone else of payment".

Re:Why put up with that crap? (2, Insightful)

mr_matticus (928346) | more than 6 years ago | (#22529360)

Yeah, I don't think anyone will be taking English language notes from a person who can't distinguish between "its" and "it's".

If you want to say that it's not theft in the traditional sense, you're right. If you want to say that it's not larceny in any sense, you're right. But you can't object to the term "stealing" on any categoric ground. There are just too many definitions where 'steal' is valid for the situation to complain; at the very best, if you handpick your definition from the words, and the definition of words in that definition, you can craft one that copyright infringement doesn't satisfy. Here's the rub: for that one definition that you made that doesn't work, there are eight that do.

Theft is larceny and also stealing and sometimes burglary. Copying is neither theft nor larceny nor burglary, but it is stealing. Whether larceny or copyright infringement is "wrong" is a matter of individual opinion, but as far as collective will is concerned, it's a settled matter for both.

this just in! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22528870)

Apple wants you to pay for music!

Re:this just in! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22528952)

Apple wants you to pay for music!
QTFairuse doesn't get in the way of paying for music. What QTFairuse did was strip the DRM from your purchased songs, and it did it using iTunes. It grabbed the AAC stream after it was decrypted but before it was decoded and then put it back in a quicktime container and tagged it with the information from the DRM infected file. The resulting file was a DRM-free AAC stream that you could use on anything that plays AAC. Unlike other programs, this process was completely lossless (other approaches include burning to a cd or capturing the audio output, and then butchering the quality by re-encoding).

This is truly sad. QTFairuse was a great tool that helped me deal with the iTunes giftcards I keep getting. iTunes Plus is basically worthless to me, the very few things I'm interested in there I already own on CD.

fanboyz (0, Troll)

ionix5891 (1228718) | more than 6 years ago | (#22528880)

when Microsoft do DRM its like "OMG they are freaking evil!"

lets see what excuses apple fanboyz come up with now

Re:fanboyz (1)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 6 years ago | (#22528910)

Apple fanboys (and fangirls) don't have a marked tendency to try to argue their way around the DRM issue; in my experience they're more likely to just stay silent on the topic. Which has a net negative effect as well, of course. You may know more feisty Apple fans than I do, however.

Re:fanboyz (-1, Flamebait)

urcreepyneighbor (1171755) | more than 6 years ago | (#22528944)

Apple fanboys (and fangirls) don't have a marked tendency to try to argue their way around the DRM issue; in my experience they're more likely to just stay silent on the topic.
Yeah, right. Most of Apple's fanboys and fangirls are too damn dumb to know any better.

The twenty year old slut that tans three times a week? She's an Apple fangirl.

The twenty-five year old steroid junkie from the gym? He's an Apple fanboy.

What do the two have in common? They care about style and status over substance.

Mod me to hell; don't care.

Re:fanboyz (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22528994)

you got picked on a lot in school, didn't you?

Re:fanboyz (1)

Protonk (599901) | more than 6 years ago | (#22529090)

I don't. Apple's stance on DRM is twisted and self serving. But....there are forces at work not solely apple. As much as we might like to think that record companies are useless here, apple has a fiduciary duty to protect their revenues. so lets say apple makes itunes, and has DRM, because the studios want it. But apple doesn't really want ir, so they make it easy(easier) to break. And they never update it. Consequently, anyone who wants to break it for personal use, can. What do you think will happen to apple?

I'll tell you. They will lose the contracts or more likely be sued by the companies for lost revenue for failing to aggresivly pursue DRM faults. This is the same issue. Apple wants to (and has to) go after these guys. They want to because itunes sales mean direct revenue. they have to because they are contractually obligated to ensure the DRM stays current. The cease and decist is mostly because the supposed method of cracking is "teh bad" because it might circumvent, rather than just listening and re-recording.

Re:fanboyz (1)

loganrapp (975327) | more than 6 years ago | (#22529300)

A self-serving corporation?! Oh snap! (I'll still buy their Macbooks.)

Good old DMCA. (5, Insightful)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 6 years ago | (#22528886)

It is speculated that this is due to a new tool being created (Requiem) that attacks Apple's FairPlay DRM through cryptographic means instead of by copying the unprotected music from memory while it is being played.
And that's where they went wrong. The message being that apparently it's okay to copy something that's already available in the clear, but you just can't go around trafficking in naughty circumvention measures. Darn those pesky programmers and their fancy code...

Damn Sony and their DRM! (5, Funny)

feepness (543479) | more than 6 years ago | (#22528894)

Another draconian legal tactic by a truly evil company! I would never touch on of their prod... oh wait, Apple?

Ooh, look over there! Shiny!

Re:Damn Sony and their DRM! (5, Interesting)

El Lobo (994537) | more than 6 years ago | (#22529116)

I know you are using irony, but actually this kind of sarcasm with Apple is often not fully understood here, so don't be surprised when the "flamebait" or "troll" moderations begin to rain on you.

back OT, back in 1999 (I think, don't remember it exactly), one at my university user was publishing some Windows XP themes created by him which gave Aquas look and feel to XP (OK a far look and feel but anyway). After a week we got 5 (F I V E !!!!) letters in 2 days from Apple's hounds trheating us with legal actions if we don't inmediatelly deleted those icons and themes from our servers.

We obviously deleted them because nobody likes legal problems here for nothing, but anyway, that was overeacting: all other themes from BeOS, OS2/WARP, Super Mario, The Coke theme are still inplace and nobody reacts. Hey, that's free ads for them anyway... But hey, that's Abble for you!

Re:Damn Sony and their DRM! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22529166)

I call troll. XP was not available in 1999. Also, according to WP Aqua [wikipedia.org] wasn't introduced until January 2000.

Re:Damn Sony and their DRM! (1)

El Lobo (994537) | more than 6 years ago | (#22529184)

That's why I said "don't remember exactly when" Einstein.

Everyone send in donations (1)

idiotwithastick (1036612) | more than 6 years ago | (#22528900)

So that the Hymn Project people can buy their own island nation to continue their work. More realistically, what's to stop them from hosting everything in a different country? Could they get arrested in the United States for "exporting" DRM cracking software?

Re:Everyone send in donations (2, Informative)

CSMatt (1175471) | more than 6 years ago | (#22528950)

A Whois lookup for hymn-project.org says that they're hosted in TamilNadu, IN.

That's incorrect. (1)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 6 years ago | (#22529018)

A whois lookup for hymn-project.org says the domain's REGISTRANT is in India. A Netcraft lookup [netcraft.com] shows the netblock owner as "NECTARTECH, LLC SAN JOSE CA US".

Watch out DVD Jon! (4, Interesting)

nano2nd (205661) | more than 6 years ago | (#22528906)

I'd put money on http://www.doubletwist.com/ [doubletwist.com] being next. Given the cross platform, Zune, iTunes etc applications it covers, Doubletwist would be a pretty high profile target to hit with a C & D.

Re:Watch out DVD Jon! (1)

Abjifyicious (696433) | more than 6 years ago | (#22529472)

What Zune support? If it had that I'd be excited, but according to the FAQ the only devices it works with are several phones, the PSP, and the Kindle. Don't get me wrong, I'm excited about anything that defeats DRM, but it doesn't seem like doubleTwist works with most music players out there right now, and therefore probably won't be perceived as much of at threat. Also, it doesn't even really defeat the iTunes DRM, it just uses the analog hole to produce degraded-quality transcoded files.

I for one (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22528908)

am praying that this decision is overturned... I'm praying to the iHouse of iApple which is led by iSteve... Now, just time to utter an iHymn.

Also, soviet russian jokes, car analogies, linux and beowulf clusters are definitely not allowed in the iHouse of iApple.

Re:I for one (1)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 6 years ago | (#22529038)

You really need to get an iLife.

Why bother with the iTunes Store anymore? (5, Informative)

CSMatt (1175471) | more than 6 years ago | (#22528920)

Why does anyone still shop at the iTunes Store for music if they want DRM-free songs? Just use Amazon.

Re:Why bother with the iTunes Store anymore? (4, Informative)

harlows_monkeys (106428) | more than 6 years ago | (#22528962)

Why does anyone still shop at the iTunes Store for music if they want DRM-free songs? Just use Amazon

Some of us want particular songs. iTMS has many more songs than Amazon at this point.

Re:Why bother with the iTunes Store anymore? (2, Interesting)

STrinity (723872) | more than 6 years ago | (#22529378)

iTMS has many more songs than Amazon at this point.
Not only are you drinking Apple's Kool Aid, it's old Kool Aid. Amazon had deals with all the major labels now, and near as I can tell all the minors are on board too. I listen to lots of obscure bands, and while there are still a bunch that aren't available from Amazon or iTunes, it's been months since I've found anything that's exclusive to iTunes apart from the special live performances they offer.

Re:Why bother with the iTunes Store anymore? (5, Insightful)

multisync (218450) | more than 6 years ago | (#22529080)

Why does anyone still shop at the iTunes Store for music if they want DRM-free songs? Just use Amazon.


So, what part of the United States do you live in?

Re:Why bother with the iTunes Store anymore? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22529198)

The main reason for me is that MP3 suffers from a number of fundamental side-effects - quality-impairing shortcomings, such as the dodgy frequency span, the joint-stereo problems, and the natural loss of "information over time" resulting in bass freq. quantization and lessened resolution - that can not be avoided no matter how high bitrate you encode the material in (greetings to all stupid 320kbps encoders, btw.) These same shortcomings are not found in modern lossy encoders such as Vorbis and AAC.

Yeah, okay (5, Insightful)

DurendalMac (736637) | more than 6 years ago | (#22528932)

Apple on dangerous ground? They may lose .01% of their market! People who crack the DRM on iTunes (and their purchase hinges on that) are a tiny part of the market. I can understand both sides here (Apple kinda has to do this or the record companies, who don't like Apple enough as it is, will get even more pissed, but the crackers want fair usage of their music), but saying that Apple is on "dangerous ground" is more self-important internet crap.

Re:Yeah, okay (5, Insightful)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 6 years ago | (#22529020)

Apple on dangerous ground? They may lose .01% of their market! [..] saying that Apple is on "dangerous ground" is more self-important internet crap.
You got there before me :)

I'm not sure if this is a geek-specific variant version of the "I'm an important customer so they should do what I want or watch out", or if it's just the less arrogant(?) but equally deluded flaw of Slashdotters to assuming that their views and behaviour are representative of more than a tiny percentage of the market. Probably a mixture- they're both facets of the same thing anyway.

The latter case is something like when people say "I [or 'people'] would be more likely to buy the PSP if they removed the DRM restrictions etc. and let me do what I liked with it". Sorry, but a guaranteed sale to 1, or 5 or 500 people is going to be vastly outweighed by the profits Sony thinks (or hoped) it'll make by tying down the machine and selling people content or applications instead of letting them add their own.

I mean, personally I'd have been far more likely to buy a PSP if it had been more hackable or at least an open development environment, but I'm under no delusions as to my importance in the market, or to what Sony actually want.

Re:Yeah, okay (2, Insightful)

7Prime (871679) | more than 6 years ago | (#22529434)

Bingo. Also, I should mention that Apple DRM is unimportant anyway, since they already sell non-DRM version of most (all?) of their iTMS material. So why are we still fighting DRM? Oh, that's right, because we want everything to cost us nothing.

Basically, people had some kind of ethical case for fighting DRM back when Apple was DRM-only... but now that Apple has given in, it's just complaining that they want music for free. I have to draw the line there. Or are you suggesting that all media should be inherently free? That's rediculous and unjustified.

This really exposes media piracy for what it's always been, all along... people not wanting to pay for shit that they normally would have to. I'm sick of all the pretenses, fighting DRM was never about free speech, was it? It was about getting free shit. I actually believed their was a greater cause... I guess I was wrong.

Fuck it, from now on, I refuse to go to bat for anyone who pirates music, they're on their own.

Re:Yeah, okay (2, Interesting)

DJCacophony (832334) | more than 6 years ago | (#22529278)

The notion that Apple has to do this because the record companies force them to is patently untrue. If the record companies did not want DRM-free music, then they would not have agreed to let Apple sell DRM-free music.

The fact of the matter is that Apple likes the vendor lock-in they established between their ipod hardware and itunes software; it is a huge money-maker for them, and they will not willingly give up money anytime soon.

That they can simply blame somebody else for their actions ("B-b-but he made me do it!") and other people believe them is a testament to the gullibility of the general public and their blind hatred of faceless corporations. Does anybody really see a difference between "we do what we want or the record companies attack" and "we do what we want or the terrorists attack"?

Record companies provide a convenient scapegoat for Apple to pass their immoral actions off on, and people just eat their shit up with a smile and a defensive attitude.

Re:Yeah, okay (1)

STrinity (723872) | more than 6 years ago | (#22529418)

If the record companies did not want DRM-free music, then they would not have agreed to let Apple sell DRM-free music.
Only one record label's done that, last I checked. They've all let Amazon sell DRM-free music, but that's pretty clearly an attempt to undermine iTunes market dominance.

Re:Yeah, okay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22529420)

saying that Apple is on "dangerous ground" is more self-important internet crap.

If it's no danger to them, then why are they trying to censor it?

Beating the Bully (5, Interesting)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 6 years ago | (#22528958)

If someone gets a Cease & Desist letter threatening them with harm if they don't c&d, then fights it in court and shows the C&D was invalid, the court should treat the sender of the C&D letter like any other bully making threats. Fine them, count a strike against the attorney who wrote it (and start disciplining/disbarring them after some number of strikes in some period of time). And find damages to cover the time the recipient had to spend to straighten this out when they weren't wrong.

And when the C&D sender loses such a case, every other recipient of such a letter should be able to file to get the same results applied to their own case, if they can prove it was the same circumstances (which should be cheap, easy and quick if they were indeed the same). That should load up the fines and strikes on the sender and their lawyers.

Which in turn will deter lots of these C&D letters, especially when they're just bluffing (and they know it). Why should a law license and a retainer let these bullies litter the land with their C&D letters that get enforced with just the threat of intimidation, but which don't have a legal leg to stand on (or ever have to demonstrate they do)? They should have to face some consequences for abuse themselves.

Re:Beating the Bully (3, Informative)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#22529168)

Why should a law license and a retainer let these bullies litter the land with their C&D letters that get enforced with just the threat of intimidation, but which don't have a legal leg to stand on (or ever have to demonstrate they do)?

The problem is, in the United States they often do have a legal leg to stand on, in the form of the DMCA. That doesn't make it right, or just, or even good business ... but there it is.

Re:Beating the Bully (1)

mysidia (191772) | more than 6 years ago | (#22529268)

Under the DMCA they only really have much a leg to stand on if the content is actually infringing, and the letter meets certain requirements.

Re:Beating the Bully (2, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#22529288)

Well, given that this product is a tool specifically intended to "circumvent an anti-piracy device" I'd say the leg is there.

Re:Beating the Bully (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 6 years ago | (#22529442)

Which in turn will deter lots of these C&D letters, especially when they're just bluffing (and they know it).

But not this one. IANAL and I haven't read the letter, but I'll put money on it it uses the DMCA's clause regarding "circumventing an effective technological measure".

In other words, in the eyes of the law the C&D is perfectly acceptable, even if you don't like it.

As a myFairTunes user... (5, Insightful)

ikarous (1230832) | more than 6 years ago | (#22528980)

I will have be forced to stop using the iTunes store if the Hymn project disappears. I don't own an iPod—I don't *want* an iPod—but I do want to play my music on the Linux-powered media box in my living room. Is that really too much to ask?

Re:As a myFairTunes user... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22529128)

All I read there was:
"Arrr, I will have be forced to stop using the righteous iTunes store if the dastardly Hymn project disappears. I don't own a righteous iPod--I don't *want* a righteous iPod--but I do want to play my pirated music on the pirate-y Linux-powered pirate box in my living room. Is that really too much to ask for a pirate? Arrr."

Re:As a myFairTunes user... (1)

ikarous (1230832) | more than 6 years ago | (#22529164)

I think you need to check your pirate manual, matey. Most pirates don't get their booty from the iTunes music store.

Re:As a myFairTunes user... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22529134)

You hear that sound? It's the sound of the world's tiniest violin, being played from a DRM'd AAC file simultaneously on each of the 141 million iPods sold.

Re:As a myFairTunes user... (5, Insightful)

SeaFox (739806) | more than 6 years ago | (#22529220)

but I do want to play my music on the Linux-powered media box in my living room. Is that really too much to ask?

Yes, because Apple isn't trying to sell music to Linux users, they're trying to sell iPods. Maybe there was a big need for Hymn back when the iTMS was the only store around with major recording artists (I mean ones you heard on top-40 stations, not college rock stations), but with Amazon's store seemingly redundant with Apple's catalog, why don't you just start using them instead?

Re:As a myFairTunes user... (1)

bwalling (195998) | more than 6 years ago | (#22529228)

No, it's not too much to ask, but if that's what you want to do, then you're shopping at the wrong store. Don't blame the store - blame yourself for buying the wrong product.

Re:As a myFairTunes user... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22529460)

I do want to play my music

It's not your music, otherwise you would be able to do what you want with it. Don't like it? Write your own damn music instead.

Zune looks good now! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22528998)

Many users buy music from the iTunes store and rely on DRM removal to be able to play the content on their mobile phones.
That may be true. In addition, many users likely run this application on their friends' iTunes library to steal the content. I know - it isn't news to hear that. But it also isn't news that people want to play music on their Zune or their RAZR.

Like it or not, utilities to break encryption are illegal in the USA and in many other countries that have aggressive intellectual property laws. In addition, using these utilities are against the license agreement between the purchaser and the copyright owner. Although you may have perfectly good intentions, breaking DRM is simply illegal.

Happily, there are legit ways around many of these problems. For one, many music stores (including iTunes) are selling higher quality, DRM-free tracks. Secondly, you can simply buy a CD and rip it. Thirdly, you can simply burn a CD from iTunes, and then rip that.

There are rumors that iTunes will be going DRM-free in the near future. It'd be very cool if that worked out.

Re:Zune looks good now! (1)

cleatsupkeep (1132585) | more than 6 years ago | (#22529186)

From rumors I've read, I think they would if the labels would support it. A lot of songs that Apple has have non-DRM'd files at the same price as the DRM'd files - which makes me thing they would want to Non-DRM their store. And we all know how supportive labels are of non-DRM music and free and open sharing :-).

Re:Zune looks good now! (1)

DJCacophony (832334) | more than 6 years ago | (#22529324)

Like it or not, utilities to break encryption are illegal in the USA

Like hell it is. Breaking encryption is fine. You only run into legal issues when you try to circumvent copy protection measures on copyrighted media (which is still bad) or when you break into somebody's computer in the process.

Re:Zune looks good now! (1)

piojo (995934) | more than 6 years ago | (#22529468)

Like it or not, utilities to break encryption are illegal in the USA

Like hell it is. Breaking encryption is fine. You only run into legal issues when you try to circumvent copy protection measures on copyrighted media (which is still bad)
Aren't copyright measures always at odds with interoperability, and doesn't the DMCA allow for reverse engineering for interoperability? I don't quite get where the legal line is drawn. Can't we break the encryption on documents to view/listen to them in different software or hardware?

You don't need software... (0)

Saint_Waldo (541712) | more than 6 years ago | (#22529106)

The easiest way to remove Apple iTunes DRM is to burn an audio CD with your tracks. Then, rip the CD to MP3. In fact, Apple tells you this explicitly on their website in the tech support section. There are several advantages to this, the number one being, you don't have to run fly-by-night, I-don't-know-this-person, hey-ma-look-at-that-keylogger-go greyware to do it. You just need a fucking CD BURNER. And I thought /. kids were smarter than this.

Re:You don't need software... (5, Insightful)

djseomun (1119637) | more than 6 years ago | (#22529162)

What's more convenient? Software removing DRM in a matter of seconds from songs that I paid for, or CD burning, which not only takes several minutes but also uses a CD? I think these smart kids you refer to know what the right answer is.

Re:You don't need software... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22529474)

I have a CDRW just for this purpose- burn a cd worth, rip. With iTunes this takes 2 minutes of unattended activity once started.

1. Drag tunes onto new playlist (5 seconds)
2. Start burn (5-10 seconds)
3. Twiddle thumbs, slashdot, etc (2-3 minutes)
4. Push cd back in (1 second)
5. Click import (5 seconds)

Profit?

Re:You don't need software... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22529234)

The easiest way to remove Apple iTunes DRM is to burn an audio CD with your tracks. Then, rip the CD to MP3. In fact, Apple tells you this explicitly on their website in the tech support section. There are several advantages to this, the number one being, you don't have to run fly-by-night, I-don't-know-this-person, hey-ma-look-at-that-keylogger-go greyware to do it. You just need a fucking CD BURNER.

And I thought /. kids were smarter than this.
That's also the easiest way to butcher the quality. QTFairuse was lossless. It captured the decrypted aac stream before it was decoded and then put it in a new, DRM-free, container. Plus, it was licensed under the GPL and written in Python.

Yes you do. (5, Insightful)

pavon (30274) | more than 6 years ago | (#22529284)

/. kids are smart enough to know that transcoding decreases the sound quality, and burning to CD is a waste of money.

But judging from the other comments here, while they're self-righteous enough to bitch about DRM, they don't have the fucking backbone to just not buy DRM'ed music.

Re:You don't need software... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22529294)

You do realize that using that method not only consistently costs you additional money for CD-R's, but also degrades the audio quality as well right? Each time a track is burned and re-ripped the audio quality will degrade. The idea of stripping the DRM off the original files is to avoid paying for loads of unnecessary CD-R's, avoid spending unnecessary time in burning/re-ripping, and to preserve the audio quality of the original file at the same time.

Yes you do need software... (1)

Goldenhawk (242867) | more than 6 years ago | (#22529338)

>I thought /. kids were smarter than this.

They are. That's why they want a process which preserves every little bit of audio goodness possible under the already less-than-CD-quality, marginal-bitrate-file circumstances. They'd rather NOT use a process which takes the files and transcodes them TWICE, thus compromising the audio quality even further.

They may not be audiophiles, but they DO prefer to save what little quality they started with.

Re:You don't need software... (1)

jay-be-em (664602) | more than 6 years ago | (#22529394)

With this solution and the other you're degrading the quality of the recording. FUck that. If I purchase a song I should be able to play it whenever I want on whatever device I want without having to waste a cdr, jump through any hoops or degrade the recording.

The only dangerous ground apple is in.. (5, Insightful)

Protonk (599901) | more than 6 years ago | (#22529136)

The only dangerous ground apple is in is with record companies if they don't aggressively pursue DRM faults/breaks/violations. I'll bet you dollars to donuts that apple has clauses in their contracts with these companies that force them to maintain their DRM updated, track offenders and litigate where necessary.

This is not to say that apple is blameless. They aren't. Apple, at this point, has had the chance to shame record labels (at least them. It appears we are doomed to repeat this nonsense with video) into changing their contracts. They took the opportunity to sound like a white knight in copyleft circles for a few weeks and did nothing. Maybe this was because companies were intransigent in negotiation. Maybe it is because apple's commitment to DRM free media was less than sincere. Probably both.

Part of what is allowing this silliness to happen is the dMCA itself. These folks can be send a CnD because they might be cryptographically breaking DRM, but regular old listening and rerecording is ok. The anti-circumvention clause allows companies to litigate in the absence of real infringement. That is the problem.

Re:The only dangerous ground apple is in.. (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 6 years ago | (#22529320)

what percentage of itunes tracks are available as drm free MP4's? I have only 3-4 songs left that are protected as i went in and found out most of mine were DRM less.

indeed with Amazon selling DRMless mp3's it is only a matter of time. Then again Apple's catalog is larger, and more current than Amazon's.

Mirror? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22529148)

Any mirrors yet?

Many? (2, Insightful)

STrinity (723872) | more than 6 years ago | (#22529160)

Let's be realistic here -- the number of people who hate DRM is pretty small to begin with, and the number of them who continue to buy from iTunes (especially now that Amazon has just about everything DRM-free) is even smaller still.

Steve Jobs = Hypocrite (2, Interesting)

chainLynx (939076) | more than 6 years ago | (#22529170)

So he bashes DRM http://www.apple.com/hotnews/thoughtsonmusic/ [apple.com] and then turns around and has his company issue a take down for anti-DRM software? That's awfully two-faced.

Re:Steve Jobs = Hypocrite (5, Insightful)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 6 years ago | (#22529204)

So he bashes DRM http://www.apple.com/hotnews/thoughtsonmusic/ [apple.com] and then turns around and has his company issue a take down for anti-DRM software? That's awfully two-faced.

I don't think that is two-faced. Jobs position has always been that DRM on music is counter productive and a flawed concept. His position has also been, that it is a necessary evil if you want to do business with the RIAA cartel which controls the music distribution in the US. First he pushed for the most user friendly and unrestrictive DRM of any company reselling RIAA music. Then he pushed to get them to sell some music with no DRM, for a slightly higher price.

Sometimes you can not agree with something, but still have to put up with it to do business.

Re:Steve Jobs = Hypocrite (1)

chainLynx (939076) | more than 6 years ago | (#22529318)

Well if other stores were selling a track DRM-free that Apple was selling with DRM, would that change your position? Perhaps you should read this: http://nanocr.eu/2007/01/13/ihandcuffs/ [nanocr.eu]

more rubbish (3, Insightful)

pbjones (315127) | more than 6 years ago | (#22529194)

Apple is not under threat, they still sell bulk music, people still durn their own CDs etc. The difference here is that cracking DRM via an attack on the cryptography is illegal in most countries, while other, simpler methods, are in a grey area.

Cease and Desist *Letter* not *Order* (5, Informative)

Tiger4 (840741) | more than 6 years ago | (#22529196)

A C&D letter [wikipedia.org] is no more than a nasty letter from a lawyer asking (no matter how it is worded) you to quit doing something his client doesn't like. In other words, really expensive toilet paper.

A C&D ORDER on the other hand, comes from a court and you'd better do what it says or risk pissing off the judge. Almost always a bad idea.

In any case, a C&D Letter can be responded to by a letter of your own back to the sender requesting "clarification", setting off a torrent ( :-) ) of correspondence that could level a forest while consuming time as you continue to do as you please. Or you could just use it to pre-emptively go to court and threaten the sender with attempting to interfere with your business/life/whatever by harassing you. And you will have the letter/evidence in hand, signed by the sender.

And of course, in the greatest of Slashdot Traditions, IANAL.

Re:Cease and Desist *Letter* not *Order* (1)

aiken_d (127097) | more than 6 years ago | (#22529450)

Also, if you have money or a pet lawyer, another possible response to a C&D letter is to file for a declaratory judgment in your local jurisdiction. Assuming you're not in the immediate vicinity of the original letter writer, this forces them to put up or shut up.

because we all know... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22529218)

that removing software from its original website means no one can get it off the internet anymore

Why mess around with this crap? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22529336)

I don't have an mp3 player or an Ipod. Don't need one. I don't use P2P or torrent sites either. I use free direct-download sites and burn the songs I download to CD.

No Longer Available? (1)

snib (911978) | more than 6 years ago | (#22529364)

> But since the tools are no longer available (after several days there are still no public mirrors)

Umm... a simple Google search for "myFairTunes" got me a working download for version 7 as the first result. Am I missing something?

Another reason to never buy an Apple product. (0)

jay-be-em (664602) | more than 6 years ago | (#22529456)

This is yet another reason I refuse to purchase an Apple product.

I'm glad they are making some contributions to open source. That's lovely. I'm also glad they abandoned their mess of an operating system for something unix based -- I find it a lot easier to help out friends with their computers now, if they are Mac users. I even for some time recommended to friends / family that they get Macs.

However I will never allow myself to give this company any money. They do a pretty good job of masking their ridiculous greed and destruction with a slick PR campaign, but some of us are still not fooled. It's interesting that Apple was born out of the hobbyist computing community, yet is continously the one stomping on the little guy hardware/software hacker these days. Apple has absolutely no interest in openness, other than when it helps their bottom line -- if they only had the power and money of Microsoft they'd likely be even worse, considering Jobs' ridiculous Messiah complex and the number of idiots who buy into it.

The tag on this article says it all: Fuck Apple.

Last year I would have cared (3, Insightful)

EvilMagnus (32878) | more than 6 years ago | (#22529504)

I used to use Hymn to make copies of my legally purchased iTunes songs. It was only because I *could* make m4a files out of iTunes downloads that I purchased music from Apple in the first place.

Now that Amazon is in the mp3 business I've been buying all my music from them. I've bought more music from Amazon in the last two months than I did in the last year from iTMS. iTunes was great when there was no other legal way to get a large selection of artists. That's changed now.
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