A topic that has been getting some heavy blog-time this week is the discovery that the DRM-Free music purchased via Appleâ€™s iTunes isnâ€™t really so DRM-Free. True, the music file is actually devoid of any playback preventing DRM encryption, but what it does contain is the purchaserâ€™s iTunes user account info.Â And while there are several ways to remove this embedded info, (One method is to use a conversion feature built right into iTunes.) Iâ€™m trying to come up with a good reason to do so that doesnâ€™t involve deliberate theft.
Now, please donâ€™t get me wrong.Â I have never been a big supporter of the DRM movement. Â I understand the need for Artists and Labels to protect their assets, but it seems that protection of our fair-use rights has always taken a back seat.
On the other hand, Iâ€™m definitely not looking to beat the Artists out of their paycheck.Â Itâ€™s no picnic choosing a career as a musician.Â These people work damn hard and if theyâ€™re lucky or talented enough to have some success, they deserve the few cents they get from me paying for the music that I enjoy.
What has always cheesed me off was the inability to play my LEGALLY purchased & downloaded media on any device I choose, not just the ones with fruit logos on them.Â That is, without having to go through the tedious process of converting the tracks to a more generic format.Â
In this DRM-Free model, Apple is now saying â€œListen to the music anyway you like, but remember youâ€™re on the honor systemâ€¦â€Â Ok, yeah my name is written in the media file.Â So what?Â My name is written in my underwear too.Â As long as Iâ€™m the guy wearing emâ€™ what difference does it make?Â Â Any way I slice it; this looks like a step in the right direction.
So, to all the people out there that are screaming that Apple needs a spanking, I ask: Why?