DRM in the news

Columnist and BBC writer Bill Thompson write that DRM restricts our freedom to enjoy the music we bought. It was a well written piece and he argues well for his points, that is until he starts backing his arugments up with less than accurateclear information.

And don’t even contemplate making a mix CD of your favourite tracks for your girlfriend or boyfriend to listen to when you’re not around.

Mmm… Bill, you can burn the tracks you purchase from iTunes Music Store to CDs. Not to mention you can share the tracks over the local network between Macs and PCs.

But apparently Bill has not tried out or used iTMS:

Apple’s iTunes is apparently a great service but it doesn’t actually make Apple any money because of the high level of royalty they have to pay to the music industry for every song downloaded. (Emphasis added)

I enjoyed Bill’s articles previously but it is exactly this kind of inaccurateunclear journalism that builds up my distrust over news outlets and the message they try to send.

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4 comments

  1. authgeek

    Sharing iTMS tracks over the iTunes network is complex. Your computers must be authorized using the same information to play tracks one computer has purchased on iTMS. Meaning, if you have two computers in your house, sharing is no problem. However, listening to iTMS music from say, someone random on campus is not allowed by iTunes.

  2. Alex

    Mmm.. yeah, that’s the whole point… Apple wants to make it simple and easier for family to share music but not random sharing like in campus.

  3. Bill Thompson

    Hi there – I’m sorry you think I was being inaccurate in my recent piece on DRM. I haven’t tried iTunes because Apple won’t let us Europeans buy tracks online – thanks to the record companies. So I was trying to be honest about the limitations in my understanding.

    But you’re right that you can burn iTunes tracks to CD, and that’s an improvement. But it’s clear to me that this is not what HP wants to offer, that at best you’ll be able to burn a CD in an uncopiable format or there will be restrictions of the sort we already see in the newest RealPlayer on what exactly you can do with ‘their’ music.

    So I don’t think I was being inaccurate, although I’ll try to make sure that I’m clearer about WHICH services I’m criticising in future.

  4. Alex

    Bill, re my email reply ‘inaccurate’ was a poor choice of word and I’ve updated the post with ‘unclear’ which is my intention.

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