Cory Doctorow knee jerks at iTunes today:
(of course, every iTunes user whose iTunes tracks have been downgraded by an iTunes patch knows this already — Apple won’t give you back your $0.99 even when they decide to take away some of the value you paid for when you put your money down).
Throughout the history of iTunes, you can burn all music purchased from the store to a standard audio CD. If you burn, say, Green Day’s American Idiot to a standard CD using iTunes, you end up with a copy of American Idiot that is very close to identical to what you could purchase in a store.
Furthermore, Apple didn’t actually take anything away. The # of times you could burn anyone playlist was reduced from 10 to 7, but that is a limitation on the playlist, not the song. Change the playlist, burn another 7 times. At the same time, Apple upped the # of computers that the songs could be shared between.
To summarize: Once you burn tracks purchased from iTMS to a CD, no one — not Apple, not the RIAA, not the thought police — can take away your ability to play the burned CD on any standard CD player.
The same holds true for any of the other stores that allow burning to a regular CD (I haven’t checked which do. Some do, some don’t. Some have whack-ass DRM that only allows burning of some songs, not others).
Sure, Apple could choose the path of darkness and completely bone the consumer, thus destroying Apple’s hold on the market. So could just about every other company in the world that sells goods and services. Sony could only allow games to be played a dozen times. Movie theaters could play movies out of focus so they couldn’t be pirated. Software companies could require subscriptions for their standalone wares.
But they don’t. Why? Because companies are in business to make money and being evil does not make money. Monopolies, of course, change the rules.
This is very different than the current uproar over TiVo. Cory
posted an otherwise excellent summary of how wrong the DRM is, in that case. Of course, this isn’t entirely TiVo’s fault. Oh, crap, I already responded to another Cory Post about this way back in January of 2004:
So, TiVo walks a fine line and has been doing so very well. Witness ReplayTV (who? Gone.). They threw the 30 second skip and content distribution in the face of the broadcasters and the end result was the complete lack of strategic partnerships and the eventual death [twice] of the platform.
Unfortunately, Cory’s ongoing knee-jerk response to DRM, the RIAA, etc.. does more to hurt the cause than help it. Unfortunately, the EFF isn’t going to be receiving a donation from me anytime soon.