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Old October 1 2008, 12:41 AM   #1
Mr. Laser Beam
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Apple Threatens To Shut Down iTunes Store?

Apparently it's an issue of royalty payments per song. The National Music Publishers' Association has requested an increase to 15 cents per track sold online, up from 9 cents as it is now. Online vendors such as Apple are threatening to pull their entire stores rather than absorb the cost. To wit, a statement made last year from Apple's iTunes VP:

If the [iTunes music store] was forced to absorb any increase in the ... royalty rate, the result would be to significantly increase the likelihood of the store operating at a financial loss - which is no alternative at all. Apple has repeatedly made it clear that it is in this business to make money, and most likely would not continue to operate [the iTunes music store] if it were no longer possible to do so profitably.
Here is the full link. The ruling by the copyright board in DC is supposed to come this Thursday.

May want to start burning those purchased songs to CD...since if the store goes away, then so do your DRM tracks (if you have 'iTunes Plus' tracks, which have no DRM, you should be safe).

Although since iTunes won't allow you to burn *videos* such as TV shows or movies, those will not be playable at all if the store goes down.
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Old October 1 2008, 12:47 AM   #2
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Re: Apple Threatens To Shut Down iTunes Store?

Babaganoosh wrote: View Post

May want to start burning those purchased songs to CD...since if the store goes away, then so do your DRM tracks (if you have 'iTunes Plus' tracks, which have no DRM, you should be safe).
Really?
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Old October 1 2008, 12:50 AM   #3
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Re: Apple Threatens To Shut Down iTunes Store?

doubleohfive wrote: View Post
Babaganoosh wrote: View Post

May want to start burning those purchased songs to CD...since if the store goes away, then so do your DRM tracks (if you have 'iTunes Plus' tracks, which have no DRM, you should be safe).
Really?
Really.

It's in the iTunes terms of service:

You acknowledge that some aspects of the Service, Products, and administering of the Usage Rules entails the ongoing involvement of Apple. Accordingly, in the event that Apple changes any part of the Service or discontinues the Service, which Apple may do at its election, you acknowledge that you may no longer be able to use Products to the same extent as prior to such change or discontinuation, and that Apple shall have no liability to you in such case.
This is why DRM is going the way of the dodo. Because if the store you bought it from shuts down, then you can't play the tracks anymore. Microsoft did it, Wal-Mart did it, and now this.

But as I said, you can always burn DRM'ed audio tracks to CD (and then re-rip them back), with probably very little loss in audio quality, so that's not as big of an issue as it is with videos. Those will not be playable at all, except from any iPod you may have them on.
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Old October 1 2008, 12:53 AM   #4
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Re: Apple Threatens To Shut Down iTunes Store?

I have only purchased maybe two CDs on iTunes, and backed them up when I bought them. I don't use the store much for anything except searching for podcasts which I can invariably get elsewhere anyway.

Oh well.
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Old October 1 2008, 12:54 AM   #5
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Re: Apple Threatens To Shut Down iTunes Store?

How So? I bought the tracks, why shouldn't I have access to them any more? I did not rent these tracks, I bought them. They are mine. Can anyone confirm the OP's supposition?

ETA: Goddamn it. If this is true, then apple will never get another cent of my money. That's right, I'll buy no more iPods and there will be no way in hell that I will ever consider buying a mac. And CDs? The RIAA won't see any of my money either. Greedy bastards. The artists already don't get enough for their work. What's to guarantee any of this royalty hike makes it to the artists?
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Old October 1 2008, 12:58 AM   #6
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Re: Apple Threatens To Shut Down iTunes Store?

Quo Vadimus wrote: View Post
How So? I bought the tracks, why shouldn't I have access to them any more? I did not rent these tracks, I bought them. They are mine. Can anyone confirm the OP's supposition?
The very nature of DRM would prevent you from listening to the tracks. Whenever you play one, it must check with the server of the store you bought it from. If the store (and therefore the server) shuts down, then your computer can't check to see if it's authorized, and thus it won't play the track.

Link

And the store doesn't even have to shut down for this to happen: MLB Fans Who Bought DRM Videos Get Hosed

I suppose we can hope for one of two things: 1) that the DC court votes against the royalty increase, or 2) the Apple VP that made that quote is proved wrong. We have *his* word on what Apple *might* do, but they can always change their plans.
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Old October 1 2008, 12:59 AM   #7
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Re: Apple Threatens To Shut Down iTunes Store?

I think that Apple would have insane lawsuit after lawsuit if they shut down the itunes store!
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Old October 1 2008, 01:00 AM   #8
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Re: Apple Threatens To Shut Down iTunes Store?

What if I back-up my library to DVDs? I have A LOT of iTunes tunes on my computer. Burning them to a CD will be extremely tedious.
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Old October 1 2008, 01:54 AM   #9
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Re: Apple Threatens To Shut Down iTunes Store?

Well, fuck! I just purchased S1 of the Middleman. I know you can convert certain files so they can be downloaded to the iPod. I wonder if the reverse is possible.
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Old October 1 2008, 01:56 AM   #10
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Re: Apple Threatens To Shut Down iTunes Store?

Umm why is no anger being directed at the Music Publisher Assoc who are wanting to 50% more in the first place?

The muisic industry seems to be hell bent on self destruction - places like iTunes are a God send for them - the music gets sold but the record companies reduce their costs by not having to physically produce the CDs, distribute them etc etc.

Then things start to boom and they want a bigger slice of the pie.

But the real irony with shit like this? The artists barely see anything extra.
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Old October 1 2008, 01:59 AM   #11
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Re: Apple Threatens To Shut Down iTunes Store?

Please. They're bluffing. And I'm sure that Apple would be more than happy to continue operating their DRM verification servers until such time as they could negotiate with the record companies to deactivate the DRM permanently.

Come on. It's Apple. It's not like they're stingy about their web use. Anyone who's downloaded fifty 1080p movie trailers from them can attest to that.
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Old October 1 2008, 02:18 AM   #12
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Re: Apple Threatens To Shut Down iTunes Store?

Quo Vadimus wrote: View Post
What if I back-up my library to DVDs? I have A LOT of iTunes tunes on my computer. Burning them to a CD will be extremely tedious.
Can you burn music as tracks to a DVD?
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Old October 1 2008, 02:24 AM   #13
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Re: Apple Threatens To Shut Down iTunes Store?

Quo Vadimus wrote: View Post
How So? I bought the tracks, why shouldn't I have access to them any more? I did not rent these tracks, I bought them. They are mine. Can anyone confirm the OP's supposition?
Welcome to the wonderful world of DRM. There's a reason internet "geeks" are so vehemently against all DRM and contrary to what some folks claim, it's not JUST because they want to 'steal free mp3s'

I only use AMAZON MP3 to buy songs when I do. No DRM whatsoever, just pure mp3s.
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Old October 1 2008, 02:37 AM   #14
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Re: Apple Threatens To Shut Down iTunes Store?

Stone_Cold_Sisko wrote: View Post
I only use AMAZON MP3 to buy songs when I do. No DRM whatsoever, just pure mp3s.
Same here.

That said, even if Apple stopped selling things on the store there is no way they'd pull down the FairPlay authentication stuff. Doing so would totally destroy all consumer confidence in any Apple online store for a really long time.
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Old October 1 2008, 02:47 AM   #15
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Re: Apple Threatens To Shut Down iTunes Store?

firehawk12 wrote: View Post
Quo Vadimus wrote: View Post
What if I back-up my library to DVDs? I have A LOT of iTunes tunes on my computer. Burning them to a CD will be extremely tedious.
Can you burn music as tracks to a DVD?
AFAIK, no, you can't.
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