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Old October 1 2008, 01:59 PM   #31
Hermiod
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Re: Apple Threatens To Shut Down iTunes Store?

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Excuse me but iTunes is Apple support software for an Apple made product - the iPod. Each part reinforces the other. Apple should not have to deal woth other products from companies that could have just as easily opened a music store. Consumers chose Apple knowing the limitation, that was their choice.
I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that your statement reflects a general aversion to antitrust legislation rather than blind Apple fanboyism. Apple's integration of iTMS and the iPod comes straight out of Monopolistic Practices 101.
First.

Second, if Apple wanted to they could have crippled the iPod and iTunes so you could only buy music from them - no MP3s, no CD ripping, no non-DRMed music at all.

Apple sell DRM-free music on their store when the music labels they work with allow it. Apple can't make Universal, for instance, sell DRM-free music if they don't want to. Universal want to change Apple's fixed price policy and add even more restrictive DRM - a move Apple has blocked at the risk of losing their music from the store.

Third, as I've said, the very notion that Apple is going to shut down the iTunes Store is ridiculous.
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Old October 1 2008, 02:20 PM   #32
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Re: Apple Threatens To Shut Down iTunes Store?

Hermiod wrote: View Post
Rii wrote: View Post
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Excuse me but iTunes is Apple support software for an Apple made product - the iPod. Each part reinforces the other. Apple should not have to deal woth other products from companies that could have just as easily opened a music store. Consumers chose Apple knowing the limitation, that was their choice.
I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that your statement reflects a general aversion to antitrust legislation rather than blind Apple fanboyism. Apple's integration of iTMS and the iPod comes straight out of Monopolistic Practices 101.
First.

Second, if Apple wanted to they could have crippled the iPod and iTunes so you could only buy music from them - no MP3s, no CD ripping, no non-DRMed music at all.
That wouldn't have been very smart, it would've prevented them from establishing their current preeminent position in the market in the first place. iPod was already the dominant player (in North America) when iTMS was introduced.

Apple sell DRM-free music on their store when the music labels they work with allow it. Apple can't make Universal, for instance, sell DRM-free music if they don't want to. Universal want to change Apple's fixed price policy and add even more restrictive DRM - a move Apple has blocked at the risk of losing their music from the store.
The damning thing here is Apple's refusal to license their FairPlay DRM to other hardware manufacturers and service vendors, all of whom would jump at the chance to give Apple money in exchange for the ability to offer iTMS and iPod-compatible products respectively. Apple could crush Microsoft and Sony's DRM ambitions in a heartbeat, unfortunately they know there's more money to be made in ensuring consumer lock-in than from technology licensing.
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Old October 1 2008, 02:24 PM   #33
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Re: Apple Threatens To Shut Down iTunes Store?

^Instead, they have pushed their music label partners to remove all restrictions entirely. That's hardly damning.
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Old October 1 2008, 02:31 PM   #34
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Re: Apple Threatens To Shut Down iTunes Store?

Rii wrote: View Post
The damning thing here is Apple's refusal to license their FairPlay DRM to other hardware manufacturers and service vendors, all of whom would jump at the chance to give Apple money in exchange for the ability to offer iTMS and iPod-compatible products respectively.
I'm inclined to believe that's because the record labels' contracts hold Apple responsible for any breach of FairPlay, even if Apple fixes it and one of their licensees is unwilling or unable to update their player. The reason I believe that is the Amazon MP3 store, where labels that won't allow Apple to sell their music DRM-free will, curiously, allow their music to be sold as unprotected MP3s.

The labels are not above restricting Apple just to restrict them. Especially if they think it will weaken Apple's position among music vendors and, thus, their negotiating position.
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Old October 1 2008, 02:34 PM   #35
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Re: Apple Threatens To Shut Down iTunes Store?

^Bingo, Jobs even addresses that:

The second alternative is for Apple to license its FairPlay DRM technology to current and future competitors with the goal of achieving interoperability between different company’s players and music stores. On the surface, this seems like a good idea since it might offer customers increased choice now and in the future. And Apple might benefit by charging a small licensing fee for its FairPlay DRM. However, when we look a bit deeper, problems begin to emerge. The most serious problem is that licensing a DRM involves disclosing some of its secrets to many people in many companies, and history tells us that inevitably these secrets will leak. The Internet has made such leaks far more damaging, since a single leak can be spread worldwide in less than a minute. Such leaks can rapidly result in software programs available as free downloads on the Internet which will disable the DRM protection so that formerly protected songs can be played on unauthorized players.

An equally serious problem is how to quickly repair the damage caused by such a leak. A successful repair will likely involve enhancing the music store software, the music jukebox software, and the software in the players with new secrets, then transferring this updated software into the tens (or hundreds) of millions of Macs, Windows PCs and players already in use. This must all be done quickly and in a very coordinated way. Such an undertaking is very difficult when just one company controls all of the pieces. It is near impossible if multiple companies control separate pieces of the puzzle, and all of them must quickly act in concert to repair the damage from a leak.

Apple has concluded that if it licenses FairPlay to others, it can no longer guarantee to protect the music it licenses from the big four music companies. Perhaps this same conclusion contributed to Microsoft’s recent decision to switch their emphasis from an “open” model of licensing their DRM to others to a “closed” model of offering a proprietary music store, proprietary jukebox software and proprietary players.
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Old October 1 2008, 03:04 PM   #36
Rii
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Re: Apple Threatens To Shut Down iTunes Store?

Someone should tell Steve Jobs that iTunes itself allows users to bypass FairPlay DRM. If FairPlay was about protecting music then iTunes wouldn't allow users to burn their songs to CD. FairPlay doesn't prevent leaks, it merely inconveniences users who have the temerity to consider something other than an iPod as their next DAP. Even the MPAA doesn't buy the argument that technology licensing increases the risk of compromise to unacceptable levels. See: Blu-Ray.
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Old October 1 2008, 03:23 PM   #37
Nerdius Maximus
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Re: Apple Threatens To Shut Down iTunes Store?

I will never pay for music that I can't do whatever I please with. (Well, unless of course it's on vinyl, in which case my options are limited) They can take their drm and shove it up their asses. And anyway, itunes songs have a bitrate of what, 128? I'm not paying for that.
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Old October 1 2008, 03:38 PM   #38
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Re: Apple Threatens To Shut Down iTunes Store?

David cgc wrote: View Post
I'm inclined to believe that's because the record labels' contracts hold Apple responsible for any breach of FairPlay, even if Apple fixes it and one of their licensees is unwilling or unable to update their player. The reason I believe that is the Amazon MP3 store, where labels that won't allow Apple to sell their music DRM-free will, curiously, allow their music to be sold as unprotected MP3s.
The idea that Apple is forced by the labels to sell everything with DRM, as opposed to it being their own decision, is not one I can swallow. The fact that the same labels allow their music to be sold naked doesn't show evidence of a contract forcing Apple to do it; it shows that it's likely to be of their own volition. There have also been reports (which I can't find at the moment) of independent labels trying to go through iTMS DRM free and not being allowed to by Apple.

So I'm with Rii on this one. It looks pretty clear to me that Apple's goal here is less music protection and more keeping people locked to their hardware. Jobs has talked about how he apparently doesn't like DRM but the fact that his store is thick with it shows to me that he's talking the talk but not walking the walk.
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Old October 1 2008, 04:13 PM   #39
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Re: Apple Threatens To Shut Down iTunes Store?

The thinking is that the labels are forcing Apple to sell their music with DRM in order to get outlets like Amazon and Walmart a chance to catch up with non-DRM music. It's an artificial way to destroy the monopoly and create competition.

That said, Apple isn't exactly innocent here. It's clear that they are preventing apps for the iPhone/iTouch that allow people to download songs from Amazon directly to the phone. Because, why would you bother with the lame iTunes store when you can get cheaper, DRM free tracks from Amazon?
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Old October 1 2008, 04:29 PM   #40
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Re: Apple Threatens To Shut Down iTunes Store?

I find it very hard to believe that the largest online music store doesn't have the influence to keep themselves from being used as a patsy.
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Old October 1 2008, 04:34 PM   #41
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Re: Apple Threatens To Shut Down iTunes Store?

^There was a rumour going around last year that now that the business with Apple (the British record label) was sorted out, Apple were going in to business with Jay-Z and were going to start their own label, bypassing the existing labels entirely.
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Old October 1 2008, 04:34 PM   #42
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Re: Apple Threatens To Shut Down iTunes Store?

Well, isn't what this "threat" that they're making trying to do? Force the labels' hand?

I definitely think it's why Amazon can sell DRM-free music for a buck and Apple has to sell DRM-free music at like 1.49 or whatever it costs now.
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Old October 1 2008, 04:35 PM   #43
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Re: Apple Threatens To Shut Down iTunes Store?

Babaganoosh wrote: View Post
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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.
This doesn't make sense to me - if what you're saying is true, I shouldn't be able to play songs I bought on iTunes when my computer is not connected to the Internet, which I do all the time.
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Old October 1 2008, 04:37 PM   #44
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Re: Apple Threatens To Shut Down iTunes Store?

^That's correct. In theory, however, if they shut the authorisation servers down (which is not technically something they'd have to do even if they shut the store down) you would not be able to deauthorise your existing computers or authorise new ones.
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Old October 1 2008, 04:40 PM   #45
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Re: Apple Threatens To Shut Down iTunes Store?

Nerdius Maximus wrote: View Post
itunes songs have a bitrate of what, 128? I'm not paying for that.
That's only the DRM'ed songs. The ones without DRM are encoded at 256.
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