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Why does everyone hate DRM?!
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nato64
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2006-03-15, 03:05

I don't understand why everyone hates Digital Rights Management (DRM). What do people expect? Apple to sell songs on iTunes that have zero restrictions, can be played on anyones computer, and can be downloaded by anyone? Of all things, Apple has DRM done right. You can play songs on up to 5 computers, unlimited iPods, and burning is restricted to playlists based on repetition (basically unlimited burning). I have two computers (my iMac G5 and 12" PowerBook G4). I play music on those and also give tons of music to my girlfriend. That's three computers. If I had my own family with the average 2.5 children, the 5-computer limit almost covers all of them. Plus, what's the likelihood of my children liking the music I have anyway?

Yes, DRM can suck, a lot at times. Thank's to Sony, DRM can be the cause of a lot of frustration and agony. I just don't understand what people expect from a company selling you music. Do they want Apple to sell them unrestricted songs? I don't get it at all. It seems like the only reason people don't like DRM is because it's popular to dislike DRM. Or they want to burn their friends 700+ songs on a CD without having to authorize their machines.

I'm tired of all the winy complaints of "DRM sucks to the max" and "I would never buy of the iTMS, unless they got rid of the DRM." Are you kidding me? Expecting legal downloads to have no restrictions is just ridiculous. What's the big deal? How has DRM effected or impaired the way you listen to music? The only times I'm frustrated is when I'd like to put a song in my podcast or FCP where it shouldn't be in the first place anyway because it's copyrighted material!!!
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Brad
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2006-03-15, 03:45

1. DRM restricts how users and play/read/listen/access what they've purchased. Users are limited to using "approved" devices and software. Thus, DRM completely kills competition and technological advancement unless the product makers kneel to the demands of the DRM owners.

2. DRM restricts what users could previously do freely with what they've purchased, thereby trampling all over existing Fair Use laws. DRM prevents users from making modifications, samples, etc. even for personal, noncommercial, private use.

3. DRM enables big media corporations to require the user to pay multiple times for the same content by making data "expire" at the DRM owners' whim.

4. DRM sets a dangerous precedence for even more restrictive control on existing and future content.

Need I go on?

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nato64
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2006-03-15, 03:53

I understand TOTALY when complaining about Napster DRM, for instance. Things that expire, that just plain sucks. I guess I was talking more about Apple's DRM. The songs are ours and they won't go away, there is no subscription service.

I never thought about the competition thing. I guess that's because, right now, the iPod (in my opinion) is the best music player out there. If I liked other players more and wanted to use them, I might have a different opinion on this stuff.

I guess my MAIN point is this: could you think of a better solution? If you could, I guarantee my thoughts on DRM would change.
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Doxxic
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2006-03-15, 04:00

As a French person put it in a very French way: DRM turns content into a 'hostage' of technology brands.

I love how the French can get (rightfully) very emotional about this!
My, this way of saying it even brings a lump to my throat.

But in the case of iTunes I'm not sure I totally agree.
Apple advises buyers of their music to make backups on cd. And once you do that, your music is really free like any old cd you buy in a store.

I wonder if iTunes Store would be viable under French conditions and how much it would affect iPod sales.
(not sure if this goes beyond the scope of this thread though...)

I also think, like Nato64 pointed out, that there are very different DRMs, I'm not sure how the French would treat Apple's specific DRM?
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Brad
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2006-03-15, 04:06

Quote:
Originally Posted by nato64
I guess I was talking more about Apple's DRM. The songs are ours and they won't go away, there is no subscription service.
See point 4. I can not emphasize this enough. We're taking the first steps down a very ugly road, setting a foundation that will be difficult to overturn.

Also, note that Apple has changed and reserves the right to change at any time the "rights" we have on our purchased content.

Think hard about that for a minute.

Oh, and what if you happen to lose your internet connection and need to authenticate? Or Apple's servers go belly-up? In any of a hundred other doomsday scenarios, those files that are yours that "won't go away" will be worthless because you cannot play them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nato64
I never thought about the competition thing. I guess that's because, right now, the iPod (in my opinion) is the best music player out there. If I liked other players more and wanted to use them, I might have a different opinion on this stuff.
It kills competition and frustrates the consumer market. How many times have you seen people bitch and moan about wanting to buy an iPod but couldn't because they have WM DRMed files? Or of people who want to use some other player but can't because they have iTunes DRMed files? Or of Linux users who can't access any DRMed content at all?

DRM aims to kill Linux? You betcha. DRM (and any encryption algorithm with which you have all the keys) by its very nature can not be open source; thus, it is fundamentally incompatible with the free software movement.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nato64
I guess my MAIN point is this: could you think of a better solution? If you could, I guarantee my thoughts on DRM would change.
Absolutely. Don't use DRM.

The real problem here is that the big media companies are holding onto a dated and dying business model. They need to adapt and stop treating their own damn customers like criminals. Move to a pricing structure where the consumer would prefer to buy the content than to pirate it and risk prosecution.

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nato64
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2006-03-15, 04:10

i see your point, but the fact is we are criminals. who here hasn't downloaded something illegally? i hope i don't get banned for mentioning that i've done something illegal but that's my point. why would i buy something off iTunes if my friend-of-a-friend-of-a-friend already did?

now, i'm speaking as someone who downloads all his music off itunes. but if it was super easy to get it free? who knows. but for a fact there would be 5x the amount of illegal downloaders.
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Brad
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2006-03-15, 04:12

Quote:
Originally Posted by nato64
i see your point, but the fact is we are criminals.
You incorrectly assume everyone is a criminal just because you and the people you know are criminals. No offense.
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nato64
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2006-03-15, 04:18

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad
You incorrectly assume everyone is a criminal just because you and the people you know are criminals. No offense.
i didn't know what bittorrent was until a few months ago. yeah, i did napster and limwire way long ago, but iTunes is all i know. i wouldn't steal music if iTunes was DRM-free, but i could guess they're be a ton of people that would.

but come on, you must have a hard time believing that if iTunes offered DRM-free content that there would be no more people stealing music than there already is. then again, that might outweigh the business that they'd receive from people that use other players, but i highly doubt it.
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Doxxic
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2006-03-15, 04:20

Quote:
"Under the latest version of the proposed law, people who download material illegally would be subject to a fine of 38 euros and those sharing illegally downloaded material with others would be subject to a fine of 150 euros.

People who make and sell software for illegal file-sharing and content downloading would remain subject to a maximum fine of 300,000 euros and prison sentences of up to three years.

Police agents can monitor music exchange Web sites and trace back the email address of beneficiaries by asking the Internet service provider for it through a court order.

The proposed law would also secure private copies of legally downloaded material, but the number of private copies could be limited and have yet to be determined. DVDs are expected to be excluded from the law, Vanneste said."
(Source: Reuters)

It's a hyped up thing again.

If you read above what's really going to change about the law in France, you can see that nothing is going to change in the way people use iTunes. The French law seems even to favor the iTunes license model compared to subscription models.

The only difference is that you may hack the DRM. But you don't even have to under current conditions. Right now you can remove DRM by burning music on cd and rip it as MP3.
Things get only a little easier (if you consider selecting, installing and using hacking software easier), but piracy will essentially remain as easy as it is.

So iTunes sales are not going to be hurt. They're even going to have an advance over subscription services. It's practically another blow to Microsoft - hope they did it on purpose!

btw Reuters is a bit of a nasty source sometimes. Apart from hyping up things, the article I quote here also says that music bought on iTunes music can only play on an iPod (which is, q.e.d., untrue).

Last edited by Doxxic : 2006-03-15 at 04:52.
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Brad
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2006-03-15, 04:22

Quote:
Originally Posted by nato64
why would i buy something off iTunes if my friend-of-a-friend-of-a-friend already did?
Quote:
Originally Posted by nato64
but come on, you must have a hard time believing that if iTunes offered DRM-free content that there would be no more people stealing music than there already is. then again, that might outweigh the business that they'd receive from people that use other players, but i highly doubt it.
Look at the Russian websites that sell music dirt cheap. Some people (and I know several here at AN) have given up entirely on pirating music and decided to buy the music from these websites. Why change?

1. The customer is guaranteed a reliable catalog and download service.
2. The products are consistent in quality.
3. The products are available in a variety of formats.
4. The customer is not breaking the law.
5. The prices are reasonable.

If the whole industry moved to match those Russian websites' business structure, the incentive to pirate the product rather than buy it would be dramatically diminished.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nato64
but for a fact there would be 5x the amount of illegal downloaders.
You cannot state that as a fact. You just implied that no one could know.

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nato64
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2006-03-15, 04:24

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad
You cannot state that as a fact. You just implied that no one could know.
you got me there. sorry, it's late and i'm sick. probably should get some sleep or something
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Brad
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2006-03-15, 04:29

Did you miss the rest of my last reply? What do you think about my comments?

Ah, get some sleep. Maybe when you wake up and are feeling better you'll understand why DRM is so evil.
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nato64
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2006-03-15, 04:44

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad
1. The customer is guaranteed a reliable catalog and download service.
2. The products are consistent in quality.
3. The products are available in a variety of formats.
4. The customer is not breaking the law.
5. The prices are reasonable.

If the whole industry moved to match those Russian websites' business structure, the incentive to pirate the product rather than buy it would be dramatically diminished..
Those are the reasons I use the iTMS actually. I feel like I'm paying for a service more than just a song. think the integration, quality, constancy, UI, etc. is great. I dunno, I just don't see iTunes selling songs that are cheaper and have no DRM. Maybe in the future things will change. I guess you opened my eyes a bit to see that with gov't tracking downloads and whatnot in the future, illegal downloads will become like sealing a car or robing a 7-11 (i.e. less common).
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Brad
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2006-03-15, 04:49

Quote:
Originally Posted by nato64
Those are the reasons I use the iTMS actually. I feel like I'm paying for a service more than just a song. think the integration, quality, constancy, UI, etc. is great.
Exactly. So, doesn't it stand to reason that the market of customers would only increase with lower prices and fewer restrictions? That was rhetorical. You don't need to answer.

Seriously, though, go get some sleep (I need to too ). I hope you feel better soon!

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Doxxic
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2006-03-15, 05:04

Hey y'all my rather brilliant contribution a few lines up is facing the risk of being overlooked, while it puts the hype pretty sensibly into perspective!

As for the rest, I agree totally with Brad. Though I think Apple's DRM is not restrictive at all and exists mostly to help negotiators of media companies convince their bosses that Apple can be trusted. Those bosses are 50 years old and up until 3 yrs ago they never touched a computer. All they saw was a system they didn't understand where people stole their trade. It takes a concept like DRM to get them over the bridge, but after 10 more years the world will be DRM free, hopefully.

Last edited by Doxxic : 2006-03-15 at 05:15.
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Wrao
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2006-03-15, 05:11

I don't mind apple DRM all that much. The system works fine for me and is rarely an inconvenience. I have purchased over 1000 songs on iTunes(mostly as albums), I love it.

Guess I drank the kool-aid, but still, it's really not an issue for me and I've gotten tons of great new music out of it all.

The only modification to Apple's DRM I would like to see is the ability to stream downloaded music to another computer without authorizing it, while mostly harmless for the average user, that would open a pretty wide avenue for easily (illegally) copying music.

I agree that the record labels are dinosaurs trying to operate under an old model in a new world, there are plenty of problems with how labels operate and etc...etc. But, none of that really affects me. Shrug. Maybe I'm selfish, or just plain stupid, iTunes treats me well and I have no incentive to change really.
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Barto
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2006-03-15, 05:21

As other people have said:

1) DRM locks you into a platform. No thanks.

2) DRM gives you a less useful product than a product without DRM. No thanks.

The above applies even to iTunes, which people hold up as a shining example of "good" DRM.

Again, no thanks.

The sky was deep black; Jesus still loved me. I started down the alley, wailing in a ragged bass.
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Wrao
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2006-03-15, 05:25

Quote:
Originally Posted by Barto
As other people have said:

1) DRM locks you into a platform. No thanks.

2) DRM gives you a less useful product than a product without DRM. No thanks.

The above applies even to iTunes, which people hold up as a shining example of "good" DRM.

Again, no thanks.

1. Perfectly valid, but if the platform works perfectly for you, or even exceeds your needs, what me worry?

2. How? You listen to music. Having a variety of formats or the ability to easily copy to an infinite number of locations doesn't inherently make the product any more useful(a metaphor to apple's entire business model can be applied here). Perhaps for some, but I would suspect they are a minority. Again, if it meets your needs(which, for most people are pretty damn simple... you listen to music), DRM'd music isn't exactly less useful, it still accomplishes its primary and most used use just fine.
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Barto
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2006-03-15, 06:11

iTunes forces you to:

Use iTunes now and forever
Use Mac OS X or Windows now and forever
Use an iPod now and forever.

It's not the "now" part I'm concerned about.

The sky was deep black; Jesus still loved me. I started down the alley, wailing in a ragged bass.
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wecallitfall
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2006-03-15, 06:17

simple answer -> dont buy music from the iTunes music store

support your local record store, buy a CD, get a nice hard copy with shiny photos and lyrics and all the other great things that make owning hard copies a joy

after all theres nothing quite like a shelf full of CDs (even if you are just gonna burn them to iTunes in the end
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Brad
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2006-03-15, 06:20

Quote:
Originally Posted by wecallitfall
simple answer -> dont buy music from the iTunes music store

support your local record store, buy a CD, get a nice hard copy with shiny photos and lyrics and all the other great things that make owning hard copies a joy

after all theres nothing quite like a shelf full of CDs (even if you are just gonna burn them to iTunes in the end
That won't matter when content is no longer available on unprotected CDs. We already have albums that are exclusive to iTunes. That trend is likely to continue growing because it means a higher profit margin for the content industry (no wasted money on physical products, shipping, storage, etc).

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AWR
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2006-03-15, 06:25

Quote:
Originally Posted by Barto
iTunes forces you to:

Use iTunes now and forever
Use Mac OS X or Windows now and forever
Use an iPod now and forever.

It's not the "now" part I'm concerned about.
I am a complete n00b, but maybe that's what this needs.

Barto, from what I've gathered in this thread and in the other 'French' thread, I don't understand your points.

Can't one just buy the music, ditch the DRM, put the music back on to their computer, and then proceed to use any software, player or operating system they choose.

Maybe I'm confused.
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atomicbartbeans
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2006-03-15, 06:36

Yeah; even though Apple's DRM is the least restrictive around, I try to steer away from DRM'ed content as principle. For the last couple years, I've totally been in love with Apple computers and iPods... what if that changes a few years from now?

I'm sick of the terminology content providers use here... I don't license content I buy, I own it. Do you get a EULA with the purchase of a DVD? A CD*? No, because you paid for it... you own it. iTMS and others should be no different.

The truth is, I can legally do whatever I want with a CD I buy in the store. I can rip it to iTunes (and at a higher bitrate as well) and play it on all my computers (including Linux), burn mix CDs, put them on my iPod, whatever. Fair Use has allowed me to do this since I was born. I paid good money for that CD, so I can listen to it however the hell I want.

So why should these internet music stores (iTMS was the first, but more followed) restrict how I can listen to my music? I'm pretty much paying the same price I would in a retail store for lower-quality compressed music, and on top of that, I'm limited in how I can listen to it? No thanks, I'll take my business elsewhere.

Now you cannot tell me that removing DRM from iTMS purchases would decrease sales. I would definitely become a more regular customer if the songs were distributed without DRM.

(*Haha, well Sony changed this...)

Edit: Here's an interesting analogy... what if Petco sold DRM'ed guinea pigs?



When you bought the guinea pigs, you had to sign a lengthy license agreement in the store. You had to keep them in Petco-brand cages and feed them Petco-brand food. If your guinea pigs make babies, you cannot give them away or sell them to friends... that would be guinea pig piracy, since you'd be taking business away from Petco. Your guinea pig DRM says that guinea pig breeding is for personal use only; distributing the puppies would be a violation of your EULA.

What kind of a crap deal would that be? You're pretty much getting the same thing with iTMS.

You ask me for a hamburger.

Last edited by atomicbartbeans : 2006-03-15 at 07:01.
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euain
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2006-03-15, 07:01

Quote:
Originally Posted by atomicbartbeans
YI'm sick of the terminology content providers use here... I don't license content I buy, I own it. Do you get a EULA with the purchase of a DVD? A CD*?

The truth is, I can legally do whatever I want with a CD I buy in the store. I can rip it to iTunes (and at a higher bitrate as well) and play it on all my computers (including Linux), burn mix CDs, put them on my iPod, whatever. Fair Use has allowed me to do this since I was born. I paid good money for that CD, so I can listen to it however the hell I want.
But this ripping/fair use is exactly what you are not allowed to do with a DVD. It is against the law in the US (and probably over here too?) to circumvent the copy protection on a DVD.

I am pretty sure that you don't own the contents when you buy a CD either. You certainly don't own any copyright on it and can't do whatever you want with it. You aren't allowed to copy it and give it to all your friends, sell copies, claim it's your own material etc.
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atomicbartbeans
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2006-03-15, 07:04

That's true (and why I didn't use DVDs as an example)... you can thank the motherfucks who invented the DMCA for that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by euain
I am pretty sure that you don't own the contents when you buy a CD either. You certainly don't own any copyright on it and can't do whatever you want with it. You aren't allowed to copy it and give it to all your friends, sell copies, claim it's your own material etc.
No, but you are allowed to make as many personal copies as you want, and listen to it on whatever devices you want. Owning the music isn't the same as owning rights to the music.

You ask me for a hamburger.
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euain
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2006-03-15, 07:22

Quote:
Owning the music isn't the same as owning rights to the music.
I think that's what I was trying to say

From my first read of your post, I got the impression that you were saying that once you bought a CD, you could (as in were permitted rather than were physically able to) do with the contents of the CD whatever you wanted. This is not the case.

In terms of ownership, you could say that you own the file that you downloaded from iTunes - it was just that in order to do anything useful with it (listen to it), you need to have Apple's permission (authorise your computer). There is nothing Apple could do to stop you printing out a binary dump of the file and using it as wallpaper - but that's not really as much fun as listening to it. So - yes, I'd agree that DRM sucks!

I don't have a CD to look at but I am pretty sure there is a copyright paragraph somewhere on the packaging of most of them that is not all the different to an EULA (i.e. specifies not for public performance etc.).
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Doxxic
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2006-03-15, 07:33

Quote:
Originally Posted by Barto
iTunes forces you to:

Use iTunes now and forever
Use Mac OS X or Windows now and forever
Use an iPod now and forever.

It's not the "now" part I'm concerned about.
Not true. Burn your music on a cd and voila: you have a cd with unprotected, unrestricted music you can play anywhere and rip as many times as you want.

Apple DRM is a joke. Fake. Non-existent. A placebo for record bosses with cold feet who are finding out that they aren't earning one penny less for it.

And to consumers, Apple DRM is no restriction, only a little inconvenience sometimes which is easily compensated by the ease of use of iTunes as a whole.

I said it before: essential is that the new French laws favor Apple's licencing model and hurt the really strict subscription models that Microsoft et al. have. It's Microsoft who has to worry.
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euain
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2006-03-15, 08:15

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doxxic
Not true. Burn your music on a cd and voila: you have a cd with unprotected, unrestricted music you can play anywhere and rip as many times as you want.
The only - but major - caveat to this is that your iTunes download is compressed in a lossy format. If you burn it to CD, you have music at the same quality as your original iTunes download - i.e. less than CD quality but, to my ears at least, generally not too bad.

If you rip it again, you can either do it lossless and use a lot of disk space or lossy (AAC/mp3/whatever) and take a second quality hit. So you do have DRM-free music but it's either very large or lower quality than the music you bought.
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Doxxic
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2006-03-15, 09:08

Quote:
Originally Posted by euain
The only - but major - caveat to this is that your iTunes download is compressed in a lossy format. If you burn it to CD, you have music at the same quality as your original iTunes download - i.e. less than CD quality but, to my ears at least, generally not too bad.

If you rip it again, you can either do it lossless and use a lot of disk space or lossy (AAC/mp3/whatever) and take a second quality hit. So you do have DRM-free music but it's either very large or lower quality than the music you bought.
Yes I agree with that, but the quality of what you get is unrelated to the way you copy/convert your music. Not to having DRM protected songs on iTunes or not, or changing the French law or not, which is what this discussion is about.
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Brad
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2006-03-15, 10:05

Quote:
Originally Posted by atomicbartbeans
what if Petco sold DRM'ed guinea pigs?

[...]

If your guinea pigs make babies, you cannot give them away or sell them to friends... that would be guinea pig piracy, since you'd be taking business away from Petco.
Actually, a better analogy would say the guinea pigs are sterilized when you buy them so you cannot make any derived works (ie. no sampling even for personal use, no fair use laws).

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