Donna Wentworth
( Archive | Home | Technorati Profile)

Ernest Miller
( Archive | Home )

Elizabeth Rader
( Archive | Home )

Jason Schultz
( Archive | Home )

Wendy Seltzer
( Archive | Home | Technorati Profile )

Aaron Swartz
( Archive | Home )

Alan Wexelblat
( Archive | Home )

About this weblog
Here we'll explore the nexus of legal rulings, Capitol Hill policy-making, technical standards development, and technological innovation that creates -- and will recreate -- the networked world as we know it. Among the topics we'll touch on: intellectual property conflicts, technical architecture and innovation, the evolution of copyright, private vs. public interests in Net policy-making, lobbying and the law, and more.

Disclaimer: the opinions expressed in this weblog are those of the authors and not of their respective institutions.

What Does "Copyfight" Mean?

Copyfight, the Solo Years: April 2002-March 2004

a Typical Joe
Academic Copyright
Jack Balkin
John Perry Barlow
Blogbook IP
David Bollier
James Boyle
Robert Boynton
Brad Ideas
Ren Bucholz
Cabalamat: Digital Rights
Cinema Minima
Consensus @ Lawyerpoint
Copyfighter's Musings
Copyright Readings
CopyrightWatch Canada
Susan Crawford
Walt Crawford
Creative Commons
Cruelty to Analog
Culture Cat
Deep Links
Derivative Work
Julian Dibbell
Digital Copyright Canada
Displacement of Concepts
Downhill Battle
Exploded Library
Bret Fausett
Edward Felten - Freedom to Tinker
Edward Felten - Dashlog
Frank Field
Seth Finkelstein
Brian Flemming
Frankston, Reed
Free Culture
Free Range Librarian
Michael Froomkin
Michael Geist
Michael Geist's BNA News
Dan Gillmor
Mike Godwin
Joe Gratz
James Grimmelmann
Groklaw News
Matt Haughey
Erik J. Heels
Induce Act blog
Inter Alia
IP & Social Justice
IPac blog
Joi Ito
Jon Johansen
JD Lasica
Legal Theory Blog
Lenz Blog
Larry Lessig
Jessica Litman
James Love
Alex Macgillivray
Madisonian Theory
Maison Bisson
Kevin Marks
Tim Marman
Matt Rolls a Hoover
Mary Minow
Declan McCullagh
Eben Moglen
Dan Moniz
Danny O'Brien
Open Access
Open Codex
John Palfrey
Chris Palmer
Promote the Progress
PK News
PVR Blog
Eric Raymond
Joseph Reagle
Recording Industry vs. the People
Lisa Rein
Thomas Roessler
Seth Schoen
Doc Searls
Seb's Open Research
Shifted Librarian
Doug Simpson
Stay Free! Daily
Sarah Stirland
Swarthmore Coalition
Tech Law Advisor
Technology Liberation Front
Siva Vaidhyanathan
Vertical Hold
Kim Weatherall
David Weinberger
Matthew Yglesias

Timothy Armstrong
Bag and Baggage
Charles Bailey
Beltway Blogroll
Between Lawyers
Blawg Channel
Chief Blogging Officer
Drew Clark
Chris Cohen
Crooked Timber
Daily Whirl
Dead Parrots Society
Delaware Law Office
J. Bradford DeLong
Betsy Devine
Ben Edelman
Ernie the Attorney
How Appealing
Industry Standard
IP Democracy
IP Watch
Dennis Kennedy
Rick Klau
Wendy Koslow
Elizabeth L. Lawley
Jerry Lawson
Legal Reader
Likelihood of Confusion
Chris Locke
Derek Lowe
MIT Tech Review
Paper Chase
Frank Paynter
Scott Rosenberg
Scrivener's Error
Jeneane Sessum
Silent Lucidity
Smart Mobs
Trademark Blog
Eugene Volokh
Kevin Werbach

Berkman @ Harvard
Chilling Effects
CIS @ Stanford
Copyright Reform
Creative Commons
Global Internet Proj.
Info Commons
IP Justice
ISP @ Yale
NY for Fair Use
Open Content
Public Knowledge
Shidler Center @ UW
Tech Center @ GMU
U. Maine Tech Law Center
US Copyright Office
US Dept. of Justice
US Patent Office

In the Pipeline: Don't miss Derek Lowe's excellent commentary on drug discovery and the pharma industry in general at In the Pipeline


« Copyfight Quote of the Week | Main | Australia's "DMCA" - The Bad News About the Good News »

April 29, 2004

Meet The New iTunes, Less than the Old iTunes

Email This Entry

Posted by Jason Schultz

Jim Heid's Mac iLife 04 Site has an excellent review of the numerous changes in Apple's new version of iTunes 4.5 (iTunes 4.5: More to the store, new ways to play, and ripping without losing).

One of the major changes, he notes, is stricter DRM on the songs you buy from the iTunes Music Store:

In iTunes 4.5, you can authorize up to five Macs or Windows computers to play your purchased music -- up from three. But Apple giveth and Apple taketh away: you can now burn a playlist containing purchased music up to seven times (down from ten). And the old workaround of simply changing the playlist slightly does not work.

So after one year and 70 million songs, $0.99 now buys you less rather than more -- seven hard burns instead of ten soft ones. What will Apple "allow" us to do with the music we "buy" next year? three burns? one? zero?

And what about the songs you've already bought? Don't we get to keep the rights we had before the change?

Well, Apple has conveniently reserved its rights to make changes -- unilaterially -- to its DRM and your ability to make fair use via its Terms of Service and Terms of Sale pretty much anytime it pleases, without even having to give you notice:

You shall be entitled to burn and export Products solely for personal, non-commercial use.
Any burning or exporting capabilities are solely an accommodation to you and shall not constitute a grant or waiver (or other limitation or implication) of any rights of the copyright owners of any content, sound recording, underlying musical composition or artwork embodied in any Product.
Apple reserves the right to change the terms and conditions of sale at the iTunes Music Store at any time. Customers are encouraged to review the Sales Policies on a periodic basis for modifications.

Comments (8) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: IP Abuse


1. cypherpunk on April 30, 2004 2:10 AM writes...

Let's not forget that there are checks and balances in this system. Consumers are no more at Apple's mercy than Apple is at the consumers'. Apple's dominant market position is not that certain; Walmart started much more recently and has already reached over 50% of iTunes' market share. Ultimately it is this intense competition among music retailers which is the best protection of consumers' interests.

Permalink to Comment

2. Brad Hutchings on April 30, 2004 2:58 PM writes...

So go back to stealing your music on Kaaza. Do you guys know why Apple and the music companies make these kind of superficial, marginal changes? Here's a clue... The free culture crowd is falling all over themselves because they can only burn their playlist 7 times. This is silly. I could burn enough copies to fill up the in-dash CD changer in my Mustang, and still have one burn left over to dish off to a buddy. Puh-lease. The debate is no longer about whether people should pay for music. You've lost it (thankfully), and in engaging in these silly debates, you've marginalized yourselves to being convenient pawns of the recording industry.


Permalink to Comment

3. seaan on April 30, 2004 3:01 PM writes...

To rephrase cyperpunk's argument, Apple can change their promises (contract) anytime they want, and that is OK because the market will compensate if the terms get too outrageous. In the long run that might be true, but in the short term what has happened to the value of the materials I bought under a different promise?

That seems inconsistent with a push towards clear agreements between consumers and the companies that want to sell things to them. These open-ended changeable contracts (enforced by DRM) are just the perfect illustration of my point that DRM backed promises become more obscure and less favorable to the consumer.

Of course as a copyright reformist, I had enough knowledge to spot this clause in the iTune promise. I made my decision not to spend my money on a changeable promise (and because the price/feature ration was not right). I have a number of friends who bought iTune songs from Apple without really understanding all the fine print because they trust Apple not to do anything wrong. I guess they really did need a lawyer to explain the hidden ramifications of the fine print!

Although I don't think this particular change will be a tipping point (although I had a number of friends tell me the "changeable" play list contributed toward their purchase decision), they have little legal recourse if they decide they don't like the new terms. The ability to not buy new stuff (and thereby try to hurt Apple, who might not even want to be in the market anymore) is little compensation for the $500 purchased iTunes that are now worth considerably less under Apple's changed set of promises.

Permalink to Comment

4. Firas on May 1, 2004 2:57 AM writes...

cypherpunk: "Ultimately it is this intense competition among music retailers which is the best protection of consumers' interests."

Oh yeah, because music publishers have never been known to engage in anticompetitive practices, have they?

Permalink to Comment

5. Scott Sanders on May 3, 2004 2:53 PM writes...

Brad, I hope you never wreck your Mustang with your buddy in it.

Permalink to Comment

6. glyph on May 5, 2004 2:49 AM writes...

"And what about the songs you've already bought? Don't we get to keep the rights we had before the change?"

Actually, yes you do. The DRM "PlayFair" has multiple versions. Older files are version one and still have the original restriction of ten burns; that has not changed. Only new "version two" files have the seven burns restriction.

Oddly though, it seems that version one PlayFair files did get the increase to five machines for authorization, so if anything, it looks that version one files got an increase in what is allowed, not a restriction.

Permalink to Comment

7. reductil on July 6, 2004 10:21 PM writes...

Great site fatty lose weight with reductil and reductil uk

Permalink to Comment

8. Car hire UK on July 21, 2004 9:32 AM writes...

Hire a car to feel higher!

Permalink to Comment


Email this entry to:

Your email address:

Message (optional):

Sherlock Holmes as Classical Fairytale
Trademark Law Includes False Endorsement
Kickstarter Math
IP Without Scarcity
Crash Patents
Why Create?
Facebook Admits it Might Have a Video Piracy Problem
A Natural Superfood, and Intellectual Property