iTunes: anti-piracy = anti-privacy

ipoditunes-tv-ad_top1_20070109.jpgApple iTunes has stopped including DRM in the music they sell. So now there is nothing stopping an evil pirate posting his tracks to a P2P network, allowing his music files to be downloaded and enjoyed for free by millions of people who haven’t paid the copyright holder a penny.

But isn’t quite simple: the unprotected music files contain a “watermark” that identifies who bought the track. So, if copyright investigators find in a P2P network a file with your name on it, they’ll know that you are a pirate!!

No doubt some people admire Apple for this deft handling of the piracy problem. But this system is infringing on the privacy of every iTunes customer. The Guardian newspaper reported on this:

http://technology.guardian.co.uk/weekly/story/0,,2101811,00.html

The Electronic Frontier Foundation is an organization that campaigns for robust online privacy standards. They are appalled at Apple’s irresponsible behaviour. EFF spokesman Fred Lohmann said “There’s absolutely no reason that it had to be embedded, unencrypted and in the clear. Some of the privacy problems, in light of this, is that anyone who steals an iPod that includes purchased iTunes music will now have the name and email address of its rightful owner.”

And there’s another potential problem: if that thief posts your files to a P2P network and the copyright cops swoop, you will be identified as the pirate. And I’m pretty sure they hang pirates…

5 Responses to iTunes: anti-piracy = anti-privacy

  1. joe says:

    Why does Itunes help content pirates? They are destroying the rights of all creative people. They force tunes on everyone. Providing the whole world with a way of ripping off content. Why is this allowed?

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  4. Martin X says:

    Physical Therapy Millhurst NJ: Your comment completely baffled me, as I had no idea what “K-Meleon” is. So I asked my friend Google, and it turns out that K-Meleon is “a fast and customizable lightweight web browser for Windows”. So, I assume that for some reason, my blog isn’t compatible with K-Meleon. In other words, I think K-Meleon just can’t display that page. I don’t know why that would be. But that’s the only thing I can think of.

    As for a possible solution: I suggest using a different browser to view the blog page in question. You use Win7, I think, as what I read suggested Win7 is the only operating system to work with K-Meleon. So, that means you should be able to get Google Chrome Browser and IE8 for free. Try one of them (or both, if you like) and see if you can view the blog then.

  5. DMCA says:

    DMCA…

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