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danrok 1st June, 2007 05:52 PM

Apple's lawyers have got you tagged
AOA News on Apple iTunes Plus:


Daniel ~ 1st June, 2007 06:13 PM

So this was what Steve had waiting in the wings as he soared above the crass greed that surrounded him in the Music by the pound world the poor man was born into.

Alone against the world with only a completely disingenuous approach to guide him. Steve set out the change the way we are monitored to assure that Steve's vision and protection scheme is the one that prevails!

And to think, he came up with this without any help from Bill or Stalin!

danrok 1st June, 2007 06:37 PM

It looks like Ars Technica were the ones to first discover this:

Daniel ~ 1st June, 2007 08:10 PM

Whoa! ARS isn't loading! Not your link, tried my own!

Could not connect to remote server

You tried to access the address, which is currently unavailable. Please make sure that the Web address (URL) is correctly spelled and punctuated, then try reloading the page.
Make sure your Internet connection is active and check whether other applications that rely on the same connection are working.
Check that the setup of any Internet security software is correct and does not interfere with ordinary Web browsing.
If you are behind a firewall on a Local Area Network and think this may be causing problems, talk to your systems administrator.
Try pressing the F12 key on your keyboard and disabling proxy servers, unless you know that you are required to use a proxy to connect to the Internet. Reload the page.

danrok 1st June, 2007 08:30 PM

They've been linked to, as the source, on the BBC website, so possibly their server is overloaded right now.

Daniel ~ 1st June, 2007 09:02 PM

It's up now.

"The big question", of course, is what might Apple do with this information? "

What else would they do with it? Screw their customers and claim their stock holders made them do it!

cloasters 2nd June, 2007 12:57 AM

Funny, I just dumped an email from Mr Jobs. I tunes plus my butt.

Toro 2nd June, 2007 04:59 PM

equals owned

Man... I'm glad I don't use iTunes :)

Samuknow 4th June, 2007 06:09 PM

Is there any privacy?

This is nuts.

Aedan 5th June, 2007 09:21 AM

Umm, why is this suddenly an issue? Apple have been putting exactly the same information in the tracks that contain DRM.


Originally Posted by ars technica
Apple embeds your account information in all songs sold on the store, not just DRM-free songs. Previously it wasn't much of a big deal, since no one could imagine users sharing encrypted, DRMed content. But now that DRM-free music from Apple is on the loose, the hidden data is more significant since it could theoretically be used to trace shared tunes back to the original owner. It must also be kept in mind that this kind of information could be spoofed.

I fail to see why people are making such a big fuss about this, when they're quite happy to allow malware take control of their machines and spew spam out over the internet (and make the occasional DDoS attack). I think some perspective might be in order first - after all, those who are criminally minded would much prefer your bank account details to a few itunes tracks.

Daniel ~ 5th June, 2007 03:42 PM

I'm afraid that IS their perspective. Steve doesn't much mind someone emptying our accounts so long as he can trace where the music went when he wants to bill someone.

In ancient China music was regarded as something serious and holy. It joined them together in common celebration of life allowing them to invite thire ancestors to be present. Thus they gave expression to mankind deepest feelings though music and scared pantomimes; laying the foundations for a scattered group of tribes to become Nation. Thus reverence was seen as the true foundation of all culture.

Now Music is the Providence of lawyers and tax collectors.

It doesn't have to be like this, it wasn't always like this... we can change. Tribes can grow beyond this, We have yet to become Nation in our hearts, we are letting the music die.

Aedan 5th June, 2007 04:24 PM

Now I'm completely lost I'm afraid. Why is Apple embedding a user ID/email address in a file a problem?

Daniel ~ 5th June, 2007 04:47 PM

To answer that we must first ask why they did it, yes? And weather they did it to help further music and mankind, or to enslave music to create wealth that on the whole will not be shared in by the people who create and buy the music.

Did we or anyone elect these guys to make these massive determinations as to how we will deal with these things? No. They are our conquers. They do what they do by way of force, not by popular approval.

I object to just about anything that increase their power over us. We have already seen how they will use it.

But if your completely lost, I've probably missed something.":O}

danrok 5th June, 2007 04:53 PM

DRM files are not easily distributed, as is. So, the embedded user ID would be less of an issue, in a file of that type.

There was time when music was just a groove cut in to a piece of black plastic. There was no obvious liability associated with owning a record. I don't want liability when I buy music. This is something I do for fun!

Most people don't understand the technology used here, so I think it is understandable that people will be unhappy about a file having their unique ID stamped on it. Especially, given that piracy is a serious criminal offence.

It's much like me seeing my name and address on a official form, written in a language I don't understand. Perhaps, the form is harmless, but how am I to know?

Any worries people may have, aren't just about DRM, but new technology in general. Banks assure us that our money is totally safe, when transacted digitally, as in online banking, credit cards, etc.

But we know this is completely false. Fraud protection sounds good until someone empties your bank account, and you have to wait a month or more to get your money back. How do you pay bills in the meantime?

Aedan 5th June, 2007 05:23 PM

Why is a non-DRM file more easily distributed than a DRM file? Both are equally distributable. Why is it suddenly a problem when the file doesn't have DRM on it?

danrok 5th June, 2007 05:36 PM

I thought the whole idea of DRM was that it rendered the track unplayable on unathorised devices?

Toro 5th June, 2007 09:41 PM

That is the idea. So for it to work, it has to be able to ID itself somehow.

However Danrok, im sure you know as well as anyone else on these forums that DRM is breakable, just like any other security measure you may take. Generally only a matter of time

danrok 5th June, 2007 09:57 PM

Yes, and none of this deters any largescale organised piracy, any more than a police raid on a drug dealer's den has any effect on the drugs trade.

DRM is on par with peeing in to the wind.

Gizmo 5th June, 2007 10:00 PM


Originally Posted by danrok
I thought the whole idea of DRM was that it rendered the track unplayable on unathorised devices?

Unplayable and undistributable are two different things.

Áedán has a valid point: if having this personal information in the DRM'ed file was ok with everyone, why is having this personal information in the non-DRM'ed file all of a sudden NOT ok?

What has changed? The same personally identifiable information existed in BOTH formats.

One would think the uproar should have occurred at the time that Apple started distributing personally identifiable information PERIOD. It did not. It only became an issue when the file no longer contained DRM.

What does that tell you?

It suggests that the people squealing about this the loudest are the ones who are the most likely to go around passing out copies of their music to anyone who wants it.

It is also possible that the people squealing about the issue simply weren't playing in the market before, because they didn't like DRM, and so it wasn't an issue that rose to the fore.

I don't have sufficient data to determine if that is in fact what is going on or not. There are some things that would tend to make one lean that way when you think about it, though, e.g.:

Most of the people who could be called 'privacy advocates' are also going to tend to be part of the 'anti-DRM' crowd, I would guess. As a result, this wouldn't be an issue for them until they downloaded music which contained personally identifiable data, and that wouldn't happen until the music came without DRM.

I'm sure there are other reasons that could be brought to mind as well.

danrok 5th June, 2007 10:22 PM

There were noises being made about DRM and your ID being included, at the time. I do recall that, just about.

However, it was early days and the media hadn't really got their teeth in to it. Plus most consumers would not have paid much attention to stories about DRM. It takes time for people to catch on to what these things are all about.

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