Friday, January 11, 2008

Music Labels scream Steal Our Tunes

Ok, I'll admit it. I like iTunes. Infact, I've purchased quite a bit of music from iTunes over the past few years inorder to feed my iPods. Some people, mostly geeks, sometimes ask "Why?" What they are really asking is is "Why would you purchase music from iTunes, that's DRM'd?"

My answer to this is fairly simple:

  1. iTunes is easy.

  2. iTunes is convenient.

  3. iTunes "just works".

  4. I've never been inconvenienced by iTune's DRM.

  5. Unless I've wanted to share music (illegally?), I've not been inconvenienced by iTunes.

Now when I say "illegally share music" it's mainly when one of my kids comes over and says "Oh you have the new Korn CD. Can you burn it for me?".

It was one thing when the kids were younger and living at home. We all shared tapes, cd's, vcr movies, dvd's. 1 But now that they don't live here, I don't think that "sharing" is right. It's a different location (in our case, cities now). If they want a cd, they should purchase it just like everyone else in the world.

Or, when I am listening to something and a friend says "Oh, I love that song. Oh you have the entire CD, can you burn it for me?"

I want to scream "no!". 2

The point that I'm trying to make by all this typing is that the music industry is really screwing themselves by trying to obfuscate iTunes. When I've had friends ask me to burn them something I'd say "Sorry, I bought this from iTunes, it's encrypted, it won't let me share it". 3

That used to be the end of the discussion. Now they follow up with "Well, why didn't you just buy it from Amazon, stuff from there isn't encrypted."

And you know, they're right. The music downloaded from Amazon isn't encrypted. I can burn it, copy it, ftp it, nntp it, scp it, rsync it, share it, copy it to USB keychain devices, etc. Neighbors can come over and grab a copy and I can go over to their house and get a copy of what they just bought.

And the labels are trying to obfuscate iTunes? What complete idiots they are. I'm at the point where I think the labels get what they deserve. They finally had a system where most people using it were not hindered by the DRM. It's a popular online system, there is a lot of people using it. One would think the Music Labels would be extactic about this. People purchasing music that they can't so easily "just share with anyone".

No, instead the Music Labels are once again showing their greed. They want to distrubute the music on their own and garner all the profits from that. I cannot blame them from wanting to maximize profit from the content they own. However, it took them so many years before they finally had a system like iTunes. And now they are screwing with it.

I think the Music Labels are idiots.

  • 1 When the kids were in middle-school and high school, cd's were easy gifts for them. And they'd listen to them for hours, and hours. Sometimes (dreadedly) the same cd over, and over, and over. But if they both wanted some CD by {insert artist here} there's no reason for us to buy two of them. It's simply unaffordable, and to be honest ridiculous to think we'd do otherwise.

  • 2 Some of have said that though it's technically illegal to share music, the labels are such asses that, well, go ahead and do it anyway. I dislike the idea of that way of thinking. I try not to use that way of thinking to justify sharing anything. However, with each bone-headed decision by the big-4 Music Labels, it seems more and more difficult to not think like that.

  • 3 Yes, I know this isn't exactly true. Yes, you can burn any purchased music to CD. However, you are burning an MP3 to CD, not the Audio track back to another CD. The quality of the CD would be, in my opininon, 'lame'. Rather then try to explain this (to some that will just look back with a glassy-eyed-stare) I just lie. It's easier that way.