Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Apple Dis-Harmony?

DRM is just a way to keep the honest people honest, right? To stop people infringing copyright?

Well, RealNetworks online music store Harmony which sells iPod DRM-compatible tunes would disagree, I suspect.
Apple Computer has quietly updated its iPod software so that songs purchased from RealNetworks' online music store will no longer play on some of the Mac maker's popular MP3 players.

The move could render tunes purchased by many iPod owners unplayable on their music players.

Just to get this straight: Apple has deliberately stopped their own customers -- that is, people who bought iPods (since we presume those who stole them don't pay for music) -- from playing legally electronically purchased (but DRM-encumbered) music on their iPods because it was bought from a source other than iTunes.

I guess DRM's really about corporate control and locking consumers into one company after all... how... Microsoftian of Apple. (And, ironically, Media Player 10 offers the user a choice of "Online stores" including but not limited to Microsoft's own... though one assumes they all pay license fees to the Great Cthulu of Computing, so it's not quite... ahem... Apples to oranges).

I guess iPod owners who want more choice will just have to go back to infringing copyright...

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