iTunes Plus DRM-free Tracks: There’s a Catch

Inscribes personal information on each track.

After the euphoria that greeted yesterday’s launch of iTunes Plus DRM-free music downloads today we wake to a rather heady hangover…

Unfortunately Apple couldn’t resist one little (unpublicised) surprise: it’s tagging all iTunes Plus tracks with your personal information! Yes my friends, if you had designs on sharing your newly liberated downloads with others be sure you trust them a great deal because should they end up on a P2P network the whole world is going to know your name, your email address and the date and time you purchased it – and so are record labels and their lawyers…

Of course in theory this shouldn’t be a problem because trading files is naughty and none of us would/should ever do it… But that’s not the issue, my frustration is it is open to abuse. For one it exploits the less tech savvy who don’t know about this stuff and may innocently let others ‘try out’ some of their tracks without realising the ramifications. For another it encourages pranks/revenge since a user can simply enter someone else’s details ahead of purchase then deliberately share it…

There are further questions to pose too: what does Apple intend to do with all this information? Will it start to enforce its own brand of copyright enforcement by checking a user’s computer to see if all the files on it are ‘his/hers’? Who knows because Apple is currently refusing to comment.

So be careful out there kiddies. Legal DRM-free music is out there but it’s not the worry free wonderland it could’ve been, at least on iTunes…

iTunes UK

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