Apple embeds user data in iTunes Plus songs – So What?

You’d think we had started a war. Cory Doctorow, who I respect for his EFF work, has gone off the deep end calling iTunes 7.2 a “downgrade”. CNET quotes:

Songs available on iTunes Plus reveal users’ personal information. Privacy group suspects Apple goofed.

First off, did anyone think Apple was going to just sell plain raw bit unencrypted files? Come on!

Secondly, this is not an invasion of privacy at all. Songs don’t reveal any personal information. Giving those songs to others and having them hack out the data reveals your personal information. Keep your songs to yourself!

I am sick and tired of people who think they should be able to freely give purchased content away to others. Apple and EMI have gone out on a big limb and an even larger experiment. If sales plummet, guess what? The RIAA will be in SEE! PIRACY! mode and we’ll all go back to the dark ages.

I believe in privacy, I really do. However, Apple embedded your personal information in content that only you should have is no different than them saving your email address in a Mail application preferences.

So they didn’t tell people they were doing it? So what? Don’t pirate music and you won’t get burned.

Now you can back up this wonderful new iTunes Plus music and if the iTunes Music Store ever dies, it will still play. This is a huge benefit to users and those bitching about this are like little kids who got their Star Wars vehicle for XMAS but didn’t get each and every action figure. Its childish and this is exactly the kind of rigidness the RIAA and MPAA use to slap us with ridiculous restrictions.

Cory – Thanks for your work in pressuring companies to ditch DRM. Now back off. Have a drink. Take a nap. Go on vacation.


From Wired:

“There’s absolutely no reason that it had to be embedded, unencrypted and in the clear,” said Fred von Lohmann, a senior intellectual property attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation. “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 e-mail address of its rightful owner.”

Good! They’ll know where to return it. I know people who engrave their email address on the back. Now when the stolen iPod is recovered, I can prove its mine. Its not like the meth addict who stole it is going to need my email address, they already have it.

Gosh these guys.