Has the RIAA ownz0r'd Your Apple? - Updated

by Steve Mallett

One of my fears of buying an Apple came true yesterday. Apple crippled iTunes in a somewhat sneaky, under the radar kind of way. With the newest update, some of iTunes 'sharing' capabilities were dismantled.


Let's just say this isn't something you see happening to the Linux kernel OK, but this is a proprietary application, as 'freeware' as it is.


I don't think this would have happened in the pre Apple Music store era. Now it looks like the Music store, which iTunes is integral in, is a major revenue stream for Apple.


But, we have to buy this music through iTunes for Apple to make money. So as the ones with money we are the ones with the power in this relationship right? I'm not so sure. This has the creepy feeling about it that the RIAA has essentially managed your computer more than Apple has. I put on my tinfoil hat to write this, but how implausible is this scenario? The RIAA certainly doesn't seem to have a care in the world about giving customers what they want, like fair use, so why should they care that Apple might want to?


My point here is that you, dear Apple owner, were not consulted. You don't have the power in this relationship whatever the reason for iTunes to become more crippleware than it was a week ago.


I going to reserve total judgement on this, other than to say I'm feeling a little discouraged, to see how this plays out over the next week. It will be interesting to see how much your interests are discussed. Let's all remember that people can continue to share their legally purchased music without iTunes at all.


Update and Response:


  • "The sad fact is that a few idiots have ruined it for the rest of us." This is a resounding sentiment isn't it? Frankly I'm surprised at how many people, here and elsewhere, feel that when there are a few people abusing something that it should be taken away from everyone. What are you people thinking? Have a double latte & wake up.
  • I'm not demonizing Apple as much as you've perceived. I still don't believe that this "network access enhancement" would have taken place before the RIAA was in the picture with the Music store. What I am trying to emphasize is that the supplier, in this case the RIAA, has more power in this than the Apple customer. And that is not normal operating procedure folks.
  • To clarify, I own an ibook.
  • "Let's just say this isn't something you see happening to the Linux kernel OK, but this is a proprietary application, as 'freeware' as it is." This does sound smarmy doesn't it? My point here is that iTunes is proprietary so Apple can do whatever it wants to it even if the cost is zero. I was actually trying to give Apple leeway here.
  • "People who purchase the music have no rights to decide what is fair use and adapt it as they see fit." This same mentality almost cost you from having a VCR. Again, wake up.
  • Added Thursday: One poster here has done some additional research into the question of whether this feature was actually a bug. He writes:
    NOT TRUE: "Show Package Contents" of (the original) iTunes 4. Open the following file(s) in Safari:


    /Applications/iTunes.app/Contents/
    Resources/English.lproj/iTunes
    Help/pgs/695.html


    There you will see a note from the original help file: "You can also share
    your music with a computer that is not in the same subnet as you by setting up the other computer to look for shared music at your computer's IP address."



    ...and also: /Applications/iTunes.app/
    Contents/Resources/English.lproj/iTunesHelp/pgs/705.html


    ...where you will see: "To see the shared music on a computer that is not in the same network subnet as your computer, choose Advanced > "Connect to Shared Music," then enter the IP address for the computer."



    This doesn't indicate that Apple was 'pinched' by the RIAA in this, but there were numerous comments here and via email that this type of sharing was an error/bug. This documentation would indicate otherwise for those interested.



I've also never been called a bum muncher before. That was pretty funny.

Feeling 0wnz0r'd?


59 Comments

kadams54
2003-05-28 06:13:41
Sneaky and under the radar? Wake up!
We all saw this coming.


Some sites in the Macintosh community decided to take advantage of iTunes' streaming capabilities to create what were essentially webcasting services available via the web (without paying any of the royalties legitimate webcasters pay). Sure, there was some argument about whether it constituted real webcasting.


But then things got a little more serious - others released programs such as iSlurp that could rip those streams into a local file. News networks everywhere picked up the story and generally sensationalized it (is Apple the next Napster?!?).


So what's Apple supposed to do? You're telling me that you didn't expect them to limit the streaming capabilities to the LAN?!? Come on, cut them some slack - they're walking a tightrope right now, trying to get the RIAA to make some consumer-oriented concessions.


It's not an easy position to be in.

spaceman
2003-05-28 06:26:08
Sneaky and under the radar? Wake up!
Is iTunes essential to being able to stream music? Last time I checked it was entirely easy to do sans iTunes.


And let's face the fact that the whole DRM of this deal was presented with a wink here and a wink there.


I also dislike disabling something that a few people do nefariously that affects a lot of people who use it legitimately.


Also, who told Apple it was an easy position to be in? They are grown ups, non?

zbir
2003-05-28 08:42:42
whinz0rs
Oh, for crying out loud. Internet sharing has been eliminated. Rendezvous sharing continues to be a feature. Share your music with your roommates and coworkers. Just don't share it with hordes of anonymous SpyMac kidz and other l33chers.


Yes, go right ahead and install Linux. Good luck, god bless.


Nice l337spe4k, by the way. Is this a new trend in O'Reilly quality? Should we expect more in the future?

anonymous2
2003-05-28 08:47:12
Crippled?
Last I checked, the new version of iTunes works exactly the way it was sold and described in the documentation -- it allows sharing on local subnets. The fact that it used to be broken (i.e. it allowed sharing beyond the subnet) doesn't mean that it's crippled now.


To me, that's like saying that if a login security hole gets fixed, that mainframe is "crippled" because I can no longer hack in.

anonymous2
2003-05-28 09:05:06
Geebuzz!
What was that again? Excuse me? Cripple?


It was bound to happen.


The usual bloody fucking __MORONS__ had to convert iTunes 4 into a worldwide __PIRACY__ tool rather than just __LISTEN__ to the music of friends worldwide.


They are the same __BOZOS___ (oops, I guess that may be someone around here) who now are going to protest in anger about Apple taking away their mini-me Napsters because they REALLY didn't use the feature to copy other artists songs, nah, they did it so they could share their OWN CasioTone tunes and singalongs. But of course.


That and the usual "they don't know if I have the rights to copy these songs! Those lamers! I am no pirate! They treat me like a bank robber! But they don't know if I am Robert Plant's and Jimmy Hendrix' BUDDY or NOT!!!" I can already see the headlines of the usual teeny Mac (lame, lame, lame, metoo, metoo, metoo) sites in MacSurfer. Not to talk about Slashdot. And The Register. They are going to have a blood fest, magnifying and distorting reality like always. Bloody BDSM lovers and FUD spreaders.


What I didn't expect is to see this kind of sillywalking in O'Reilly.


But keeping on with the rant, of course, all of them were aided by the __WANKERS__ who wanted their 15 seconds of l33t fame and tapped into perhaps one of the greatest iTunes features in order to convert it into a piracy tool.


Together, they just had to fuck it up for the rest of us. And why? Because these MORONS, BOZOS and WANKERS, instead of just enjoying the _listening_ of new music at a friend's virtual house, felt the URGE, the GREEDY urge to OWN the bits, to feed their ever-lasting appetites and hard drives, always wet and ready for more, no matter what. And they wanted it to be really easy, they just couldn't ask for it by iChat or Mail, like they ask to a friend for a record they REALLY like. Nah. It had to be easy, because this is the 21st Century and we want to be spoon-fed with everything, no matter what. It's a matter of being able to click and obtain easy, fast, INSTANT SATISFACTION, being it with a TV remote, a mouse or a PENETRATOR2000 with all the complements.


Well, thank _you_ MORONS, BOZOS and WANKERS of the world. Now enjoy the All-New, All-Improved Penetrator2000 4.0.1 who _YOU_, not Apple, has brought to the bedroom. More taste, less filling. Or less taste, lot more filling. I guess.


Thanks. Really.


No. Not really.


j.

anonymous2
2003-05-28 09:33:25
Wrong
Uhhh, Apple did not disable sharing. They disbled the loophole that allowed sharing over the internet. You can still share up to 5 computers on the same subnet as it was advertised when version 4.0 was released.


Nice, sneaky, under-the-radar, anti-proprietary company troll though.

altjeringa
2003-05-28 10:11:11
i'm owned
I'm going to miss listening to my home itunes library at work. Well, I'll miss it when I finally upgrade. Aside from punishing those of us who used this feature legally I'm thinking this also hurts the record companies in a big way. I did connect to person or two's libraries over the internet and guess what, I discovered a couple of bands that I quite liked while listening to thier libraries, bands I wanted to be able to listen to on my iPod or when the other user wasn't online, so I bought their songs from the Music Store.


On the other hand the record company, BMG, and the artist didn't get royalties from the radio station that I didn't listen to hear the music.

anonymous2
2003-05-28 10:19:42
Sneaky and under the radar? Wake up!
I agree. Expecting Apple to ignore the RIAA's demands is kind of like expecting the Columbian National Police to protect law-abiding citizens at the expense of FARC and the cartels. It'd be the nice thing to do, but they're hopelessly outgunned. Imagine how much money your typical bubblegum-pop or kill-em-all rap star has. Now, consider that they only receive about 15% or so of record royalties. The rest is sitting ready to mire Apple in litigation for the next ten years. Apple is in the unenviable position of middleman between the public and an immensly powerful yet clueless recording industry. In a way, the RIAA is like the last French monarchy: it's hollowed out and on the decline, but it can still damn well tell you to eat cake.
altjeringa
2003-05-28 10:23:38
i'm owned
I'm going to miss listening to my home itunes library at work. Well, I'll miss it when I finally upgrade. Aside from punishing those of us who used this feature legally I'm thinking this also hurts the record companies in a big way. I did connect to person or two's libraries over the internet and guess what, I discovered a couple of bands that I quite liked while listening to thier libraries, bands I wanted to be able to listen to on my iPod or when the other user wasn't online, so I bought their songs from the Music Store.


On the other hand the record company, BMG, and the artist didn't get royalties from the radio station that I didn't listen to hear the music. Nor was the radio station able to sell advertising. Nor was some advertiser able to get me to come into his store based on an ad I heard on that radio station. We've got to remember that there is a whole economic pipeline being subverted not just couple of Major labels.


Living in a capitalist system I think the only answer to changing to RIAA's crappy control of my freedom is to provide an alternative economic pipeline where by either they or another structure can profit enough to replace the old structure. It's not as simple as I want my freedom and as irked as I am about this iTunes update I think Apple has made the greatest strides toward giving me my freedom while also satisfiing the wolves at the RIAA.


That said. Boycott the RIAA.
http://www.boycott-riaa.com

anonymous2
2003-05-28 10:39:53
Sneaky?
You said:


"One of my fears of buying an Apple came true yesterday. Apple crippled iTunes in a somewhat sneaky, under the radar kind of way."


How was it sneaky in any way? Here is the description of the update, displayed prominently in the Software Update app BEFORE you install it:


"iTunes 4 features superior sound quality including support for MPEG-4 AAC audio. iTunes 4.0.1 includes a number of performance and network access enhancements, and *only allows music sharing between computers using iTunes 4.0.1 or later on a local network (in the same subnet)*. If you have an Apple SuperDrive, you can archive your song files to a DVD disc as well as burn playlists to standard audio CDs to play in your car or home stereo."


Note the section I marked with asterisks - it explains EXACTLY what the update does. I'm sorry that they did this too, but when idiots started publishing applications specifically to save this music rather than just stream it, it was inevitable. Leave it to a few people to screw it up for the rest of us.


Ian

anonymous2
2003-05-28 10:51:41
Did Apple ever claim that it was a feature?
Saying that it was sneaky is just plain wrong and it indicates that the release notes weren't read. If it was a bug that was removed, would Apple be accused of being sneaky? Hell no, they would be crucified because it wasn't fixed sooner!


I think there needs to be some clarification as to the classification of the behavior that allowed world wide sharing. Was it a bug or a feature? Did Apple ever state that this was a feature of iTunes?

anonymous2
2003-05-28 10:58:15
No I think that people were abusing the feature
No one can convince me that it is either morally ok or legal to share their music with any number of others over the internet without the permission of the owners of the music. People were abusing the functionality of iTunes to share music to go above and beyond what is fair use of the music. People who purchase the music have no rights to decide what is fair use and adapt it as they see fit.
anonymous2
2003-05-28 10:59:41
Steve should retract statements.
and post another story with this headline instead:


Have the Greedy, thieving, tamper throwing, cheap ass, illiegal action performing, pirates ownz0r'd the listening ability of honest digital music listeners?


Answer: Yes. And silly comments like "sneaky' only perpetuate it.


It fathoms me that people think trying to control music from being illegally distrubted is "evil" or "sneaky".


grow up.


or should i say; "gR%ow Upp"?


p.s.who else thinks that leet' languague instantly make a person sound like a twelve year old??


anonymous2
2003-05-28 11:00:11
i'm owned
While you are boycotting the RIAA which I assume means do not purchase music. I suggest that you also stop downloading it illegally. The more you avoid purchasing music and instead steal it via P2P software the more you are supporting the RIAA's assertion that you are just a thief.
anonymous2
2003-05-28 11:01:54
No I think that people were abusing the feature
Amen brother.


Common sense has seem to taken the day off.

anonymous2
2003-05-28 11:06:00
duh
class Article();
If(moron){
Good = Stealing+OpenSource;
Bad = Legal+Proprietary;
}
println Good;
println Bad;

while (posted)
Flames = Flames + 1;
return;


anonymous2
2003-05-28 11:13:56
An Apple Response: (read)
http://news.com.com/2100-1027_3-1010541.html


Apple said in the statement that it was "disappointed" that people had used the new feature in iTunes to copy music with strangers.


"Rendezvous music sharing...has been used by some in ways that have surprised and disappointed us," Apple said. "We designed it to allow friends and family to easily stream (not copy) their music between computers at home or in a small group setting, and it does this well. But some people are taking advantage of it to stream music over the Internet to people they do not even know."


So again I have to ask What the HELL was so SNEAKY about their actions?!?


anonymous2
2003-05-28 11:27:58
iTunes
As predicted, there is no limit to what the RIAA will do to screw customers and steal money. I refused to use iTunes to buy music from day one, and this is why. Friends told me,'Oh this is different'. It wasn't and isn't. The truth is, the RIAA has been ripping off customers for years without adding any value. Now that they have been bypassed, they are employing every unethical, illegal, and Nazi-like tactic they can think of to preserve their free ride. Well, it won't work. iTunes is just one small skirmish in the eventual fall of the rich middleman music distributor, and Apple made the wrong choice. The RIAA is alienating every music customer they have ever had, and Apple chose to be on their side. The innocent marks who have forked over their money will have a long memory. And by the way, I don't steal music. I have over 800 vinyl LP's (paid for) and about 600 CDs (paid for). Now I try to buy direct from the artists, like The String Cheese Incident or the Grateful Dead, avoiding where I can the RIAA. The RIAA are enemies of the US and some of the biggest crooks in the world, and I hope they rot in hell. And if Apple doesn't change their iTune, they'll go down in a similar fashion
anonymous2
2003-05-28 11:28:55
iTunes
ooh. trying to protect your copyrighted material from being stolen...


oooohhh how unamerican.


the RIAA aint saints but they aren't the devils you protray them to be either IMO.


and guess what else? adjusted for inflation, cd costs less then LPs did in the 70's


so much for gouging...

anonymous2
2003-05-28 11:30:21
Geebuzz!
I do agree 100% Who at O'Reilly let this butt-muncher write such a disingenuous article anyway?
anonymous2
2003-05-28 11:38:36
Stockholder's View
Buy a few Apple shares and I think your views will change. For Apple to turn a blind eye to pirating would destroy the iMS in a matter of days. This is a terrific revenue source and the stock prices reflect exactly that. Don't kill the goose simply to placate the freeloaders.
anonymous2
2003-05-28 11:40:01
iTunes
And guess how much it cost to stamp another CD? Let's see, blanks are a dime apiece including profit. I'll gladly pay artists for their recordings as well as their shows but I'm damned if I'll support an industry that resorts to hacking peoples' private computers because they suspect they browsed the web looking for music. Finding a way to protect copyrights is one thing. In this country, it is not legal to step all over the rights of the innocent to do it. Wake up and look at how YOUR rights are being infringed to preserve their monopoly. Maybe we should tap your telephone and put surveillance cameras on you as well to see if you might be fraternizing with suspected music thieves or engaging in some other activity that might be detrimental to the preservation of corporate monopolies.
anonymous2
2003-05-28 12:09:59
RIAA ownzOr'd
Grow up and live in the real world. The whole idea of iTMS was paying for music. If you want Apple to have access to the major labels (and no music service will survive without that), they have to take REASONABLE steps to ensure the security of their artists. I'm sure Apple did this on their own, without consulting with the RIAA. You get iTunes for free and Apple has been pretty fair about limiting "Big Brother" influences. As fair as is REASONABLY possible in a digital world. The key word once again is REASONABLE.
anonymous2
2003-05-28 12:16:44
Sneaky?
> Apple crippled iTunes in a somewhat sneaky, under the radar kind of way...


You have a strange definition of 'sneaky, under the radar.' From the software update control panel:


"...and only allows music sharing between computers using iTunes 4.0.1 or later on a local network (in the same subnet)."


And what does this have to do with the Music Store? Sharing of iTMS songs only works if the listening computer is authorised anyway, and it's been so since the beginning.

anonymous2
2003-05-28 12:18:51
bottom line
The feature was abused by the community. Apple gave an inch and the fanboys got so excited they took a yard. iTunes is not a filesharing application for random strangers thousands of miles apart, nor was it ever meant to be used in such a manor. The community screwed eachother on this one.
anonymous2
2003-05-28 13:30:08
iTunes
Ah i see.


You subscribe to the "RIAA is evil" therefore stealing is justified camp.


grow up thief.

anonymous2
2003-05-28 13:32:25
Stockholder's View
he doesn't even have to buy shares. he just needs to sell something that contains copyrightable "bits" and you will see how fast he does a 180 IMO.
kollivier
2003-05-28 14:04:28
Apple's bending over backwards...
... to give the consumer some rights (and a voice) with their streaming capabilities and new music service, but it seems that many people just don't care. Why? Because they've (openly) enabled some reasonable restrictions to thwart pirates. WHAT!?!? They must be ownz0r'd by the RIAA, and secretly thinking up all sorts of new ways to enslave us to them forever! Uhm, OK...


Want sneaky? Some other companies would have, say, put the announcement on page 20 of a 38 page EULA. THAT is sneaky. This is not, and in fact, it's pretty honest for a company releasing a restriction that they knew some people would not be happy with.


And what about the people who, although they already had numerous ways to share their music (illegally), decided to turn iTunes into one of the easiest software programs for illegally sharing music? No harsh words for them? No asking whether or not they have ownz0r'd Apple's software?


I know others have said much of this, but I really wish people would consider the position Apple is in before trying to lump it into some grand conspiracy. It really is not fair nor objective to do so. The RIAA has been heavy-handed against pirates, unreasonably so, but this doesn't mean that we should support pirates either. And this doesn't mean that every action to curb piracy is inherently bad, especially when the company is showing restraint in doing so.


Apple is trying to maintain a balance, which is a lot more of an effort than many companies are putting out. They should be applauded for it, not chastized.

anonymous2
2003-05-28 14:22:08
Buy an Apple?????
"One of my fears of buying an Apple came true yesterday. Apple crippled iTunes in a somewhat sneaky, under the radar kind of way. With the newest update, some of iTunes 'sharing' capabilities were dismantled."


Just for journalistic accuracy, that probably should have read, "When buying a Mac..."


Of course the rest of the paragraph should have been eliminated by common sense or an editor.


Have you ever used a Mac made by Apple computer. Just wonder, because only Wintel users would say something like "When using my Apple, or When buying an Apple."

anonymous2
2003-05-28 14:30:01
i'm owned, not
If I choose to boycott Save-On Foods, does that mean that I can no longer get food? What about Safeway, SuperStore, or Thrifty? What about restaurants?


Why is it that whenever someone suggests the boycotting of the RIAA/Big5 people like you immediately brand them as thieves? Don't ASSume that people that refuse to buy from the RIAA - who admitted to overcharging their CUSTOMERS - are thieves.


Those that use P2P are wrong. But, those that don't buy music (CD's, iTMS, etc) aren't. Just because YOU say so.

anonymous2
2003-05-28 15:05:18
no reason for Apple to ask you anything
You always have a say, simply vote with your dollars, if you don't like what Apple does, buy something else.


That will send a very clear message.


anonymous2
2003-05-28 15:18:16
RTFM
As has been noted the previous version of iTunes was only supposed to work on the local subnet. Apple patched the code to match the original documentation so I really do fail to see how this is some underhanded plot on Apple's part.


You really do need to retract these comments as they are totally unfounded.


You might also want to remove the smarmy Linux Kernel comment as well.


Finally, I really do have to agree with the poster who mentioned how utterly juvenile the hax0r-speak in the title is. Its just bloody lame and it makes the author look like...well like a 12 year-old IRC script kiddie.

anonymous2
2003-05-28 15:39:26
your point is misled, but illuminating
Your point is that Apple owners were not consulted and don't have the power in this relationship whatever the reason for iTunes to become more crippleware than it was a week ago.


Funny...


Now, we're in the same boat as the composers and publishers.


No one asked them if they minded their music being ripped off, and P2P technology totally RIPPED the control they had over the distribution of THEIR materials right out of their hands. Are they not due fair compensation for services rendered?


The sad fact is that a few idiots have ruined it for the rest of us.

anonymous2
2003-05-28 15:57:35
Bizzaro Slashdot
Where did all these foul-mouthed, rowdy, pro-RIAA trolls come from? It's like a slashdot from a parallel dimension.
anonymous2
2003-05-28 16:18:40
Music sharing was supposed to be in itunes 3
iTunes 3 came out around the same time as Jaguar. Apple said that it would use the new Rendevous features of Jaguar to find other itunes on the network and let you stream music to them. Apple posted this feature on its web site promoting the Jaguar launch, and I think even might have mentioned or demoed it during the Jaguar keynote.


This feature then mysteriously dissapeared. It wasn't there when Jaguar arrived, all mention of it was removed from Apple's site.


Then someone wrote a plugin for itunes that would do basicly the same thing, letting you share your music collection over a network, although with a little bit of complexity. Apple told the author to ceise and desist. I'm not sure what happened in the end.


And now, with iTunes 4 the streaming feature is back in. The feature was only ever advertized as being able to work on a local network, although I guess the code allowed different.


My feelings on the matter is that in this case, Apple didn't lie to anyone about what itunes should be able to do, but they weren't so forthcomming about the purpose of this update. The history of this feature is sorted.

spaceman
2003-05-28 17:28:42
iTunes
Whoa, man chill.
anonymous2
2003-05-28 17:37:57
Bizzaro Slashdot
I agree. These posts are out of hand. A mob mentality has set in and it isn't worth reading.


Why can't people disagree without getting so angry? Why so personal?

anonymous2
2003-05-28 18:53:12
Apple goofed in the first place
Even the un-ownz0r'd iTunes 4.0.0 help file clearly states that computers with which you share "need to be in the same subnet as your computer."


It's unclear why Apple didn't enforce this restriction to begin with, but it's clear that this could have cost them dearly. Only if they keep making money can they continue to bless consumers with products like the AlBook and iPod.

anonymous2
2003-05-28 19:32:55
Did Apple ever claim that it was a feature?
In the Help for iTunes 4, it says that it's something you can do.


It's a feature, not a flaw. Apple decided it wasn't worth leaving in for whatever reason. Face-saving?


chris_barker
2003-05-28 20:12:57
Steve: grow up already
I'll write the same thing to you as I wrote in response to Cory Doctrow's whiny weblog. Nothing was done to you, you were not harmed in any way. You really do need a tinfoil hat if you believe your own hype.


The fact that iTunes could share outside of its local subnet was a bug since it contradicted the advertised features of the program. Dont complain when a voluntary software update fixes a bug you were fond of. Dont like the patch? Dont update. Simple as that.


Worried that the supplier has power over the customer? In a supply side market (legal digital music downloads) that is the norm.


Dont tell me to wake up either, I'm very well versed in US & international copyright issues. Before you go crowing about the Betamax decision, you might want to get a better understanding of "rights" and "fair use". The basis of the Betamax decision was on substantially non infringing technology, not fair use. The fair use doctrine is not enshrined in law, it is observed by the US courts. "Fair use" has yet to be defined in US law in relation to digital media. The iPod can be legally sold because of the Betamax decision, but there are no laws to protect your percieved right to share or access your digital music. Dont like it? Write your congressman and or support the EFF with your time and money rather than writing confused weblog entries like this one.

kollivier
2003-05-28 22:22:04
Actually...
"I'm not demonizing Apple as much as you've perceived. I still don't believe that this "network access enhancement" would have taken place before the RIAA was in the picture with the Music store. What I am trying to emphasize is that the supplier, in this case the RIAA, has more power in this than the Apple customer. And that is not normal operating procedure folks."


Actually, about half a year ago (iTunes 3) Apple took legal action against a product called iCommune which basically allowed you to share your libraries over the network, kinda like these new P2P hacks do. Most people screamed bloody murder about this too, claiming that Apple was trying to beat out a forerunner to it's own Rendezvous sharing capabilities. (Except that, err, iCommune let you download the music too.)


Couldn't it simply be that Apple simply does not want iTunes to be used to illegally share music (and get a reputation as the next Napster), and are taking IMHO reasonable steps to ensure this does not happen?


I doubt that most software packages from established, big time vendors can afford to look the other way on this kind of piracy, RIAA or not. Consider this: What if an ebook reader manufacturer had a feature for sharing books between several readers in your home (or over the Internet to, say, your work reader), then someone figured out how to broadcast the latest Stephen King novel to EVERYONE in the world that had a ebook reader. They could then download the book and not have to buy it. Would you cry that the publishing industry had control over ebook vendors when they 'crippled' the software? Would you really not consider that maybe they were just trying to curb the use of their device for piracy??


You are free to not use their product and think that the RIAA is pulling all the strings if you like, but it amazes me that it has not really crossed your mind (at least seriously) yet that maybe Apple just wants to keep iTunes from being used for pirating music. This was what I thought they were doing when they cracked down on iCommune, and what they did when they removed Internet sharing. I can't say I wouldn't have done the same thing if someone was hacking/extending my app primarily for the purpose of pirating music.

anonymous2
2003-05-29 01:29:24
Apple goofed in the first place
This is categorically UNTRUE.


"Show Package Contents" of (the original) iTunes 4. Open the following file(s) in Safari:


/Applications/iTunes.app/Contents/Resources/English.lproj/iTunes Help/pgs/695.html


There you will see a note from the original help file: "You can also share your music with a computer that is not in the same subnet as you by setting up the other computer to look for shared music at your computer's IP address. "


...and also:
/Applications/iTunes.app/Contents/Resources/English.lproj/iTunes Help/pgs/705.html


...where you will see: "To see the shared music on a computer that is not in the same network subnet as your computer, choose Advanced > "Connect to Shared Music," then enter the IP address for the computer."



The only "undocumented" tidbit was what port (3689) needed to be opened on the sharer's firewall (if they had one) -- easily found out by any network
admin tool. The next step, was that ill-advised websitescropped up allowing people to "share" their music with strangers. This ultimately made little sense, since consumer broadband's upload speed is limiting (resulting
in interminable "rebuffering" on the listener's end,) not to mention that iTunes had a built-in limit of 5 (I believe) connections. I actually tried to connect to a few of these public "shares" and had little to no success. (It lost it's novelty when it became a chore.) Finally, the only "hacks"
developed were the ones that allowed you to save the stream (either as it played ... or perhaps more nefariously, directly as a file without any "streaming" needed at all.) That when "fair use" was pushed too far, I'd guess. But connecting from my work Mac to my home music... or even checking out my friend's collection, I'd say that's a "insanely great" capability, and well within "fair use."


In the Sharing preference of iTunes, Apple warned that the capability was meant "For Personal Use only." But that's it. The capability was expressly included, the help file referenced it, bored hackers exploited it, and the
press blew it out of proportion. AAC-protected files (ie: music purchased from the iTunes Music Store) were never compromised. This "feature" pales in comparison to what's really going on in the world of P2P MP3 exchange.


I wonder if any serious pirate would even consider trolling for iTunes Music Shares, what with no centralized database, the inherent connection limits, inelegant (if non-existant!) search capabilities, and other "deficiencies." Even I'll admit it was intriguing to see the limits pushed on what Apple intended in the first place, but the reality was that it could never compete with a true P2P infrastructure. It was designed with fair use in mind, and it worked brilliantly.


There are so many more appropriate tools for true MP3 piracy, this whole fiasco seems more like ultra-cautiousness on Apple's part to protect all the
hard work they put into the iTMS. Hopefully, one day, when the industry is less ignorant (and perhaps the iTMS experiment proves to have real legitimacy) Apple can quietly roll feature this back in. It had REAL elegance and utility for PAYING customers. It's sad that the exploits of a few hackers forced Apple's hand to punish us all. Meanwhile, there are plenty of other utilities that accomplish the same thing, so it's not like it goes away. They're just non-integrated and somewhat clumsy... and Apple loses one of it's elegant competitive edges.

anonymous2
2003-05-29 01:31:36
RTFM
NOT TRUE:
"Show Package Contents" of (the original) iTunes 4. Open the following
file(s) in Safari:


/Applications/iTunes.app/Contents/Resources/English.lproj/iTunes
Help/pgs/695.html


There you will see a note from the original help file: "You can also share
your music with a computer that is not in the same subnet as you by setting
up the other computer to look for shared music at your computer's IP
address. "


...and also:
/Applications/iTunes.app/Contents/Resources/English.lproj/iTunes
Help/pgs/705.html


...where you will see: "To see the shared music on a computer that is not in
the same network subnet as your computer, choose Advanced > "Connect to
Shared Music," then enter the IP address for the computer."

anonymous2
2003-05-29 01:33:31
Steve: grow up already
Not a bug ... this was a FEATURE in iTunes 4.


"Show Package Contents" of (the original) iTunes 4. Open the following
file(s) in Safari:


/Applications/iTunes.app/Contents/Resources/English.lproj/iTunes
Help/pgs/695.html


There you will see a note from the original help file: "You can also share
your music with a computer that is not in the same subnet as you by setting
up the other computer to look for shared music at your computer's IP
address. "


...and also:
/Applications/iTunes.app/Contents/Resources/English.lproj/iTunes
Help/pgs/705.html


...where you will see: "To see the shared music on a computer that is not in
the same network subnet as your computer, choose Advanced > "Connect to
Shared Music," then enter the IP address for the computer."

anonymous2
2003-05-29 01:35:11
Did Apple ever claim that it was a feature?
"Show Package Contents" of (the original) iTunes 4. Open the following
file(s) in Safari:


/Applications/iTunes.app/Contents/Resources/English.lproj/iTunes
Help/pgs/695.html


There you will see a note from the original help file: "You can also share
your music with a computer that is not in the same subnet as you by setting
up the other computer to look for shared music at your computer's IP
address. "


...and also:
/Applications/iTunes.app/Contents/Resources/English.lproj/iTunes
Help/pgs/705.html


...where you will see: "To see the shared music on a computer that is not in
the same network subnet as your computer, choose Advanced > "Connect to
Shared Music," then enter the IP address for the computer."

anonymous2
2003-05-29 03:58:09
not fair Steve
You should re-instate your original post on this page so the responses make sense. There is now no record of your outrageous statements that these talk-backs are responding to. In fact, you have mischaracterized many of the responses. The overwhelming feeling I got reading them was that O'Reilly readers understand "fair use". It wasn't the sins of a few that Apple was responding to but the removal of an unintended piece of functionality.


If you need to respond to these talk backs then you should post in a separate blog or just append to the end. What you've done in erasing the past is worse than that which you accuse Apple of doing.

spaceman
2003-05-29 09:02:24
not fair Steve
The original post is there in its entirity. I'm not sure what you're talking about since I've done as you suggest.. "or just append to the end."


Maybe there is a caching problem? Looks fine to me though.

spaceman
2003-05-29 09:08:31
Actually...
"Couldn't it simply be that Apple simply does not want iTunes to be used to illegally share music (and get a reputation as the next Napster), and are taking IMHO reasonable steps to ensure this does not happen?"


I'm sure this is exactly what they have done. However, to equate this previous feature as anywhere near the level of a Napster or Kazaa is quite ludicrous. A few people abuse it. Is that enough justification to take it away from a lot of legitimate users. I don't see it.


"You are free to not use their product and think that the RIAA is pulling all the strings if you like, but it amazes me that it has not really crossed your mind (at least seriously) yet that maybe Apple just wants to keep iTunes from being used for pirating music. This was what I thought they were doing when they cracked down on iCommune, and what they did when they removed Internet sharing. I can't say I wouldn't have done the same thing if someone was hacking/extending my app primarily for the purpose of pirating music."


The entire service was introduced with knowing winks of the eye. They know it happens and is going to happen. People will abuse their fair use.


Now if Apple hadn't built this feature in in the first place I wouldn't have thought twice. It was there and documented in the first place. Someone figured out a way to record the stream. This is no where near unfathomable. Only after the deal did the functionality change. Was it the RIAA? I don't know. But you don't think it looks suspiciously like that was the case?


Heck, I'd have caved too. That's not the point. The point is that Apple has a new master other than customers. The RIAA.

anonymous2
2003-05-29 10:00:01
iTunes
I see...
You suscribe to the "they're rich and powerful so they must be right and I'll obey them without questionning anything ever so I can feel good about my miserable life" camp.
altjeringa
2003-05-29 10:23:17
i'm owned
I've probably stole 5 or 6 songs on p2p networks. Songs that are no longer cataloged and I couldn't find elsewhere. I'm kinda sad that the only thing you could think to comment on was "Boycott the RIAA" but I will be happy to address that. Boycotting the RIAA isn't hard to manage and you don't have use P2P to do it. Try purchasing used CD's instead of new ones, when you do purchase new CD, try something you didn't hear on a ClearChannel station, there is such a wealth of music out there that isn't on one of the Big 5. Or heck, do you really need another CD?


Boycott the RIAA is for the Month of August. Although it's not a bad idea general, at least if you're a opposed to despotism.