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Music Media

Playfair Relocates to India 334

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the taking-pea-out-of-the-pool dept.
Lord Grey writes "Imagine my surprise to see playfair 0.5.0 appear on Freshmeat's project list. Remember, the project was pulled after Apple filed a Cease-and-Desist order just a few days ago. playfair's new web site talks a bit about the move, as well as sporting the latest release of the controversial utility."
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Playfair Relocates to India

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 13, 2004 @08:26AM (#8846558)
    Even our "Information Wants to be Free" activists are being outsourced to India!
    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 13, 2004 @08:31AM (#8846591)
      We'd you moderate as Troll -1, but Slashdot duties moderation were outsourced to India yesterday. The moderation pace will pick up again as soon as our staff English learns. Thank you. Please to come again.
    • Even our "Information Wants to be Free" activists are being outsourced to India!

      Don't you mean 'Even our "Entertainment Wants to be Free" activists are being outsourced to India'?
    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 13, 2004 @10:13AM (#8847597)
      UNDERSTANDING DIGITAL RIGHTS MANAGEMENT:
      A SLASHDOT FLOWCHART EXCLUSIVE
      Start:
      Did a corporation use Was the encryption--Y-->Did someone break
      encryption to prevent-Y->in question the encryption and
      their customers from pathetically weak? post source code
      fairly using purchases? | /--to the Internet?
      N-------N---<------<----N----<--+----<- --<-<No.. . |
      | \ Y
      N<------N----<---Did the corporation Did this new<--+
      | use the DMCA in a<--Y-software enable
      | Was the<--Y--failed attempt to fair use?
      | corporation suppress the source
      | Apple(tm)(R)? code as free speech?
      | | |
      | Yes +No-->Oh my God those assholes! It's time we put this source
      |_ | code on a T-shirt! Time to contribute to the author's
      \ / legal defense fund! Time to call our senator and tell
      No big deal! him to repeal the evil, flawed DMCA! Time
      Time to play "Quake!!!" to practice "civil disobedience!". Time
      to write "distributed peer to peer"
      corporate-subversion software! Time to call for a radical reform
      of copyright laws! Time to decry Palladium(tm)(R) design and
      distribution as a grand scheme to put us under the lock and key
      of DRM! Time to raid DVD-Jon's jail cell with Dimitri as lead
      commando! Time to hack Hillary Rosen's web site and deface statues
      of Jack Valenti! Quick buy another 2600 T-Shirt!
      By the way, wouldn't it be great if Devo was 99c a song?
      God I still remember the HACKER MANIFESTO!!!!
  • Dupe post, not story (Score:5, Informative)

    by Gothmolly (148874) on Tuesday April 13, 2004 @08:30AM (#8846584)
    This was the 2nd reader post from the original story of PlayFair being pulled. Why is this news?
  • News ? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Krunch (704330) on Tuesday April 13, 2004 @08:32AM (#8846600) Homepage
  • by tcopeland (32225) * <tom&thomasleecopeland,com> on Tuesday April 13, 2004 @08:32AM (#8846602) Homepage
    ...in 4 days playfair has gone to second place on their download counter [sarovar.org]. Jeepers.

    Sarovar will be moving higher on the list of GForge sites [gforge.org] pretty soon... they're # 12 currently...
    • >> ...in 4 days playfair has gone to second place on their download counter. Jeepers.

      After your post in slashdot the download counter is now #1 in the download counter webpage. What a world...

      Except for that "Could not connect to the database" thingy that is.
  • by kubrick (27291) on Tuesday April 13, 2004 @08:33AM (#8846609)
    to the previous Playfair story, but it took the editors 3 days to post a front page story about it?

    Guess it's true they can't be bothered reading the site -- maybe they should outsource their duties.
  • by millahtime (710421) on Tuesday April 13, 2004 @08:33AM (#8846610) Homepage Journal
    For once I don't agree with something like this and it's Playfair. Apple works with open source and even uses it in it operating system. They use the DRM to appease the recording companies. They were able and did negotiate the best possible license to download the music. They charge what they are charged per song ($.99). Granted they are no super nice guy and are still in for the profit, but they try and I have yet to find a time where I would need to strip out the DRM unless to share with the masses.

    It's like picking a friends pocket.
    • I have yet to find a time where I would need to strip out the DRM unless to share with the masses.

      You seem to suffer from a lack of imagination...
      How about playing the files on non apple hardware such as a portable mp3 player? Or even to burn it to cd and play it in your car?
      What if you were searching for hidden messages and wanted to play it backwards? (I don't know for sure, but I don't think apple currently lets you do that) Or play it on your network-enabled-but-not-approved-by-apple-home-st e reo.

      Je
      • I'm no fan of DRM, but when you agree to Apple's TOS for their service, you agree to get screwed by their restrictions.

        This is copyright violation.
      • "How about playing the files on non apple hardware such as a portable mp3 player?"

        Sure I can play it on my ipod.

        "Or even to burn it to cd and play it in your car?"

        I burn cds from them all the time. No problem. iTunes itself lets you make the list and burn the cd.

        "What if you were searching for hidden messages and wanted to play it backwards?"

        To be honest I don't do this. I listen to my music, not search for some message in it or play it backwards.

        "Or play it on your network-enabled-but-not-ap
      • by sh00z (206503) <sh00z@nOSpam.yahoo.com> on Tuesday April 13, 2004 @09:14AM (#8846955) Journal
        How about playing the files on non apple hardware such as a portable mp3 player?
        You would have to transcode the file to mp3, a function that iTunes already lets you do. No need to circumvent the DRM.
        Or even to burn it to cd and play it in your car?
        Uh, have you even looked at iTunes? That circle in the top-right corner that says "Burn to CD?"
        What if you were searching for hidden messages and wanted to play it backwards?
        Open it it QuickTime, and hold down the left-arrow button.
        Or play it on your network-enabled-but-not-approved-by-apple-home-ste reo.
        There are several options that don't involve circumventing the DRM. Besides the abovementioned burn-to CD option, you could try this [kentidwell.com] (wireless), or this [xitel.com] (wired).

        Now, if you had said that you want to play your iTunes Music Store purchases on your Linux box, you'd actually have an argument.

        • You would have to transcode the file to mp3, a function that iTunes already lets you do. No need to circumvent the DRM.

          erm, no you cannot transcode a fairplay aac file to a mp3 file. You can burn it to a cd, and then rip it, but a direct transcode is not possible.
          • erm, no you cannot transcode a fairplay aac file to a mp3 file. You can burn it to a cd, and then rip it, but a direct transcode is not possible.

            Yes you can, actually. You an transcode from M4P->AIFF->MP3 pretty easily. Just drag M4P songs into toast and they're automatically converted to AIFF. Then you can convert to MP3 or whatever else you want using ITunes. No need to burn them.
          • erm, no you cannot transcode a fairplay aac file to a mp3 file. You can burn it to a cd, and then rip it, but a direct transcode is not possible.

            You can't transcode a Fairplay AAC file to mp3 directly in iTunes, but if you know how to access the QuickTime API using Applescript, RealBasic or Apple's tools, you can transcode the files easily.

            Also, you may be able to transoce Fairplay files using digital audio editing software that uses QuickTime.

    • by shunnicutt (561059) on Tuesday April 13, 2004 @08:46AM (#8846716)
      It's only picking a friend's pocket if I take my unencrypted iTunes and give them to others. Until I do that, it's no less morally wrong than storing my DVDs on my hard drive with DeCSS for my personal use.

      In fact, as soon as I confirmed that PlayFair worked, I celebrated by purchasing $11 worth of music at the iTunes Music Store, which I then promptly stripped of all DRM, and I'll be buying more in the future now that I know that all I have to do is back my files up and I'll have this music for the rest of my life, regardless of what happens to Apple.

      So I've actually put money in my friend's pocket.

      The one place that Apple's DRM failed me was at the office. My office mates and I share our music libraries, and they weren't able to access my protected music. Yet Apple provides music sharing for the other music I've purchased and ripped from CDs. If it is fair use for my ripped music, it should be fair use for my protected music as well. I don't understand the distinction.

      The only law I'm breaking is the DMCA, and my karma (the karma that Jobs refers to) will be just fine, because the DMCA is a bad law that I'm convinced will eventually be struck down. To say that I have fair use of my music, but that I can't use the tools to get that fair use is to say that I don't have fair use at all.

      I'll continue to purchase music from iTMS. I'll continue to use PlayFair. I'll continue to pay for my music and get the use out of it that I am entitled to.
      • Just because you disagree with a law doesn't mean you are allowed to break it.

        If I feel that a law preventing me from drinking and driving is a bad law, does that entitle me the ability to just break it on a whim? No.

        There are proper routes you can take in the justice system to get a law like the DMCA repealed, until then breaking it doesn't make you look like anything except a criminal.

        • by the chao goes mu (700713) on Tuesday April 13, 2004 @09:31AM (#8847135)
          Actually, to get a law overturned the usual process IS to break that law. That is how "test cases" come about. If no one breaks the law how can courts ever review it?
        • There are proper routes you can take in the justice system to get a law like the DMCA repealed, until then breaking it doesn't make you look like anything except a criminal.

          You're right. I am a criminal. There's no way to deny that. However, given that most of us are criminals in one way or another (say, driving over the speed limit), I don't feel particularly unusual.

        • If I feel that a law preventing me from drinking and driving is a bad law, does that entitle me the ability to just break it on a whim? No.

          Hard to say what you mean by "entitle" -- clearly not some sort of legal statement.

          I wouldn't have a moral problem with breaking a law if I think that the law has no point, is unlikely to soon be reappealed, and is unlikely to be enforced. Take, for instance, public anti-profanity laws. I don't think that these are good laws. It is unlikely that they will be repeal
        • It's interesting that you believe so strongly in the rule of law, but your .sig quotes one of the heroes of civil disobedience.

          You have to reconcile your belief in the rule of law with your admiration for great men and women who changed the world for the better by breaking laws.

          The simple answer is to take one of the extremist views that either 1) the law must always be followed and civil disobendience is wrong, or 2) the law is an ass and we should all just do what we want.

          The more sensible approach

      • by jaaron (551839) on Tuesday April 13, 2004 @09:44AM (#8847255) Homepage
        I'll continue to purchase music from iTMS. I'll continue to use PlayFair. I'll continue to pay for my music and get the use out of it that I am entitled to.

        For the last time, you are NOT entitled to play music purchased from iTMS anywhere or anyhow you want . If you don't like it, don't purchase your music there. But this is a clear violation of iTMS's terms of service and use. So if you use *Apple's* system then *they* get to set the rules. Don't like it? Fine. Buy music elsewhere where you like the rules, but don't go into their store and complain and break their rules!

        If it is fair use for my ripped music, it should be fair use for my protected music as well. I don't understand the distinction.

        So just because you don't understand it you're going to violate the terms of an agreement that you made when using their service? Good to know you're an honest and trustworthy individual. If you really cared about making a statement you wouldn't have agreed to the terms in the beginning. You're trying to have you cake and eat it too. Make up your mind.

        The only law I'm breaking is the DMCA, and my karma (the karma that Jobs refers to) will be just fine, because the DMCA is a bad law that I'm convinced will eventually be struck down. To say that I have fair use of my music, but that I can't use the tools to get that fair use is to say that I don't have fair use at all.

        You have no clue about civil disobedience. Moreover, it's individuals like yourself and most of the rest of slashdot apparently who are giving a bad name to those who are trying to change the laws.
        • I've been considering your reply ever since I read it, and I do feel that you have a point.

          Interestingly, I'm still not uncomfortable breaking the DMCA, because, as I said, I don't feel that it is a good law. It should never have been passed.

          What does give me pause is your observation that I have broken an agreement with Apple that I have made. I do take my agreements seriously, although I'm sure I'm breaking other agreements as well. For instance, I have created disk images of Neverwinter Nights and Warc
        • If you don't like it, don't purchase your music there. But this is a clear violation of iTMS's terms of service and use. So if you use *Apple's* system then *they* get to set the rules.

          But Apple doesn't have a right to set the rules. I'm buying a product, not a license. What I do with the product after it leaves their hands is none of their business. If I delete the file, that's too bad for me, because they have no obligation to manage my product. If I didn't make sure that it couldn't be accidentally
        • by esme (17526) on Tuesday April 13, 2004 @12:17PM (#8849235) Homepage
          For the last time, you are NOT entitled to play music purchased from iTMS anywhere or anyhow you want. If you don't like it, don't purchase your music there. But this is a clear violation of iTMS's terms of service and use. So if you use *Apple's* system then *they* get to set the rules. Don't like it? Fine. Buy music elsewhere where you like the rules, but don't go into their store and complain and break their rules!

          bullshit.

          the doctrine of first sale is pretty clear: once you've bought something, you have the right to use it any way you want.

          there are limits to how many copies you can make and what you can do with those copies. there are limits to public performance. but if you're just using your purchased thing, there are no rules whatsoever. just because the media and software companies don't like it doesn't mean the law has suddenly changed.

          -esme

    • As unobtrusive as fairplay may seem, it does have it's shortcomings.

      What this utility allows is someone to transfer the music they bought to a non "apple sanctioned" platform. It allows for someone to play this music on Linux, or other portable music players.

      I hardly think this will encourage sharing of AAC music with the masses, as it is just as easy to rip a CD of the same music and share that with the masses. And there is a lot more music available via the CD than download at Apple's website.

      So this u
      • "What this utility allows is someone to transfer the music they bought to a non "apple sanctioned" platform. It allows for someone to play this music on Linux, or other portable music players."

        Transfering from one compressed form to another degrades the quality. To keep the quality as high as possible the best way is to burn it then rip it as something else. A little more time and the price of a cd but the quality is better.
        • Transfering from one [lossy -mi] compressed form to another degrades the quality.

          True. Although the degradation may still be beyond the capabilities of a human ear.

          To keep the quality as high as possible the best way is to burn it then rip it as something else.

          This, on the other hand, is beyond stupid. What you are suggesting, is just a hard way of transfering from one compressed form to another. That's it. It does not provide a better result than what is possible with a pure software conversion.

          Of

        • Transfering from one compressed form to another degrades the quality.
          True
          To keep the quality as high as possible the best way is to burn it then rip it as something else. A little more time and the price of a cd but the quality is better
          Bzzzzzt. Wrong. There will be absolutely no difference in quality. Going (AAC -> MP3) will produce the exact same file as going (AAC -> CD -> MP3).
    • Apple's DRM is not only there to stop the music from spreading to the P2P networks, but also to tie you to Apple hardware. Suppose you like iTMS so much that you buy $1000 worth of songs in, say the next 3 years. Suppose that your eMac breaks then and would costs a lot to repair. Maybe at that time PCs are very good value. Can you easily switch the the PC without losing your music collection?
  • RIAA sucks. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by digitalunity (19107)
    But probably not for the reasons you would think. Apple is probably under contract to release the music under DRM only. The sad thing is they would probably make more money if they just sold MP3's. People would probably steal less too. I know the RIAA has an antiquated business model and they probably deserve to go into the toilet, but I do feel sorry for them.

    If they would just stop trying to oppress the music listeners and just satisfy them, maybe they would do a little better.

    Corporations should no by
  • So I guess there are advantages to outsourcing beyond plain old poverty alleviation in third world countries. But I wonder how long it will be before the US uses the WTO to push "intellectual property rights" down the throats of Indians?
  • by Twirlip of the Mists (615030) <twirlipofthemists@yahoo.com> on Tuesday April 13, 2004 @08:37AM (#8846639)
    This was exactly the wrong thing to do.

    Rather than working with Apple to try to resolve their differences, whomever is responsible for this little hack (the person or persons responsible refuse to attach their name to their work or their collateral) decided to just slip through what many perceive as a loophole in the law.

    This does nothing to legitimize the hack or the idea behind it. Rather, it does just the opposite: it makes it clear to all interested parties that the person or persons behind this are more interested in finding ways to subvert the system than working within it to improve it.

    Apple's support for "fair use" [slashdot.org] is obvious. They specifically added features to iMovie, iDVD, and iPhoto that allow you to use purchased or ripped music in your own media projects, even if the tracks you want to use are protected by FairPlay.

    Doing this kind of end-run around Apple, instead of working with them to come to a resolution, completely de-legitimizes the whole effort for me, and I'm sure for many others.

    If you want to assume the moral high ground--"I don't believe the majority of the people who use my program will use it so that they can share their files on Kazaa."--then you'd damn well better stick to it, instead of cutting and running for the sewer at the first sign of trouble.

    Dumb, dumb.
    • by mst76 (629405) on Tuesday April 13, 2004 @08:46AM (#8846710)
      > Rather than working with Apple to try to resolve their differences,

      The purpose of Playfair is simple and clear: to strip the encryption from a Fairplay protected AAC file. What kind of resolution did you have in mind, other than stopping the development/distribution of Playfair?
    • by mrwiggly (34597) on Tuesday April 13, 2004 @08:47AM (#8846728)
      Rather than working with Apple to try to resolve their differences, whomever is responsible for this little hack (the person or persons responsible refuse to attach their name to their work or their collateral) decided to just slip through what many perceive as a loophole in the law.

      You are foolish to believe that apple would allow fairplay to be distributed under any conditions, and your classification of 'little hack' shows your bias.

      This has nothing to do with apple, itunes, or ipod. This is all fair use vs. DMCA.

      • This has nothing to do with apple, itunes, or ipod. This is all fair use vs. DMCA.

        No. Wrong. Totally wrong.

        It's not about engaging a fight, or even a debate, on fair use vs. the DMCA. If that were the case, the person or persons responsible for this would have stood their ground and made an argument.

        We have a system for dealing with bad laws. These laws are challenged in court, and a judge or panel of judges decides whether the law should continue to apply, be narrowed in scope, or be stricken entirely
        • by mrwiggly (34597) on Tuesday April 13, 2004 @09:18AM (#8846987)
          We have a system for dealing with bad laws. These laws are challenged in court, and a judge or panel of judges decides whether the law should continue to apply, be narrowed in scope, or be stricken entirely from the books. Did the Playfair... what do you call it? Organization? Whatever. Did the Playfair Dude engage that system? Did they raise the level of debate, or seek restitution in a court?

          Please tell me how this system of ours works when it's an individual that is challenging the law makers. Tell me about the time required. Tell me about the money needed. Tell me about the personal attacks the will be levied against this individual. The U.S. law makes martyrs out of heroes every day.

          The bias is obvious, As a content producer (Apple) all you have to do is issue a C&D, and sit back.

          The deck is stacked against the single person trying to exercise their fair rights.

          Clearly, you are a person willing to take up the fight. Step up to the plate, mirror fairplay on your own personal site, and when the C&D's come in stand your ground. I'll be the first one to cheer you on.
        • It's not about engaging a fight, or even a debate, on fair use vs. the DMCA. If that were the case, the person or persons responsible for this would have stood their ground and made an argument.

          I can't agree. Let us take the oft-cited example of people posting anti-Chinese government material on Freenet, where they are free from being thrown in jail for years (or worse). Are they not "engaging in a fight, or even a debate" by not wanting to march up in front of their local police station, giving it the
      • It seems to me that the DMCA is not working the way that the Media big boys thought it would. Back when DeCSS was released, the MPAA took all kinds of legal action under the DMCA and won, at least in court. Even though the MPAA "won", they lost in the end. I can find DeCSS (and newer programs that were developed from it) all over the Net. The legal action gave DeCSS all of the publicity it would ever need -- and not just in the Geek community.

        We are seeing the same thing now with Playfair. What will A

    • This does nothing to legitimize the hack or the idea behind it. Rather, it does just the opposite: it makes it clear to all interested parties that the person or persons behind this are more interested in finding ways to subvert the system than working within it to improve it.

      Not that I agree with what they are doing (for the record, I don't -- Apple appears to have made allowances for measured fair play), how is subverting the system instead of working within it different than any other kind of activism.
      • by nolife (233813) on Tuesday April 13, 2004 @09:54AM (#8847395) Homepage Journal
        Apple's DRM has the ability to be burned to CD. That means the CD can then be played anywhere

        So using Apple's supplied tools to burn a CD, the DRM can be removed. By using playfair, the DRM can be removed. Why is one bad and one not?

        Seperate "Apple" the company out of the picture and look what you have. Media that is restricted or controlled. Maybe the current level of control and hardware availability is acceptable to you but to others it is not. What happens in 2 years, 5 years, 10 years? I have NO idea and neither does anyone else. I have mp3 files that I ripped myself in 1997/1998 that I can still listen to today on a multitude of equipment (portables, DVD players, car stereo, any computer running any OS, my Dreamcast etc...)without converting them to anything else. Choosing a specific download service and hardware required is a personal choice that is acceptable to some, not to others. The rules given by the provider are clear. Some people are not happy with the choice and take the matter into their own hands. Some people agree with that, some do not.

        • by bogie (31020) on Tuesday April 13, 2004 @12:58PM (#8849759) Journal
          "So using Apple's supplied tools to burn a CD, the DRM can be removed. By using playfair, the DRM can be removed. Why is one bad and one not?"

          How dare you bring logic into a discussion where Apple is involved?

          Now before I get modded Troll let me make a point. I've been reading Slashdot daily for a long long time. In that time we've seen a of programs that do emulation, reserve engineering, etc etc that in the end are applauded for empowering consumers. Over the years I have NEVER seen an outburst like this over something so natural to the computing and electronics world.

          Let's go back to the original IBM bios being "cracked". This ushered in a whole new generation of cheaper "clones" and brought affordable computing to the mainstream. Look at Samba, look at DeCSS, look GAIM, look at Novell DOS, look at WINE, look at any of a billion pieces of software or hardware which let people use products in ways not forseen are authorized by the product manufacturers.

          Now just because its Apple suddenly we are talking about how a "Criminal" "cracked" Apple's DRM and how we are all a bunch of assholes for not supporting Apple's commercial venture. Sorry but this is just like every article on Slashdot where Apple gets mentioned. Apple users come out in droves to support whatever Apple sells no matter what the story is about. These people are actually defending the DMCA for Christ's sake when you just know that if it were somthing that didn't affect Apple but they pesonally found useful they'd be cheering it on.

          This is fanboyism at its worst. I'm sick and tired of reading posts from people who benefit from reverse engineering every single day yet don't even give it a second thought. Like the parent said. WTF is the difference between burning to CD and then ripping as opposed to just ripping? The end result is the same, a nonDRM file. Apple still got paid and you Itunes users seem to think this method for circumventing DRM is just dandy. Why are people who skipped the burning to cd part criminals? Oh I get it, they didn't work within the "Apple approved framework" and we should all be obeying the DMCA when it involves Apple. Hypocrites.
      • For that effort, Apple should be commended and supported.

        The cynic in me says that s/Apple/Microsoft/ doing exactly the same thing would result in you not caring in the least about said efforts.
    • If you want to assume the moral high ground--"I don't believe the majority of the people who use my program will use it so that they can share their files on Kazaa."--then you'd damn well better stick to it, instead of cutting and running for the sewer at the first sign of trouble.

      What they did was fine.

      Not everyone has the desire to be a martyr for the cause. Whoever developed this is clearly worried about being found guilty of a crime or fighting an expensive legal battle. They have an easy, l

  • by Omega1045 (584264) on Tuesday April 13, 2004 @08:40AM (#8846664)
    I think this is a pretty good example of how silly laws like the DMCA only restrict commerce in their own country. If India shuts this project down, how many other places could this be hosted? Many.

    How does that song from the Disney ride go again? Oh ya, "Its a small world after all..."
    • You are somewhat incorrect. DMCA type provisions on technological measures and rights management information stem from the WIPO Copyright Treaties (http://www.wipo.int/treaties/en/ip/wct/index.htm l ) for which there are a number of signatories. This does not _yet_ include India (although a draft has been completed: http://itmatters.com.ph/news/news_01172000a.html), but it does include other countries (not to mention the many that are still in draft stage ...).

      These are the equivalent to offshore tax have
    • "I think this is a pretty good example of how silly laws like the DMCA only restrict commerce in their own country."

      Its pretty silly how laws like pickpocketting only restrict commerce in their own country too. While in Mexico a few years back, a few friends were robbed and had to ask me to western union them money to get back. I've heard that if Mexico started enforcing the pickpocket laws, the pickpocketers will just find another country to pickpocket in.

      Its amazing how moronic posts like the parent o
  • by naden (206984) on Tuesday April 13, 2004 @08:41AM (#8846676)
    Umm .. if people are using Fairplay to remove the DRM from their iTMS bought songs then guess which format they'll end up with: AAC.

    Now imagine if those said people start distributing those AAC across the P2P networks. Guess which player is commonly associated with reading AAC files: iTunes.

    Which may in turn drive those people to use iTMS for those songs they can't get off the networks. Now these people have all these AAC files, which device is commonly associated with AAC support: iPod.

    So it seems like either way Apple wins ?

  • Sarovar (Score:2, Interesting)

    by andy1307 (656570)
    Sarovar means lake(i think). Is there a hidden meaning in this?
    • Re:Sarovar (Score:2, Informative)

      by swapsn (701280)
      Sarovar means lake(i think). Is there a hidden meaning in this?

      Yeah, sarovar is lake in Hindi. Its generally used only in written language though.
      In this case, the hidden meaning may be something like "pool of projects" or somesuch.

  • This comment discusses some of the issues of sending work to another country: It is successful? Is it successful over 20 years? [slashdot.org] Those who outsource to another country should not assume that the laws of another country are the same as the home country, as the PlayFair author demonstrates.

    I agree with the PlayFair author: "I want to be able to play the music I buy wherever I want to play it without quality loss, since I PAID FOR that quality."

    Treating everyone as dishonest because some people are dishonest is abusive.

    Nevertheless, moving PlayFair to another country to escape the domination of the rich, government-corrupting interests in this country shows one of the issues of outsourcing.

    • Remember, DRM is keeping control of a product after it is sold. It's like signing a contract that the seller can change at any time in a way that is bad for you and "good" for the seller.

      See Zealots Attack [nanocrew.net] for an excellent explanation about why PlayFair should be allowed, from the man who wrote the library PlayFair uses:

      Zealots attack

      I've been getting some emails from angry Mac zealots. Many of them start out similar to this:
      Sorry to say this but, unlike with DeCSS where you were allowing Linux users to view DVDs, this time you've gone too far.
      None of them explain how this is different and why GNU/Linux users should not be allowed to play legally bought music. Instead they go on to rave about how great iTMS is and that the imposed DRM is a good compromise. If they hadn't been completely clueless about copyright law, they'd know that Fair Use is the compromise. Some of them claim that this will lead to the RIAA imposing stricter DRM. Did they suddenly realize that it's the RIAA, and not Apple, which determines the rules for the iTMS DRM? When they complain about Microsoft's DRM used by other music stores, why do they think that it's Microsoft, and not the RIAA, which determines the DRM rules?

      They have failed to understand that by buying into DRM they have given the seller complete control over the product after it's been sold. The RIAA can at any time change the DRM rules, and considering their history it's likely that they will when the majority of consumers have embraced DRM and non-DRM products have been phased out. Some DVDs today include commercials which can't be skipped using "sanctioned" players. If the RIAA forces Apple to include commercials, what excuses will the Mac zealots come up with? "It's a good compromise"?

      Here's how one of the emails, from a guy in the UK who's working on his Ph.D, ends:
      You may think you're doing the right thing "liberating music for one and all" but you really aren't. Thanks for fucking it up for all of us, asshole. I hope Apple, the RIAA and the BPI come down hard on your ass now that the EUCD and DMCA are in place.
      Funny stuff. I just hope I have enough room in /dev/null.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 13, 2004 @08:47AM (#8846727)
    For years people have been justifying the "illegal" copying of music with arguments such as "the cd is overpriced", "I don't want to pay $17 for one or two songs", etc. Now Apple comes out with a service that addresses many of these issues. They allow you to purchase just the songs you want for a decent cost. They have a flexible DRM policy (without which they wouldn't even be able to offer the service to begin with). Now guys like this come along and still insist on continuing the copying tradition. The excuses now get even thinner. Basically they have no moral leg to stand on.

    Worst part is that this just adds fuel to the RIAA fire. They view all sharers as a bunch of crooks, and why not? Basically people are saying "We don't give a crap about copyright laws and your rights to have control over your content, oh, but do something against OUR policies (i.e. GPL) and we'll be first in line crying about "when are you going to release the source!! why are you taking advantage of the hard work of others for your own purposes".
    • They have a flexible DRM policy (without which they wouldn't even be able to offer the service to begin with).

      How do I play encumbered files on my Tivo home media player?

      How do I play them at work on my Linux box, even if they're streaming off my iPod?

      Thieves are thieves, if they hadn't purchased the songs in the first place they wouldn't need this utility, and there's plenty of files in sharing anyways. People use the iTunes store for convenience, and quality fast downloads. Sharing cracked iTunes fi
    • by 0x0d0a (568518) on Tuesday April 13, 2004 @10:11AM (#8847577) Journal
      Now Apple comes out with a service that addresses many of these issues.

      Apple charges $1 per track for a lossily-compressed file.

      That would be $11 for a typical Britney Spears CD, according to a quick look at a Britney Spears discography.

      When the RIAA was bitterly complaining about piracy justified by "expense of CD", they put out a cost breakdown -- here's one of the news articles [cnn.com] mentioning it.

      Let's take a look at this:

      Retail Markup is $6.23. Apple says that they're breaking even on iTune audio sales, and only making money on the iPod. Their server hardware and the software backend is a constant cost, and already sunk. Bandwidth is a couple of cents a gig -- let's be generous and say 20 cents/GB. Let's say each AAC is five megs -- that'd be 55 megs. That's about a penny in retail markup to cover those costs that Apple says they're only breaking even on. So far, the price should decrease by $6.22.

      Company overhead, distribution and shipping is effectively nil, aside from constant-cost B2B negtiation. The price should decrease by another $3.34, in total $9.56.

      Marketing and promotion costs. These should stay the same. Personally, I think that radio (and netradio) stations should be free to play whatever they want, sans royalties, since it's effectively nothing but marketing. But we'll leave the cost, $2.15, in place.

      The artist and songwriter recieve $1.99. No decrease.

      The signing act and producing record get $1.08. No decrease.

      Co-op advertising and discounts to retailers don't really apply in the online world -- a banner ad on Apple's site when buying your music is of negligable bandwidth cost to Apple compared to the bandwidth cost of the audio file -- $.85 decrease.

      Pressing album and printing booklet -- doesn't exist in the online world. $.75 decrease.

      Profit to label -- $.59, stays the same.

      Okay, let's do the math: $.59 + $1.08 + $1.99 + $2.15 + $.01 = 5.82. The price for that Britney Spears CD that used to cost $16 and Apple is selling for $11 should be $5.82 in the online world.

      There are numerous other benefits to labels to online music purchases, including the fact that CD audio is lossless and Apple is selling lossy data that is likely to eventually be behind the times in compression algorithm, meaning resales sooner. Cheaper online purchases mean more sales -- and my numbers (unless, of course, the RIAA is lying about their costs and hiding additional profit in per-unit distribution costs or similar) mean that the RIAA makes *more* money in such a scenerio. Returns don't exist -- CDs can be defective, but a bunch of bits is the same bunch of bits when anyone obtains it. Unique per-copy watermarking is easy to do, and watermarking seems to make the RIAA absoutely giggle in delight, so they should like online sales.

      Want lossless FLAC quality? It should require about five times the bandwidth -- it should be about four cents more in cost to Apple, or $5.86, for that Britney Spears album.

      Now, a couple of assumptions here should probably change, to be realistic. First, the RIAA should probably expect to be making less per-unit, since there's simply less money involved. Second, most retailers aren't going to be happy with just breaking even, and probably are going to want more money (plus, I ignored constant costs, and big business is usually incapable of setting up any computer systems without flushing masses of money down the toilet -- even if data transfer costs should be the dominant expense for a company that makes money by selling data in an automated fashion). That album in lossless FLAC still shouldn't be costing more than $6, which is *half* what Apple charges and provides much better quality.
  • I think it is time the RIAA realised that the more they try and tie up music, the more they will send it underground and out of thier control.

    Downloading is convinient for broadband users and reduces instances of CD swapping (still popular amonst people with dial-up). If downloading becomes awkward, I see a rise in the popularity of DVD swapping.

  • Jobs predicted this (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 13, 2004 @08:54AM (#8846790)
    Read Jobs interviews on this. Jobs predicted and expected this. From the way he talks about it I think that he believes that eventually the recording industry will be shown that it is useless to keep pursuing this "protection" of the music through technology. He has made it clear that he doesn't think it is going to succeed.

    To be clear, he believes that iTunes, and stores like it. Will primarily succeed because they provide a better experience than P2P for a reasonable cost. The DRM is something that's in there only to appease the RIAA.
  • by Tuxedo Jack (648130) on Tuesday April 13, 2004 @09:04AM (#8846870) Homepage
    We seem to have served a cease-and-desist operation on their server.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 13, 2004 @09:08AM (#8846895)
    "There has grown up in the minds of certain groups in this country the notion that because a man or corporation has made a profit out of the public for a number of years, the government and the courts are charged with the duty of guaranteeing such profit in the future, even in the face of changing circumstances and contrary to public interest. This strange doctrine is not supported by statute or common law. Neither individuals nor corporations have any right to come into court and ask that the clock of history be stopped, or turned back."
  • by me101 (264338) on Tuesday April 13, 2004 @09:42AM (#8847234)
    Just a quick question...

    Has any group of people done any research into whether there is any watermarking or identification contained within the cleaned AAC files... ?

    IE, two or more users buy the same song, use PlayFair to strip and clean the AAC, and then compare the resulting AAC files... is there any differences ?
  • Good god (Score:5, Interesting)

    by idiot900 (166952) on Tuesday April 13, 2004 @10:27AM (#8847740)
    This is the last place I expected to see such a widespread misunderstanding of the implications of what this program does.

    It does the same DRM removal that iTunes does for you already.

    In iTunes, you can burn tracks to CD. Then, you can rip them as unprotected tracks. There's a slight quality hit, but it's still equivalent to the original for purposes of copyright law. All PlayFair does for you above iTunes is save you a CD-RW, a few minutes, and the quality hit. You are left with a non-DRM track that is not substantially different from the PlayFair-stripped track. The copyright violation occurs if you distribute the track to those not licensed to have it.

    <RANT>
    I'm amazed that any slashdotters at all are willing to put up with any sort of DRM, even the relatively friendly Apple version. It's reasonable for the copyright holder to expect me not to distribute it, but restricting my ability in any way to listen to it on all my computers is ludicrous.

    My experience in college radio has shown me that RIAA labels are slimy bastards. I'm not willing to give up rights so they can apply an overzealous solution to a "problem" that might not actually exist. Even if all labels ceased to exist tomorrow, we'd all still be alive, folks.
    </RANT>

    Maybe I'm smoking crack on this one; would someone care to correct me?
    • The parent post has this right. Apple's iTunes already allows you to strip DRM from a track. Playfair just makes the process a bit easier.

      Apple only installed DRM because the RIAA insisted. Apple made the DRM strippable because Jobs has a clue - he realizes that music with both DRM and a price tag can't compete against free music ripped from a CD. But the procedure for stripping the DRM was obscured, so that the intended market (RIAA executives and the technologically uncurious, or (ahem) both) wouldn't no
  • bull on fair use (Score:2, Insightful)

    by zpok (604055)
    I've read some pretty strange DRM arguments, and come to the conclusion that although I really really like iTunes and root for its success, I'll be breaking the DRM as soon as I can.

    If I were to buy iTunes music, I'd want to escape the "fair" restriction of 3 computers, certainly.

    I have vinyl that's 20 years old, I have a shit-heap of CD's and I've digitised some of this. Who's going to restrict MY use of MY music?

    I don't care about the true colours of other people, I don't condone copyright crime (or th

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