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itunes ACC restrictions

So, I rebuilt by laptop recently, and reinstalled I tunes, not big deal.  So when I went to play music, it told me i was not 'authorized' to listen to the songs, without logging in, no big deal.  But after i did this it told me i was only allowed to listen to these files on 3 machines?  So, in rebuilding my PC, i have wasted 2 of these chances.  I can burn them to CD and avoiding this restraint, but my general comment is "Who the hell are they to put this type of restriction on these files?"

Christopher Hester www.chrishester.org
Wednesday, December 03, 2003

"They" are the same people who pretty clearly laid this out in their licensing terms.  You have to Authorize a computer in order to play the DRMed AAC files on it, and you must Deauthorize it when done. 

And yes, you can burn it to a CD (wav format no doubt) and rerip it into your favorite format without any DRM.  However this does degrade the quality of the music (especially if you rerip to MP3 as the codec throws away different data than the AAC codec). 

I'm sure you'll find postings on the web about this and potential solutions aside from burn/rip. 

Lou
Wednesday, December 03, 2003

hi christopher :)

nice soapbox you've got there...

I find your surprise just a _little_ hard to fathom, I mean, you had to go through an awful lot of steps to geet to the point where you were listening to them on your computer, and at every one of those steps 'they' tell you pretty damn clearly what the deal is.

_and_ when you bought the music, you quite clearly agreed to that deal.  if you didn't accept it, you shouldn't oughta bought the music.

remember....if you start making illegal copies now then you are _just_ as culpable as if you had simply downloaded the damn things from kazaa.

FullNameRequired
Wednesday, December 03, 2003

So if he'd had to rebuild his machine as the result of a hard drive crash he'd be just as screwed?

There's *no* way to deauthorize a machine if you don't have access to it?

Philo

Philo
Thursday, December 04, 2003

"remember....if you start making illegal copies now then you are _just_ as culpable as if you had simply downloaded the damn things from kazaa."

Regardless of any technical restrictions put in place by Apple, etc, he can legally burn as many damn copies as he wants (for his own personal use).  It is called "fair use".  And while the concept is slowly being eroded, it is still the law of the land as of right now.

(Note: The DMCA attempts to put a bit of a choke-hold on fair use, and you could get in trouble if you specifically crack Apple's DRM, but there's nothing to stop you from legally burning one copy of the songs to CD and then using that single copy as your master for all future copies.  Perfectly legal, as long as you don't redistribute those CDs to other people).

Mister Fancypants
Thursday, December 04, 2003

"Regardless of any technical restrictions put in place by Apple, etc, he can legally burn as many damn copies as he wants (for his own personal use)"


interesting.

can he sign away his right to fair use?  for instance, if he has repeatedly agreed to a license that specifically states the terms of the sale, and those terms preclude making more than x copies etc, does that trump the fair use provisions of copyright law?

FullNameRequired
Thursday, December 04, 2003

The licensing terms Apple offers are quite interesting in how they relate to Fair Use.  One can burn as many copies of a song as one cares to from iTunes, however one can not repeatedly burn the same playlist (I believe the maximum for a given playlist is 10 times - if you shuffle it the playlist is considered different).  This balances the desire of the copyright holder to want to be the sole commercial authorizer of distribution for commercial sale against the end user's desire to have a copy of the CD on every machine he has.  Let's not ./ this, read the terms of the agreement, they are quite lenient.

It does look like the authorization information is stored somewhere on the hard drive, so a crash and reformat would take away one authorization from your pool of three.  That's a limitation of DRMed music and one we're unfortunatley going to have to learn to handle if we use DRMed music.  A call to Apple may help, but I wouldn't put much faith in that.

Lou
Thursday, December 04, 2003

I just wanted others to know about the limit of 3.  Lesson learned for me, a person buying music for my own use, is to get those songs into an alternate format pretty quick.

I was unaware you could de-authorize a machine, which might help a lot, although Philo made a great point related to de-authorization. 

Developers go through installations of an operating system more than your average user and could get screwed by this caveat, whether it is valid or not. 

Christopher Hester  www.chrishester.org
Thursday, December 04, 2003

Information on how to deauthorize a computer you no longer have access to is available here:

http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=93014

Spending 2 minutes searching for information before flying off the handle can do wonders.

Anonymous
Thursday, December 04, 2003

It doesn't help the original poster now, but for future reference: if you're more interested in following the spirit of US intellecutal property laws than the letter, the first thing you should always do with files you paid for from ITMS (or any other of these services) is extract the file into some non-DRMed format (and then archive these files).

The usual method is to burn the files into audio CDs and then rip them (accepting the potential loss in audio quality). Or for ITMS files, someone (the same guy who openned up DVD CSS) has written a program to remove the DRM from the ITMS files you bought. Google for "QTFairUse".

Bill Tomlinson
Thursday, December 04, 2003

I had 3 computers authorized and one crashed. I chose to reformat the hard drive and re-install Windows. Afterwards iTunes re-authorized no problem. I don't know if it was because it was the same computer (maybe it's tied to a hardware ID somehow).

Anyway, this is anecdotal evidence that a rebuild will not cause problems with iTunes authorization limit.

Nate Silva
Thursday, December 04, 2003

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