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New Mac application removes DRM from iTunes songs

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By Dennis Lloyd

Publisher, iLounge
Published: Monday, April 26, 2004
News Categories: Mac Software

FairTunes puts your music back into your hands. Now you can play your iTunes music when you want to, and where you want to.

Features

  • Convert any authorized protected iTunes song into an unprotected, uncompressed file.
  • Supports AIFF, Wave, QuickTime, System 7 Sound, MuLaw, and AVI file creation.
  • Easy to use - no complicated setup needed.
  • Built for Mac OS X.

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Comments

1

I’m don’t find this very useful since it takes an already crappy, imo, 128 protected AAC file and expands it into a larger file that would sound even crappier. Good for some folks, I guess.

Posted by grafty on April 26, 2004 at 6:30 AM (PDT)

2

/shrug i’ve been unprotecting them for awhile (and napster secured wma). Just use foobar with the highest settings of everything, use wav recorder to capture the song & clean it up, encode it into a mp3 or whatever I want…. still the crappy 128kbs, but better than nothing.

Posted by widds on April 26, 2004 at 6:42 AM (PDT)

3

This is no different than burning them to a CD then ripping them back to your computer.  There is going to a loss of quality when you compress them back to a copy-free format (mp3, aac).

Posted by Ryan on April 26, 2004 at 9:18 AM (PDT)

4

I was excited for exactly two seconds, thinking this was an improved version of PlayFair. Unfortunately, as already pointed out, it merely converts to file into a much larger, and lower quality version. In other words, it’s bunk.

Posted by dce on April 26, 2004 at 9:32 AM (PDT)

5

Does it really convert to a lower quality? Uncompressed should mean zero additional loss.

Once this app also offers one-step conversion to unprotected AAC or MP3 it sounds like it could become very useful. It just needs more output control.

It could be abused—but removing the DRM can already be abused so nothing’s new there. If you have an MP3-only device, this app lets you use it (with an extra step of MP3 conversion). This app just makes slightly easier what was already possible—and legal and ethical—before.

Not to mention, saves some CD waste from re-ripping.

Posted by Nagromme on April 26, 2004 at 9:44 AM (PDT)

6

I’m not the most ethical person around, but isn’t that illegal? Having a program that intentionally removes the DRM that is. Granted yeah you can burn and re-rip but that’s your choice. This program is the equivalent of copying software keys. Granted the price ranges are much different but in essence it’s what is happening. I didn’t think ipodlounge would support let alone publicize such an app. oh well..

Posted by regalbegal on April 26, 2004 at 10:03 AM (PDT)

7

Civil disobedience against an injust law (the DMCA, borne of the pockets of Hollywood and RIAA lobbyists) is not wrong.

Posted by orange on April 26, 2004 at 10:16 AM (PDT)

8

This isn’t illegal because it’s not removing anything.  It’s converting it into another file for you, it’s up to you to convert it back to an AAC or MP3 file.

There is no loss of quality when it converts the AAC file to a WAV or AIFF, the loss of quality comes when you have to compress it again back to an AAC or MP3.  That would mean that the original song will have been compressed twice (once from the original CD to the iTunes AAC, then from your WAV back to AAC). That’s compression on top of compression, and it won’t sound very good.

Posted by Ryan on April 26, 2004 at 10:25 AM (PDT)

9

You don’t need any fancy schmancy stuff to free your iTMS files. This program strips away the DRM and takes only 130 lines of c#:

http://nanocrew.net/software/DeDRMS/DeDRMS-0.1/DeDRMS.cs

Posted by DIY on April 26, 2004 at 12:13 PM (PDT)

10

Civil disobedience against an injust law (the DMCA, borne of the pockets of Hollywood and RIAA lobbyists) is not wrong.

well my little freedom fighter, it IS illegal. Even if the law is injust.

Yeah it’s easy to release the DRM but it doesn’t mean its legal. Sure you can as I said before burn and re-rip but thats something you’re doing on your own. The fact that someone had created code to alter licensed material for a possibly malicious (in the RIAA’s mind) use isn’t completely legal if legal at all.

If you’re buying an iTunes song you’re agreeing to obey the DRM. Just like when you buy a DVD you’re obligated to obey those copyright protectants. Just like with DVDs someone came up with a fantastic, perfect ripping program. Yeah it’s your DVD and you might want to make copies. But, at the same time the system isn’t business ethical, nor completely legal.

So then the situation arises where we have a bunch of dudes looking to make money throwing in pocket change towards new singles, ripping the DRM off the files and suddenly the RIAA is cracking down more to stop more piracy and the like.

Is the system wrong? Yes.
Is ripping the DRM off relatively easy anyways? Definitely.
Is it legal and business ethical? No.

I could go on all day explaining how something is just and easy , doesn’t mean it’s right.

So my original argument stands. This is not a legal, ethical means.

Posted by regalbegal on April 27, 2004 at 4:28 AM (PDT)

11

“suddenly the RIAA is cracking down more to stop more piracy and the like.”

So you think if you keep your head down and be a good boy then the corporations will respect your rights? Dream on.

Rights are earned, not given. Man is born free but everywhere is in chains… until he breaks those chains.

Posted by Patsy on April 27, 2004 at 6:22 AM (PDT)

12

“This is not a legal, ethical means.”

It’s certainly not legal, can’t argue with you there. But ethical? That’s a bit more subjective. That you’re uncomfortable with removing undue restrictions on materials that you’ve legally purchased, does not make it an unethical activity. We’re not clubbing seals here.

For me, however, it’s a non-issue. I simply purchase my music on CD and encode it into high quality MP3 files that I can play anywhere at any time.

Posted by dce on April 27, 2004 at 6:59 AM (PDT)

13

“”
“suddenly the RIAA is cracking down more to stop more piracy and the like.”

So you think if you keep your head down and be a good boy then the corporations will respect your rights? Dream on.

Rights are earned, not given. Man is born free but everywhere is in chains… until he breaks those chains.”“

I can’t agree with you more, but I can think of more worthy battles to fight than keeping the RIAA out of my machine because kids are acting illegally de-DRMing tunes.

Corporations will never respect, we’ll be a third world nation (US) before that happens.

Artists are getting financially raped. THAT is the crime. Not you not being able to play the MC 5 on 4 of your computers.

The fact you’re even typing and find relavance here is because you had 300 some-odd dollars to spend on a music player. Or someone cares enough about you to buy you one because you already have the necessities.

My point again, it’s illegal, you standing on your woodstock-esque soap-box doesn’t change that.

Stealing music won’t make things right, there are still artists who aren’t getting paid. Peeing off the RIAA by making and advocating programs to strip DRM could disrupt the entire legal music download system essentially stopping it, or even stopping just iTunes, making the program useless anyways.

I’m sorry to see you wasted your ‘corporations are taking over’ speech to relate it to getting free music. Now what will you have in your ‘1970’s 101’ book to say when your parents are refused medical care because they don’t have the proper insurance anymore.

Grow up.

Posted by regalbegal on April 27, 2004 at 8:57 AM (PDT)

14

“Peeing off the RIAA by making and advocating programs to strip DRM could disrupt the entire legal music download system essentially stopping it, or even stopping just iTunes, making the program useless anyways.”

The “legal music download system” is a rounding error compared to the amount of music being downloaded globally.

If I want unlimited legal MP3s I go to one of the Russian MP3 download sites. If I want zero cost MP3s I go to Soulseek or BitTorrent. If I want to pay $1/song for low quality rips I *might* go to Apple’s store, but there is no compelling reason for me to do that.

“there are still artists who aren’t getting paid.”

Yes, and most of them are being ripped off by the RIAA. My friend has released 3 CDs over the last 10 years and he owes the record company money. What kind of broken system is that? Do you hear of writers owing their publishers money after their books are published.

The real rip off here is being done by the RIAA’s constituent companies - they are just upset because now their consumer peons are getting a piece of the action for themselves.

Posted by KickOutDaFukinJams on April 27, 2004 at 9:08 AM (PDT)

15

I agree with all of you completely….
I never refuted that.

my post stated it’s illegal and it is. Fact.

It also stated my surprise at ipodlounge for endorsing it. Opinion.

The ethical aspect is, as stated earlier subjective..

the rest of it is fodder for an argument that has been going on since payola in the 50s on the radio. It’s not even on topic anymore.

Posted by regalbegal on April 27, 2004 at 9:14 AM (PDT)

16

I’m interested in how you define “illegal”. Copyright infringement is not a criminal act.

Contributory copyright infringement is not a criminal act.

Distribution of unlicensed material for profit is a criminal act.

Posted by legalities on April 27, 2004 at 9:35 AM (PDT)

17

Who said it was criminal, not all legalities are just criminal, hair splitter…

You’re not going to get strip searched, beaten, and jailed for it. but…

http://www.copyright.gov/title17/circ92.pdf

http://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap12.html

Posted by regalbegal on April 27, 2004 at 9:59 AM (PDT)

18

Circumvention of DRM as defined within this finding and thanks to the DMCA is clearly an unconstitional law and I have no doubt that the DMCA will be rescinded or curtailed in short order by the SCOTUS. Politicians can make as many of these silly laws as they wish, but when the freedom of people to utter anticipated sale prices are being curtailed through draconian mis-application of the DMCA then we know we have fallen down the rabbit hole.

Posted by DMCA My Ass on April 27, 2004 at 12:36 PM (PDT)

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