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PlayFair is back, again

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By Dennis Lloyd

Publisher, iLounge
Published: Tuesday, May 11, 2004
News Categories: iTunes

“The PlayFair free software project is back online, with both the maintainer of the project and the hosting service willing to face a legal challenge from Apple.

Apple last month shut down the free software project, which enables advanced audio coding (AAC) files downloaded from Apple iTunes to be played on platforms that Apple does not support. It does that by stripping theDigital Rights Management (DRM) mechanism from a song, provided the key for playing the song is available.

The project has been renamed Hymn, according to Anand Babu, the maintainer of the project. It is being hosted on two sites (http://playfair.org/ and http://hymn-project.org) by a U.S. hosting service provider. Babu said last month that the project would be hosted outside the U.S.”

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Comments

1

You really can’t blame Apple for going after this project. If they did nothing, the RIAA would have a pack of lawyers on their doorstep in no time, ready to serve fat and juicy breach-of-contract lawsuits. Thaaaaaaat would be fun.

Posted by Big Jim on May 11, 2004 at 6:53 AM (PDT)

2

If only he put as much energy inot a really good software program or even saving the world… this guy is a wacko!

Posted by andrew on May 11, 2004 at 6:59 AM (PDT)

3

Yeah, taking out the digital restrictions management stuff from something *he bought* is wacko.  Whatever.

I say more power to him.  Perhaps people will start to realize that they really are not *buying* tracks from iTunes.  They are merely renting them.  It’s a scary direction we’re going in this country.  The Man is just getting way too greedy.

Copyright law was not created to reward a creator, but instead to promote the progress of science and art.

Posted by m. sherman on May 11, 2004 at 7:38 AM (PDT)

4

m. sherman, I cant belive you belive the load of manure your trying to feed us. Merely renting songs bought off of Itunes, hardly. I burn my tracks to CD and can play them on as many platforms as I want. Explain to me how I am renting songs off of Itunes when I can have permenent back up copies of the music I buy.


Oh thats right you cant.

Posted by Mad Dr. Jeffe on May 11, 2004 at 9:48 AM (PDT)

5

great argument, sherman.  this is very true.

Posted by masta_p92 on May 11, 2004 at 10:01 AM (PDT)

6

If only he put as much energy inot a really good software program or even saving the world

What do you mean? Bypassing DRM *is* saving the world.

Do you want your grand childrento grow up in a world where there is no public domain, where every creative output is controlled, metered, and charged, and where corporations tell you how, when, and where you can experience “your” media.

Explain to me how I am renting songs off of Itunes when I can have permenent back up copies

Because that’s what they are - backups. Not independently licensed mechanical reproductions yours to sell or dispose of or bequeath to your heirs as you see fit.

So understand this - you do not “own” those backups in any meaningful sense of the term. You are renting a license to an open-ended iTMS service from Apple that enables you to make lower-quality backups of the source file, but that is all.

If you are serious about, as you say, playing multiple versions of these backup files on “as many platforms” as you wish, then you may as well have gone to AllOfMP3.com of Kazaa and downloaded a higher-quality file. You would have something that sounds better and you would still be equivalently in breach of your license restrictions.

Posted by BackInBusinessBaby on May 11, 2004 at 11:07 AM (PDT)

7

Mad Dr. Jeffe, you don’t have permanent backup copies of the music you buy; the CD’s you burn don’t contain the AAC files you bought, they’ve got WAV files. Encode this CD in AAC format, and the resulting files AAC files are worse than the original AAC files you had, due to the transcoding.

So, no copies for you, I’m afraid.

Posted by Konstantinos on May 11, 2004 at 11:11 AM (PDT)

8

More power to the play fair team.  DRM is bull, information was meant to be free.  If I buy a song on itunes, I should have the right to do whatever I want to do with it since I bought it with MY money, so its MY data.

Posted by acemilo on May 11, 2004 at 11:40 AM (PDT)

9

“If only he put as much energy inot a really good software program or even saving the world… this guy is a wacko!”—andrew

I think he is saving the world, and be careful with attaching labels, it attached to your name very well, too…

Posted by pbox on May 11, 2004 at 12:38 PM (PDT)

10

A little bit hard to do on Windows since its just a command line. A batch file would be cool or a Windows base GUI with simple options like destination folder, etc.

WE NEED WINDOWS GUI VERSION!!!!

Posted by Wow on May 11, 2004 at 2:13 PM (PDT)

11

Jesus people. If you don’t like iTMS conditions of use, don’t buy from them and/or complain to them. You do NOT have a (legal) right to breach the terms of use just because you feel like your paying 99c entitles you to. Everyone who buys from iTMS agreed to the conditions of use upon creation of an account.
Don’t bite the hand that feeds.

Posted by Evan on May 11, 2004 at 6:41 PM (PDT)

12

All you supporters of iTunes files… The DRM restrictions are indeed quite loose compared to other offerings.  But, pretend it is 10 or 15 years later.  Are you telling me you’re going to make sure and deauthorize every computer you get rid of until then, and authorize every new system?  How do you know the files will even be playable on some future system?

What happens if your computer crashes or is stolen and you can’t deauthorize it?  I may be wrong but if that happens a few times, your iTunes songs will become useless.

Posted by Carl on May 11, 2004 at 8:59 PM (PDT)

13

I told you all - “there is no DRM which is foolproof.. “

as a user of iTunes who’s sold 1 computer without deauthorizing it, and who’s had 1 iBook die in his hands because of the iBook mobo problem - i’ve had a terrible time playing the $300+ of music i’ve bought and paid for on my replacement AlBook 12” since two other computers and my home G5 are still authorized to me - that’s 3 computers if you can’t count.

playfair lets me now play my music on my wife’s laptop, on the church’s iMac (under my account on that machine) - and i even continue to buy more music.

playfair - esp. since it preserves my name on my tunes is a gift from God.  I’m not ripping anyone off - and i’m not burning tons of CDs for no good reason.

And i guarantee you - you won’t find my bought and paid for tunes on p2p networks - i simply want to use them in many places where it would be covered by fair use without question.

all that playfair does is save me a ton of time vs. using the iMovie de-DRM method - which is horribly time consuming and manually intensive.

Posted by stevejobs on May 11, 2004 at 9:56 PM (PDT)

14

Apple really wants a monopoly badly, they are getting ever-so-close to Microsoft status.

Posted by Adam on May 11, 2004 at 11:20 PM (PDT)

15

Yeah, apple’s behaving like microsoft.
They are getting greedy…

Posted by booksacool1 on May 11, 2004 at 11:30 PM (PDT)

16

Does anyone know if anyone is planning a GUI for the Windows binary?  If I just knew better how to use a command line interface, I suppose I’d be happy . . .

Posted by Wily on May 12, 2004 at 5:17 AM (PDT)

17

Give us a Windows GUI version!!

Posted by Obadiah on May 12, 2004 at 8:23 AM (PDT)

18

Like it or not, what they’re doing is promoting awarenes…and that’s always a good thing!

Maybe Apple should just come out and say, “Hey, you know what?  We didn’t really mean that you actually own the music after buying it.  What we really meant to say is that you’re leasing the rights to listen to your songs, and we may change your rights at any time to meet the RIAA’s demands and maintain a profit.  Our bad.  Happy renting!”

And while Apple does have some very liberal policies for its fair use terms, the RIAA is a monster and it’s only a matter of time before they flex their muscle against Apple and serious changes are made.

Posted by Ryan on May 12, 2004 at 8:40 AM (PDT)

19

“Give us a Windows GUI version!!”

Jeez. The source code is free and open - you want a GUI so bad why not go mamke one yourself?

The ostensible point of FairPlay is to enable people who own FairPlay AAC tracks to play them back on Linux machines, because Apple has so far refused to create or enable Linux playback.

Windows machines already have iTunes and its playback seems adequate. I even hear it has a rather pretty. if unconfigurable, GUI.

Posted by Free Source on May 12, 2004 at 9:05 AM (PDT)

20

You are overlooking, Free Source, the very real possibility that those on Windows machines may also have Linux machines AND no programming skills. I think calling for a GUI version is not unprecedented and doesn’t warrant your attacks of ‘Do it yourself!’

It’s responses such as yours that have soured me to the idea of making suggestions to the Open Source community for fear of the very same reprimand you just handed out.

Now, if they were being belligerant or were known programmers and were just too damn lazy to work it out themselves, then your comment might be justified. As it is, lighten up and (if you are a programmer) share some of the knowledge the open source community claims to be more than happy to share for free.

dennis

Posted by dennis on May 12, 2004 at 9:40 AM (PDT)

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