“Users have found a way to skirt copy protection on Napster Inc.’s portable music subscription service just days after its high-profile launch, potentially letting them make CDs with hundreds of thousands of songs for free. American Technology Research analyst PJ McNealy said that no matter how protected a music file is, you can capture the output and save it on the hard drive,” Sue Zeidler reports for Reuters.

“American Technology Research analyst PJ McNealy said that no matter how protected a music file is, you can capture the output and save it on the hard drive. ‘Now, portable subscriptions are a bigger bullseye or goal for people,’ he said. Napster unveiled the portable subscription earlier this month, backed by a $30 million ad campaign attacking rival Apple’s iTunes service and its ubiquitous iPod digital music player,” Zeidler reports.

“Until recently, music subscription services have been somewhat restricted in their ability to transfer songs they provide to portable players, while Apple has sold millions of portable iPods by allowing users to buy songs from iTunes and store them on iPods,” Zeidler reports. “But Napster uses a new digital rights management software from Microsoft called Janus to enable the portable transfers.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple’s iTunes model works because you at least have to buy the song for 99-cents before you can play it and/or strip off the DRM. Napster To Go’s model does not work for the artists and music labels because a user can simply pay one low monthly subscription fee and strip the DRM off every song in the library. Do the artists and music labels understand the problem here? This new Napster To Go is potentially worse for them than even the original Napster.

Related MacDailyNews articles:
Napster-To-Go’s ‘rental music’ DRM circumvented – February 14, 2005