Users thwart Napster To Go’s copy protection; do the music labels realize the piracy potential?

“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

51 Comments

  1. “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.”

    Actually, you can get a free trial w/ Napster, so you can steal all the music for free.

  2. Theoretical fun:

    Three computers, one fast networked drive, and a few dedicated people: Turning Napster’s 14 day free trial into 252 full 80 minute CDs of free music.

    Each song can only be burned after the duration of the track length has elapsed in realtime:

    14 day trial = 336 hours = 20,160 minutes of potential music = 252 80 minute CDs

    Computer 1: Dedicated to downloading new music off of Napster
    Computer 2: Dedicated to building WAV files for each CD
    Computer 3: Dedicated to burning CDs

    All computers share one fast networked drive where new files are downloaded to, converted WAVs are saved to, and CDs are burned from.

    http://blog.kordix.com/marv/archives/000400.html

  3. BG, “Hey, what’s that circling the bowl when I flushed it?”
    SJ, “Napster, Janus, and your whole strategy to dominate the media world. You should have listened to me when I told you that subscriptions were a bad idea.”

    The music lables will pull their contracts with Napster now. This will only continue to fuel the iTunes fire as well as push the future of online media distribution to video as well…

  4. DRM sucks no matter what version it is.

    Hey JadisOne,
    Popups aren’t showing up with Firefox. Add this line to your /etc/hosts file:

    127.0.0.1 z1.adserve.com

    That redirects the z1.adserve.com to your localhost which prevents it from finding anything.

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