Apple CEO Steve Jobs warns record industry of Napster To Go’s security gap

“If you want to spread bad news about Napster Inc., just tell Steve Jobs. The Apple Computer Inc. chief executive sent an e-mail Tuesday morning to top record industry executives, alerting them to a security gap in Napster’s music service — a rival to Apple’s iTunes online music store. ‘Thought you should know if you haven’t heard about this,’ Jobs wrote,” Jon Healey writes for The Los Angeles Times. “The e-mail directed the label executives to a Web page detailing how to convert Napster’s rental tunes into permanent downloads that can be burned onto CDs. The page urges people to sign up for a free trial of Napster and copy as much music as possible before canceling.”

Healy reports, “Napster CEO Chris Gorog sent the labels a retort Tuesday afternoon” arguing that “it is ‘trivial’ to download a free program that circumvents Apple’s anti-piracy software and unlocks ‘a large collection of iTunes music in seconds.'”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Of course, you would have to buy each song from Apple’s iTunes Music Store to be able to strip off the DRM. With Napster To Go, you could just sign up for the free 14-day trial and get to work stealing songs until your 14 days were up. Then, if you still wanted to steal some more songs, as in tens or hundreds of thousands, just sign up for a monthly subscription. This is the problem with a subscription service. Hint for music industry execs: if you can hear the music, the music can and will be recorded regardless of the DRM. The best way to make “rental” music’s DRM work is to rent music that people cannot hear or is of a quality that’s so bad it’s not worth recording. Does that sound like a good business model to you?

Don’t steal music.

Related MacDailyNews articles:
Users thwart Napster To Go’s copy protection; do the music labels realize the piracy potential? – February 15, 2005
Napster-To-Go’s ‘rental music’ DRM circumvented – February 14, 2005
Napster CEO Gorog: ‘it’s stupid to buy an iPod’ – February 10, 2005


  1. BSOD,

    Your 1:01pm posting is spot on, and I would only add that SJ must point out to the RIAA the ‘difference’ in how each will effect their coffers.

    Apple Haters,

    Before you begin your shouting, consider this. It is far too easy to claim that Steve is pissing on Gorog – as fun as or as warranted as that may be. Imaginary vendettas aside – Gorog’s program has a loophole that may scare the RIAA into shutting down ALL legal DLing.

    And as has been mentioned in this thread – iTunes customers pay FOR EACH SONG.

  2. Even if this is a hoax, it will have served its purpose. Getting the record companies to wake up to MDN’s take on this issue, which summarizes it nicely.

    The subscription model is dead, or they’ll restrict it even more to make it unusable. But that’s what you get when you have to rely on Microsoft for software solutions that don’t really answer a need.

  3. Napster and Apple both are unable to lock down their music. I have bought some music from iTunes, and yes used the JHymn to stip those tracks clean. If I wanted, just post those puppies on LimeWire and poof, a few thousand folks have the tracks in a couple of hours.

    Maybe Napster’s is marginally less difficult to steal from that iTunes … who cares. Both sides are using this to their marketing advantage only.

    Cal a spade a spade … the music industry is screwed and blued for a long time. The manisfestations of all the theft and counterprotective measures may appear in the quality and diversity of music in the future. If making a living is not possible because artists cannot get paid enough, then you can steal porn up to the point ‘actors/actresses’ will do a trick for a dollar.

    I could not care less. I stole all the music I ever want for the rest of my life. You are on your own, and they can all go broke.

  4. Just make Napster pay for every song downloaded as if they were bought. That should take care of it. And put Napster out of business in the process. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

  5. Darn it, you mean I stupidly bought into iPod, instead of Napster-go-round, and now have to buy one song at a time, instead of screwing them by downloading 10,000 songs, bypassing security, and saying “So long, and thanks for all the fish”.

    Someone’s a sucker here.

  6. Fuckem? Why bother? burn a CD with the music you have BOUGHT and they are stripped already of DRM: import them back as mp3 and share.

    Nothing new, was known from the very beginning. Also, you may put the tracks you have BOUGHT into as many iPod you like: no limit.

    Labels already knew that and it is fine in that you have BOUGHT already that track.

    It is not different from buying a CD, get mp3s out of it and putting then on a P2P. Suddenly CDs are then a danger as well because you can do the same as with iTMS tracks? Only one step more: you have to burn the iTMS tracks into a CD.

    Repeat after me: you have BOUGHT already the iTMS tracks. Same as with a CD. What you do after that, strip, get mp3s and put them online does not make iTMS less a secure source of income for labels as any ordinary CD.

    Are you Gorog in disguise? Seems the same level of rational thought.

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