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. Sounds like Jobs finally had enough of these Napters jerks taking potshots off his bow and decided to send a nice, quiet little torpedo to put a stop to it once and for all. No fuss, no muss. I’d have done the same thing as him.

    Today’s magic word is “nature”, as in Napster will never come up with a viable business model because it’s not in their nature…

  2. Hey turnaround: 2 minutes for Jobs to send an email doesn’t constitute him being worried about Napster.

    He’s actually just doing them a favour in case they’ve their heads up their backsides – and he’ll know by now if that’s the case!

  3. The music business has a big problem on its hands… If people no longer want to keep original CD’s they sell them right.. So everyones secondhand CD’s do the rounds of everyone with iPods. Bingo, the only music the industry sells is the new stuff. Everything on CD’s that was sold never gets bought again.

    Maybe not overnight but…

  4. this could very well be a hoax but the fact remains that the genie is out of the bottle for Napster/Janus. if i thought Napster had music i’d be interested in and had the time, i’d join for a month and rob those mo’fos blind!

    but isn’t it funny to think…. nowadays Napster is worried about people NOT paying them for downloads. it’s silly and just plain ol’ pathetic and a terrible smear of the Napster name. if it wasnt for the true, real, original Napster we might not be discussing this at all. as it is today, it’s a buncha crap. they shoulda just unplugged the “cat” and let it die with dignity instead of making it get disemboweled by iTMS and hemorrhage to death.

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