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. Tempus – I don’t think there ever WAS a bottle for that genie… Napster’s been getting hammered from the moment it was shut down and tried to resurrect itself.
    ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”cool smile” style=”border:0;” />

  2. that’s kinda whut ah mean. it was killed… more or less… but was resurrected and came back as a… Frankencat, meowling in a sort of feline of the undead way threatening to crush all in its path but will be destined to be driven out of town by hordes of iPod carring villagers sporting white earbud headphones and will likely end up being “killed” again when it’s driven off of a cliff or trapped in a burning castle or some such demise befitting the undead.

    “But how do you kill the DEAD?!”

    lordy… i’ve got to stop watching old “B” horror movies. what i mean is that if someone has indeed figured out a way to defeat the DRM, Napster’s subscription model will be worth less than diddly squat… in fact, it’ll be worth squat. that way to defeat it would be the aforementioned “genie”… or Pandoras Box. take your pick.

    brought to you by the Magic Word “directly”
    as in… “I’ve wasted enough time on this… I’m going “directly” to bed!”
    g’nite folks!

  3. “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 […]”

    Nope! That’s the beauty of it!

    Spend $14.99 on Napster. Download 10,000 songs and rip the DRM off them within one month. Fill up your iPod with the non-DRM music. Cancel the subscription. It’d be a lot cheaper than the $10,000 necessary to fill up the iPod.

    Do the Math. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”tongue wink” style=”border:0;” />

  4. phuckem, from what I hear the jHymm software strips the DRM but the songs are still watermarked as to who they were sold to. So if you use it and then put them up on Limewire, you may find yourself being the one getting phucked.

    But as everyone one has pointed out and as I am sure the RIAA realizes, any iTunes song that has had the DRM stripped from it has already been paid for in full at least once. This is not the case with Napster.

  5. The fact that old Steve Jobs would bother to attack Napster suggests that he sees them more of a threat, or threat enough to bother. – Turnaround?

    Are a couple minutes to write an email such a bother? Probably Jobs was laughing his ass off when he wrote that. Furthermore, I’ve got a feeling Jobs was gloating that he was right rather than worrying about Napster. After all, he told the studios’ head honchos when he approached with iTMS concept that whatever DRM they used, it would be cracked soon enough. This is the n-th proof of that.

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