Napster feels the heat over flawed copy-protection scheme

“Less than three weeks after Napster Inc. began touting its all-you-can-rent music subscription service, the company finds itself refuting Internet claims that its copy-protection measures are flawed,” The Associated Press reports. “The company posted a message this week, saying the service’s digital music tracks are no more susceptible to unauthorized copying than any other licensed music service.”

“The statement comes after word surfaced on the Internet about how subscribers of Napster To Go, which lets users play an unlimited number of tracks on their computer or on certain portable devices for about $15 a month, could make permanent copies of the songs,” AP reports. “The method involves downloading a free audio player that is able to record audio directly from a computer’s sound card, bypassing copy-protection technology designed to prevent copying. Such a method could potentially harm the prospects for the company’s new service.”

Full article here.
Napster’s statement 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 (or get the free 14-day trial) and strip the DRM off every song in the 1,000,000 song 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:
Apple CEO Steve Jobs warns record industry of Napster To Go’s security gap – February 16, 2005
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. With this method you would need 7.6 years to copy all 1 million tracks (of course at least half suck and would be worth copying). Which is $1368 to Napster, or a little more than a hundreth of a cent apiece.

    My question is how many computers can use one account?

  2. And Gorog has an attitude of “I don’t care.” I wonder if the recording industry likes that attitude as millions of dollars are being ripped of in music downloads. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”tongue wink” style=”border:0;” />

  3. Since Tuesday, Napster has declined after peaking on the news of NTG. The impact is revenue on the Napster bottom line. If you can rip the analog line off of the subscription model, why puchase any tracks for $.99? You won’t if you can get it for free. This will translate into a reduced possible revenue for Napster, thus lower stock price. Short Napster shares!

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.