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. Just give it a little time, someone will automate the process. Then as soon as Napster runs out of cash on hand, they will be looking to MS and the RIAA to keep them afloat. MS will say “We told you it shouldnt be used for mission critical applications, just like all our software” and the RIAA will say “Sue your subscribers, thats what we do” and Napster will go down faster than the Titanic

  2. Wow… Must feel great to be first, eh Naptser?

    FIrst Janus Operation.. I wonder if other lamo music stores are changing their minds about Bill Gates’ technology..

    You know like…


    Buy….Music? er.. Oh yeah.. wait.. not the Real shop..

    Well BuyMusic is definitely not going to adopt Janus after this.. they’ve got a reputation to uphold!

  3. Limewire is no way near as easy and fast to use for downloading songs as Napster. And you can’t be sued for using Napster–at least not the current version. Even if you aren’t using the free trial, you can pay them $10-15 once every 3 or 4 months. No searching for music on P2P networks. No dealing with inconsistently encoded files. I predict “all you can eat” will go away fairly quickly now.

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