“Apple has fired a cease and desist order against the developers behind the open-source Hymn Project,” Jonny Evans reports for Macworld UK.
“Hymn develops software that strips Apple’s FairPlay digital rights management (DRM) technology from user’s iTunes purchases, allowing music fans to play their music on devices other than those from Apple,” Evans reports.
“Hymn has complied with Apple’s legal letter, removing download links to its software from its website and warning forum users not to post links to alternate download sources within its forums, or risk a ban,” Evans reports.
Full article here.
Laying the groundwork to go after DVD Jon’s doubleTwist?
Apple may be required to defend music DRM even as it tries to eliminate it. From Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ “Thoughts on Music” February 6, 2007 open letter:
Since Apple does not own or control any music itself, it must license the rights to distribute music from others, primarily the “big four” music companies: Universal, Sony BMG, Warner and EMI. These four companies control the distribution of over 70% of the world’s music. When Apple approached these companies to license their music to distribute legally over the Internet, they were extremely cautious and required Apple to protect their music from being illegally copied. The solution was to create a DRM system, which envelopes each song purchased from the iTunes store in special and secret software so that it cannot be played on unauthorized devices.
Apple was able to negotiate landmark usage rights at the time, which include allowing users to play their DRM protected music on up to 5 computers and on an unlimited number of iPods. Obtaining such rights from the music companies was unprecedented at the time, and even today is unmatched by most other digital music services. However, a key provision of our agreements with the music companies is that if our DRM system is compromised and their music becomes playable on unauthorized devices, we have only a small number of weeks to fix the problem or they can withdraw their entire music catalog from our iTunes store.
…Convincing them to license their music to Apple and others DRM-free will create a truly interoperable music marketplace. Apple will embrace this wholeheartedly.
Full letter here.