Feeds

iTunes Plus - plus user details that is

DRM-free tracks can be traced to original owner

The essential guide to IT transformation

Apple's much touted DRM-free music download service launched yesterday under the moniker iTunes Plus.

But apparently such freedom comes at a price as the computer giant failed to highlight one important point: customers using iTunes Plus will have their username and email address embedded in each DRM-free track they download.

According to speculation on Slashdot and elsewhere it seems Apple has done this possibly to monitor the volume of tracks uploaded by its customers onto peer-to-peer networks.

In other words, the firm headed by Steve Jobs has given itself a built-in copyright insurance policy whereby illegally shared music can be traced back to the original owner.

But, seeing as such information can be easily spoofed, proving copyright has been infringed could be tricky for Apple.

Arstechnica.com, which spotted the hidden user account details, said that Apple already embedded account information on DRM tracks. But this was obviously not a major issue for files encumbered by digital rights management.

Apple signed up EMI in April this year. The music giant is the first of the so-called Big Four to join the DRM-free party.

Its extensive catalogue which includes music from the likes of Sir Paul McCartney, Frank Sinatra and Coldplay is now available via the iTunes Plus service with each AAC encoded track costing $1.29 to download.

EMI CEO Eric Nicoli described the DRM crossover as a "tremendous milestone for digital music" and reckoned "consumers are going to love listening to higher quality iTunes Plus tracks from their favorite EMI artists with no usage restrictions."

Jobs said: "Our customers are very excited about the freedom and amazing sound quality of iTunes Plus.

"We expect more than half of the songs on iTunes will be offered in iTunes Plus versions by the end of this year."

El Reg is awaiting a response from Apple to clarify why the data is stored in this way. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
Banking apps: Handy, can grab all your money... and RIDDLED with coding flaws
Yep, that one place you'd hoped you wouldn't find 'em
No, thank you. I will not code for the Caliphate
Some assignments, even the Bongster decline must
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Ballmer leaves Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
Call of Duty daddy considers launching own movie studio
Activision Blizzard might like quality control of a CoD film
Primetime precrime? Minority Report TV series 'being developed'
I have to know. I have to find out what happened to my life
prev story

Whitepapers

A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.