Apple restricts ringtone rights
'You'll pay twice. And you'll like it'
Yes, it seems unjust that Apple can charge you twice for an iPhone ringtone. But that's the way the fair-use cookie crumbles.
As Apple supremo Steve Jobs announced last week, iTunes is now offering roughly a million ringtones for the iPhone - a $399 handheld that debuted little more than two months ago at $599 - and purchasing these 30-second musical snippets is a two-step process. First, you pay 99 cents for a complete song, then you pay another 99 cents to turn it into a ringtone.
You'd think that, once you own a song, you'd have free rein to lop off a few seconds and slap them onto your phone without paying an extra fee. And in most cases, you do. If you purchase a song on CD, for instance, turning into a ringtone isn't a problem - as long as you don't sell your 30-second snippet to someone else.
"If you're just using the ringtone on your own, most would agree that's fair use," Daniel E. Venglarik, an intellectual property attorney with the Dallas, Texas-based law firm Munck Butrus PC, told The Reg. "Most copyright scholars say that you can rip a song from a CD into MP3 format and listen to it on an MP3 player, and ringtones are close enough to that to fall under the same penumbra."
But Apple and its music partners see this penumbra a little differently. Legally, you can't convert an iTunes song into a ringtone without paying that extra 99 cents. iTunes's end user licensing agreement forbids you from doing otherwise, and this trumps any notion of fair use.
"In this day and age, a court would side with Apple on this," Venglarik said. "They're the licensed distributor for the copyrighted work, and they can constrain use as much as they want."
Basically, Venglarik explains, Apple is free to do "whatever the market will bear" If people are willing to pay twice for ringtones, Apple can make them pay twice.
Of course, if you feel like breaking the law, there are ways around that double price-tag. Apple recently cracked down on illegal iPhone ringtones, but Engadget seems to have found a workaround. ®
Windows Recorder tip for Dave. Also, iPhone zealots can't argue worth a damn
@Dave, who said "Windows Recorder (cheap utility comes with the OS, can record wavs for 1 minute)". You can actually make Windows Recorder record more than a minute... load a longer sound file, record over the top, then Save As. Only useful when you can't get any other software onto the machine, but it's come in handy for me once or twice.
Also, so as to be less completely off topic: how are the RIAA responsible for this lockdown on the iPhone when other phones don't have this craptacular 'feature'? I don't really care what Apple do because they're getting none of my money because they have no respect for the intelligence of the consumer.
However, I do I reserve the right to laugh at the iVangelists on this board and elsewhere. if you're going to blindly lash out at anyone who dares criticize Steve 'Look into the eyes, not around the eyes' Jobs by using such a patently false defence, you might as well not bother...
"If we're going to lambast Apple for charging twice - and I do agree that it is an unwelcome double charge - we should ask WHY Apple are charging twice."
did you just come down in the last shower!?!??!
Because they are like all other companies, and want to take all your money for as little effort as possible.
And no I didn't bother reading the rest of your post given after that what would be the point!
To all the Apple haters
To all the Apple haters who have posted here: Haters are fanboys too.