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"The latest iPods have a cryptographic "checksum" in their song databases that prevents third-party applications from synching with the portable music players. This means that iPods can no longer be used with operating systems where iTunes doesn't exist -- like Linux, where gtkpod and Amarok are common free tools used by iPod owners to load their players.

Notice that this has nothing to do with piracy -- this is about Apple limiting the choices available to people who buy their iPod hardware." -- Read more

It's easy to love Apple. They still often appear as an innovative, cool and exciting company with an amazing history, but under this beautiful face, it appears that what we have is not much different than Microsoft. If they continue like this, I wouldn't be surprised (and would actually support the idea) of an antitrust case against them.

Two long, but insightful and interesting articles:

Understanding how Apple’s FairPlay DRM works helps to answer a lot of questions: why it hasn’t been replaced with an open, interoperable DRM that anyone can use, why Apple isn’t broadly licensing FairPlay, and why the company hasn’t jumped to add DRM-free content from indie artists to iTunes.

How FairPlay Works: Apple's iTunes DRM Dilemma


So it happens. Industry leaders are recognizing the failure of DRM. The only question remaining is, will RIAA let it go? Looks like they need to learn to read first.

Read what? Steve Jobs open letter, where he writes the following (an excerpt):

"Why would the big four music companies agree to let Apple and others distribute their music without using DRM systems to protect it? The simplest answer is because DRMs haven’t worked, and may never work, to halt music piracy. Though the big four music companies require that all their music sold online be protected with DRMs, these same music companies continue to sell billions of CDs a year which contain completely unprotected music. That’s right! No DRM system was ever developed for the CD, so all the music distributed on CDs can be easily uploaded to the Internet, then (illegally) downloaded and played on any computer or player."