Feds wanna shunt iTunes growth

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
Apple's near monopoly



Concerns had been mounting about Apple's (AAPL: news, chart, profile) overwhelming hold on the digital music market after the company altered its iPod and iTunes technology to prevent the playing of files downloaded from competitor RealNetworks' (RNWK: news, chart, profile) Harmony system.



While considering action to force interoperability, which would ensure consumers greater access and would give artists greater royalties through a universal file-sharing network, lawmakers preferred to pursue competition as the answer.



"Government intervention can probably prohibit innovation," said Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., senior Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee. "Consumers will choose interoperability over closed platforms" like the iPod.



The iPod's reign over the expanding digital music kingdom shows no signs of stopping yet, with Apple expecting to sell more than 15 million of its signature players this year. iPods can only play downloaded files from the iTunes online music store thanks to restrictions in digital rights management, or DRM.




Sheesh Apple hasn't even sold a billion songs yet and some overpaid and underworked politician is crowing about Apple's dominance in digital music.



I don't see where they have abused their leading position other than scraping that leach Real off their ***. Apple is kicking Napster's arse in execution and strategy. They have earned their lead and they will have to fight to keep the lead. This country has no shortage of idiots complete with their own RDF and a platform to spew half truths.



Let's see how the market evolves over the next couple of years before involving Uncle Sam.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 24
    Now if it was Microsoft..90% of everyone here would cry "FOUL" and have Microsoft disbanded,thrown out, etc..



    IMO yes Apple does have a monoply with ITMS and the IPOD..

    of course there's a program to make it easier for windows users to turn those streams into MP3s.

    Quote:

    "New iTunes Hack Makes Permanent MP3 from Streams

    November 20, 2003

    By Bill Rosenblatt





    Bill Zeller, a software developer, released MyTunes, a companion program to Apple's iTunes online music service for Windows, on October 26th. iTunes includes a feature that lets users stream music files over a local network to other users; MyTunes augments this feature by enabling other users to save those streamed files onto their hard drives as unencrypted MP3s.



    This is at least the second time that someone has created an extension to iTunes's network streaming feature that expands the content rights that iTunes grants its paying customers; the first, created within a month of iTunes's original launch in April 2003, enabled users to stream files over the Internet, not just workgroup networks. MyTunes enables users to go beyond the music licensing terms implied in streaming, which are modeled on those of radio broadcasting; instead, it facilitates music storage for on-demand listening, which carries a more stringent set of licensing terms than those that the record companies undoubtedly granted to Apple when approving the original iTunes architecture.



    Is this software likely to suffer the same fate as Elcomsoft's companion software for Adobe's eBook reader, which became the subject of prosecution under DMCA 1201? Probably not, because it doesn't break iTunes' copy protection in order to create MP3 files from audio streams. It does not create access to content where there was none before; instead, it changes the nature of such access so that different licensing terms apply. Not only does DMCA 1201 not apply, but it is hard for us to see how charges of contributory copyright infringement could stick either.



    Therefore the legality of MyTunes is probably a function of its use, not the software itself. Zeller is careful to explicitly state on his website that MyTunes should only be used for legitimate purposes and that copyright infringement is illegal. So whom can the RIAA sue if someone decides to use MyTunes as a piracy machine? We don't see any reasonable way to sue the technology out of existence, so the RIAA will be forced to go after individual infringers. Our opinion is that this has always been its best strategy, given the alternatives, no matter how unpopular it is.



  • Reply 2 of 24
    cosmonutcosmonut Posts: 4,872member
    I completely disagree. This claim that Apple has a monopoly on the digital music market has no legs. Napster and Real are both running successful-enough businesses that are compatible with multiple mp3 players -- and by the way, those companies' DRMs are incompatible with iPods -- and a consumer can still rip CDs into their computer.



    How is Apple monopolizing the digital music industry and compromising consumer protection laws? Why is it wrong for them to set up their service so that iTMS music only works with iPods?
  • Reply 3 of 24
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,146member
    I know I grow weary of this fallacy that keeps getting reported that it's sooooo hard to move your audio files from one service to another. Well yeah..if you're lazy and stupid. You should be backing up your music to CD anyways and I doubt that most people have Golden Ears and can hear the effects of recompression.



    If Microsoft had %90 of the market because they were clever strategists then I wouldn't complain. In fact MS's problems with the DOJ stemmed from their bundling of IE with the OS and not the dominance of Windows in general.



    Hell I'm not adverse to using any other store but the fact is iTunes does it better for me and I'm not running up against limitations. The iPod is perfect for me but I am getting a hankering for a home and auto outfit as well. If Apple can keep the ball rollin here I don't see why they cannot outdo the competition.
  • Reply 4 of 24
    chris cuillachris cuilla Posts: 4,825member
    Funny thing about this is the feds priorities. No one seems remotely concerned that 98% of the computers run by businesses, consumers AND government are running on a proprietary, single-source monopoly OS/company. But...if my kid can't play the Brittany Spears song she bought on iTMS on another player besides iPod...well...hell...that's a real problem. Now that is something worthy of congressional attention.



    This is like Uncle Sam going to Gillette and saying..."Well, gee, you need to make sure your blades are compatible with Shick." Same level of importance in the whole of the world. It is frickin' MUSIC! It's not food...water...air...or (uh oh...fuel) that everyone depends on to live.



    Get real. (To congress...) Go do something useful...like taking a vacation.
  • Reply 5 of 24
    dfilerdfiler Posts: 3,420member
    Did I miss it or did someone already pick apart this line?

    Quote:

    iPods can only play downloaded files from the iTunes online music store thanks to restrictions in digital rights management, or DRM.



    This statement alone shows they have no clue...
  • Reply 6 of 24
    chris cuillachris cuilla Posts: 4,825member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by dfiler

    Did I miss it or did someone already pick apart this line?

    This statement alone shows they have no clue...




    Good observation. This, I think, is a common misconception about iTunes and the iPod.
  • Reply 7 of 24
    rokrok Posts: 3,519member
    i would love to follow the trail back to whomever in the industry but this bug in someone's ear. glaser? gates? gorog? hey... did you notice that? their last names all start with the letter "g."
  • Reply 8 of 24
    ipodandimacipodandimac Posts: 3,273member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by rok

    i would love to follow the trail back to whomever in the industry but this bug in someone's ear. glaser? gates? gorog? hey... did you notice that? their last names all start with the letter "g."



    g-dell?
  • Reply 9 of 24
    cosmonutcosmonut Posts: 4,872member
    Apple certainly needs to work on the misconception that iTunes and iPods are ONLY for downloaded music.



    I personally have talked to people about my iPod and they have said to me, "Yeah, but I'm not really interested in buying music off the internet," or "The only music I really listen to is CDs, though." I then have to explain that any audio CD out there can be put into iTunes AND loaded onto an iPod. Not only that, but you don't EVER have to buy a song of the iTMS to use iTunes or iPod.



    "You can carry every CD you own with you on your iPod," I tell them. Holding up my iPod, I continue by saying, "This has my entire music library on it. Every CD I've got is in here."



    "Oh, really," they reply. "That's pretty cool."



    Work on it, Apple. You'll sell twice as many iPods if you do.
  • Reply 10 of 24
    shetlineshetline Posts: 4,695member
    All the federal government needs to do is strengthen provisions in the DMCA that allowing breaking DRM for interoperability and reverse engineering, make sure that it's legal to break DRM for traditional, non-infringing fair-use applications -- overriding any EULAs to the contrary -- and throw out the all of provisions that could ever be construed as making such actions criminal.



    I think Apple's business would continue to do just fine under these conditions, while also opening up the possibilities for competitive interoperable services, and helping to restore traditional fair use rights for consumers at the same time.
  • Reply 11 of 24
    rokrok Posts: 3,519member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by CosmoNut

    Apple certainly needs to work on the misconception that iTunes and iPods are ONLY for downloaded music.



    I personally have talked to people about my iPod and they have said to me, "Yeah, but I'm not really interested in buying music off the internet," or "The only music I really listen to is CDs, though." I then have to explain that any audio CD out there can be put into iTunes AND loaded onto an iPod. Not only that, but you don't EVER have to buy a song of the iTMS to use iTunes or iPod.



    "You can carry every CD you own with you on your iPod," I tell them. Holding up my iPod, I continue by saying, "This has my entire music library on it. Every CD I've got is in here."



    "Oh, really," they reply. "That's pretty cool."



    Work on it, Apple. You'll sell twice as many iPods if you do.




    they tried that with "rip. mix. burn." when there wasn't any way to buy off the 'net. instead of added sales, it got them being used as cannon fodder for eisner against software piracy. i'm not saying you're wrong. i'm just saying apple might be a bit gunshy trying that tactic again.
  • Reply 12 of 24
    chris cuillachris cuilla Posts: 4,825member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by rok

    they tried that with "rip. mix. burn." when there wasn't any way to buy off the 'net. instead of added sales, it got them being used as cannon fodder for eisner against software piracy. i'm not saying you're wrong. i'm just saying apple might be a bit gunshy trying that tactic again.



    You could be right. But it seems they need to find something to communicate the message.



    On the other hand...I'm not really sure that Apple needs MY advice on how to run their iPod + iTunes + iTMS business.
  • Reply 13 of 24
    bill mbill m Posts: 324member
    I think this is all about Napster and Microsoft having some pretty lame attempts at lobbying the feds about breaking Apple's lock on the ever successful iPod. Just my personal opinion.



    The reasoning given at the hearing are laughable at best and a waste of time and money from public officials. There is a lot of misinformation floating around and I am sure most of it is due to the couple of losers mentioned above. This is really sad.
  • Reply 14 of 24
    chris cuillachris cuilla Posts: 4,825member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Bill M

    I think this is all about Napster and Microsoft having some pretty lame attempts at lobbying the feds about breaking Apple's lock on the ever successful iPod. Just my personal opinion.



    Of course it is. This is war...and, as they say, all is fair...blah blah blah.



    And BTW...despite what someone quoted in the article said about it being unwise of Apple to not show up, I think it was actually quite wise. First, this will just wither away. Apple's presence would have lent it too much credibility. Second, what are the chances of any anti-business and anti-monopoly action being taken by the current congress and white house? None. The door hadn't even shut on their way into the white house before they laid down for microsoft 4.5 years ago.
  • Reply 15 of 24
    murkmurk Posts: 935member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Chris Cuilla

    Of course it is. This is war...and, as they say, all is fair...blah blah blah.



    And BTW...despite what someone quoted in the article said about it being unwise of Apple to not show up, I think it was actually quite wise. First, this will just wither away. Apple's presence would have lent it too much credibility. Second, what are the chances of any anti-business and anti-monopoly action being taken by the current congress and white house? None. The door hadn't even shut on their way into the white house before they laid down for microsoft 4.5 years ago.




    Ah, but Steve Jobs is a well known Democrat. They don't like us so much you know. Tom Delay will teach him a thing or two about cavorting around with Al Gore. If that fails, well at least they've successfully deployed another weapon of mass distraction.
  • Reply 16 of 24
    The thread title makes no sense whatsoever .... am I missing something ???



    "shunt" just doesn't make sense in that context.
  • Reply 17 of 24
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,146member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by KingOfSomewhereHot

    The thread title makes no sense whatsoever .... am I missing something ???



    "shunt" just doesn't make sense in that context.




    Actually I meant "Stunt". See what lack of sleep gets you? Thank KingOfSomewhereHot...damn that's a long handle.
  • Reply 18 of 24
    Quote:

    Originally posted by hmurchison

    Actually I meant "Stunt". See what lack of sleep gets you? Thank KingOfSomewhereHot...damn that's a long handle.



    Ah! ... that makes all sorts of sense then ...

    I should have been able to figure that out, but im working on the same "lack of sleep" problem.
  • Reply 19 of 24
    tmptmp Posts: 601member
    I was under the impression that you could save your iTunes files as MP3's in iTunes. As a matter of fact, I was doing it to create ringtones for my phone.



    Or, you could burn them to disc.



    This makes about as much sense as the ads for that (ahem) other music download service saying that it cost 10k to fill up your iPod. It could be literally true, but still idiotic.
  • Reply 20 of 24
    shetlineshetline Posts: 4,695member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by tmp

    I was under the impression that you could save your iTunes files as MP3's in iTunes. As a matter of fact, I was doing it to create ringtones for my phone.



    iTunes will convert music your rip from your own CDs to MP3, but it won't convert music you buy from the iTunes Music Store into MP3 unless you use a roundabout method, like burning your iTMS purchases to a CD, then ripping from that CD.
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