Napster = Piracy

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Date: Friday, February 18th, 2005, 08:00
Category: Uncategorized

The reincarnated Napster has worked hard to shed its old image. Working with MP3 players that use Janus digital rights protection, this model of renting an unlimited number of songs has several drawbacks and one huge flaw. The major drawback for legitimate users is that after the initial benefit of unlimited numbers passes, that monthly fee keeps eating into your bank account. Worse, when you stop paying, you loose access to everything. So what is the big deal-breaker? There are already fairly simple ways to strip the DRM protection from the files. They picked Microsoft to handle the security of these songs. Big mistake, considering how vulnerable Microsoft tends to be on security. Try as they might to change the Napster image, one likely outcome of the distribution scheme is that pirating teens will buy one or two months of service and download like crazy. They will then strip the DRM from thousands of songs and cancel the subscription. The scheme is so back loaded it almost encourages this slash and burn mentality. It reminds me of the record clubs of the 1970’s that would send you a dozen free albums if you agreed to buy many more in the future. The recording industry will not be amused by this almost predictable outcome

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