Anti-iTunes DRM Demonstration Brings Out The Haz Mat Nerds

We somehow missed news of this, but there was a nationwide protest at various Apple Stores on Friday, trying to educate people about the dangers of DRM. The primary danger being, of course, the fact that it’s bad for consumers because it locks you in to a single competitor… if you put your head in the microwave and then decide to switch from an iPod to a Creative Zen, you need to repurchase all your iTunes songs. Ironically enough, this protest was held the same day I decided to give my aged mother my old Dell DJ and invest in an iPod myself. Unfortunately, I went to Best Buy, so I didn’t run into any of the guys at the Boston Apple store; otherwise, we might have had some of that first-hand content Ben’s always telling me I should be trying to find.

It’s a good, if perhaps idealistic, cause, so we wondered how the protest turned out: if this video of the protest at the San Francisco Apple store is any indication, each store’s protest was launched by four smelly nerds dressed in Haz Mat suits, presumably to seal off their B.O. from the ordinary people whom they deigned to edify.

There’s somehow nothing sadder than when a protest in favor of a cause you believe in only manages to pull in a handful of dudes.

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Anti-iTunes DRM demonstrations across the USA tomorrow [Boing Boing]


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  1. Hooray4Zoidberg says:

    I’m against DRM myself, but I felt I should point out that you aren’t completley bound to Apple or the iPod if you purchase music through iTunes. iTunes allows you to burn your protected music onto unprotected CDs. Of course you can only burn it a few times before the DRM kicks in, but once you have your music on a CD you can rip it back onto your computer in any format you like.

    It’s not the most elegant solution, but it’s worth mentioning for those that don’t know. I still buy CDs myself, the convenience of iTunes doesn’t outweight the annoyances of DRM. That is of course assuming that the CD doesn’t have any horrid DRM schemes *cough *cough Sony *cough

  2. Ben Popken says:

    SwissBuckeye writes:

    “It’s possible that I suffer from some kind of mp3 player inferiority complex. After all, I own a Creative Zen MicroPhoto. But it drives me crazy when I see misleading iTunes info like the one from your post. Using iTunes tracks on your Zen (or Dell DJ, or any other player) does not require repurchasing. Simply burn your purchases to a CD and rip them back to your computer, sans DRM.”

  3. DeeJayQueue says:

    Yeah, but doing that is a lossy process. It’s like saving a .jpg file twice over itself. You’ve already lost clarity in simply buying the song from iTMS in the first place, then you burn it to a CD, then you rip it back, which even if you use the highest settings possible you’ll still lose more quality as it converts to .mp3 or whatever you choose.

    DRM sucks big nuts, but honestly if we have to live with it, i think they’ve got the best solution thus far; much better than Sony, that’s for sure.

  4. Hooray4Zoidberg says:

    I understand there is some loss in quality during the transfer, but I personally have never noticed a difference. As I said it’s not the most elegant solution but it sure beats re-purchasing all the songs you bought on iTunes in order to play them on a non iPod mp3 player.

  5. Benko says:

    with respect to it being a lossy process; keep in mind that most ipod users listen using those tiny earbuds to already very lossy music. in short, most people aren’t audiophiles, so i don’t think quality is that much of an issue.

  6. If quality isn’t an issue, how about it being a complete and total fucking pain in the ass to burn thousands of mp4s to CDs to rerip them to another format? Not to mention a huge investment in money to buy the media.

  7. Benko says:

    alright, then fuck buying music online. go out and buy the damn CD and quit whining. you’re agreeing to be locked into a format the second you willingly buy anything from the itms. no one’s forcing you to buy crappy protected AAC music.
    convenience now or later; it’s your choice.