Thursday, 7 June 2007

Apple’s File Labeling: An Effective Anticopying Tool?

Recently it was revealed that Apple’s new DRM-free iTunes tracks come with the buyer’s name encoded in their headers.

There are many discussions on how bad it is to add buyer's name in the header of the music file, and I honestly believe that Apple would have known all these issues and it is not implemented without careful consideration. So what is the REAL reason of doing this?

IMHO, adding information in the header of a file has always been there and removing such information is just a matter of getting the right skill or tool. So encryption of the information is NOT an issue. (Just look at the properties of any MS Word document, how many people actually take that seriously?)

Given that such information can be added and removed (with the right tool and skill), this is also not a great method to prove, beyond reasonable doubt, that a music file was copied from a certain source. Tracking distribution via header information as such, with good defense lawyers, should be very difficult to establish because anyone can just pretend to be anyone else.

This is a very clever move, Apple!

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