In today’s New York Times, Randall Stross writes, Want an iPhone? Beware the iHandcuffs
Here is how FairPlay works: When you buy songs at the iTunes Music Store, you can play them on one — and only one — line of portable player, the iPod. And when you buy an iPod, you can play copy-protected songs bought from one — and only one — online music store, the iTunes Music Store.
Well, I suppose that might be “fair play” if you make your living selling iPods or you’re a record company whose business plan is to sell listeners the same music over and over, each time they want to listen on a different media. Great business if you can get away with it.
Make no mistake: I’m not advocating we steal content. That’s not right. The Campaign for Audiovisual Free Expression puts it succinctly:
- Piracy of an artist’s work is illegal. Fair use is not.
- We have the right to hear, speak, learn, sing, think, watch, and be heard.
- No one should assume by default that we’re criminals, and the technology we use shouldn’t do so either.
- We have a right to use technology to shift time & space.