iTunes: Convert/Format "Protected" Song Files?

Amie

Mac Convert for Life
I'm trying to convert/format song files from my iTunes library from their original MP4 format to MP3 so that my friend's old PC can open the files (he can't open MP4s). This is not a problem with most songs in my library as I've imported them from my own CDs. However, iTunes won't let me convert/format any songs that I've purchased from the iTunes Music Store because these songs are "protected." Is that final, or is there some way around this?...
 

ElDiabloConCaca

U.S.D.A. Prime
Nope, that's part of the license for a protected file -- circumventing the protection is illegal, and converting a protected file bit-for-bit to an unprotected file is circumventing the protection.

What version of Windows is your friend running? If it's a modern Windows version, he might be able to install iTunes for Windows, and then you could "authorize" his computer to play your songs... you can authorize up to 5 computers to play a single protected song:

http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=93014

You can also burn the protected MP4 songs to a CD in Audio CD format, then re-import them into iTunes in an unprotected format, but you suffer quality loss by doing this.
 

Amie

Mac Convert for Life
Thanks very much, ElDiabloConCaca!

OK, I just have to ask: Now I'm not real fluent in Spanish but ... does your screen name translate to English as: The Devil With Sh*t??? I swear that's what it means, if I'm recalling Spanish 101 correctly. LOL
 

ElDiabloConCaca

U.S.D.A. Prime
Heh... I prefer "The Devil With Poop" but it's actually "El Diablo Con Queso" -- I was just one letter too long with that name and was scrambling for a decent four-letter spanish word (instead of "Queso") and that just came out.

Either way, they both kinda roll off the tongue, no? ;)
 

ElDiabloConCaca

U.S.D.A. Prime
Yes, yes it does.

The name came from a Mexican wrestler we saw on Univision, the local Spanish-language channel. It just sounded like a good nickname for him... hehe...
 

scruffy

Notorious Olive Counter
Actually circumventing copy protection may well not be illegal if you're not in the USA - check your local laws.

In the States, it probably is illegal - a separate question there is whether the laws under which it is illegal, are themselves constitutional.
 

Amie

Mac Convert for Life
OK, I realize now that it's not permitted (and illegal, and breaking the iTunes agreement) to share a song purchased from the iTunes Music Store with another individual. While I have no desire to engage in any type of illegal activity, I find this "rule" ridiculous. When you burn songs from your own CDs, which you have purchased, to your iTunes library, you're free to do as you please with these songs. You can send them to friends, share them, etc. Songs which you've purchased from the iTunes Music Store should be allowed to be treated the same way as songs which you've purchased on a CD from, say, a music store in the mall. In *both* cases, the songs are *yours*--you *bought* them--and you should be able to share them regardless from where you purchased them.

iTunes people, if you're reading this, you may want to consider tweaking your agreement statement. I mean, come on ... it's just ridiculous and cannot be justified into making sense in any way.
 

jh2112

Registered
The truth is that you own the cd, not the music on it.
Also iTunes store would not exist without file protection as the record companies would not licence the music to Apple if they thought it would be distributed freely.
 

ElDiabloConCaca

U.S.D.A. Prime
Yep -- even though you paid your $20 for that CD at Best Buy, you still do not "own" the music. You are not free to copy the CD and sell it, nor are you allowed to copy the CD and distribute it to your friends. Both of those things are illegal to do with physical CDs. You own the plastic and metalloid-film that the CD is made from (but NOT the music), and you own the ink that the CD was printed with (but not the actual artwork on the CD). It's this whole "intellectual property" thing. For someone who has created something, it's a good thing. For someone who would like to enjoy something that another has created, it can be frustrating.

It's just one of these things -- music is different... video is different... it's portable, and you can physically touch the medium on which it's delivered, and you can lock it away so that no one can watch it, but you don't actually own the "intellectual property" -- the music or the video -- that the medium contains. In a world of black-and-white "mine" and "not mine," it's tough to enforce rules with these kinds of things. Just because you CAN copy the file onto the gnutella network with little-to-no effort doesn't mean that you SHOULD or that it's legal.

If you were the artist, and you made a living from your movie or your songs, would you want people to purchase the movie/songs so that you can make money, or would you rather them freely trade the video/music effectively reducing your paycheck to $0? It's like a client not paying a design firm for their work but taking the design home anyway -- sure, you don't have to be face-to-face with Madonna in order to obtain her music, but it's still stealing.

Besides, what can you NOT do with your music now that you did in the past with other forms of media? You can listen to it at home on any device you want, you can take it with you in your car and to work, and you can copy it to a bunch of computers and still enjoy it. You can stream it to any computer you want. You can have a block party with it. You can do everything you could do with vinyl and cassettes and CDs and then some.

One thing you can't do that comes to mind is give it away for free. Whose loss is that? Seems more the recipient's loss than mine.

It seems to me that even though the customer will never exceed the limits of the restrictions, or even partake in anything that would exploit those restrictions, or ever encounter a situation where they cannot do what they wanted because of a restriction, it's the actual thought that something is restricting some sort of usage that bothers people.

I think the RIAA and all the new music-oriented companies have a long, long, long road ahead of them. It's going to be a long time before people agree on a middle ground, and the world seems to be pretty divided on this currently.
 

jh2112

Registered
Agreed. As long as countries such as China and Thailand don't respect international copyright, then any measures taken will ultimately be fruitless. Piracy will remain rife.
 

fryke

Moderator
Staff member
Mod
Either way: We on macosx.com don't want to go too deep into these things. ;) (See board rules...) You _can_ do the burn-to-cd-re-import and lose a little bit of quality. But basically, you shouldn't "spread" the music you've bought.
 

lbj

Registered
And artists desiring to send their kids to school, have food on the table, and a roof over their head. So sad... *sigh*
 

Amie

Mac Convert for Life
lbj said:
And artists desiring to send their kids to school, have food on the table, and a roof over their head. So sad... *sigh*
Oh, yeah. Most professional singers make millions more than you or I will ever see. Real sad. :rolleyes:
 

fryke

Moderator
Staff member
Mod
Huh? You don't _TRULY_ mean "most professional singers" are on the money level of Madonna or Prince, right?
 

Amie

Mac Convert for Life
fryke said:
Huh? You don't _TRULY_ mean "most professional singers" are on the money level of Madonna or Prince, right?
Read the entire thread. That's not what we're talking about.
 

lbj

Registered
Amie said:
Oh, yeah. Most professional singers make millions more than you or I will ever see. Real sad. :rolleyes:
And most Americans (let alone the rest of the world) will never own a laptop, so I guess it's ok for them to steal your iBook.

My, aren't we generous with other people's livelihoods?
 

Amie

Mac Convert for Life
lbj said:
And most Americans (let alone the rest of the world) will never own a laptop, so I guess it's ok for them to steal your iBook.

My, aren't we generous with other people's livelihoods?
Yeah ... THAT analogy made a lot of sense. I'll just bet you're captain of the Debate Team. :rolleyes:
 
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