What's the intent of copy restriction for iTunes music?

When I buy music from iTunes, what is it they want me not to do with it to protect intellectual property rights?

This should be easier to figure out than it seems. I did some hunting around in the iTunes Store and found a document titled “Terms and Conditions”, which I downloaded. It’s larger than many novels, and in my text editor has 1900 lines of text. The language is pretty dense and technical. I don’t think comprehending it is a very practical option for a lay person. Hunting around elsewhere in the Store and the iTunes app hasn’t turned anything else useful up yet. Neither has browsing the web or reading some wikipedia articles.

The sort of thing I’m curious about is whether it’s permissible to give Mrs. Napier copies of the tunes I’ve bought, as she’s getting an iPod for Christmas, or sharing them with for example the Napierette with whom I exchange ideas and suggestions for some kinds of music we both like.

It is easier to figure out what the software actually lets me do. It allows quite a lot. As near as I can tell, I could be peddling compilation CD’s on the street corner without it stopping me, depending. But I’m not interested in this. It also looks like shoplifting and stealing patio furniture would often work, and I’m not interested in these either.

Obviously the music industry has sold records for years with the understanding that multiple people may be in the room when they’re played, so clearly every single listener need not pay, but with technology that facilitates for example putting the library on a network drive so a whole housefull of users can access it, which involves copying and so forth, is that part of the deal? It even looks like there are features built into the software with that intent.

Mods, if this violates some rule against soliciting legal advice, then erase it, but it hardly seems like the kind of question it’s reasonable to hire a lawyer for. Besides, I make my living partly via intellectual property law, and am just plain curious.

Blame the Music Industry.

Apple sells their music and makes them tons of money, but they’re stuck in an ancient mindset of trying to tightly control what amounts to wind.

Heck, last spring there were some rumblings about them trying to force vendors (such as the iTunes Store) to put in expiration code into the music so that it would be deleted after 10 years.

In September, the Music Industry lost a lawsuit against Verizon which would have forced them/YOU to pay something like 26 or 38 cents every time a ringtone using part of a copyrighted song played on your phone, under the premise that this somehow constituted a “public concert”.

Remember (or be told if you’re not old enough to remember) that the Entertainment Industry has fought tooth and nail against every advance in recording media. You couldn’t be allowed to record TV shows or movies, you couldn’t be able to copy a tape, blah blah blah, because it was THEIR intellectual property and you were stealing it and depriving them of money. (Break out a couple of cases of nano-violins over that one.)

Believe me, that is NOT their understanding.
I have personally known a coffee shop owner who got a visit from the music police (BMI / ASCAP / RIAA - I don’t know who) and was forced to pay a fine because they were playing a CD that they had purchased as background music in their shop.

The music industry’s preferred business model is one in which everyone must pay each time they hear a piece of music. It’s only practicality that prevents them from trying to implement this.

It has always been the policy of the organizations you name to charge for the commercial use of their music. If you play music in your store to draw customers, whether you are Walmart or a coffee shop, you should pay for that.

Don’t confuse Perfromance Rights Orgs with copyright restrictions. They are different.

To oversimplify a bit, as long as you treat downloaded music like music on hard devices the same you’re fine.

What is not OK is to copy it. You’re allowed to make a copy for your own use or for back up copy, but that’s it.

If I take a copy of Olivia Newton-John’s Physical that I bought off iTunes and put it on my iPod. I’m OK.

If I take the song OFF my iPod and put it on my husband’s iPod, I’m OK. As I’m merely transfering ownership. Like when I sell or give away a used CD.

But if I keep the copy of Physical on my iPod and put another copy on my husband’s iPod, now I’ve violated the law.

Because I only bought one copy. If I bought a physical record of *Physical * I couldn’t put it on two record players at once could I? Of course not, I’d have to buy two records to do that.

As for Performance Rights Orgs, if you play copyrighted music in public you need to pay royalties on it. BMI, ASCAP and SESAC, are such organizations that issue licenses and then sample the music in live performance, stores, and online and radio etc, to distribute royalties to Composers, Authors and Publishers (the CAP in ASCAP)

If you don’t want to buy a license you can simply play music that isn’t copyrighted. This would be very easy today.

Just go on MySpace and find bands and say “Can I play your music for free in my store. It’d be good advertising for you.” You would get quite a lot of music that way.

Here’s an interesting example. In the Itunes Edit > Preferences > Sharing tab there is a checkbox for “Share my library on my local network”, and it includes a “Share selected playlists” option that lets you pick the “Purchased” playlist. This looks to me like an intentional software feature that cannot possibly be used for anything other than distributing the music I bought to other people. Do I misunderstand what this is for?

This feature only works on your local subnet, and protected music will only play on up to five authorized computers.

Yes, but, the point is, this is sharing it with other people, isn’t it? Besides, I thought they announced last April that the protection had been taken off their music.

You can authorize up to five computers on the same iTunes store account. So you CAN put that purchased music on your home computer, your laptop, your iPod, your SO’s computer and Uncle Bob’s computer all at the same time.

Sharing is with authorized computers signed into the same store account on the same network.

Okay, let’s cut to the chase. Apple and the various recording industry representatives made an agreement about music you buy from iTunes. Here it is:

[li]You are allowed to make CDs of your music for your own use in CD players.[/li]
[li]You are allowed to share the music through iTunes with up to five other local computers running iTunes that you own.[/li]
[li]You are permitted to copy your music to all iPods you own.[/li][/ul]

(See a recurring theme there?)

What the iTunes licensing agreement does not allow is you to share your music with someone else. That person must buy their own music (and videos).

So, Mrs. Napier has to buy her own damn music. (Or, you can buy it for her buy gifting it through iTunes.)

Until recently, Apple had copy protection on their music that would help enforce their license, but about a year ago, Apple removed all copy protection from their music.

That means you can easily copy your iTunes music to Mrs. Napier iPod. However, that’s breaking the licensing you agreed to when you purchased your songs. Since I have friends in the music industry (musicians mainly), I really wish you purchase new music for Mrs. Napier. Or, give her an iTunes gift card and let her buy her own. Some of them own me money, and I’d like to get paid back.

Unless her laptop is owned by Mr. Napier? Not arguing qazwart, just that’s what I take from your post. (Or co-owned I guess – if the song is bought out of a couple’s joint account and the computers are jointly owned it still all seems legit).

I’m not sure about the legalities, but I’ve never run into copyright restrictions with any music I’ve purchased through iTunes. I have a copy of the song on my computer. I have another copy on my iPhone. I can even change the file from an aac to an mp3 right in iTunes and transfer it to my older Creative Zen player. I understand as long as I’m doing this for my own use only and not sharing it, then it isn’t a problem.

Thank you, Chimera and qazwart. That does indeed cut to the chase. We will pay for a separate copy for Mrs. Napier’s “own damn music” - note that the premise of the OP was that I wanted to be compliant whether I could get away with less or not.

I wonder about the case Apollyon describes, but a somewhat similar situation exists with software, and for example the fact that my employer is the owner of some of “my” PCs as well as thousands of others does not mean they can buy one copy of an app and run it on all of them.

There is a widespread statement especially among younger consumers that intellectual property does not need to be paid for, and it seems like iTunes and similar systems have made it vastly easier to get intellectual property without paying. This must have the music business concerned (though it wouldn’t be the first time, as when casette tapes came out in the 60’s even record stores would make copies of records). On the other hand, I didn’t even think I liked music much, but since I got my iPod I have bought 598 new songs, whereas it is at least plausible I would never have bought another song (it’s probably been 15 years since my last previous music purchase), so it is also opening up a new kind of business.

Thanks, everybody!

The specific terms of the ITunes agreement seems to be “up to 5 computers you own.”

The specific terms of many (most?) software licensing agreements today are “1 computer you own, plus one backup copy.” That’s why your employer has 5000 Office licenses for the 5000 copies of Word on all the campus PCs. And 5000 licenses for whatever antivirus app is installed, etc.

Bottom line: The rules are whatever the vendors’ lawyers say the rules are. The software may or may not try real hard to enforce the rules. And yes, they can be practically all but indecipherable from the EULA fine print.

When multiple CPUs and then multiple cores first came out there was a flail about whether a computer with 2 CPUs needed two licenses (at twice the total cost) or just one.

Some Microsoft server software is, or at least was, licensed per CPU. Got a 4-CPU server? Pay for 4 licenses of SQL Server or whatever. The advent of multi-core CPUs & the adverse market reaction pretty well killed that, so most stuff is now licensed per OS instance.

Then we get into virtual machines.

If I have one physical hardware device running Windows which in turn is running 10 virtual machines each with Windows & some other software, how many Windows licenses do I need? The answer is 11. And how many for the various apps on those virtual servers? Generally one per app per OS instance. So if all the virts had Brand X antivirus or Brand Y business app installed, you’d need 10 licenses of each.

I’m not convinced that you wouldn’t be compliant buying a single copy of a song, and putting it on your, your wife’s, and even your minor children’s computers/iPods. You and your wife (presumably) own many other things together, why not music? If you want to needlessly pay twice for the same song, that’s up to you, but I haven’t seen anything that convinces me you legally need to.

No, indeed, and if iTunes music was licensed like most software (single installation only) then I wouldn’t be suggesting it, but if you can (legitimately) have the same music on up to 5 machines (and any number of iPods) that **you **own then that is not the same license as MS Office (for instance).

Who are you calling young? :slight_smile: Actually, my iPod has over 2k songs on it, legitimately bought and paid for. (Mostly ripped / format-shifted from my CDs – which is legal in NZ – but also some albums bought from ITunes). I’m not advocating piracy / IP theft / whatever. (Not that I think you were implying that…) :slight_smile:

Yes, the point I was making (badly) was that jointly owned property would / should work for the 5 machine license – I have a computer, my wife has a computer, but actually, legally, *we *have two jointly owned computers, and if I buy a tune from ITunes using joint funds that can be legitimately put on up to 5 machines of the same owner then it seems reasonable that it is licensed to be put on both *my *and my wife’s PCs.

Apollyon, thanks. For good or ill, I didn’t mean to suggest that YOU are young. If you had suggested that we should make all the copies we like on the basis that the record companies were jerks, I might have suspected you of it, but let’s just say I hope you’re whatever age you want to be.

What is interesting, though, is that several of us in this thread have been trying to think through what it is Apple allows and what it doesn’t. It should be perfectly clear, at least to those of us who have agreed to their terms. That hunting around on their web site or reading a few pages here and there through the agreement didn’t clear it up for me immediately is some kind of travesty.

Though, some of us seem quite clear on what the rules are, so there must be some way of figuring it out.

Most songs on iTunes now come without any kind of DRM, so it appears that the age of restricted music downloads is over. LaLa and Rhapsody all give you plain-ol .mp3 files when you pay for them. Of course, the subscription services like Napster still use DRM to make sure that you’re still paying for access to the songs.

The record industry was terrified that if people were allowed to download music as free and open files, they’d start making thousands of copies and handing them out to friends or throwing them from parade floats like in Batman. When people with power (like Stevie Jobs) finally convinced them that these things wouldn’t happen, they relented.

Of course, if you purchase any type of video download (TV show, movie) it’s DRM’d to hell and back to the point where you probably can’t play it on the thing you want to play it on.

First it was music, now it’s movies, next it will be novels.

These asshats just won’t learn.

Heh… I’d rather be a bit younger… getting older isn’t everything it’s cracked up to be. :slight_smile:

No, I agree that the artists (and backing players, and sound techs, etc) should all get paid for the work they do, and that we should (in general) be good citizens and respect the laws that are in place to ensure the smooth(ish) running of society.

That said, I do feel that the music publishing companies are pretty much jerks. :slight_smile:

So while I certainly don’t think we should be IP scofflaws, I do think that the balance of power in the IP / copyright area has shifted too far in one direction (and away from the public good) – in part because the corporations have a lot of focused lobbying ability and money, and every reason to argue for their side of the equation.

All of which means I think we the paying customers should be standing up for our “rights” or at least what we paid for.

With all due respect to qazwart’s opinion that “Mrs. Napier has to buy her own damn music”, if (and only if) the license allows you and Mrs. Napier to jointly own music and have it on two machines for the price of one license, then only a damn fool would pay the music company twice.

Well, a couple of colleagues and I occasionally browsed through / listened to each others’ music, and while we could see each other’s purchased music, we couldn’t LISTEN to it. One fellow tried one of mine, and it asked him to authorize my account to his computer (one of the five authorized computers that can play music purchased from an account).

Markxxx - you and your husband are both allowed to play Physical on your ipods - at the same time if you like. ITunes allows you to authorize up to 5 computers (e.g. we have my laptop and my desktop), and you can sync multiple iPods to each computer.

If I were to copy an iTunes-sourced song and send the file to a friend, s/he couldn’t play it. The DRM ties it to my account specifically. S/he would have to have my account ID and password. (note: that may no longer be true with ITunes Plus).