Home page logo

interesting-people logo Interesting People mailing list archives

Time to return the Shuffle I just bought as a gift -- Apple Adds Still More DRM to iPod Shuffle
From: David Farber <dave () farber net>
Date: Sat, 14 Mar 2009 15:21:05 -0400


Begin forwarded message:

From: Joseph Lorenzo Hall <joehall () gmail com>
Date: March 14, 2009 9:59:37 AM EDT
To: Dave Farber <dave () farber net>
Subject: Apple Adds Still More DRM to iPod Shuffle


Apple Adds Still More DRM to iPod Shuffle

Commentary by Fred von Lohmann

Even as it attacks DRM on music, Apple is continuing to add more DRM
to its own hardware (we recently documented all of Apple's various
hardware DRM restrictions). The latest example is the new iPod
Shuffle. According to the careful reviewers at iLounge, third-party
headphone makers will have to use yet-another Apple "authentication
chip" if they want to interoperate with the new Shuffle.

Normally, of course, independent headphone makers could simply reverse
engineer the interface. The "authentication chip" is there so that
Apple's lawyers can invoke the DMCA to block those efforts. So this
shows us, yet again, what DRM is for -- not stopping piracy, but
rather impeding competition and innovation.

iLounge sums up what this means for consumers:

   This is, in short, a nightmare scenario for long-time iPod fans:
are we entering a world in which Apple controls and taxes literally
every piece of the iPod purchase from headphones to chargers, jacking
up their prices, forcing customers to re-purchase things they already
own, while making only marginal improvements in their functionality?
It’s a shame, and one that consumers should feel empowered to fight.

Couldn't have said it better myself.

One final thought: why have so many of the reviews of iPods failed to
notice the proliferation of these Apple "authentication chips"? If it
were Microsoft demanding that computer peripherals all include
Microsoft "authentication chips" in order to work with Windows (or
Toyota or Ford doing the same for replacement parts), I'd think
reviewers would be screaming about it.

Joseph Lorenzo Hall
ACCURATE Postdoctoral Research Associate
UC Berkeley School of Information
Princeton Center for Information Technology Policy

Archives: https://www.listbox.com/member/archive/247/=now
RSS Feed: https://www.listbox.com/member/archive/rss/247/
Powered by Listbox: http://www.listbox.com

  By Date           By Thread  

Current thread:
  • Time to return the Shuffle I just bought as a gift -- Apple Adds Still More DRM to iPod Shuffle David Farber (Mar 14)
[ Nmap | Sec Tools | Mailing Lists | Site News | About/Contact | Advertising | Privacy ]