In my previous post I wrote a disagreement with Bob Lefsetz regarding his rant on how Apple implemented iTunes Plus (i.e., DRM-free music). I thought Bob was wound a little tight, but the man’s entitled (we all are), and I like his site.
Now, just a few hours later, Bob has another rant up, and it seems he’s just shy of wearing a tin foil hat. The conspiracies are everywhere. Here is the complaint:
“In case you’ve been out of the Net loop, when you buy an UNRESTRICTED track at the iTunes Store, it comes with your NAME and E-MAIL address EMBEDDED!”
From there, the rant and conspiracy theories build:
“Just like Lindsay Lohan can’t cover up the fact that she crashed her car high on coke, Apple and EMI can’t cover up the fact that they’re fucking with us. This is WORSE than restricted/DRM/copy-protected music!”
Bob, they tried to hide nothing. It’s pretty easy to spot. Surely if there was something diabolical involved they could have done a better job. Of course, they didn’t need to do a better job because there is nothing diabolical going on here.
“They’re trying to SCARE US back into the last century. Trying to trip us up, trying to keep us playing on their terms. EMI hasn’t given up on copy protection, they’ve just instituted a NEW ONE! Wherein they can trace your track if you choose to do anything untoward with it. Yup, if it’s your track that’s being traded P2P, you’re FUCKED! You’d better not open your music folder to P2P trading, your NAME might get out!”
Lay down the crack pipe, Bob, and walk… slowly… away. Please. Did you know that the iPod can transfer your legitimately purchased music to another computer? Did you know that you can complete an album for which you purchased individual tracks? Did you know that these features are possible because iTunes knows what tracks are yours? So, maybe this all boils down to an explanation along those lines, and nothing so grandiose as you propose.
Bob then sums it all up based on the firm belief in his own straw men:
“In other words, EMI just wanted to find a way to charge thirty cents more while RETAINING the copy protection. FUCKERS!”
Wow. Just wow.
There is little point in even addressing Bob’s writings on iTunes Plus at this point. No conspiracy theories are necessary. If EMI or Apple wanted to mark your files for “evil” purposes they wouldn’t do it in such an obvious fashion. However, if Apple wanted it in order to enable certain features that benefit you, then they wouldn’t have to worry about how they did it, would they?
The bottom line here is that Bob never met Occam’s Razor.
In short, Bob, take a nap. You need one.