Apple steals iTunes customers’ paid-for rights to stream

Ack. Not good at all.

But once you install the new iTunes 4.7.1 “update” (more accurate to call it a “downgrade”) you lose that ability. Without telling anyone, Apple has stolen some of the rights you paid for when you bought your iTunes music, by adding limits to the number of people you can stream your music to in a 24 hour period. Imagine if your boom-box refused to switch itself on if too many people were in the room — the 21st Century equivalent of gathering in one room to listen to music is gathering on one network to do so, and Apple has just appointed itself the absolute, tyrannical ruler of the size of the social group that you’re allowed to stream iTunes music to.

Apple has done this downgrading several times before, taking away rights you paid for, like the right to burn a playlist 10 times (down to seven), the right to stream over the Internet (now jut the right to stream over the LAN) — and Apple’s also used its ability to remotely disable features on your iPod and in iTunes to shut out competitors’ products, like the Real music player and iPod Download, both of which offered legal functionality to Apple’s customers.

  • Christopher Phin

    Personally, I’m quite happy to limit the number of people connected to my shared music libraries, as it keeps network traffic to a minimum and prevents my laptop from grinding to a halt thanks to odd disk access.

    However, the key here is that I’d like to be able to apply this limit as an option, not have it forced on me.