PyMusique - iTunes Songs Without DRM

By Jon Newton 3/20/05

Are you one of the exclusive few willing to pay Freedom of Speech crusher Steve Jobs a dollar or more for a compressed music track?

And if that’s the case, are you seeking a “fair interface to the iTunes Music Store”?

Then look no further. A team comprising Travis Watkins, Cody Brocious and Apple nemesis Jon Lech Johansen who, you’ll recall, came up with DeCSS to decrypt Hollywood's Content Scrambling System (CSS), have just launched PyMusique.

Jon Newton

“The app provides the usual ITMS features - access to song previews and the ability to set up a payment account and to use it to buy songs - but there are two crucial differences,” says The Register’s Tony Smith.

“First, PyMusique allows you to re-download songs you've purchased. So if your hard drive goes up the Suwannee and you haven't backed it up for a while, you can re-acquire your ITMS-sourced song library.

“Second, none of the tracks you download will be encumbered with DRM.”

Smith points out that apart from potentially bypassing Apple's FairPlay copy protection system – “a no-no according to Europe's European Union Copyright Directive (EUCD)” - running PyMusique infringes the terms and conditions ITMS user agreement.

Doesn’t seem fair, does it, especially after you’ve already been ripped off for $1

Here, from Engadget, is a neat, crystal-clear, non-tech description. It seems the DRM is added to the tracks only, "after you’ve purchased and downloaded them, which sort of makes sense since they do need to be tagged to your account.

"You’ll still have to actually pay for the music, but PyMusique conveniently neglects to wrap the file with any copy protection, which means you’re free to do what you want with the unrestricted file, including copying it to multiple machines or sharing it over P2P. Hard to imagine how this could possibly be legal, since Apple specifically requires you to access the iTMS only through their software ... but you may as well enjoy the next six to twelve hours before Apple devises a way lock PyMusique users out."


Jon Newton is the editor of and is a regular contributer to MP3 Newswire. Jon's site is devoted to the politics of digital music and his insights as well as those of his co-writers can be read there. We urge you to explore it.


The Samsung Yepp YH-999 20 GB Portable Media Center is available on Amazon

Other MP3 stories:
What Makes a Journalist? Thoughts on Apple and Think Secret
iTunes Prices Too High
Can Free Broadcast TV Really Be Napsterized?


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