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Apple Shafts Customers With DRM Deal

Yesterday, Apple announced that it is stripping digital rights management from the iTunes Music Store. That's great, but customers who want to upgrade are getting a raw deal.
Yesterday, Apple announced that it is stripping digital rights management from the iTunes Music Store. That's great, but customers who want to upgrade are getting a raw deal.Since its debut, I've downloaded about 500 tracks from the iTunes Music Store. All 500 of them are hindered by digital rights management and set at the 128-Kbps bit rate. I knew that when I bought the tracks, and had no problem with it at the time of purchase.

Now I do. Why? Because if I want to strip those tracks of the DRM that restricts them, I have to pay 30 cents per track to "upgrade." In order to get rid of the DRM on the tracks I already own, I would have to give Apple an additional $150. That's unacceptable.

I don't have a problem paying a bit more for higher quality tracks, but charging me a second time to unlock music I've already bought is just plain wrong.

This is partly why I've been using Amazon's DRM-free download service since it opened. Amazon often charges less than Apple, has all DRM-free music, and offers better quality for less money.

Apple, give your loyal customers a chance to unlock their DRM on their iTunes-bought tracks for free.

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Sara Peters, Editor-in-Chief, InformationWeek / Network Computing
John Edwards, Technology Journalist & Author
John Edwards, Technology Journalist & Author
James M. Connolly, Contributing Editor and Writer