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EFF criticizes Apple for watermarking DRM-free tracks

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 04 Jun 2007 14:51 User comments (8)

EFF criticizes Apple for watermarking DRM-free tracks The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has begun criticizing Apple over its practice of embedding user information into its DRM-free purchased tracks from the iTunes store. The group feels that practice poses a security risk to its users.
Embedded within the files are the customer's name and email address, and the EFF claims that the data can be pose a privacy issue to many users. If, for example your iPod is stolen, the information can be uncovered rather easily by the theif. Although there is not sensitive data embedded, such as credit card numbers or phone numbers, the addition of DRM-free purchases makes it even easier for the information to get stolen.

Although Apple has never given a specific reason for the watermarks, most believe it is because they would like the ability to track files if they end up on P2P networks.

"Bottom line: DRM-free doesn't mean that Apple suddenly supports piracy,"
Erica Sadun wrote for The Unofficial Apple Weblog last week.

Source:
BetaNews

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8 user comments

14.6.2007 15:16

Interesting. Not an amazingly liability, but a keen way to find who spreads their files around. I wonder when/if someone will hack a way around this. Hmm.

24.6.2007 18:09

Originally posted by Moomoo2:
Interesting. Not an amazingly liability, but a keen way to find who spreads their files around. I wonder when/if someone will hack a way around this. Hmm.
It's not difficult at all to remove the user information from MP4-encapsulated AAC files. Just extract the raw AAC, and then re-encapsulate it with MP4. That's how QTFairUse removes DRM, although QTFairUse has to grab the AAC from memory. But grabbing raw AAC from unprotected MP4 files is easy. Just use MP4Box, for which there is a great GUI, called YAMB.

34.6.2007 19:23

Quote:
The group feels that practice poses a security risk to its users.
Not any more than getting files off of a P2P network. ;)

44.6.2007 20:09

It was always going to have a loop hole. There has to be a way to not put in the information. Plus editing the files that have those information on them it will make users alter it and then you can put made up info on it.

55.6.2007 0:16

Does anyone smell that.......sniff sniff.......
It smells like a lawsuit in the works!
Here we go again! 'rolls eyes'

620.6.2007 0:28

FISSION LOSSLESS AUDIO EDITOR
Fission is a streamlined audio editor that lets you copy, paste and trim audio, as well as split files, all with no quality loss!
home page - http://www.rogueamoeba.com/fission/

If you're among that number and a Mac user, there's a solution. Rogue Amoeba's $32 audio editor, Fission, can strip out the identifying information in an iTunes Plus track without changing the file's audio.

723.7.2007 15:59

What is to prevent somebody from just using a dummy email address? There are plenty of places that allow you to get an email address with no verification of anything.

826.7.2007 20:04

Are you also going to fake the credit card/paypal account to buy the song to begin with?

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