Bad news for Napster

I mentioned a few days ago that the big problem with Napster To Go was the digital rights management technology that prevents you from keeping the music or burning it to CD. Now BoingBoing links to a strictly theoretical exercise that suggests you can turn a 14-day Napster trial into 252 CDs of DRM-free music.

I’m not sure whether the steps suggested are legal, but it illustrates – yet again – the problem with DRM: there’s always a way around it.

2 thoughts on “Bad news for Napster

  1. Stephen says:

    Love it! Especially the “pushing-the-envelope” nature of the theoretical solution: 1 PC to play the songs, one to encode to WAV, one to burn, all on a fast network… and these days who can’t get their hands on a few extra PCs for a few days after calling one or two friends?

  2. Gary says:

    Of course, this isn’t specific to Napster: it’s a flaw in all DRM systems known as the “analogue hole”. Basically if you can listen to something, you can use software to capture it or simply hook up a recorder to the line-out of a soundcard.

    Needless to say, the boffins are trying to find a way to “plug the analogue hole”, but as long as people have old kit, they’ll be able to bypass this stuff.

    I’m not aware of any DRM system that hasn’t been cracked…

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