EFF Releases “The Customer Is Always Wrong”

Article by Drew Wilson and Michael Ingram. Guest writer Drew Wilson is an active participant in the P2P community, often using the guise of IceCube. Michael Ingram is a staff writer for Slyck News.

Note: This is an article I wrote that was published elsewhere first. It has been republished here for archival purposes

The EFF has recently released a potentially controversial users guide that “[gives] you the real deal rather than spin.” The guide covers a wide array of popular music stores from Napster 2.0 to iTunes.

On September 1st, the EFF released a user’s guide to DRM that “‘translates’ the marketing messages by the major services”. The guide covers such music services as Apple’s iTunes, Microsoft’s Plays For Sure, RealNetworks, and Napster 2.0.

“…in this brave new world of ‘authorized music services,’ law-abiding music fans often get less for their money than they did in the old world of CDs (or at least, the world before record companies started crippling CDs with DRM, too). Unfortunately, in an effort to attract customers, these music services try to obscure the restrictions they impose on you with clever marketing,” the EFF online music guide explains.

The EFF unravels the marketing spin of these companies by explaining what rights are really restricted and compares reality to the slogans and corporate claims.

For example, Napster 2.0 is criticized for claiming their customers can have music “any way you want,” when in reality music portability is either barred by DRM, or will cost extra.

The guide also touches on how the DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) comes into play should you try and break the DRM.

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Google+.

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