Alastair’s Place

Software development, Cocoa, Objective-C, life. Stuff like that.

Common Sense From EFF? Not.

Apparently, Apple’s new DRM-free music embeds your name and e-mail address in the music files, presumably so that it’s easy to find out whose copy of the file was illegally distributed (when it inevitable is).

A MacNN article is quoting Fred von Lohmann, one of the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s senior intellectual property attorneys, as having said that

Some of the privacy problems, in light of this, is [sic] that anyone who steals an iPod that includes purchased iTunes music will now have the name and e-mail address of its rightful owner.

Forgive me for pointing out the obvious, but people commonly mark their name and address onto items that they don’t want to lose, presumably on the assumption that it’s more likely that something will be lost and then found (and maybe handed in) by an honest individual, rather than stolen.

In fact, many devices (iPods included, if I remember correctly) have special options to let the user put their name and address in them.

I’m sure the response from the “privacy” advocates will be that the user has the option to set these settings, whereas they have no choice over whether this information is embedded in their music files or not. But even if that’s true, it’s a very weak argument indeed.

(For those who are wondering, I put privacy in quotes when I talk about “privacy” advocates, because most of them are not, in fact, advocating privacy. Instead, the majority advocate anonymity, which is quite different and has many effects that are detrimental to the rest of society [for instance, it’s much easier and safer to commit fraud and other crimes if you have anonymity…]. Fred von Lohmann’s comments suggest that he is one of these anonymity advocates.)