Now that Apple is offering some of its content DRM free users are finding that their names and email addresses are being added to the file details! Here's a snippet from Wired:
"Earlier this week, Apple iTunes 7.2 brought the new ability to download tracks from EMI Records without copy protection. But the unprotected files are labeled with the buyer's details, leading some to wonder if Apple is appending the information as an anti-piracy measure.
But Apple is remaining mum about its reasoning."
The article goes on to quote Jupiter Research analyst Michael Gartenberg, who seems to be a little confused about the difference between the words may and can, about the reasoning behind the change. For the record people can and do steal TV sets from both locked and unlocked homes every day; it's strangely like piracy that way. Mr. Gartenberg mentions that there are legitimate reasons for appending the buyer's name and email address information to media such as upgrading fidelity and completing albums. The problem is that the extra data seems totally superfluous for both of those needs. Why would Apple care what the user's name or email address is if they had two songs from an album and thought they'd do well to just buy the rest or even upgrade the fidelity? It seems like the best and most logical use of such data is to provide an easy method to track down piracy at the point in which the file is shared for the first time.
What are the chances of Apple monitoring pirate sites and keeping tabs on people who have shopped with iTunes and then shared their new media with the world? Time and quite possibly a large lawsuit or two will tell.