Apple’s iTunes 4 not only lets Mac users buy songs from the new iTunes Music Store, but also inadvertently provides a way for people to illegally share songs, according to a Los Angeles Times
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“Apple’s iTunes software was designed to allow people to store songs on one Mac and play them on others on their home networks,” the story says. “But users quickly found a way to tweak the system to share their music collections with a wider group of people. In the two weeks that iTunes has been on the market, several Web sites have sprung up to help users find others who are sharing songs online. And some adept programmers have developed a way to let people copy those songs.”
Cary Ramos, an attorney for the National Music Publishers Association, told the LA Times that the situation seemed to indicate a security hole that Apple should address “immediately.” Though launched just 16 days ago, iTunes 4 and the music store have resulted in the sale of over two million songs.
Rob Lockstone, a software engineer who operated one such site (the iTunes Database), told the LA Times that his goal was to expose people to music they hadn’t heard before so “they would end up buying different and more music.” But he has since discontinued the service after finding that software is available that lets people copy the songs stored on others’ Macs, as well as listen to them.
“I cannot, in good conscience, continue to provide a service which will facilitate the theft of copyrighted material,” Lockstone writes in a note posted on the site. “Sadly, as I write this, people are trying to hack my site” to get access to the links they need for downloading.