This page explains how Internet music distribution "services" trash your freedom, compared with buying a CD in a physical store. In other words, they are an attack against the public. I refuse to use any of them. Internet music downloader.
Two reasons "buying" music from Amazon is worse than buying a CD: you are required to identify yourself, and you don't even own it once you "buy" it. "Banshee" is a different interface to Amazon and has the same problems.
Just to twist the knife, around the start of 2014 Amazon removed the web interface to download more than one piece of music in one transaction, which at least could be used with a free browser. ( For reference.) That's now possible only through non-free software: specifically, apps offered on various mobile platforms.
openly admits that users pay to "borrow" a recording; they can never get their own copies through this disservice.
Pandora imposes DRM: you can listen but the software stops users from saving a copy of the music. But just in case you could overcome that, Pandora forbids using the service to download or make a copy on your own machine. It also denies other fair use rights.
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Pandora demands users give personal information — a valid email address, age, gender and postal code. This does not include the user's name, but the email address is likely to be connected with the name, and so is any payment (since it has to be done in methods that identify the user).
Many of these disservices require users to run non-free/libre software to access them; this is software that the users do not control.
Amazon requires running the proprietary MP3 Downloader, which runs only on proprietary operating systems, or else the proprietary Cloud Player.
Spotify in its usual mode of operation requires non-free software.
iTunes requires using the non-free iTunes software, which talks to the iTunes store via a secret protocol that is deliberately obfuscated. Jon Johansen figured out the protocol, around 2005-2006, and wrote free software to do the job; but Apple persistently changed the protocol to break the free client, and eventually Johansen abandoned the project. Evidently Apple is not satisfied with merely getting paid; it is determined to trash people's freedom.
The CD bought in a store is a good standard of comparison for judging these systems, but it is not an adequate standard of freedom, because copyright law by itself is too restrictive. Everyone should be free to share copies of published music — where sharing means noncommercial redistribiution of exact copies. In addition, remix (making a totally new work using parts of various works) should be legal. We must fight for these freedoms; in the mean time, we must reject these attempts by music sellers to change things for the worse.
If you listen to music in a way such that you don't have a copy, that makes you antisocial, because you don't have a copy to share with others.
Copyright (c) 2012, 2013 Richard Stallman Verbatim copying and redistribution of this entire page are permitted provided this notice is preserved.
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