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back to article Apple restricts ringtone rights

Yes, it seems unjust that Apple can charge you twice for an iPhone ringtone. But that's the way the fair-use cookie crumbles. As Apple supremo Steve Jobs announced last week, iTunes is now offering roughly a million ringtones for the iPhone - a $399 handheld that debuted little more than two months ago at $599 - and purchasing …

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Anonymous Coward

Long live Phreaky!!!

Give him Webster his own column - he's wasted here!!!

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tim

@brian

I agree

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It's not Apple, it's AT&T

First, it's not illegal to simply convery a ITMS purchase into a ringtone on your own. It's illegal to use tools to circumvent the DRM. However, Apple has given us a way out... Simply burn the song to CD, then re-import it as an MP3, then attack it normally with ringtone tools.

On the surface, all Apple is preventing you from doing is making rungtones without paying them a "service" fee to do so simple and using intelligent and integrated tools for existing software.

iTunes will, for .99 per use, allow approved songs to be edited, cut, converted, downloaded, and automatically added to your phone in a single operation using only 1 tool to do so. The restriction on what songs can be cut does fall under legal restrictions as Apple is commercially distributing edited works. Doing so on your own however is fair use and perfectly legal.

If you want to waste a blank CD, some time, and download several applications (one to crop the MP3, one to convert it to a supported ringtone format, one to crack the iTunes database and add the file, and possibly one to crack the phone to allow it to play your personal ringtone), go ahead, it's your right. btw: you might have to pay for some of the software I just listed. It even one of them is $20 or more, it's worth it just to pay Apple as you could get 20 ringtones without the trouble. How many ringtones does one man need??? I use 3 at any given time, most use 1. I change them less than 4 times a year.

What's really going on here though is not Apple trying to make money by providing a convenience service, it's Apple undermining the ringtone distribution industry. They have to play this carefully or possibly either violate AT&T contract terms or alienate themselves from getting contracts on other networks. This may be the reason Apple is considdering 700MHz air waves. Nobody likes the fact that Apple may very well steal a large portion of their ringtone business. You, me, and another 2% of america can figure out how to make a ringtone, but the rest either can't do it or don't have access to the software to do it. Ringtones are IMENSELY profitable, some say more than any other segment of the cellular industry (text messaging still wins in most cases there, but also remember, with wifi, that's a thing of the past now too...)

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ROFL

@ All those LOSERS using iTunes. Talk about wearing horse blinders. They deserve to waste their money...twice! It takes 5 minutes to make your own ringtone, yet these idiots are paying $2-3?? Way to go! Must be Americans, only my country can be so stupid.

I've had ringtones on my phone for two years. Free. Well, I bought the song, and clipped 30 seconds off it and faded out the end. Nice clean, and non-hiphop. Everyone wants to know where I bought them. I just laugh.

(LOL @ Uncle Fucker in the store, that's great!)

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Oh, now I see why iTunes users can't make ringtones

http://arstechnica.com/journals/apple.ars/2007/09/11/how-to-make-sync-your-own-iphone-ringtones-for-cheap-or-free

It's an intentional total pain in the ass. I think that's hysterical. I can make my own ringtones with a music player like Windows Media Player (comes with the OS) that will play any song, Windows Recorder (cheap utility comes with the OS, can record wavs for 1 minute) and WMP again to convert the recording to mp3. (Not that I would use WMP, but for the sake of example)

Takes 5 minutes, and free.

Oh wait, you use iTunes?

Hook

Line

Sucker!

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Sandman is right

MS trolls and Apple haters, get a life.

Ringtones run $2.00 to $2.50 or so and you do not get the whole song.

Apple says if you have the song, its 99 cents. OH gee that must be bad. I want it free. Boo Hoo.

Bite me. :-)

And to the folks that can customize a song they swiped elsewhere with software they swiped elsewhere, I say, Hey. My time is worth more than the days you spend getting and tweaking. But what you do is up to you.

I say, Apple, it just works. Use it, find a work around, what ever. But why bitch so much???? Is Microsoft spreading money around that much these days??? Wow, they must be worried. :-)

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Oh please

It matters not a whit why Apple charges twice for the same song, only that they do. I'm astonished that so many people find it necessary to conjure up excuses for a corporation's behaviour.

Then again there are plenty of jurisdictions where, if it looks like a sale, walks like a sale and quacks like a sale, it's a sale and not "licencing" - so Apple can't actually enforce this very often.

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Anonymous Coward

So legally, if a license holder said I have to hop on one leg while listening to the song...

Venglarik said. "They're the licensed distributor for the copyrighted work, and they can constrain use as much as they want."

So if they said in their EULA (which I don't have to actually sign, or be 18 to agree, or have a lawyer present while reading it) that I have to hop on one leg everytime I listen to the song, they could enforce that. Or even worse, they demand that I have vote Repulican every time I listen to the song, they could enforce that.

That says to me we have given too much power to copyright holders.

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Anonymous Coward

Elder Norm...

... said "And to the folks that can customize a song they swiped elsewhere with software they swiped elsewhere, I say, Hey. My time is worth more than the days you spend getting and tweaking. But what you do is up to you."

Don't you get it? On normal phones there is no need to get files, tweak them etc. I have a 2 year old SE K750i, nothing flash. I can rip any cd I own straight to it, and use any sound file I want as a ringtone, no tweaking necessary. I can use any old image file as background wallpaper or a screensaver, again , no tweaking required. Yet your 'cutting edge' iPhone is seemingly bereft of these abilities, how peculiar.

I know it must hurt you terribly to have spent 600 dollars on something that looks nice, but lacks a lot of capabilities that can be found on £30 entry-level handsets, designed for kids and pensioners, but must you fools come up with a pathetic justification for every new rip-off foisted on the gullible? "I R 2 IMPORTENT 2 MAEK OWN RINGTONE. HEER MR JOBS TAEK MY WALLET" What next, "Apple to charge per key press" or charging you to download your own photos from the phone? I bet you fanbois would find a way to justify that too.

Amused Geekette

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Who started the myth of Apple?

It's been a long time now that Apple have had this 'we're fighting for the little guy' thing going, but it seems like a long time ago (if ever) that this was actually the case. In fact, so long ago did this myth of Apple not being a money grabbing Megacorp start I can't even remember where it came from. Is this something that Apple have sold us, or is it something that Apple Fanboy and Fangirls have spread to justify years of paying over the odds for top-end products that probably aren't worth the extra money?

Either way, I think that society needs to put the myth down for good. Apple is no different from Microsoft, Dell, Sony or any of the other companies. I'm not saying that their products aren't often cutting edge (to the general public) and occasionally genuinely inventive - but we should all stop being surprised when Appl£ (see what I did there? If you don't have '£' on your keyboard you can use a Euro symbol instead!) manipulate consumers. Appl£ exists to make money, not to save the world from Capitalism.

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Slitting their own throats.

So pay exhorbitant sums for a iphone and pay 3 dollars for a ringtone. Or pay less for a regular mobile, download the MP3 illegally and clip it for free, before sticking it on your phone?

Not exactly attempting to compete, really... Are they?

Never mind. I'm sure they can fix it with more lawyers.

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Anonymous Coward

So does this "fair use" thing mean that

I can *acquire* a digital version of any song that I "own" and use it on any digital media player that I own, presuming personal use, not for resale, etc, etc...?

For example, I have several hundred albums, for the yoofs out there that is a plastic disc with music engraved on it, I bought them and neither signed nor agreed to any license for their use, I effectively own that item. So, under fair use, can I obtain a digital copy of the music on these albums and play them on my portable digital media player of choice without looking over my shoulder for the RCMP to come and take me to gitmo?

--Pete

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Tim

Didn't anyone else see this coming?

I'm no fortune teller but I could see Apple with it's highly restricted but "cool" phone doing things like this, why charge once when people will pay twice?

Don't like your wallpaper? Want funky videos to play when someone rings? Want something you got on your old phone? All available through the iTunes store for a very reasonable additional price to the $399 you already forked out.

The more you pay for a product the more you have to pay ontop to get what you want.

Nokia 5300: Ringtones from any track you load on the phone

iPhone: Have to pay extra

Ford folding rear seats: Standard

BMW: Extra

£20 Dvd player: Divx Playback standard

£200 Panasonic: Divx not available, but comes on the £300 model.

It's industry standard (all industries) to squeeze a bit more out, but everytime they do people act suprised and people pay up anyway.

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Jim

Give me a break...

So Apple fights for the little guy? Seems that a few here have already pointed out, by way of defence, that Apple are a 'business' and, as such, are out to make money so stop whining and either buy or not.

As for the "the RIAA made us do it" defence? I'm sure the decision to disable the 'use as ringtone' option was made by Apple. Pretty crappy but as there is a work around then it becomes irrelevent for many.

And I have to agree that Cade Metz & Phreakey must be the same person (or good friends), else how does WP always seem to get one of the 1st comments up?

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t3h

To all the Apple haters

To all the Apple haters who have posted here: Haters are fanboys too.

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Anonymous Coward

WTF!?!?!?!

"If we're going to lambast Apple for charging twice - and I do agree that it is an unwelcome double charge - we should ask WHY Apple are charging twice."

did you just come down in the last shower!?!??!

Because they are like all other companies, and want to take all your money for as little effort as possible.

And no I didn't bother reading the rest of your post given after that what would be the point!

PS

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AB

Windows Recorder tip for Dave. Also, iPhone zealots can't argue worth a damn

@Dave, who said "Windows Recorder (cheap utility comes with the OS, can record wavs for 1 minute)". You can actually make Windows Recorder record more than a minute... load a longer sound file, record over the top, then Save As. Only useful when you can't get any other software onto the machine, but it's come in handy for me once or twice.

Also, so as to be less completely off topic: how are the RIAA responsible for this lockdown on the iPhone when other phones don't have this craptacular 'feature'? I don't really care what Apple do because they're getting none of my money because they have no respect for the intelligence of the consumer.

However, I do I reserve the right to laugh at the iVangelists on this board and elsewhere. if you're going to blindly lash out at anyone who dares criticize Steve 'Look into the eyes, not around the eyes' Jobs by using such a patently false defence, you might as well not bother...

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