Can Apple Offer Music Pirates Amnesty for $24.99?

I originally wrote this piece in June 2011 as feedback to this article in Forbes Magazine.

Now, wait a cotton-picken second! The title of this article, perhaps added by a CNN editor, says:

“Apple offers music pirates permanent amnesty for $24.95”.

…but the article doesn’t suggest amnesty at all! It only points to a loophole in Apple’s technology that may allow pirates to upgrade their music collections without even paying for ongoing streaming from the new iCloud.

I bet the copyright holders of all the non-purchased music in the collection of Mr. Elmer-DeWitt, his kids, and (perhaps) my own collection would disagree. While Apple may be garnishing a few bucks for streaming — and converting your pirated music to high quality DRM-free copies, I don’t think that the content creators and owners are getting a cut. And they certainly aren’t agreeing to amnesty for 25,000 songs previously ripped and now upgraded and “stripped” by Apple.

I don’t like DRM any more than the next guy. But c’mon folks. Let’s call an “Apple an Apple” (and a Pirate a thief!). This is not amnesty, it is  clever stealing with a wink and a nod from a major vendor. Shame on Apple!  If the facts are accurately reported by Forbes and CNN, then an American icon has been tarnished.

Ellery Davies clarifies law and public policy.
His music & media is streamed from NAS in his home.
Feedback is always welcome.