Controversial Puretunes Music Service Utilises Mozilla
Saturday May 31st, 2003
Tony Tovar wrote in to tell us that Puretunes, the controversial new Spanish music download service, uses Mozilla technology in its download application. The license agreement for the Puretunes MP3 Downloader (currently only available for Windows, though Linux and Mac versions are promised) states that the program "uses an unmodified copy of Mozilla internally" and quotes the entire text of the Mozilla Public License 1.1. The software, which also makes use of the Qt application framework, appears to contain an embedded version of Mozilla 1.2.1, with the version we downloaded having a user-agent string of "PureTunes 1.0 [Mon May 26 17:25:46 2003] - Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv:1.2.1) Gecko/20021130". It has a browser-style interface and supports Mozilla features such as Find As You Type.
Puretunes, which launched last week, is a subscription-based digital music service that offers unlimited downloads of songs by major artists. An eight hour subscription costs $3.99 with longer periods of time and a 25 song free trial also available. All music files are in the DRM-free MP3 format and there are no restrictions on playing, copying or burning to CD. The service is controversial because it does not have the authorisation of the major record labels; Puretunes claims that its deals with the Sociedad General de Autores y Editores (Spanish Association of Authors and Editors) and the Asociacion de Artistas, Interpretes y Ejecutantes (Association of Artists, Performers and Players) are sufficient under Spanish law. The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry disagrees. Reuters has an article about the controversy.
> "It's like saying I have permission from Ringo, George and Paul, therefore, I can start printing records. No they can't," he added.
Does anyone else think that that sentence really shows the root of the whole problem with record company's arrogance.
Essentially, just because you've got permission from the people who wrote, performed and (I'm fairly sure this is true in the Beatles case) own the copyright on the actual music (but not the individual performances), then I can't record them and publish that?