I have written before about how Apple’s downloadable music service — the “iTunes Music Store” — is revolutionizing the lawful distribution of digital music. Part of the original iTunes service, just 30 days old, was the ability of the end user (the music “licensee”) to share iTunes files over the Internet with other authorized computers. Now, in an almost hidden part of an update, Apple has discontinued the Internet sharing feature, igniting a storm of controversy. Apple iTunes Update Irritates Fans [BBCNews.com].

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Personally, I don’t think this is such a big deal, since the number of times I would want to share my music with another computer of mine — say a laptop while traveling — are almost non-existent. I can just bring along my iPod, which has all the same digital songs, anyway. But the criticisms and debate are raging on Apple’s support Web site, and they’re fun to watch.

In any event, chalk up another win for the RIAA and its record label members. The only reason for Apple to discontinue Internet sharing was pressure from RIAA. Yet since this form of “sharing” does NOT involve file transfers, but only listening to the music, it’s hard to find a legitimate basis to oppose. Of course, that has never stopped Hillary in the past!!

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