iTunes 5 and Digital Rights Management?
MacBidouille.com has published an interesting rumor regarding stricter Digital Rights Management (DRM) possibly coming to iTunes 5.
Apple's current DRM process allows songs to be burnt to CDs -- which may then be played or re-reripped as any "normal" CD can.
According to MacBidouille:
- To solve this crucial issue, Apple is reported to have taken a licence from Verance.
According to Verance's site, they offer an interesting watermark system which embeds "inaudible yet identifiable digital codes into an audio waveform". Such a watermark system would prevent Verance-aware systems from copying those files (unless otherwise allowed) -- though any system would be able to play them. Presumably, non-Verance aware systems would ignore the watermarks and allow you to rip the songs.
MacBidouille states that this protection would be particularly used in the Audio DVD format which is also due to be supported in iTunes 5 as well as the iTunes Music Store. DVD Audio claims to offer "at least twice the sound quality of audio CD." Verance indicates that its technology was selected as the industry standard for DVD-Audio.
While MacBidouille's report implies that this protection system would be used by Apple in Audio CDs, presumably only Verance-aware systems would enforce it.
On the other hand it appears any official DVD-Audio system (Apple's or otherwise) will contain both the Watermark system as well as a key-encryption. More Info: DVD-Audio Copy Protection
Additional Info: DVD Audio Watermarking controversy.
Note: Macbidouille has had a variable history of accuracy, and gives no indication as to the confidence of this report.