Playfair Update

Ever since the Apple Cease and Desist letter, some of the prominent members of the Open Source software community in India have presented some valid arguments for its existence…

PlayFair does not give the user any special facilities that Apple itself has not given the user.

PlayFair requires a valid key from Apple to convert the format of music downloaded from iTunes.  PlayFair cannot convert downloaded songs’ formats without authorized keys.

PlayFair is not a music distribution program.  All PlayFair does is convert songs from one, restricted format to another, less restricted format.

PlayFair is not a method for making illegal copies of iTunes songs.  PlayFair by itself cannot be used to copy music to CD, distribute on a peer-to-peer (P2P) sharing network, play music or edit songs.

PlayFair saves time in converting songs.  The Apple iPod permits the iTunes user to make a music CD out of iTunes songs.  After that the user can convert the songs in that CD to MP3 or another digital format for playing on portable, non-Apple music players.  By converting iTunes songs directly to a common digital format, PlayFair shortcuts this sequence by eliminating the need to make a CD and then convert it.

Trying to stop dissemination of a tool that permits legal licensees of songs from iTunes to play them on non Apple-authorized hardware is purely a business loss prevention strategy from Apple.

As much as I support and respect Apple for its products, I believe that if Apple wins, it may have some negative ramifications for the rest of the industry.  

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