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Protected WMA legality.

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I have recently been legally downloading protected wma's from bearshare, but when I tried to get them on my ipod I couldn't. (I had never really looked into the topic) So I got to work reading up on possible ways around it. I wanted to keep it legal. I saw a few .exe's that I tried and could not get to work, but then I came across tunebite. You have to pay for the program but I found a serial for it that worked on google. What tunebit does is rerecord the wma's while their being played through wmp11. I then use the rerecorded and put them on my ipod. I tried this and it worked. So what I want to know is if this is legal or not. If not I will probably stop.


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1) You pirated software (tunebit) which is not a very good idea. I realise this was on a trial basis (to see if it worked) but you might try looking for trial versions in the future.

2) IANAL, but, what you're doing is, AFAIK, legal in the USA. This is in compliance with our DMCA (the section allowing for reverse-engineering for compatibility).

3) It's legality will be different based on where you're from though. Also, look for a program called FairUse4WM. This is a program that strips the WMA protection from these files, and may suit your purpose.

4) The reason the files don't work on your iPod is because an iPod needs files with a different sort of "protection" that comes in those handy little AAC files you typically get from iTunes.

5) How'd you get legal WMAs from Bearshare? Bearshare is a P2P program (unlike, say, iTunes) so you'd have to have downloaded them from somebody, not necessarily the artist or their label (unless this is unsigned indie music, then they might be cool with it).

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Depending on your location, not necessarily. For instance, reverse-engineering, in the USA, for purposes of compatibility is OK. Stripping DRM for compatilibity is OK. This will likely be different based on location.

Warning: I am not a lawyer and am not certified to provide legal advice. Check your local areas laws and regulations regarding this matter.

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  • 3 weeks later...

In some European countries, the government now want to levy an additional tax on MP3 players to compensate for illegal copying. The amount will be based on the number of Gigs! Expectation is a couple of Euro per Gigabyte. Imagine the store price of the next generation of Ipods...


Spammers: please send your mail to "yuiop@eschauzier.org". Thanks!

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hmm ..."now want to levy an additional tax on MP3 players to compensate for illegal copying"(ghenkie ....Hi ...!) ....all recording media perhaps ,I pods are just small hard drives ..... a new tax for desktops ..? flash cards , blank discs ..... another potential revenue stream to keep the gravy train on its tracks ..........!

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