I called it... Apple embeds personal information in DRM-free tracks

Back when Apple and EMI announced they were going to sell DRM-free files on the iTunes Music Store, I made the following comment in my post.

It will be interesting to see if they files are "tagged" or watermarked somehow, so that there is still some accountability if the files end up on the P2P networks. I really hope this is the case, I would hate for piracy to be used as an excuse to stop a bold move such as this.

Well the time has come when Apple has rolled out the DRM-less tracks, and according to a piece by Ars Technica this is exactly what they're doing.

They pose the question:

We also have to wonder: who is buying DRM-free music with the plans of slapping it up on a P2P share, anyway?

I don't think people will actually plan to share the music. I'd imagine many people share their music folder, which will include the files they have legally purchases, making them available for others to download. Until now these purchased tracks have been useless to anyone else, but not anymore...

Update (20070601): The EFF is reporting that Apple might be encoding significantly more than just names and email addresses in the downloaded files. See here.

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