PostHeaderIcon Did Big Tech Media Miss the Real iCloud News?

[UPDATE: Confirmed. I have now authorized my 6th computer through iTunes, and an additional iPod Touch. I am now at six computers, and three "mobile devices"]

I've yet to see any mention of it anywhere. In short: Apple announced their "iCloud" product yesterday and the media from Reuters to Macworld to Ars Technica to The Next Web and everyone else who are supposed to be industry pundits and "experts" were just urinating themselves in excitement, all trying to get the word out first and their live-blogging and whatnot. It's about hits on the shitty Flash Adverts on their web pages, you see.

In all their coverage it seems they missed the one real question (for me, anyway) of how Apple managed to placate the labels to allow the number of music file copies per purchase to double.

Since the beginning of Apple's iTunes, you could copy your purchases onto up to five devices. To do this, you have to "authorize" your device with iTunes. You could authorize a maximum of five devices. The only way to authorize a sixth is to have iTunes "revoke" all five authorizations so you can start over. In this case a "device" is a computer system, to which your mobile "device" must be physically connected to for synching those purchases.

However, in yesterday's keynote, during the iCloud presentation, it was mentioned that up to ten devices can be synced. Hence, Apple is now licensed to allow up to ten devices to be synced and "authorized" to keep a copy of your purchases. My guess is those ten devices can be any combination of computer or mobile item. Ten computers? Why not? One computer and nine iPhones? Why not? This is possible because now there is no requirement for physically connecting your mobile device to a computer system in order to copy your purchases into it.

This is actually pretty big news when you think about it. The RIAA is working overtime to actually erode our legal rights (constitutional and otherwise) with regard to what we can and cannot do with what we paid real money for by telling us we can't copy our purchases willy-hilly as we choose. Did you know there is actually a part of copyright law that allows you to legally give copies of your purchased music to your family and friends? This is why there is a tax you pay every time you purchase blank CDs and DVDs (used to reimburse labels, artists and writers), but the RIAA would love to have that stricken from the law. The only caveat is you have to actually know the person your are giving copies to (hence, why allowing random downloads to strangers from a web site is, in fact, illegal).

Google and Amazon are taking the approach of "ask forgiveness rather than permission" (believing they will win in court when the inevitable lawsuits arrive) with regard to their respective "cloud" services.

However it is Apple who is actually standing-up for their customers' rights by twisting the arm of the labels into allowing us to actually have and do as we wish with what we have purchased (read: owned).

Here is the catalyst for my argument: for a minimal flat annual fee of only $25 U.S., you can allow your music library to be scanned - pirated music files and all - and Apple will give you a legal 256 bit high-fidelity version of the same recording and commence to sending a copy of that legal high-quality file to all your "authorized" devices.

Whose music executive's appendage did Apple have to suckle to get THAT idea blessed?

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