Napster And iTunes Fight Online Nerd War

By | February 16, 2005 at 12:00 AM

Further proof that even professional businessmen can have the mentality of 13-year-old girls – Applehead Steve Jobs officially bitch-slapped the competition in an e-mail to leading record label execs earlier this week.

According to the LA Times, Jobs went junior high on his rival in the downloadable music industry, Napster, directing the recipients of his message to a website with instructions on how to get around the program’s security systems. It basically showed how to convert Napster’s time-limited rental song files into permanent downloads, which can then be copied onto CDs. The site also pointed out that Napster will let you sign up for a free trial, during which you can grab as much music as you want, at no cost.

Napster’s CEO Chris Gorog, who apparently missed the memo on taking the high road, decided to get Jobs back for “telling.” He sent an email to the same label peeps, arguing that this downloading scheme was nothing new and not limited to Napster – and also that it would take forever to steal a significant amount of music since the technique works like a tape recorder, switching the file type as each song plays through.

Having competently defended his product and refuting Jobs’ diss, Gorog then moved on to the petty revenge portion of his message. He linked to another website, where surfers could download a free program to get past the anti-piracy software on Apple’s iTunes store. Instead of listening to each song as it was converted, the program simply unlocked everything on the iTunes website – an effort Gorog called “trivial” in comparison.

It’s actually pretty funny that these dudes use hacker websites to knock each other instead of going, you know, after the hackers. As for the record labels that received these warring emails, they wisely decided to stay quiet on the issue.

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