A few years ago, my laptop was stolen. A day or so after the theft, I started to get bills from iTunes for songs I had never downloaded. Whoever has possession of the computer was able to purchase songs through the iTunes store because I had the “one-click” download feature turned on.
My Laptop (circa 2007, pre-theft)
Assuming I could just change my password and prevent future downloads turned out to be wrong. Apparently once a computer is associated with an iTunes account, the user is never asked to input their password, even if that password has changed. The only thing I could do, according to Apple, was cancel the credit card associated with the account and open a new account. The worst part? Apple had flagged my old account as “fraudulent” so I could no longer listen to backups of songs I had downloaded prior to the theft.
Now I was left without access to the songs I had purchased with my old account, while the thief was able to continue listening to my music, free of charge. Apple wanted to make their DRM system transparent and user friendly, but in the end, left a gaping vulnerability in the software that only hurt the legitimate consumer.
Had the iTunes store been DRM-free, I would have been able to recover my music from a backup relatively easily, but instead I was locked out of my own purchase. And at the same time, their DRM system did nothing to prevent someone else from accessing the content. So in the end, nobody wins.
Of course, this all happened before the iTunes store went “DRM-free”, but the experience made me reluctant to purchase anything from them, knowing how lax their security measures are. I was never a very big spender on iTunes, but ultimately Apple lost a customer because of their DRM system.