Apple upset by the illegal file-sharing it enabled

D'oh!

D'oh!

Apple Computer has limited a music-sharing feature from the latest version of iTunes after some Mac owners used it to swap songs over the internet. In an update to iTunes, the Mac maker removed a feature that had been exploited to allow Mac users to swap songs - in a move that echoed the actions of users of controversial services such as Napster and KaZaA. Version 4.0.1 of iTunes removes the ability to share iTunes play lists over the internet, limiting the feature to streaming songs over a local network. A statement from Apple said: "The new iTunes 4.0.1 update limits Rendezvous music sharing to work only between computers on a local network (its intended use) and disables music sharing over the internet." Apple said in the statement that it was "disappointed" that people had used the new feature in iTunes to copy music with strangers. "Rendezvous music sharing...has been used by some in ways that have surprised and disappointed us," Apple said. "We designed it to allow friends and family to easily stream (not copy) their music between computers at home or in a small group setting, and it does this well. But some people are taking advantage of it to stream music over the internet to people they do not even know." At this point industry watchers who have followed the fortunes of Napster and the band of file-sharing services which grew in its wake might be tempted to a chance an irony-laden 'who would have thought'. The company began distributing the more restrictive version of iTunes on Tuesday to those Mac users who have elected to receive updates automatically, but it is not yet available for download on Apple's website. An Apple representative was not immediately able to say what, if any, features have been added to the program in the latest version.