How’s your proprietor treating you?

In what is turning out to be an ongoing series here on Digital Citizen, Apple has pulled another stunt on their customers: says that Apple is upsampling lower resolution videos. In other words, Apple starts with a video at a rather low resolution and sells copies of it. Then they blow up that low resolution video and sell their customers videos that version too. These newer videos have worse pictures than they ought to. Why do this? Because Apple customers can be charged twice for the same thing—once for the low resolution version they sold earlier and again for the version which has more pixels but is really just a blown up version of the old version.

And all with Apple’s proprietary DRM (Digital Restrictions Management) in place, of course.

Like Prof. Moglen said, Steve Jobs gets the prize for being the last manufacturer of the Gilette razor: you make a cheap razor and you sell expensive blades. Apple hardware is not cheap, but the songs are morally and physically expensive, expensive to your belief that you can carry songs with you for the rest of your life as we have been up to now. He’s turned unfree into hip.