If you haven't read Patrick Danner's story already, a Broward County man is suing Apple over songs on iTunes. He says what isn't lawful is that when you buy a song from iTunes, that song can't be used anywhere besides the computer and in an iPod. And he hopes to have this certified as a class action.
It's an interesting point to think about. It's common knowledge for most digital music downloaders that iTunes is meant for use on Apple software and iPod devices. And there are ways of getting around the problem. For instance, you can burn a CD of songs from iTunes, and you can use that CD anywhere. Also, you can rip songs right off that same CD, which can change the formating to be used in other mp3 devices, depending on the software you use to rip the songs (but you can lose some of the audio quality). And judging by Steve Jobs' Thoughts on Music letter he published this past February, he rather not have these restrictions at all.
But is it forcing people to buy an iPod if they use iTunes? Maybe you will feel obligated to keep buying Apple products if you already bought a ton of music on iTunes and you don't want to go through the hassle of hacking the formating.
There's enough competition out there in downloading services that if people are not happy with the restrictions on iTunes, that they can buy from other digital music stores. Doesn't it go back to the concept of letting the market decide on what business model thrives? Or will people never change because they already invested too much money into songs on iTunes? What do you think?
Here's a Wikipedia entry that goes more into the FairPlay encryption on the songs from iTunes: Wikipedia FairPlay article.