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Fairplay is Apple's digital rights management (DRM) scheme to protect their iTunes Music Store downloads from piracy and unauthorized sharing.

Most songs and videos purchased through the iTunes Music Store are encoded with your purchasing account ID. iTunes content is currently restricted in the following manner:

  • You can play your music on up to 5 different computers (you must log authorize iTunes on each of these computers)
  • Unlimited syncing with iPods
  • Burning songs to a CD is not limited, but each Playlist (collection of songs) can only be burnt up to 7 times each.
  • Videos can not be burnt to CD.


On January 6, 2009, Apple announced at the 2009 Macworld Conference & Expo that it had reached an agreement with major record labels to sell all music on the iTunes Store free of DRM restrictions. Eight million tracks were available with FairPlay restrictions removed from that day, with the remainder of the music store to be DRM-free by the end of March 2009

See Also