Assume someone used Boilsoft Apple Music Converter (which they purchased) to remove DRM protection from music stored in their Apple Music Library, converted that music to the mp3 format and stored it on their hard disk.

Could they legally continue to keep this music and listen to it after their membership expires?

1 Answer 1



the hypothetical person would be in breach of Contract with the Apple Music TOS already:

  • You may not tamper with or circumvent any security technology included with the Services.

Removing the DRM, even with a purchased program, is tampering security technology included with the services


The Apple Music ToS does say though also:

  • You may burn an audio playlist to CD for listening purposes up to seven times (this limitation does not apply to DRM-free Content).

So, you would be allowed to create a CD during your contract time, and then you would be allowed to turn the CD into mp3 with a tool useable for that. You do not tamper with the DRM or security technology on the i-tunes-file as i-tunes itself (and the contract!) directly allows to create a CD.

Turning the CD into mp3s afterward is not circumnavigating the DRM as the CDs can't have copy protection that interferes with the legal use of a CD - in fact besides a "do not copy me" flag a CD may not contain any copy protection or it is not a CD by its Red-Book Standard. Including the XTC and MediaMax copy protections to prevent such did bring Sony BGM into huge legal trouble in the 2005.

  • The following seems to suggest that DRM can be legally removed: convert-apple-music.net/drm/…. The question is, when the TOS says "for listening purposes", does it mean listening during the contract time or even afterwards? Mar 13, 2019 at 19:34
  • To add to my comment about the legality of using third-party tools to remove DRM, it also stands to reason that this is legal, since Apple itself provides API that makes it possible for the third-party tools to perform conversion to other formats. I presume that those tools (none of which is free) pay Apple. In addition, if it was illegal, I cannot imagine Apple not suing the perpetrators and the latter not being afraid of being sued by Apple. Mar 13, 2019 at 19:41
  • if it isn't specified in the contract, then it has to be used against the writer. No term limit is given, so none is to be applied. Even if they provide the API and a license to the program, their contract states you are not allowed to - the bad thing is that their contract holds no water. Listening purposes includes, accoring to the UK governement that sued CD companies to provide means to bypass copy protection on physical CDs, being able to put a CD onto an MP3 player.
    – Trish
    Mar 13, 2019 at 21:43
  • If we put the two together (1. there is a legal way to put the music into mp3 and 2. listen to it forever), the way one does it is a pure formality that neither Apple nor the artists should care about, since they do not lose any money from me doing it the other way. As a parenthetical note, I really don't understand how artists make money on Apple Music given the huge number of albums I can download even before my trial subscription ends. Mar 14, 2019 at 5:28
  • @AlwaysLearning Apple Music makes money from all the subscriptions not canceled in time. Yes, it is basically a formaility thing, but law is all about formalities. And, not being able to notice or actively going after does not make it legal.
    – Trish
    Mar 14, 2019 at 8:26

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