Jim Heid's Mac iLife 04 Site has an excellent review of the numerous changes in Apple's new version of iTunes 4.5 (iTunes 4.5: More to the store, new ways to play, and ripping without losing).
One of the major changes, he notes, is stricter DRM on the songs you buy from the iTunes Music Store:
In iTunes 4.5, you can authorize up to five Macs or Windows computers to play your purchased music -- up from three. But Apple giveth and Apple taketh away: you can now burn a playlist containing purchased music up to seven times (down from ten). And the old workaround of simply changing the playlist slightly does not work.
So after one year and 70 million songs, $0.99 now buys you less rather than more -- seven hard burns instead of ten soft ones. What will Apple "allow" us to do with the music we "buy" next year? three burns? one? zero?
And what about the songs you've already bought? Don't we get to keep the rights we had before the change?
Well, Apple has conveniently reserved its rights to make changes -- unilaterially -- to its DRM and your ability to make fair use via its Terms of Service and Terms of Sale pretty much anytime it pleases, without even having to give you notice:
You shall be entitled to burn and export Products solely for personal, non-commercial use.
Any burning or exporting capabilities are solely an accommodation to you and shall not constitute a grant or waiver (or other limitation or implication) of any rights of the copyright owners of any content, sound recording, underlying musical composition or artwork embodied in any Product.
Apple reserves the right to change the terms and conditions of sale at the iTunes Music Store at any time. Customers are encouraged to review the Sales Policies on a periodic basis for modifications.
Update:I have changed the title of this post to reflect some of the debate and uncertainty about exactly how much or less the new iTunes offers users. It may well be that the increased flexibility with more computers outweighs the reduction in burns. But is interesting to watch how Apple changes its DRM over time.