foobar on computers, software and the rest of the world

The proof that DRM truly sucks

, posted: 23-Apr-2008 17:23

The proof that DRM truly sucks and only serves to limit your own rights, today comes to us courtesy of Microsoft. Don't worry, this posting here is not going to be a Microsoft bash-fest. It really just about DRM and the dangers that it brings. If you ever needed any convincing, or if you ever felt that DRM is 'not so bad', just have a read at this and also the discussion on Slashdot about it.

Essentially, Microsoft is going to turn off the authorisation servers for songs puchased from the (now defunct) MSN Music store. You can still get a permanent authorisation for a given OS or computer, but if you ever decide to upgrade that OS or change the computer you will be out of luck. The songs you 'puchased' will simply not play anymore.

There you have it: You think you are buying music, but really you are completely dependent on a single company. That company giveth, and that company taketh away. I don't think that a company should have a right to do that to stuff you bought. Sure, in the small print it will say that you didn't purchase anything, and just got a license to use. But all the legalese doesn't help the issue: As the user, the buyer is suddenly realising that the money he or she spent is gone, along with the song.

Refund? No. Trying to make a copy without the DRM? That's a crime. Some company pulling the plug on your music collection without any compensation of any kind? Perfectly ok... That doesn't sound right to me.

Maybe a few more incidences like that will illustrate to more people the severely screwed up nature of DRM schemes.


Other related posts:
More Apple madness (follow up)
The GPU, your personal desktop super computer
A truly light-weight OS: Written in ASM, with GUI, networking and apps

Comment by freitasm, on 23-Apr-2008 19:21

DRM is bad.

Comment by paradoxsm, on 23-Apr-2008 20:14

DRM looks to be on the way out much to the delight of users. the people that pay for music are hardly going to quickly pirate them off.

these few company failures and the horrible sound quality of the 128kbps files have proven there is still plenty of life in the old cd. Let's wtch DRM see a final death.........

Comment by Dratsab, on 23-Apr-2008 21:51

"the people that pay for music are hardly going to quickly pirate them off"

I think you've hit the nail on the head. Technology like this serves only to try and 'keep honest people honest' but ultimately those honest people get bitten. That's when they get annoyed and start looking for pirated material.

In the meantime, pirates work out ways to defeat the technology (they probably already cracked this one) and carry on as normal...

Comment by hellonearthisman, on 24-Apr-2008 03:21

"Refund? No. Trying to make a copy without the DRM? That's a crime."

Well no it's not any more, as you can by law format shift music in nz.
If they are going to stop it working then you have even more rights to get to going.

Comment by TinyTim, on 24-Apr-2008 08:12

...unless the publisher says "you are not allowed to format shift this song". They are allowed to opt-out of letting you format shift the music.

Comment by freitasm, on 20-Jun-2008 08:45

Yes, it really sucks. But at least Microsoft had decided to keep the servers running until 2011.

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New Zealand

  • Who I am: Software developer and consultant.
  • What I do: System level programming, Linux/Unix. C, C++, Java, Python, and a long time ago even Assembler.
  • What I like: I'm a big fan of free and open source software. I'm Windows-free, running Ubuntu on my laptop. To a somewhat lesser degree, I also follow the SaaS industry.
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