Yet Another DRM Failure Leaves Customers High And Dry

from the down-under dept

By now you should know this — as DRM’d music service after DRM’d music service has screwed over their customers by shutting off the servers on the music they were supposed to be able to access — but it’s yet another reminder that if you buy into DRM’d products, you’re going to end up screwed over. The latest, sent in by a bunch of you, is that Australian ISP, Bigpond (from Telstra), is shutting off its DRM servers that were used to support Windows Media Audio. Once again, the DRM did nothing to stop file sharing, but is making life difficult and annoying for legitimate customers.

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Companies: bigpond, telstra

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Comments on “Yet Another DRM Failure Leaves Customers High And Dry”

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Anonymous Coward says:

The BigPond article lists two ways to keep the DRM’d music:

1) Burn it to a CD using wmp10.
2) Copy the key files to another storage device, then copy them back after a hardware change.

I’m not necessarily happy that people will lose their purchased music when things like this happen, but I am happy that they will get a lesson in why DRM is bad for them. Typical consumers won’t pay attention to issues until it starts to negatively affect them in a big way, so it helps that big media runs its own education plan by screwing customers over and over.

NSILMike (profile) says:

Re: Re:

If the keys can be copied, saved and then put back onto revised hardware, then isn’t that a pretty loose DRM system? I thought DRM licenses were tied to unique system profiles specifically to prevent them from being shared… Or if it allows ‘minor’ hardware changes, you’re still out of luck if you upgrade the complete PC.

lawgeeknz says:

file sharing is not copyright infringement

It is a testament to how well the rights holding organisations have managed to frame the copyfight debate that even you seem to imply that file sharing is illegal in and of itself.

I know you don’t mean that, but using the term as a proxy for “sharing copyright infringing files” makes it so much simpler for those interests to characterise any p2p user as a “dirty thieving pirate”. Its bad enough that line is then parroted by the unquestioning mainsteam media, but it would be good if those like you who know better could hold the line. Otherwise, “filesharing” just gets added to the other spin wins by rightsholding groups, like “piracy” and “copyright theft” and, as is happening here in NZ, OTT remedies like termination get portrayed as a reasonable way to curb the p2p scourge.

Just sayin’

Agree with your point though, which makes it all the more concerning that ACTA is looking to ram *more* DRM down signatories’ throats.

absurdsequitur (user link) says:

Re: file sharing is not copyright infringement

While I can totally agree with your sentiment here, I think that unfortunately the ship has already sailed on that one. P2P has become indelibly tied to illegal file sharing, and there’s not much you can do trying to explain the difference. It’s annoying when, at work for example, I can’t use bittorent to download a fairly large file, because the network is set to block torrent clients.

Lawrence D'Oliveiro says:

But Is This Legal?

So BigPond are giving detailed instructions on how to bypass WMA copy-protection. Isn’t this against the DMCA? And doesn’t Australia have to have DMCA-type provisions in its laws to “harmonize” them with the US, as part of the free-trade agreement it signed with the latter?

Cheong says:

Perhep they should set up a foundation...

Perheps whatever local organization supporting DRM should create a foundation that supports the operation of DRM server from companies that will be shut down. They should pay certain percentage of the money they get from court to keep the foundations running. So we legitimate customers are not hurt by what they’re pushing.

matt says:


A few years back I used Windows Media Player to backup some of my CD collection- mostly older CDs from my childhood which were getting more worn out.

Today, most of these discs are scratched or damaged. Unfortunately the windows media player must have automatically added DRM to the files it ripped. None of the files play anymore (not sure why but they won’t authenticate) and from my research it appears there is no remedy for this.

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