by Mike Masnick
Fri, Dec 7th 2007 12:39am
Rich Kulawiec writes in to let us know about a Boing Boing post about some fairly ridiculous limitations on Western Digital's networked drives. Apparently, once you've set up the drive, you can subscribe to a service that will allow others to access your drive from the internet (rather than on the local network). You can set up accounts for specific people, including highlighting what is available to be shared with that person. However, Western Digital has simply decided that under no circumstance can you share a variety of multimedia filetypes, such as mp3s, wmvs, aac or others. Its reasoning is that this is "due to unverifiable media license authentication," which is basically a gibberish way of saying that you might be infringing on someone's copyright. Of course, you might not be either. There are an awful lot of media files out there that are perfectly legitimate to share with others. Certainly, this sort of action makes this service useless to a musician who records tracks and makes them available to his record label using such a drive. The key question, though, is why Western Digital should bother at all. There's certainly no legal reason for Western Digital to do such a thing -- and all it does is make their drives a lot less useful for perfectly legitimate activities.
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