Microsoft's Final 'Up Yours' To Those Who Bought Into Its DRM Story

from the playsforwhatnow? dept

Remember a few years back when Microsoft launched a new type of DRM under the name "PlaysForSure"? The idea was to create a standard DRM that a bunch of different online music download stores could use, and which makers of digital music devices could build for. Except... like any DRM, it had its problems. And, like any DRM, its real purpose was to take away features, not add them, making all of the content hindered by it less valuable. Yet, because Microsoft was behind it, many people assumed that at least Microsoft would keep supporting it. Well, you've now learned your lesson. Playsforsure was so bad that Microsoft didn't even use it for its own Zune digital media device. Along with that, Microsoft shut down its failed online music store, and now for the kicker, it's telling anyone who was suckered into buying that DRM'd content that it's about to nuke the DRM approval servers that let you transfer the music to new machines. That means you need to authorize any songs you have on whatever machine you want -- and that's the only place they'll be able to reside forever. And, of course, any upgrade to your operating system (say from XP to Vista) and you lose access to your music as well. By now, hopefully, everyone is aware of why DRM is problematic, but it's nice of Microsoft to give one final demonstration by basically taking away more rights for the music it sold people with the promise that Microsoft would keep the music available.

Filed Under: drm, playsforsure
Companies: microsoft


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Apr 2008 @ 8:58am

    Re: Re: Re: Ticking Time Bomb

    "the need for any software/hardware company to make available a final version so that the consumer has the ability to use the product"

    But even that doesn't save you - eventually you won't have a computer or OS that can run your old game. Non-programmers don't seem to understand it, but binary-only software is basically dead software that cannot be adapted to new systems or hardware. OSS protects you from that. Even if you don't accept the "all software must be free" mantra, it is still pretty obvious that closed-source programs die when the owner goes out of business. BeOS was what convinced me.

    Think of the difference between having a digital file of a text document vs. having a paper printout of the same file. The digital version can be easily worked on and adapted. It is clearly more useful. The printed version is basically dead. The same difference exists with regard to having a program's source code vs. having just a binary.

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