(Mis)Uses of Technology

by Mike Masnick


Filed Under:
drm, playsforsure, servers

Companies:
microsoft



Microsoft Keeps DRM Servers Alive For Now; Won't Screw Over Own Customers For A Few More Years

from the well,-that's-something dept

For years, we've given examples of how DRM ends up screwing over customers one way or another. One of the most obvious ways is when that DRM requires files to "check in" over the internet to work, and the company that manages the "check in" server takes it down. That's what's Microsoft announced it was doing with its incredibly-misnamed "PlaysForSure" DRM servers back in April. This was, effectively, going back on the terms of the deal they offered to music buyers. Following the outcry in response, however, it appears that Microsoft has reconsidered, saying that it will keep the servers running at least until 2011. So for the 35 people or so who bought into the PlaysForSure system, you have another 3 years to find new DRM-free sources of music.

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  • identicon
    Gunnar, 19 Jun 2008 @ 11:01am

    It would be nice if the Consumer Product Safety Comission could force recalls of defective products, like those mp3s.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Matt, 19 Jun 2008 @ 11:19am

    Outside Pressure?

    I have to wonder if they were pressured by outside forces (music industry?) to keep it running so as not to provide yet another example of why DRM is ultimately bad for consumers.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Jun 2008 @ 11:41am

    The smart thing to do would be for MS to bite the bullet and allow their customers to download MP3 version of the songs instead. They could compensate the record companies for the "upgrade" to MP3 and avoid this PR nightmare.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 19 Jun 2008 @ 12:25pm

      Re:

      The right thing to do is not try to market DRM as beneficial to the consumer.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 19 Jun 2008 @ 12:40pm

        Re: Re:

        You people are so disingenuous. You know that when it is billed as beneficial to the consumer, what they mean is that it is the only way Big Content is comfortable releasing its content digitally, and without it they wont.. and therefore DRM enables the release of digital content where there would otherwise be none--and this is definitely beneficial to the consumer.

        Of course, all of us here are entirely certain that the whole system will eventually collapse and it will just all be freely available.

        But in the meantime, it is definitely net beneficial--even though it has its own intrinsic downsides.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Overcast, 19 Jun 2008 @ 12:58pm

    Ahh good idea.. Let's depend on the internet more.

    I think as I sit and take but a brief break dealing with multiple sites at work being down because of vast problems with a larger ISP today... ;)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Dallas Hinton, 19 Jun 2008 @ 2:19pm

    Maybe icrosoft could more profitably supply a patch for download that would effectively function as a local drm server for their 35 customers, and then take their servers down? Seems to me that way both sides would win!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Freedom, 19 Jun 2008 @ 2:34pm

    Virtualize and Forget It....

    Seems to me that it would be fairly simple to just virtualize the server(s) and then forget it. The users will diminish over time the cost to run the virtualized servers has to be minimal (definitely much less than the PR nightmare).

    Review the server requests and when the #s make it such that it cost justifies, shut them down and if anyone calls to complain, offer them a refund.

    Just my 2 carbon credits worth...

    Freedom

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Tortel, 19 Jun 2008 @ 7:21pm

    Break It

    Why don't they just break their own DRM? Wouldn't it be easier to release a tool that removes the DRM (Only their PlaysForNotSure DRM of course) and then ditch their servers?

    Or would that *gasp* break their DRM agreement?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Geazer w/ funny hat, 20 Jun 2008 @ 9:14pm

    Looking at a gizmo at the flea market

    Hmmm, looks ok .... but does it play ?

    Yeeeap, dat playz fer shore !

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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