Yahoo Offers Refunds Or DRM-Free Music In Exchange For Shutting Down DRM Servers

from the that's-better dept

We were a bit surprised last week when Yahoo decided to shut down its DRM servers, rendering all sorts of "purchased" music close to worthless. After all, when Microsoft had done the same thing, public outcry forced Microsoft to keep the servers running for a few more years. Now Yahoo has leapfrogged that decision, promising either refunds or a replacement DRM-free version of tracks that you downloaded via its service. This may turn out to be expensive for Yahoo, but that's what the company gets for agreeing to a DRM'd solution in the first place, rather than trusting its instincts and telling the labels to ditch the DRM years ago.

What's more interesting about this is that retailers may need to start matching this offer. In other words, people are now (reasonably) expecting retailers to "future proof" their music, so that they don't have to buy the same songs over and over again. If people are buying music, they expect to be able to continue to use that music no matter how the technology changes -- and they're pushing to make sure that happens. Yahoo's decision to now make its music (even as its shutting down the music service) future proof should make the recording industry realize that the days of getting consumers to rebuy all their music every time there's a format shift are long gone.

Filed Under: drm, music, refunds
Companies: yahoo


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 29 Jul 2008 @ 6:22am

    If the songs were a nickel each, no one would care that the DRM server went away. If they're a buck, people are going to get royally POed when they get robbed. I suspect there's more profit in the first model than the second, provided there were a way I could actually pay five cents for something. Micro-payments is the key missing link on the internet, and I can't understand why it hasn't been done a hundred times.

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