Ding Dong: Another DRM Is Dead... And With It All The Files You Thought You Bought

from the how-it-works dept

Every few months, it seems, we hear of another online content store dying or changing... and with it, out goes all the content that people thought they were "legitimately" buying, because the connected DRM server goes dead. It makes you wonder why anyone buys any DRM'd content at all, knowing that in a flash, it might all go away. The latest is that the online music service Rhapsody is officially turning off the lights on its "RAX" DRM, such that anyone who has RAX files had better go through the painstaking process of "converting" all those files ASAP, or they're all gone:
Greetings! This is another reminder to convert RAX music files NOW to avoid losing any of your music. We want to make sure you can continue to enjoy all your music for as long as you please.

On November 7th, 2011 Rhapsody/RealNetworks will no longer support certain music files you purchased before July 2008. These songs will continue to play after November 7th unless you change to a new computer or substantially update your current computer. However, we strongly recommend you back up these RAX tracks to audio CD to ensure you can continue to enjoy your music.

Once you take this small step, you can continue to play these tracks on your audio CD or rip them to any format you desire and play them on your PC.

Please don't delay - after we shut off support for RAX files, you will not be able to play them if you move to a new computer or upgrade your operating system.
I like how Rhapsody pretends that backing up all these songs to CDs, then re-ripping them back to your computer, is just "a small step."

In the meantime, those who continue to insist that music is "licensed" and not "bought," can you explain what happened here? If the music was truly "licensed," why can't Rhapsody just provide non-DRM'd versions of the same music? Once again, all this really does is make you wonder why anyone "buys" any DRM'd product.

Filed Under: drm, rhapsody
Companies: realnetworks


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  1. icon
    Frost (profile), 1 Nov 2011 @ 10:22am

    Re: Reinventing the glory days of past resale profits ...

    There's no thinking involved about it, I would say. There have been admissions made that DRM is all about controlling distribution, not about deterring piracy.

    They want people to pay again and again for the same material. This is blatantly obvious with things like movie formats - they release them over and over in various versions and then a new format is made and they do it all over again.

    Now of course it's moving to online streaming... where you'll be made to pay for every view eventually if it's not there yet, which is a wet dream come true for the content owners. And it's all going to have DRM to make sure you don't store a copy and rewatch it without paying. Unless, of course, we decide to get off the nasty merry-go-round and demand some real change.

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