Tuesday, May 6, 2008
Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home News" @ 01:25 AM
The above quote speaks for itself - for my own opinions on this topic, I'll refer you to a collection of comments that I posted in a private forum where this issue was being discussed:
- "Sadly, that's the great hoax of DRM - you think you "own" the music, because you probably paid just as much for the digital album as the CD, but what you really bought was limited-usage rights to listen to that music until the company in question decides they don't want you to be able to listen to it anymore."
- [Responding to a question wondering why people were upset] "You can't understand how someone, thinking that when they bought their Creative Zen Vision and bought $200 or more in music over a period of years wouldn't be COMPLETELY AND TOTALLY PISSED OFF to be told that their music they bought is forever tied to their computer, never to be transferred or activated again? Microsoft does make legitimate, bone-headed mistakes sometimes, and this is one of them."
- [Responding to a question] "You and I know that, and so should John but the average person does not. They don't understand DRM, or care to understand it. You know what they'll understand now? That MSN Music, and Microsoft, completely screwed them over. This move by Microsoft is completely idiotic and will push even more people to the iTunes model (even though their normal DRM is just as bad, if not worse) or turn people off purchasing music in digital form."
- "...how realistic is that to tell an average consumer "Hey, that computer you're using? It's the only thing that will be able to play your music, forever. Better make sure it doesn't break down!" That's completely ridiculous and utterly unrealistic."
- "MSN Music is the vendor that told the music, they're responsible for what they do to their customers. If Microsoft *really* wanted to make this right, they'd give people transfer credits to get the same tracks on the Zune Marketplace. But they don't care because they're not Apple - MSN Music only had a small piece of the pie, and they know they can screw over MSN Music customers and get away with it."
- "See if you can use FairUse4WM to strip the DRM. If that doesn't work, go the burn and re-rip route. It's a pain in the ass and slow, but because MSN Music sold 160 kbps WMA files, the quality is really high and re-ripping to 192 kbps MP3 should allow you to retain most of the quality. You can't restore bits that aren't there to begin with, but a 160 kbps WMA is roughly the same quality as a 256 kbps MP3 (my purely subjective opinion), so a 192 kbps MP3 should do the trick. I do not support piracy or IP theft in *any* way, but when a big company tries to screw over the rights of their customers, the customer has to protect themselves."
- [Responding to the comparison of people expecting Microsoft to continue to support Windows 98] "Completely the wrong analogy and it seems to indicate to me that you don't really understand the issue here. Windows 98 doesn't require product activation that, if you can't activate, you can't use the OS. Supporting an OS with patches and updates is completely different from stopping someone from using the OS. Yes, this might be an issue with Vista if, five years from now, Microsoft says they'll no longer activate Vista. But even then, it's not the same, because it's unlikely someone would take an old OS and put it on a new computer...operating systems get dated, and people move on. Not so with music. I refuse to believe that keeping a few activation servers online to hand our DRM tokens would be an overly expensive proposition. Yes, the root blame in all this is the entertainment companies for requiring DRM in the first place, but it's MSN Music (Microsoft) that's making the decision to (sooner or later) destroy the music collections of their customers. The onus for this decision is on Microsoft's head."
- [Responding to the comparison of this to HD-DVD being discontinued] "Another completely wrong analogy. HD-DVD is a new *format* of next-gen DVD. There's nothing "next-gen" or unique about MSN Music WMA tracks - your analogy would only work if Microsoft somehow removed every software player that played WMA files out there, or more accurately, removed the ability to play WMA files from future versions of Windows, removed WMP from download sites, and said "Ok, if you want to play WMA files you have to keep using the computer you're on now...forever." And as long as there are HD-DVD drives on the market (and you know there will be used units available for years and years), you can play your content. It's not like HD-DVD has an online activation component that, now that the format is dead, would stop working. It's absolutely not the same issue in any way, shape, or form.