nullstream weblog - Sorry state of music DRM

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Sorry state of music DRM


May 30, 2006 09:16 AM PST

I hate DRM.
There are a lot of good reasons to hate it. For one, when it just doesn’t work. I bought a single for my daughter over the weekend. The purchase went through easy enough, at least they had NO problem billing my credit card, but the song will not play. It gives me some cryptic license error. Of course when I click on the link for more information it sends me to another error page. This page says it can’t find any info about the other error.
I tried to restore my license, but it gives me a different error. I tried to play my previously purchased DRM music (I have not tried this for over 1 year) – nope another error. I boot up my older machine, the one that I used to purchase those albums, (so it was known to at least work at some point in time) - same error. Ok, what is a consumer supposed to do at this point? Since it is Microsoft DRM and the songs were purchased from different music stores I don’t have a single point of contact. This kind of thing just doesn’t happen with CD’s, or MP3s for that matter.
Why should we put up with it? Your entire CD collection doesn’t just decide one day to say; “Well I’m not really sure you paid for me anymore – because I either can’t connect to my network masters, or I lost your license, or I corrupted it or something. So I’m just not going to play your music just to be safe. How about a nice game of solitare instead?”

Comments (2)
J, May 30, 2006 11:29 AM:

I've never actually tried DRM music. In my view, it's not a way to "protect" the music companies - it is to actually charge more by segmenting the usage of music. As you said, a CD can be lent, ripped to multiple formats, etc. And you always have the original backup, plus the album artwork on your shelf. Don't we still have the "analog hole" for this DRM music? It's not like they have an HDMI standard rolled out everywhere to protect it... DRM just artificially restricts how you can use music on your players. If you wanted to share it up, or copy it from someone, the DRM is easily bypassed. So they're simultaneously treating you like a pirate, deriving additional revenue streams, reducing their own distribution costs, installing rootkits AND frustrating you when you try to use the product! Worse, worse, worse, worse, worse. Fight it.

Paul, May 30, 2006 04:14 PM:

Plus, your physical CD/DVD/book collection can be inherited when you die (not that anyone wants *your* collection). All the money invested in DRM'd content just vanishes in that event.

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