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Zune's Viral DRM Will Violate Creative Commons 266

Posted by Zonk
from the zune-make-cc-angry dept.
lopy writes "Medialoper has noted that Zune's highly touted wireless file sharing will infect otherwise unprotected audio files with proprietary DRM. In cases where users are sharing songs covered by any of the Creative Commons licenses, this would be a clear violation of those license. From the CC FAQ: 'If a person uses DRM tools to restrict any of the rights granted in the license, that person violates the license.' It'll be interesting to see how and if the CC community responds." An anonymous reader wrote in mentioning a post to the Crave blog, relatedly exploring how the Zune stacks up to the iPod.
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Zune's Viral DRM Will Violate Creative Commons

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  • fool me once... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by yagu (721525) * <yayaguNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Friday September 15, 2006 @01:36PM (#16114970) Journal

    Fool me once, shame on me.

    With DRM, Microsoft, RIAA, MPAA, and the usual cast of characters, it's "fool us a billion times...", it doesn't seem to matter, they keep throwing this kind of foolishness our way.

    I guess the good news about this is the silly layer of DRM adds that more assuredness the Zune will be a miserable also ran in the market.

    Users will get over the cool factor quickly, especially when the favorite song someone shared with them stops playing three days later. Yeah, there's probably documentation. Who reads it?

    I don't see any ads for this device touting "share your tunes three times or three days, whichever comes first!" to catchy music. If I were to buy one of these (not) anticipating the magic of wireless sharing I would return it immediately on learning the fine (hwah?, not so fine?) print.

    And, what other silly DRM is layered? I wonder (and almost suppose) Microsoft further encumbers shared songs a la making a song shared by someone unshareable by a sharee...

    And, if Microsoft wanted to limit the listening, why so Draconian a limit? WTF? If a tune has any texture, any depth, any insight at all, it can take a lot more than three listens to develop an ear for that song. Too bad. Clearly this is not the era to be exposing listeners to Beethoven or Mozart.

    As for my part, I now freely distribute copies of music from my collection to any who want them. I always verbalize the disclaimer they must buy if they like with a wink and a nod. I know now my good faith efforts before were empty gestures. (I even refused in the past to let my daughters make tapes of CDs for their friends, not any more...)

    This is all really too bad, because it could be interesting use of technology. Not really my cup of tea (I've posted on this earlier, responses to my post convinced me there could be some market for this).

    • I think you're right that getting to play something three times or over three days is goofy and reflects a view that all the money is in "hits" not the long tail. Three times and three days with Brittany is probably more than enough time. Where I disagree with you is that the idea of creating a "child no grandchild" model for DRM is bad. I've been wishing they would come up with this model for a while: I own the master rights. From that master, I can make an unlimited number of copies, but each of those cop
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by LunaticTippy (872397)
        They tried this type of DRM with DAT, and DAT is nearly dead.

        I was quite interested in the format at the time, but without buying "professional" equipment for an extra $1k you couldn't create master tapes.

        If I made or bought a song, I don't want to have to figure out which machine the "original" is on in order to put it on my mp3 player.
      • by Kadin2048 (468275) <[slashdot.kadin] [at] [xoxy.net]> on Friday September 15, 2006 @02:27PM (#16115392) Homepage Journal
        That sort of "one generation only" DRM is just as broken as all other types of it; it suffers from the same terminal flaws, namely that you can't well restrict the copying of data once it's been moved into the digital realm, where copying is inherent to even the most basic manipulations of the data (i.e., moving it from one place to another).

        Just because it doesn't prevent all copies doesn't make it any less flawed from an inherent information-theory and cryptological standpoint, and in the long run I think it's doomed to failure. The only question is whether, in failing, it manages to take down a few otherwise-good formats with it.
        • by Joce640k (829181) on Saturday September 16, 2006 @06:56AM (#16119603) Homepage
          Somebody gives me a file via Zune, I listen to it three times, decide it's crap and don't bother to buy a copy - that's ok by the RIAA.

          I download a file on P2P, I listen to it three times, decide it's crap and don't bother to buy a copy - that's illegal...?

          Am I the only one who sees the hipocracy here?

          Maybe the RIAA will sue Microsoft but I'm not holding my breath. The last thing the RIAA wants is somebody to actually go to court and fight their trumped up charges.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Kimos (859729)
      The only reason I can think of for sharing music across wireless is to actually give the music to them. If they put on such arbitrary limits, why not just play it for them?

      From the perspective of a musician, I'm happy when people share copies of my band's album. If I could beam you a copy from across the room then I'd actually consider getting a wireless enabled music player! The point of recording music (for most musicans anyway) is so that people can enjoy it, not to turn a profit. Here... If you like
    • "If a tune has any texture, any depth, any insight at all, it can take a lot more than three listens to develop an ear for that song. Too bad. Clearly this is not the era to be exposing listeners to Beethoven or Mozart."

      That is why these players need video screens. You need "Eyes" ,to see the tits and ass, to appreciate modern music. What if the person who sings/performs the tune is not beautiful... hires some dancer/models..."Ears" are entirely optional.

  • by russotto (537200) on Friday September 15, 2006 @01:36PM (#16114973) Journal
    It's time to sue Microsoft for contibutory and vicarious infringement for doing this. Use the Grokster case as precedent. It's time the pro-DRM side got a taste of their own legal medicine.
    • by cortana (588495)
      Microsoft would not be doing anything wrong. The person who distributes the CC-licensed work would be breaking the terms of the license...
      • by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Friday September 15, 2006 @01:49PM (#16115077)

        Microsoft would not be doing anything wrong.

        You know 'wrong' and 'illegal' are not synonyms, right?

        The person who distributes the CC-licensed work would be breaking the terms of the license...

        The contributory copyright violation in the grokster case was that they knew or expected that people would be using their technology to violate copyright and made a profit off of it. MS is in exactly the same boat. making three copies of a song for random people in a wireless net is almost certainly illegal copyright violation and MS is making money facilitating it. Take em to court RIAA!

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by cortana (588495)
          Oh, that's clever. I guess we just need a load of CC-licensed artists to form some kind of Association and pool their resources. I look forward to the first case being filed!
          • by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Friday September 15, 2006 @02:06PM (#16115219)

            I guess we just need a load of CC-licensed artists to form some kind of Association and pool their resources. I look forward to the first case being filed!

            Don't hold your breath. My interpretation of MS's press release is that Creative Commons music will not be shared at all unless they are selling them through MS's online store and authorize it by opting in. Songs you rip yourself will not be sharable. This seems to be purely a marketing feature to advertise songs you bought to others and get them to buy them when they stop playing after 3 days. It will only work for songs bought from MS's store and whose publishers specified it to be sharable/advertising enabled.

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by Reapman (740286)
              Wow... that's lame. Talk about a shame, WiFi in an MP3 player should be an amazing tool, but instead it's so locked up tight that it's practically useless. No wonder nobody has tried, the laws are so restrictive that so few will probably use it. Shame they did'nt turn the wifi into a broadcasting tool, allowing others to listen in, but not save, what they hear. That would be far more interesting.
              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by gutnor (872759)
                A song will probably cost about 2$. You just buy one at a time and the player gives you an easy way to purchase it.

                That business model look a lot like the business model of mobile ring tone and games. You may wonder ( I wonder ) who send an SMS to an obscure service for 2$ and only receive a stupid ring tone. But that kind of service is very *very* profitable.
                Do not overestimate people reaction against DRM. People bought DVD long before it was cracked and even now most people buying a DVD don't care about t
        • by tinkerghost (944862) on Friday September 15, 2006 @02:40PM (#16115480) Homepage
          The contributory copyright violation in the grokster case was that they knew or expected that people would be using their technology to violate copyright and made a profit off of it. MS is in exactly the same boat. making three copies of a song for random people in a wireless net is almost certainly illegal copyright violation and MS is making money facilitating it. Take em to court RIAA!
          That would depend on what kind of liscensing agreement MS made with the RIAA. Of course if an artist not part of the RIAA wanted to sue them that would be different. However, contributing to breach of copywrite under the CC liscensing agreement by 'requiring' that all music be wrapped in the same DRM may have more of a chance to be done. I believe some of the MSN community stuff is done under CC, so they can't claim ignorance of the liscense. Therefor they can be held to have known/should have known that sharing music covered under the CC would be done in violation of copywrite if wrapped in their DRM.
          Oh the sweet irony, indies hitting MS with the exact same argument the RIAA used against Napster & Grokster.
          "Your honor, the federal courts have upheld that despite the substantially non-infringing use of a system, a companies encouragement of people to trade music files makes them accountable for the infringement of their clients.(re Napster & Grokster) We understand that the defendant is claiming that their distibution method of wrapping files in DRM & time limiting usage makes the action fall under fair use, however we humbly direct the courts attention to the [insert number of CC songs available] songs liscensed for distribution under the Creative Commons liscense. The actions of the defendant place their users in direct violation of the terms of this liscense, and as such, MS, by encouriging the users of Zune products to violate the liscense - and thus copyright law as they no longer have a legal copy of the music, is a direct contributor to the copyright infringment of it's users. We feel that the damage done to our clients reaches into the $[asshat number with no relationship to reality] and so ask MS to pay them $[even higher number] to cover our clients losses, their emotional distress, and legal fees. We additionally request an injunction prohibiting MS from further enabling this gross violation of copyrite law."
          The beauty of that is that the CCL makes it absolutely clear that you are making your own copy only by accepting the conditions of the CC liscense. If you violate the liscense, you have just surrendered your right to continue owning the music you already downloaded. This is unlike the music industry that plays the "it's a product - wait, no, it's a liscense game". Here you clearly make & own your own copy under a liscense. Violate the terms of the liscense & you void your right to own the copied work => destroy the work or be in violation of copyright. I don't see MS touting this fact while they run around promoting Zune.
      • Yeah because that arguement worked with Grokster...

        Oh but wait, our politicians are bought and paid for, along with our courts, so actually you are right, on a technicality. That technicality being everything a company / wealthy person does is legal, everything we do, is illegal.
      • by Amouth (879122)
        funny.. that never stoped the riaa for going after the p2p networks..
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        Microsoft would not be doing anything wrong.

        Actually, they would be. If I release something under CC, then I have decided how I want people to discover my talents. No one else has any right to render my choice wrong, and the entity doing so in this case would not be the one Zune owner in Illinois visiting his one Zune owner friend in Wisconsin; neither of those people said "Let's put this DRM on this song." Microsoft, on the other hand, is the true source of the anti-CC DRM. So yes, it is MS who would

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by tddoog (900095)
      That is one of my beefs with this thing. The sharing feature facilitates copyright infringement. Ostensibly Microsoft has negotiated some sort of deal with the RIAA that allows Microsoft to let people copy music which is illegal unless specifically allowed by the copyright holder. Contrary to (the RIAA's) popular belief, the RIAA does not hold the rights to or represent everyone who holds the rights to every song ever written performed etcetera. So it seems that this "feature" would facilitate massive c
      • by Sique (173459)
        If you look at it this way, then the "shared folder" facility in Windows is also "contributory copyright infringment", because if this folder is set up with weak or no security, anyone who can reach the network can also map it to a local drive, e.g. copy its content. So if you share your My Music folder, you are becoming part of a peer to peer network.
        (Actually there was the case of two students who wrote a little script which searched all IPs on their campus for shared folders and for music files in it. Th
    • They are not preventing you from obtaining the creative commons file by other means. They are just not allowing you to transfer it over zune wireless.

      Let's look at some analogies.
      I have the file on our shared disk in my home directory. You can see that it's there. but the protection on it is 660 and you are not in my group. So tough beans you can't play it. everyone in my group can. You just can't access it by my file server mechainsism because you don't have the password to unlock my files. Did I
  • by neonprimetime (528653) on Friday September 15, 2006 @01:38PM (#16114982)
    Zune accomplishes this amazingly stupid feat by wrapping shared music in a proprietary layer of DRM, regardless of what format the original content may be in. If Microsoft's claims are to be believed, this on-the-fly DRM will be seamless and automatic - which must be some kind of first for Microsoft.

    This story should be pulled immediately! Slashdot does not tolerate cheap shots towards Microsoft
  • Licensing is to IP (Score:3, Interesting)

    by MikeRT (947531) on Friday September 15, 2006 @01:38PM (#16114983) Homepage
    what sharecropping is to realestate ownership. It's just that simple.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by FLEB (312391)
      FAILURE to analogize!

      If it were sharecropping (using music as an example), I'd have to sing the song myself to get any enjoyment. Apart from karaoke CDs, that's pretty rare. It's more like rental or land-contract... or not like real-estate at all.
  • Ick (Score:2, Interesting)

    by psydeshow (154300)
    Am I the only one who thinks that it violates the spirit of Creative Commons to turn end-listeners into lawbreakers?

    This isn't why artists license their works using CC, and it's the same BS that the RIAA tries to enforce.

    CC licenses exist to protect against large-scale systematic explotiation by commercial entities or other organizations. To say that an individual is somehow breaking the license by playing a song over a wireless interface is counter-productive.

    • Uhhhh.... yeah, I'm pretty sure that's the point being made here, that this DRM violates copyright law as surely as sharing on P2P networks. So I don't think anyone wants to sue customers, but it's more of a tongue-in-cheek suggestion of another argument why users shouldn't be sued under any circumstances. After all, copyrights in general were intended to protect against large-scale systematic explotiation by commercial entities or other organizations, and not against end-users.

      However, I suppose you cou

  • ...if all the people with CC-licensed content could sue Microsoft into submission. Too bad it's impossible, since even the US Government backed down...

  • by nebaz (453974) on Friday September 15, 2006 @01:40PM (#16115001)
    The FAQ on the article basically does not allow a person to distribute a creative commons work that has been modified with DRM. Microsoft is doing no such thing. While their software will DRM-ify the song, it is the end user who is using the Zune as the mechanism of distribution. Clearly the works are available without the DRM, as the original user got the song in the first place. This seems to me to be an issue of a transport layer. If you know Microsoft will always DRM, and you try to use this mechanism to distribute CC'd licensed works, then perhaps you are the one who is in violation of the license.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by brunascle (994197)
      but that's the same thing with the napster/audiogalaxy/kazaa/etc lawsuits. the companies themselves werent breaking the law, they're just allowing users to break the law. and they still got shut down.
      • The difference is that CC and "free" licenses open themselves up to abuse because they grant so much leeway in the method of distribution of content (and software). With a normal copyright, the user gets no redistribution rights except for what falls under the concept of First Sale. There is no question that redistribution violates the copyright.

        CC licenses blur that line considerably. All of a sudden, you grant almost free usage of content to your audience. The copyrights you retain are essentially non-existant. When you declare terms of use, you start peeling that freedom back again, blurring the line further. If the CC guidelines state that no electronic blocks (DRM) may be attached to the content, how do you reconcile that with the fact that computers and the internet are not universally available and present themselves as implicit content locking mechanisms (you can't access these electronic files without also getting online)? The entire act of creating digital content means that the content is restricted to only those who can gain access to it.

        The CC license requirement against DRM is non-sensical because the content itself, at the source, is never out of reach from those who would be interested in it. The DRM is just another mode of distribution, like tissue paper or papyrus. It may not be the optimal method of information transfer, but it's better than nothing.
        • by Zordak (123132) on Friday September 15, 2006 @02:40PM (#16115481) Homepage Journal

          I see you've been modded funny. I hope that you were trying to be funny, because if this was a serious argument, it is astoundingly ineffective. If I grant you a license to my copyrighted work with the only restriction being that you are not allowed to copy it onto papyrus, you are bound by that term if you accept the copy. The only thing I can't do is restrict non-infringing copying or statutory fair uses, because Title 17 doesn't give me control over those in the first place. Other than that, I can pretty well impose whatever restrictions I like, let them be ever so arbitrary, silly and/or useless. "The work was readily available," is not an excuse.

          As for the argument that being electronically encoded is itself an "implicit content lock," I invite you to convince a court that your ludicrous definition is correct. You could just as easily argue that writing in English is an encryption because not all people are literate in English, and you would be just as wrong.

    • I agree with the parent, but I'll add my own thoughts.

      If Microsoft were to allow wireless sharing without DRM, then it would be used for open-piracy of songs, this is quite clear.

      The purpose of the wireless sharing feature is to allow a friend to sample a song and then obtain it himself if he likes it (many slashdotters have tried to justify their own P2P piracy by saying that they're only doing it to sample the songs, and "I buy the ones that I like; I really do!!"). So, MS wraps a song shared via wireles
      • by Belial6 (794905)
        "Now, as for violationg the CC-license, the CC song is still available freely,"

        That is no different than saying "Now, as for violationg the Copyright, the Copyrighted song is still available for a fee,"

        Microsoft has clearly created a device that simplifies copyright violations by automating the violation. (Notice I didn't use the word steal. That is because copyright violation is not stealing. Of course if one insists on calling it stealing, then they can say that Microsoft has developed a device d
      • If Microsoft were to allow wireless sharing without DRM, then it would be used for open-piracy of songs, this is quite clear.

        Well, then the only legal option is to not allow sharing at all! Microsoft helped fuck everyone over with DRM and restrictive licensing; now they can go pay the consequences.

        Once the entire economy tanks because nobody is allowed to make anything anymore, the dumbasses running this country might see that maybe, just maybe, all this DMCA bullshit wasn't such a great idea after all!

  • by ben there... (946946) on Friday September 15, 2006 @01:41PM (#16115002) Journal
    Considering all the FUD that gets commentary and analysis about MS and Vista recently, it would be nice to know exactly where he got the information that Zune would also wrap non-WMA, non-DRMed files in a DRM layer.

    Does it really do that? Anyone have a source?
    • As I mentioned yesterday, until I read otherwise, I'm going to assume that the sharing feature only works with tracks that are bought from the iZune Music Store (and hence can be bought by recipients of the shared track).
    • by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Friday September 15, 2006 @01:57PM (#16115138)

      ...it would be nice to know exactly where he got the information that Zune would also wrap non-WMA, non-DRMed files in a DRM layer. Does it really do that? Anyone have a source?

      The original source quoted is Forbes Magazine's article with direct quotes from Microsoft spokespersons, however, in reading that article [forbes.com] it seems to me to imply that only a subset of songs bought from MS's version of the ITunes store will be available for sharing and it implies that any other music simply won't be able to be shared at all, including Creative Commons works, although the wording lends itself to ambiguity.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by ben there... (946946)
        Thanks for the link.

        From that article:

        The software maker said Thursday that its portable Zune media player, scheduled to be available around the holiday season, will include wireless technology to let people share some of their favorite songs, playlists or pictures with other Zune users who are close by. Those users can listen to the songs three times over three days before deciding whether to purchase it themselves.

        "The idea is to legitimize peer-to-peer sharing in a healthy way that works for everybody,"

    • Yesterday was Zune Day - it's sort of like Earth Day, but without the trees. At any rate, this feature was unveiled to a bunch of music and gadget bloggers, and the zune insider from Microsoft (zuneinsider.com) also discussed it as well.
      • Yesterday was Zune Day - it's sort of like Earth Day, but without the trees. At any rate, this feature was unveiled to a bunch of music and gadget bloggers, and the zune insider from Microsoft (zuneinsider.com) also discussed it as well.

        In that case, sorry to spoil the party. I heard Zune also wraps baby food in DRM! If you want to feed your baby, you're going to have to pay Micro$oft for it again!

        Won't somebody think of the children!?!
    • Considering all the FUD that gets commentary and analysis about MS and Vista recently, it would be nice to know exactly where he got the information that Zune would also wrap non-WMA, non-DRMed files in a DRM layer.

      As is usual for Slashdot, what the article says and what the submitter says it says are not necessarily the same thing. Basically, the submitter is under the impression that if one use Zune to share a Creative Commons tune, that tune will get wrapped in DRM "goodness" and become unplayable aft
  • by BadAnalogyGuy (945258) <BadAnalogyGuy@gmail.com> on Friday September 15, 2006 @01:41PM (#16115006)
    From the sound of the article, this is only implemented for the wireless sharing feature and not for all media, so you'll still be able to send these files to each other, unencrypted, with no adverse effects. It just won't work over wireless.

    As for the CC-licensed content, the original data is still available, unhampered by DRM.

    It's unfortunate that the link to the previous analysis is broken in the article. For something like this, it really helps to have more facts.
  • Who is liable? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by flooey (695860) on Friday September 15, 2006 @01:43PM (#16115024)
    Assuming the Zune allows violation of the Creative Commons license in this way, who is liable? Is it Microsoft, for making the device, or the user, for distributing Creative Commons-licensed material in a way that's incompatible with its license?
    • by BadAnalogyGuy (945258) <BadAnalogyGuy@gmail.com> on Friday September 15, 2006 @01:45PM (#16115039)
      Assuming the Zune allows violation of the Creative Commons license in this way, who is liable? Is it Microsoft, for making the device, or the user, for distributing Creative Commons-licensed material in a way that's incompatible with its license?


      You must be new here.
    • Assuming the Zune allows violation of the Creative Commons license in this way, who is liable?

      Technically both are. The user is guilty of classic copyright infringement, and MS is guilty of contributory copyright infringement by profiting from selling tools it knows will be used to violate copyright.

      In reality, however, my reading suggests only songs whose publishers opt-in and sell through the MS online store and give them a cut will be available for sharing, so it will have been authorized by the copy

    • Assuming the Zune allows violation of the Creative Commons license in this way, who is liable? Is it Microsoft, for making the device, or the user, for distributing Creative Commons-licensed material in a way that's incompatible with its license?

      Well, let's see: Assuming (Napster, KaZaA, Grokster,...) allows violation of copyright in some way, who is liable? Is it (Napster, Sharman Networks, Grokster...), for making the service, or the user, for distributing commercial, copyright-protected material in a

    • According to the Forbes article, sharing is an 'opt in' option for publishers on the Zune music store - by inference, if the publisher hasnt opted in, their music wont be sharable, and since such a preference cannot be stored for music originating outside the store, it will probably also not be sharable.

      Its quite amusing the number of comments in this thread that seem to assume that Microsoft would make a kindergarten mistake along the lines of allowing wholesale possible copyright infringement through a
      • by ScentCone (795499)
        I think this has been blown out of all proportion by those looking for another MS bash.

        You only think it has? Come, sir! You are too modest, or too worried about upsetting the MS-bashing trolls. It has, and of course that was inevitable. When you see the strings "Microsoft" and "DRM" in a slashdot headline or summary, it might as well translate to "Abandon All Reason, Ye Who Enter Here."
  • Medialoper has noted that Zune's highly touted wireless file sharing will infect otherwise unprotected audio files with proprietary DRM.


    Wow, they actually managed to kill the product before it hit the market. Nobody will buy this.
    • by TrentC (11023)
      Wow, they actually managed to kill the product before it hit the market. Nobody will buy this.

      They don't have to sell boatloads of them, at least not at first.

      They'll market it through back-channels -- you'll see lots of "sign up for XXX and get a FREE Microsoft Zune!" and Zunes given away as prizes in contests. I'm sure that Microsoft has figured out how long they can lose money on Zunes before they have to pull the plug.

      I think of the Zune and Zune's music service as "iPod and iTunes Music Store, if the l
  • What is it with Microsoft trying infect everything with a virus? Sheesh... Bad enough they're an monopoly, now they want to be the Borg and eat their cake too.
  • by Marcion (876801)
    I personally would recommend an Ipod over this DRM monster, but well-meaning relatives may inflict this on you in celebration of Christ's birth or whatever.

    In this case, possibly the only way to survive this player may be a community produced firmware replacement. Its been done for the ipod and many other devices already.

    If not then there are always the post-Christmas ebay auctions...

  • Such a crazy story (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) on Friday September 15, 2006 @01:51PM (#16115096) Journal
    Ok let me take a poll
    How many people will buy a zune ?
    Ok of those select few, how many have CC content they are or were planning to put on the zune ?

    Is anyone's hand up? Furthermore, it would be the end users that would violate the CC license, not microsoft. I can violate the licence today with Microsoft Media Player. Why doesn't CC sue microsoft for allowing users to violate the licese that way? Zune just makes it easier to violate the licese CC doesn't have a say and doens't ahve a leagal leg to stand on. The whol anti DRM thing on slashdot has gotten way out of hand. There are many artists who awnt this kind of protection for their music. They are stuggling to make ends meet and tak to fans who tell them they burned copies of their cd's and gave them to all their friends. These bands are on INDEPENDANT labels, not covered by RIAA. Its an option, let people choose to use it or not use it. Microsoft added a feature that previously didn't exist amoung mp3 players and wanted to make sure that no one used it to violate the artists rights. It just means that you will have to distrubute CC licences files some other way, possibly the same way you are doing right now!
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by payndz (589033)
      How many people will buy a zune ?
      Ok of those select few, how many have CC content they are or were planning to put on the zune ?
      Is anyone's hand up?

      You could have got the same result in less time by not asking the second question...
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Alchemar (720449)
      Does anyone know if there is anything in DMCA that might be used. I thought it was illegal to make a device that allowed the circumvention of copyright. CC has it's protection in NOT have DRM. Building a device that automatically installs it would be a violation. Just a thought and probably has quite a few holes, but can the holes be patched.
  • Their thinking is likely: "You shouldn't have any content that you didn't pay us for!"
  • You don't mean that DRM is a cancer [theregister.co.uk] surely?

    Rich.

  • by OzPeter (195038) on Friday September 15, 2006 @01:53PM (#16115112)
    I appologise for not remembering where I saw/heard this but in the last 24 hours I saw a comment that made a lot of sense with regards to the Zune and the 3 day/play rule. This feature is not meant as a convenience of the user so they can share their music with others. Its a feature of the marketing people so they can virally encourage you to buy more.

    Imagine a bunch of kids at school. The first one buys a track from the Zune store, shares it around to all his/her friends, creates interest in the cool tune. And then *poof* the music vanishes. So what do all the friends do? The head off to the Zune store to buy buy buy.

    From that perspective the feaure makes a great lot of sense.
    • by the_arrow (171557)
      Imagine a bunch of kids at school. The first one buys a track from the Zune store, shares it around to all his/her friends, creates interest in the cool tune. And then *poof* the music vanishes. So what do all the friends do? The head off to the Zune store to buy buy buy.

      Or they just ask the kid to share it again.
      I wonder if there will be a limit to the number of times a song can be shared, in general or to specific devices.
    • by rsilvergun (571051)
      they head to their friends house to get the song again for 3 days (and if you're a guy and you get it from a girl, so much the better :) ). two weeks later of doing this you're tired of the song, and away we go. We can only hope it works out this way.
    • Hell yeah! That's why, when I want to share my tunes with the people around me, I just bring my boombox with me on the bus. I don't even have to turn it up all the way and they can hear it all the way to the front seats.
  • Do people really want to share music in this way? I mean, when I am with a friend who has a cool song on the iPod, I just listen to it on their iPod, if i like it, I write it down and buy it. choice made. Yeah, it requires a pen instead of "marking it" to buy in the Zune market place...

    but what if the Zune market place doesn't have the freaking song? As the article suggests, some music isn't required to be paid for...so why should I be limited to share it three time?

    Microsoft's solution: you can't! They sai
  • by TheAmazingJambi (998707) on Friday September 15, 2006 @01:59PM (#16115160)
    Given that no DRM I've yet heard of has been able to stand up against a bunch of people willing to crack it, does anyone think the Zune might gain a cult following if someone should manage to disable the 3-day/3-play limit on the songs? Or even the DRM wrapper that adds DRM to the songs that don't have it? Because a DRM-less Zune actually sounds like a good idea. Hackers, get to it!
  • by Frosty Piss (770223) on Friday September 15, 2006 @02:00PM (#16115163)
    A big problem is that many media companies and companies like Microsoft don't really believe that copyright license like CC and the GPL are "real" licenses. These companies believe that there is really nothing backing these kind of license up, and while the little people may get pissed off, no one has the resources to come after them. It's going to take a court case to make these people pay attention to Open Source licenses.
    • MS won't agree to the CC license, so the CC will fall back to regular copyright.

      This is really bizaro world here. Think about it, regular people suing a big corporation for copyright infringement. But it only gets stranger. Think about it: people sharing music with their friends for a limited time. Could it be... Fair use?

      So we'll have regular people suing a big corporation for copyright infringement and the big corporation using fair use as a defense.

    • Actually, Microsoft does believe that CC is a "real" license. They've released works themselves under CC (specs and accompanying code). (And they also believe that GPL is "real", that's why they take pains to stay clear of any GPL code (employees aren't allowed to even look at GPL code).)

      Now, regarding the complaint that Zune's sharing feature violates the CC license, the solution is easy (from Microsoft's standpoint), and won't be what you guys are after (whatever that is; I don't know if you want the sh
    • by courtarro (786894)

      The fact is, most corporations with big money and big lawyers also have big brains. If a huge corporation finds out that it is violating the GPL (or it becomes public that it was secretly doing so), any corporation with a brain is going to either settle or cease violating the license. They would never allow it to get to court. Only small organizations are dumb enough to continue violating the GPL, and even if a case is brought against them and they lose, it will not gain much press outside the Open Source w

  • You know what, I was actually pretty thrilled by the Zune coming out originally. However, if this is really true that they tend to use DRM in such an underhanded manner, they can expect no such purchases from me. The funny thing is that it was about time to upgrade my wifes mp3 player (iPon Mini), and I was contemplating purchasing one for her for Christmas.

    That is certainly not the kind of Christmas gift I would feel comfortable giving to her though. I guess I'd better go update the Zune post on my blog.

    I
  • by Churla (936633) on Friday September 15, 2006 @02:02PM (#16115183)
    That this product in and of itself will not prosper.

    On the other hand, someone will find a way to hack a better , more open OS onto it, using it's hardware capabilities. And they will have a hit.

    Or MS will abandon it and whoever is doing the OEM manufacture of the hardware will sell it to a company wiloling to put an open OS on it.

    I can always dream and hope.
  • As far as I know, the Creative Commons license has not been solidified yet in a court of law. I think this would be a good precedent to make this a real legal document.
  • We are... (Score:4, Funny)

    by Gallenod (84385) on Friday September 15, 2006 @02:04PM (#16115202)
    ...Zune of Borg. Lower your firewalls and prepare to be accessed. Your audio and video uniqueness will be added to our own. Resistance is futile.
  • This is no less than vandalism and theft of potentially free music. What about private recordings which is without the user's consent mangled and will be unusable in three days? A worst-case scenario is when the clean audio file is deleted because "someone else has a backup of it".

    This just have to flop. The average user can't be so stupid that s/he accepts this humbug.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Renraku (518261)
      So what if you had a band and decided to share this music?

      Say the software wraps it in nice DRM packaging, which goes against your 'rules' for use of the music. Since the Zune did this automatically, acting on the behalf of Microsoft, which it was designed to do..wouldn't this mean you could sue them just as hard as they sue people that share music / reverse engineer software?
  • by zymurgy_cat (627260) on Friday September 15, 2006 @02:06PM (#16115217) Homepage
    or the **AA would have had to sue the hell out of them. The ultimate nightmare for a **AA executive is a "college Zune party." A bunch of people get together, swap a ton of music/movies/etc., and leave. No torrents, web servers, or IP addresses to list in a lawsuit or threatening letter to a college administrator. Microsoft would have been guilty of enabling illegal file sharing/IP theft without this DRM wrapper.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Microsoft would have been guilty of enabling illegal file sharing/IP theft without this DRM wrapper.

      Technically so long as they let users share any music they uploaded without restriction or monitoring, MS could probably have walked on this without ever losing a case. They would, however, have pissed off their RIAA partners and it would have made the Zune less profitable for advertising research. Also, it would have de-motivated purchases from their online store, since users could just share music includ

  • and their beliefs regarding the media they own.

    As pointed out here: http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=196589&cid=161 07881 [slashdot.org] it's an attack on the mp3 file.

    As mentioned here: http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=196480&cid=161 06206 [slashdot.org] the objective is to maintain a level of fear of being labeled a "criminal" so the consumer blindly obeys regardless of any pre-existing well-established legal precedent.

    The current zeitgeist in the U.S. is "criminals" are the only people in the U.S. that have anything to
  • Maybe MS will just make Zune aware of some CC flag in the file, and not DRM those.
    This would be great, as it would make it exceedingly simple to circumvent the DRM on all files
  • 1. The Zune is a tool, it's the person sharing the song that actually breaks the CC license. You may be able to go after MSFT for contributing to the Zune owner's breach, but you can't ignore the Zune owner. And I'm willing to bet that MSFT has deeper pockets than you, or the Zune owner.

    2. Damages (punative/trebel) are based on some multiple of the actual damages. When you give away a song for free, what are the actual damages?

    Sigh.
    • All this is academic, since it does not look like the Zune will let you share CC works at all but...

      The Zune is a tool, it's the person sharing the song that actually breaks the CC license. You may be able to go after MSFT for contributing to the Zune owner's breach, but you can't ignore the Zune owner. And I'm willing to bet that MSFT has deeper pockets than you, or the Zune owner.

      Zune owners who shared would almost impossible to discover and are unlikely to have much money if you do. Microsoft is easy

  • by danpsmith (922127) on Friday September 15, 2006 @02:34PM (#16115443)
    With wireless devices becoming more popular everyday, it's only a matter of time before there's an MP3 player with wireless adhoc network capability to transfer files. As it stands, I can already with my wired connection and my archos player transfer files via wire to other players without lame DRM or other interference. Which is really neat when you want to share something with someone who has a MP3 player that is classified under USB mass-storage. It's only a matter of time before free wireless sharing between 3rd party players emerges. I was almost 100% certain MS would screw this up somehow, and it looks like they did quite a job of it. The possibilities are cool, but with the DRM, very limited. And you can bet I'd be looking elsewhere for my next player.

    I suppose it's to be expected, these are the same people that went out of their way to store Media Center files in a proprietary format making it almost impossible to watch on Linux or just about any other computer. What a shame.
  • by bluekanoodle (672900) on Friday September 15, 2006 @02:52PM (#16115586)
    So if I write and record a song, copyright it and then release it my friends who then share it with a Zune, does that mean I can sue Microsoft for Creating a derivitive work based on my copyrighted materials?

    Perhaps I could then send a legal blackmail letter to microsoft offering to settle for $3700 and if they don't accept, I can recover up to $150000 for each violation? Regardless of what the actual loss is, it seems the precedent set by the RIAA would declare that each copyright violation for a song is worth more then actual damages.

  • by RingDev (879105) on Friday September 15, 2006 @03:00PM (#16115641) Homepage Journal
    That should read: Zune's Music Sharing Features Will Allow Users to Violate Creative Commons.

    The Zune is an inanimate object. It isn't doing anything. It allows the USERS to share music in a DRM'd format. It is the user's responsibility to know that THEY are violating CC by distributing a piece of media with out complying with that media's license.

    -Rick
  • 4. PROFIT!!!!! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Tharkban (877186) on Friday September 15, 2006 @04:02PM (#16116266) Homepage Journal
    1. Create crappy song with Creative Commons License
    2. Get Microsoft to force user to violate license
    3. ...
    4. PROFIT!!!!!!

    Sometimes step 3 is easy to imagine.

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