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Microsoft DRM To Get Even Tighter 536

Toreo asesino writes, "Microsoft is tightening the screws on their up & coming DRM platform. First, Windows Media Player 11 removes the right to move music from one machine to another. According to their website, WMP11 'does not permit you to back up your media usage rights (previously known as licenses).' Worse, if you rip your own CDs and the 'Copy protect music' option is turned on, WMP11 will require you to 'connect to a Microsoft Web page that explains how to restore your rights a limited number of times.'" The Inquirer has an even more jaundiced take on Microsoft's turn of the thumbscrew.
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Microsoft DRM To Get Even Tighter

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  • Ahem... (Score:5, Informative)

    by tomstdenis ( 446163 ) <> on Thursday September 21, 2006 @09:53AM (#16153030) Homepage
    You don't have to use WMP to rip CDs you know?

    This is really a moot issue. I mean I hate Microsoft and all that they are, but seriously, just don't use WMP.

    • Re:Ahem... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by EVil Lawyer ( 947367 ) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @09:57AM (#16153065)
      It's not a moot issue because there are scores of PC users who wouldn't know how else to rip a CD. No one has to eat spinach, but when there was an e. coli outbreak linked to spinach, it was still newsworthy.

      Also, it would be nice if one could use WMP to rip CDs without crippling DRM. When the news is about a piece of software that's installed on massive numbers of computers worldwide, it's newsworthy even if you don't have to use it.

      • Notepad can't read LF-only text files. That's more of a concern for me than this :-)

        And why anyways? Even without the DRM crap WMP is still a nasty user unfriendly program. With more concern for style and gui glitter [hint: if you full screen your movies you can't see the fucking GUI anyways] than functionality or stability.

        I almost universally use mediaplayer in Windows anyways. It works better and isn't so cluttered with crap.

        In the Linux world I use a command line [mplayer, diff one] since again, I F
        • Heh. I use MPlayer in both linux and windows. It does a very good job of handling almost all video media (I can never seem to get it to work with Real's stuff, but then again, it's not like Real is ubiquitous, or even vaguely pervasive).
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Tim C ( 15259 )
        Also, it would be nice if one could use WMP to rip CDs without crippling DRM.

        I've not used WiMP 11, but in WiMP 10 go to Tools -> Rip Music then either select mp3, or uncheck the "copy protect music" checkbox.

        I can't confirm that this works for WiMP 11, but from the linked article:

        If the file is a song you ripped from a CD with the Copy protect music option turned on
        which implies that it can't be disabled.
      • Re:Ahem... (Score:5, Informative)

        by Deathlizard ( 115856 ) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @10:55AM (#16153539) Homepage Journal
        Also, it would be nice if one could use WMP to rip CDs without crippling DRM.

        You can rip CD's in WMP10 without DRM. In Fact, DRM is turned off by Default.

        go to Tools -> Options -> Rip Music to see the settings. It also Does MP3.

        I've never used WMP for ripping but I know the college students use it on their PC's all the time, and when their hard drive crashes we simply copy the music over to their new drive with no problem.

        As for WMP11, On the Vista RC1 machine I'm testing here, it looks like their adopting the same default settings as 10: WMA, 128KB's, DRM OFF. They also finally support ripping to wav files as well, so now you can convert to your favorite alternate format in a lossless state. The full ripping support is WMA 48-192, WMA Pro 32-192, WMA (VBR) 40-355, WMA (Mathematically Lossless) 470-940, MP3 128-320, and Wav. Of course ths could change by final build, but this is how it's currently setup.
      • Re:Ahem... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by EtherMonkey ( 705611 ) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @11:48AM (#16154026)
        No one has to eat spinach, but when there was an e. coli outbreak linked to spinach, it was still newsworthy.

        No one does eat spinach. Furthermore, any unwashed, uncooked food product is a bacteria risk. This story was only popular because of the news teasers all day long: "What COMMON VEGETABLE can send YOU to the HOSPITAL? Find out on the News at 11!"

        If they had just said "wash your greens well before you eat them" everyone would have gone "Duh, of course!"

        But let me ask everyone a question: AFAIK, there are only two DRM technologies in common use by commercial content distributors: FairPlay and PlaysForSure.

        • FairPlay is Apple proprietary DRM and is only available via Apple QuickTime software (subject to Apple EULA) and built-in Apple iPods.
        • PlaysForSure is Microsoft proprietary DRM and is only available via Microsoft WMP and 3rd-party OEM's that license PlaysForSure code from Microsoft. Presumably the upcoming Microsoft Zune will also support PlaysForSure.

        So, aside from the standard /. bias that Apple==Good and Microsoft==Evil, ranting against WMP and people who use it is, as far as I'm concerned, a case of "the pot calling the kettle black."

        As far as I'm concerned, I'm perfectly willing to pay US$0.5 to maybe as high as US$0.75 per song to download unprotected .mp3, as long as they are of consistent quality and base volume. The only people are share my music with are immediate family and friends, and this will occur electronically or via physical media. Further, I'd be willing to pay that same amount for every .mp3 I already have in my collection that did not come from a retail CD I currently own.

        But there is no f*cking way I'm paying premium prices for entertainment material that limits my ability for enjoyment. Yes, US$1 is PREMIUM PRICING considering I can buy a 12-song CD for US$15 and not only have a physical item of value, but am not physically restricted in how I enjoy the material.
        • Re:Ahem... (Score:4, Informative)

          by IDontAgreeWithYou ( 829067 ) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @12:16PM (#16154253)
          Actually, washing them probably wouldn't have helped unless you really scrubbed each leaf very carefully. Just rinsing off a handful of spinach under the sink wouldn't get rid of the eColi. Also, most bags of fresh spinach are sold as ready to eat so most people wouldn't wash them anyway.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Onan ( 25162 )

          So, aside from the standard /. bias that Apple==Good and Microsoft==Evil, ranting against WMP and people who use it is, as far as I'm concerned, a case of "the pot calling the kettle black."

          Well, I would say that in this case the pot does have a substantially different albedo than the kettle.

          So far, Apple's drm policies have gotten slowly looser and more permissive. They raised the number of machines that can be simultaneously authorized to play drm'd files from three to five; they raise

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by vertinox ( 846076 )
        It's not a moot issue because there are scores of PC users who wouldn't know how else to rip a CD.

        As we say in the IT world when dealing with others outside of our scope of support...


        Sure it is heartless, but the rest of the world is not our responsibility.

        Using "free" products that are known to screw you over won't be getting sympathy from many of us who use alternatives. If you don't know or haven't bothered to learn... Then suffering is always the best education.

        (Damn... I'm being extra h
    • Re:Ahem... (Score:5, Informative)

      by omeg ( 907329 ) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @09:59AM (#16153080)
      I don't think that it's really an option to say to the users of WMP that they should switch. Afterall, most people who do are casual users who would simply like things to work without thinking about "better alternatives". The kind that uses Internet Explorer.

      If Microsoft can get their DRM in with those people, it won't be long before it'll be used on an even larger scale. Instead of fighting to stop DRM from ever seeing the light of day (already a lost cause), you will be fighting to get its large scale usage abolished. And these people who use WMP: they're not going to switch. Ever. Microsoft should just stop using these tactics.
      • Re:Ahem... (Score:5, Funny)

        by kevinadi ( 191992 ) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @10:57AM (#16153556)
        There really is a need for a Nobel prize for destruction. MS should be the first recipient. With honors.
    • This corporate behavior is not a bug; it's a feature.

      When the relatives call you, all furious at having been swindled by proprietary vendors, you say, "Hey, nobody ever got fired for buying from <vendor>, but they certainly had a blood pressure increase."

      There is plenty of material on freedom available. The challenge is to get people to experience the freedom. DRM is AOK as a TLA motivator.
      • The problem is that most people don't care enough about their freedoms to care, especially with computers. They are certainly happy when the next patch to fairuse4wm is released, if they even know such things exist, but they aren't willing to give up the software they know. It doesn't matter that Amarok organizes music better (I have heard friends, especially musicians, comment on it), or that xmms is so much easier to use...nobody really cares enough to switch. To most, if they buy something, the people
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Fordiman ( 689627 )

        I give away CDs at the local PC hardware shop with OSS software on it, called the "Week's Free and Easy". It costs me about five hours and $20 a week, but I feel it's a good thing. I usually set it up so that people have a way to contact me for suggestions / changes.

        This week, it's going to be a modified version of MPlayer with an auto-install and reassociate via HTA.
    • Unfortunately I had started to use WMP because most of the other programs are crap or I need four seperate ones to do everything WMP does.

      Also, my wifes phone requires me to use WMP to sync the music on the phone.
      • cdparanoia + lame, done. Well if you want pretty names add Grip to the list.

        Winamp can rip MP3s too can't it?

        • by Rob Kaper ( 5960 )
          cdparanoia + lame, done. Well if you want pretty names add Grip to the list.

          Very retro, but KDE users shall prefer the audiocd:/ KIO slave. Drag, drop, done.
          • KDE?

            Blashphemereerere [damn lack of spelling abilities].

            I'm sure Gnome has some CD ripper crap. I just prefer the command line...

        • On Windows, exactaudiocopy + lame.
          EAC can use LAME too, it is a bit of configuration hassle but then it works like a single program.
          It can also grab titles from an external database (CDDB IIRC).
        • by JadeNB ( 784349 )
          As a Mac user who wants to convert to OGG, I was very happy to discover Max []. It uses (or can be made to use) cdparanoia as its ripper.
    • WMP can rip to non-drm mp3 you know, it just dosen't by default.

      I'll stick to itunes.
  • by TheShadowHawk ( 789754 ) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @09:54AM (#16153037) Homepage
    Even tighter DRM? Wow... tell me again why I should install Vista?
    • by Patrik_AKA_RedX ( 624423 ) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @10:04AM (#16153112) Journal
      Because the warez version will have all the good parts, none of the bad parts and is provided to you at the real value of the software.
    • by trazom28 ( 134909 ) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @10:12AM (#16153170)
      Heh.. my main PC still runs Win98SE. I can't afford a new PC, don't game as much as I used to, and it plays the games that I enjoy anyway. It's a P3/1GHz, 512MB RAM so I could easily run XP on it, but if it's stable, and does everything I need to.. and I keep my computer secure via other means (firewall, AV, etc) I figure why bother. I'll likely put SUSE or somesuch on it at some point when I get bored, I just don't have the $100 to spend on an OEM Windows XP license and CD, much less affording Vista.
    • Thank God (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Mateo_LeFou ( 859634 ) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @10:16AM (#16153204) Homepage
      Without all this DRM everywhere, I don't think we as a society would ever write another line of music. Ever.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by crabpeople ( 720852 )
        I think you have that backwards.
        People write music to be heard and to get chicks to have sex with them. People write music to tell a story and to educate. I don't think the desire to educate, tell stories and sing songs will ever disapear, much like there is no shortage of slashdot posts and other opinions floating around out there. No one is paying me to express myself here and yet I do it. Funny about that eh?

        Real artists make music for themselves, or to get the women.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by deviantphil ( 543645 ) Microsoft TRYING to chase off their customers? Or is pissing off customers just a "feature"?
    • I think I'm just plain done with Windows. I'll either defect to Apple or (more likely) go exclusively to Ubuntu and purchase Cedega to run the games I have.

      Of course, I say this recalling that, once upon I time, I removed windows from my computer and installed OS/2. I really liked OS/2 but, unfortunately, IBM apparantly did not.

      • Remember to use plain Wine too, as it can run some games better than Cedega, and may even be able to run all your games fine, depending on what you want to play.
    • by Robotz ( 451860 ) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @10:32AM (#16153332)
      Personally, I like to pronounce 'Vista' with a capital 'F'.

      It feels appropriate, somehow.
    • by Creepy ( 93888 )
      If you're a gamer, because Microsoft is pushing Vista Only (DirectX 10, exclusive to Vista by cabal) games like age of conan [] and Halo 2 []. I'm sure there will be many more that follow, and pretty soon a good chunk of the Windows gaming market will be forced into Vista through Microsoft's strong-arm tactics, whether they feel like they need the upgrade or not.

      For that reason alone I will probably build a Vista/Linux dual-boot machine sometime next year. I certainly will continue to avoid WiMP for ripping, an
  • nice (Score:5, Informative)

    by gEvil (beta) ( 945888 ) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @09:54AM (#16153038)
    This is beautiful. Microsoft goes even further in restricting your rights for material you already own (god knows what purchases will be like). Meanwhile, Apple has been going in the other direction, finally adding a "transfer purchases from iPod" menu option in iTunes 7.
    • Clippy (Score:4, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 21, 2006 @10:09AM (#16153143)
      "Look's like you're trying to backup a CD - I've just informed he RIAA. Would you like me to call you a lawyer?"
    • Re:nice (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Aadain2001 ( 684036 ) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @10:20AM (#16153231) Journal
      I've always wondered at people who bash the iTunes DRM since it is actually pretty nice to the user (as you mentioned). DRM like Microsoft's is the wrong kind of DRM. It starts from the assumption that the user is a criminal and given the opportunity will share their music with millions unless stopped by someone. The DRM on iTunes, on the other hand, is actually very nice IMHO. I can transfer music to my iPod with no problems. I can burn playlists to as many CDs as I like. I can have multiple systems access my iTunes account (home, laptop, work, etc). MS is just shooting themselves in the foot and driving yet more people to iTunes, iPod, and Apple.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by GORby_ ( 101822 )
        I like the DRM on eMusic better: there is none.
        So far I've mostly succeeded in staying away from DRM infected music (having never bought it, but I have/had a few files I got for free), and I hope to keep it that way.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Dahlgil ( 631022 )
        I suspect this is because of different strategies. Microsoft is doing what appeals to the music industry at the expense of users, while Apple is doing what appeals to users at the possible expense of support by the Music industry. Sure, Apple has a lot of support by the Music industry now as demonstrated by the iTunes store, but Microsoft has to compete against them somehow. So they're betting on making themselves a favorite of the music industry by supporting draconian DRM policies, and simultaneiously
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by tttonyyy ( 726776 )
      This is beautiful. Microsoft goes even further in restricting your rights for material you already own (god knows what purchases will be like).

      Paranoia mode ON

      And before you know it, it'll be applied to software as well:

      "Your system has detected new hardware - please purchase a new Vista licence".

      Pananoia mode OFF
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 21, 2006 @09:54AM (#16153039)
    how they still manage to speak of "your rights" when there are virtually none left to speak of...
  • I want more MS (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MECC ( 8478 ) * on Thursday September 21, 2006 @09:56AM (#16153050)
    Also saw "Cannot play back recorded TV that is protected with media usage rights in Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 after 3 days". Man this so makes me want to get all tricked out with a Zune and windows break-my-media center, because they all look so nice and they 'just work'. This must be that 'microsoft standard' thingy I keep hearing about all the time. Standard - that's when you get to arbitrarily break things that used to work, right?

    See - monopolies really do work better than an open marketplace of ideas.

  • DRM (Score:5, Interesting)

    by kaleco ( 801384 ) <> on Thursday September 21, 2006 @09:56AM (#16153057)
    Between this and the Zune's 3 days/3 plays model of DRM, it seems like Microsoft are trying their hardest to confuse people as to when they can and cannot play their music. It almost sounds like they want to generate bad public opinion.
  • by TheWoozle ( 984500 ) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @09:56AM (#16153060)
    The more you tighten your grip, the more music listeners will slip through your fingers.
  • ...guess I'd better rip off those ultra-cool default Windows system .wav files now, before they DRM the hell out of those too... :/


  • by Z1NG ( 953122 ) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @10:01AM (#16153094)
    I don't really listen to CD's that often, only owning three or four, and I don't download music (except when I get it for my wife, and then I pay for it). But this kind of asinine, punch consumers in the nuts philosphy almost makes me want to make copies of my few CD's to give to everyone I know. If only I weren't so lazy, and didn't still respect the rights of the artist. Will most consumers do anything about it though? Probably not. They will just bend over and ask for more, as Microsoft takes away any concept they might have of "fair use".
  • Excellent (Score:4, Insightful)

    by RAMMS+EIN ( 578166 ) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @10:04AM (#16153115) Homepage Journal
    Excellent! I knew we could count on the MegaCorps of the world to demonstrate the drawbacks of DRM more effectively than any consumer rights activist ever could. The more they tighten down the restrictions, the more people will be inconvenienced by DRM, and the more people will care. Perhaps, one day, they will even be enlightened about what proprietary DRM systems do to interoperability and consumer choice.
  • Why? (Score:3, Funny)

    by MightyYar ( 622222 ) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @10:05AM (#16153117)

    To what end? Why did they do this? At the behest of who?

    I'd call them turd burglars, but that would imply some competence at burgling turds.

  • I've not used WMP much for many years, simply because it's become a resource hog. When I listen to music on my PC, it's for something to listen to while I work. For that, I don't need a huge program taking up system taskbar space, or screen space. I have relied on winamp classic for years, just because of this. It's got all the functions, it plays the music I like, and I don't have to deal with WMPs crap.
  • it's obvious (Score:5, Insightful)

    by oohshiny ( 998054 ) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @10:06AM (#16153130)
    Microsoft is trying to kill DRM.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Opportunist ( 166417 )
      Obviously so. They are putting all that bad crap DRM really is so blatantly on display that nobody with a sane mind could say it's a good idea (well, unless he'd profit from it, of course).

      If I was the RIAA, I'd sue them for bad publicity.
  • Correction (Score:5, Funny)

    by Orange Crush ( 934731 ) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @10:09AM (#16153142)
    'connect to a Microsoft Web page that explains how to restore your rights a limited number of times.'

    Summary mispelled privileges and missed the last part of the sentence: "you filthy theiving consumer SCUM!"

  • by Chabil Ha' ( 875116 ) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @10:14AM (#16153186)
    Because it's a Genuine Advantage to do so. HAH!
  • ....Redmond today announced the final name of Windows codenamed Vista. In final release form it will be called DRM/OS 3. Pundits quipped that Dynamic Recursive Media 3.0 should be called Dynamic Non Recursive Media 3.0, and noted that the EULA requires the end user to send their entire music and movie collection to Bill Gates, the RIAA and MPAA.
    • ....Redmond today announced the final name of Windows codenamed Vista. In final release form it will be called DRM/OS 3. Pundits quipped that Dynamic Recursive Media 3.0 should be called Dynamic Non Recursive Media 3.0, and noted that the EULA requires the end user to send their entire music and movie collection to Bill Gates, the RIAA and MPAA.

      They continued: "After all, the only reason you wouldn't want to do this is if you had something to hide. Now, let Clippy make you a nice glass of Kool-Aid."

  • Illegal? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by truthsearch ( 249536 ) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @10:22AM (#16153246) Homepage Journal
    Won't these changes actually be illegal in some European countries? Some countries make certain restrictions on copying illegal, or at least that's what I've read in many /. comments. Will Microsoft have to release a different version of the software in Europe?
  • Workarounds (Score:4, Informative)

    by Peter Trepan ( 572016 ) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @10:25AM (#16153269)
    Workarounds can be found here [] and here [].
  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna ( 970587 ) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @10:25AM (#16153275) Journal
    OK, Joe Sixpack does not know much. Blindly uses the default programs. IE, WMP whatever. Cant even tell where OS ends and applications begin. And MSFT takes him for a ride and locks his content to one PC and does what most monopolies do when they think their control will last forever.

    Isn't that normal? Isn't that what will eventually provide a market correction? Eventually Joe is going to find that 500$ worth of music he has bought over the last two years is locked into a dying PC or a stolen Zune and he has to pay all over again to get his music back. Then his friend Smartli Nuxuser tells him why he would never have that predicament at the watercooler. Happens repeatedly. Gets retold repeatedly. Joe gets mad

    When Joe Sixpacks gets mad, he really gets mad. He sues left right and center. Start class action lawsuits. When CA builds million miles of highways and sues the car makers fo CO2 emissions, why cant Joe Sixpack sue MSFT? It can write all the EULA it wants, but when you get millions of Joe Sixpacks mad, all bets are off.

  • Who the heck keeps the 'Copy protect music' option on anyway?
  • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @10:27AM (#16153284)
    'connect to a Microsoft Web page that explains how to restore your rights a limited number of times.'

    I never thought I'd see MS advertising Linux. Or ... wait, can't be. They're talking about restoring it only a limited number of times. Not permanently.

    What a scam.
  • by Qbertino ( 265505 ) <> on Thursday September 21, 2006 @10:30AM (#16153314)
    This is the typical machiavellian style corporate/political anouncement. They'll tune down a little on the real DRM just before release and then all the dumbass ords will say "No, they changed that. It's not that bad as you say. MS are nice people and they build cool stuff." In the end people will get screwed over .... and they'll probably approve.

    Welcome to the world of cyberpunk.
  • by CheeseburgerBrown ( 553703 ) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @10:33AM (#16153335) Homepage Journal
    This comment should in no way be taken as an overall endorsement of an Apple-boner worldview but, let's face it, there is something fundamental about music and people that the Jobsian camp "gets" that the Redmonites don't.

    One significant reason why the iPod -- crippled as it is under its own DRM and Applephilic burdens -- was/is such a success is because it makes the experience of selecting and playing back popular music comparatively easy, even for people with shrunken frontal lobes and/or other severe cognitive challenges (retardation, ADHDADDADHD, neoconservatism, etc.). Even my grandma knows how to rip CDs into her library and stick them on her iPod.

    The relative transparency of the process means that my grandma doesn't have to call a geek to help her. This means the obstacles between her and what she wants to listen to are minimal. Basically, it's easy. The rights management is sufficiently flexible that she doesn't know or care that it is there.

    This Microsoft DRM scheme, in contrast, sounds very visible.

    No matter how smoothly or non-smoothly it works, the visibility in and of itself will intimidate/frustrate/frighten much of the herd. Anything that requires an explanation -- even a simple one -- cuts scads off of the numbers of potential customers.

    The perception of simplicity sells Apple products, for good or for ill. Until Microsoft understands this, they'll be playing catch up forever.

    Marketshare does not equal mindshare. Evidently.

  • by AB3A ( 192265 ) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @10:33AM (#16153337) Homepage Journal
    I read recently that 7" vinyl record singles are starting to sell again. I guess people like the idea that they can sell, resell, and re-record their music. It may not be a CD one could rip, but at least it can't infect your computer with a rootkit while you weren't looking. People just want to listen to music they like. They'll pay once for the privilige of owning a recording. However, they won't pay attention to any ephemeral bit of legal nonsense which keeps them from using the recording wherever they might like in their personal lives.

    This unilateral effort Microsoft is attempting is doomed. Other OS vendors will eat Microsoft's home PC market away when it becomes clear that they can do what Microsoft will not. The work PC market will continue to thrive based upon inertia of the PHB class of managers.

    As for RIAA, their online sales will fizzle as they focus on more DRM, while the very musicians they recruit get disgusted and start voting with their feet.

    Once Microsoft puts this thing on the market, I look forward to new lawsuits from RIAA against other OS firms, saying in effect that Microsoft does DRM, and you should too. We can look forward to whole new classes of peer to peer music rips. We can expect RIAA's online sales to fizzle. And over the very long haul, I expect the RIAA to shrivel in to an agency for lawyer welfare once their cash cow has left the barn and she discovered that it really isn't too bad outside.
  • by vmxeo ( 173325 ) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @10:39AM (#16153404) Homepage Journal
    I dunno... the DRM in this version of WMP looks half-baked. I think I'm going to wait for Windows Media Player 12 to come out, which reportedly will include DRM that doesn't let you listen to your music at all. All the major recording labels are on board with this format, so we may finally get a realistic alternative to iTunes without the clumsy Mac-like interface. Plus, it won't cost much more per track than the average iTunes song now. There will also be more visualizations included to help you imagine what the music you're playing actualy sounds like. I know that a lot of Slashdotters bash Microsoft over security, but I'm glad to know MS is taking bold steps to protect my music!
  • by RingDev ( 879105 ) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @10:49AM (#16153491) Homepage Journal
    There is a simple method of bypasing this DRM when ripping your music. In WMP go to the Tools menu, select Options. Click on the "Copy Music" tab and ensure that the "Copy protect music" option is not selected.

    Man, that was a close one, they almost screwed us this time!

  • by BlueStrat ( 756137 ) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @10:54AM (#16153531)
    So, let me get this straight. I'm an independant artist with a published and distributed CD, on which it's stated: "Please feel free to copy and use this music however you see fit, share it with friends, put it on P2P, make a mix, or include it into other works. Do not include, encode with, or wrap this work in any anti-copying system or use any technological protection measures upon this work. If you value this work, feel free to contribute. Donation details can be found at (website addresses). Enjoy!".

    So, by one of my fans simply playing my content with WMP11, their DRM will be imposed on my copyrighted content without my knowledge or consent, my rights as a copyright holder, content creator/artist are trumped/destroyed, as well as my revenue stream from donations from people who've been given copies of my work is effectively terminated?

    Makes me want to reach for a rapid-fire assault-lawyer with a huge assault-class clip of C&Ds, injunctions, and claims for real and punitive damages, as well as possibly motions for class-action status, and do a legal drive-by on their butts firing on full-auto!


  • by UncleGizmo ( 462001 ) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @12:09PM (#16154205)
    From TFA, on restoring licenses:

    "If you obtained the file from an online store, contact the store to find out if it offers media usage rights (license) restoration (some stores refer to this procedure as computer activation, computer authorization, or license synchronization)."

    I'm not versed in iTunes specs, but could this be one (of many) avenues to make it more difficult to use iTMS? Or at least cause FUD against Apple?

    Not to be a conspiracy theorist or anything, but given M$'s past behavior...and they are releasing their own version of an iPod soon... hmmm....

  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @01:29PM (#16154903) Homepage

    What this means to the general user is "buy a new computer and you lose all your stuff". That's going to hurt Dell and HP (both of whom are already hurting big-time).

    We've already had this happen with TV sets. The HDMI/HDCP debacle is interfering with big-screen HTDV sales. Anyone who bought a HDTV screen and discovered it wouldn't work with a Blu-Ray player has been badly burned already. HDTV adoption has been much slower than expected, and botched DRM is partly to blame. The display DRM, the set-top box DRM, the broadcast DRM, and the PVR DRM all have to work together seamlessly, and they don't.

If graphics hackers are so smart, why can't they get the bugs out of fresh paint?