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Wednesday, October 11, 2006

You are about to become DRM roadkill

Another DRM rant brought to you by Zune

By Charlie Demerjian: Monday 09 October 2006, 11:32
MICHAEL ROBERTSON points out a really important point about DRM in his latest blog entry: you are at the mercy of the content mafia. He also coins a term for this, getting zuned.

You know the history of Zune, a music player that unilaterally shafts MS's closest partners. The funny part is that no one is questioning what they will do to you next time a shiny thing distracts them. Well, OK, Michael Robertson is, but that is the only one I can think of. MS has a long history of doing this, and it has gone from being dangerous to partner with to dangerous to buy from.

What do I mean? You read the EULA that came with all your digital music 'purchases', didn't you? You do know what they can do to you, right? What is the worst thing that can happen? Well, look at Zune for an example. If you trusted MS and bought music from them with their plays for sure campaign, you are safe there, right? "Read More" click link below


Well, no, they just changed the game on you, and if you don't like it, tough. You 'bought' things with a DRM infection, MS abandoned you and moved on to the next shiny thing. How long will it be before the whole Plays For Sure cabal collapses? I would guess not long.

Apple last time I checked has infected 80% or so of the music market with their flavor or DRM, with the rest of the makers splitting the remaining 20%. Those on the short bus of consumer rights removal all depended on MS to back them in their dance with the content mafia, which MS did, more out of fear of Apple and Sony than anything else.

When it was clear that the one ring to rule them all strategy was not going to do much to halt the Apple advance, MS said 'buh-bye kiddies' to their partners and left them high and dry. Your business model just got flushed by our whims? Sorry. No, we are not, but we have this new Zune thing that you can't touch, it might make you feel better.

MS shafting their business partners is old news, but this is one of the more massive screwings of their customers that I can recall since the Office 97 Word 'bug'. All the money you spent should you have been dumb enough to 'buy' that DRM infected pablum, is now pissed away.

Think about it, if Zune takes off, the non-MS and non-Apple part of the market is dead, no question there. This means your current music won't play on anything. If Zune falls flat, the partners are already looking for other ways to remove the rights of users, so your music won't play on anything either. Basically, you bought a promise, and got screwed out of greed.

This is a lose/lose situation brought to you by those twin bastions of consumer responsibility, MS and DRM. If you 'bought' music infected music, you got zuned. the reason for this is they made everything one sided. They passed laws, co-opted your hardware, and made it illegal for you to exercise your rights. If you do what you were allowed to do for the last several hundred years, you are now a criminal.

If you want to take the music you legitimately 'bought' from MS backed companies to play on an MS backed player, and play it on your new MS backed players, you are SOL. If you get a program to convert your legitimately purchased MS backed music from one player to another, both MS backed too, you are a criminal.

Welcome to the new order. You have no rights, by design, DRM infections lock you down, and the people who are more than happy to take your rights and money don't give a sh*t. If you think this is bad, read the fine print on the EULA. If you think that is bad, go read up on the CableCard infection, they learned from the 'mistakes' of the music mafia. Be afraid. ยต

You are about to become DRM roadkill


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