Windows Media DRM gets tighter

Windows Media Player 11 is going to:

  • Take away your ability to back up your media files
  • Take away your ability to move content from one PC to another (yes, even a legal one)
  • Add DRM to any CDs you own and rip
  • Not allow you to play media files of your own CDs unless you ask for permission
  • Delete any TV recordings you make after three days

And, being the dominant OS, they will have this on every desktop in a couple of years. Of course, the content owner can be lenient and allow things to be done with the file - but they can also change their mind without a moment's notice and change what you can do with your music retroactively. Here's the rub: because the whole thing is based on licensing and contracts, they can change the rights in any way they want in any way they please. It's not a sale, remember?

Normally, I would not be too worried. Consumers would not buy from such a store that screws them so badly. But the thing is, copyright is a government-granted monopoly (in much the same way as alcohol in Finland), so there cannot be proper competition. Especially since there are relatively few media companies that control most of the field. They're not out to compete on quality and innovation - since they've already got the monopoly. And if the only way to get Britney is to bend over and lick your own balls in public, then hey, an amazing amount of people will turn out to be surprisingly supple.

(Via Slashdot.)




Comments

Thanks for this piece of key evidence in the Microsoft versus Common Sense case.

We the defendant - common sense - rest our case and move to sob in a dark corner.

--Jan Wikholm, 21-Sep-2006


As a sidenote, I love the ads that Google is giving this entry...

--JanneJalkanen, 21-Sep-2006


Um, while the rest of the concerns seem valid enough, "Add DRM to any CDs you own and rip" seems a bit odd choice to get furius about, as there is a checkbox in ripping preferences called "Copy protect music" (which is grayed in the current beta).

"Oh no, I chose to add DRM to my files while ripping, and it did! Woes!" :P

Or did I understand something incorrectly? :)

M

--M, 22-Sep-2006


No, you're right. But I think it's still a problem - what if they start to ship it with the DRM bit set to "on" instead of "off"? How many people would then know how to turn it off? And once their computer breaks, they'd have to start the entire ripping process from the beginning, because they just did not know any better...

--JanneJalkanen, 23-Sep-2006


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