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DRM Redux

05/10/08 | by Adam | Categories: Copyright

Link: http://www.boingboing.net/2008/04/22/msn-music-customers.html

Microsoft's shutting down their DRM validation servers for their retired MSN Music store, and thus rendering all music purchased through it unusable should the registered machine associated with the DRM license ever be altered or replaced. This reminded me that I actually had some DRM-contaminated music lying around that I'd never burned to CD.

The history: a year or two ago, Future Shop was promoting their "Bonfire" online music store by giving away $5 worth of tracks. I figured I'd give it a shot. To make a long story short, I wasn't impressed with the DRM limitation and never proceeded with it beyond using up the credit.

Cut to today. I've replaced the computer the tracks were originally downloaded to, and ensured that the licensing files were backed up in addition to the music itself. When I went to import the DRM licensing in order to play the music, I found that Windows Media Player 11 (Vista 64 Edition) no longer supports importing DRM settings. The next step was to login to Bonfire to re-enable the DRM via my account. While the website appears to be available, and the link to it is no longer apparent from the main Future Shop site, all it does is reject incoming connections from IE 7, Firefox and Safari, claiming to not be Macintosh compatible. Connecting to PureTracks, the hosting site, does work but it doesn't seem to recognise the account. So, my two legally purchased tracks are now entirely unusable solely due to imbedded DRM. Lovely.

So, remind me again as to what DRM brings to the table for the purchaser of music other than limitations and eventually inaccessibility?


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