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MSN Music to shut down, leaving DRM customers in the lurch

April 24, 2008

Microsoft is ceasing support for its MSN Music service. After August 31, 2008, people who have bought music from the service will no longer be able to move that music to different computers, or even change the operating system on their current computers. reports what happens if one trusts companies selling proprietary software and non free codecs.

With restricted music, every time you move it to a new system, you have to get new approval. Microsoft is shutting down the servers that currently grant that approval, which leaves everyone who bought music from them holding locks with no keys, and no recourse.

This isn’t the first time people have had access to their music and movies revoked (we’re looking at you, MLB and Google Video), and it won’t be the last unfortunately. But thankfully, this mode of selling media is dying. It was one thing when the threat of revocation was just some fine print, but now that it’s become a demonstrated reality, people are voting with their dollars for DRM-free living.


A guide to DRM free Living

April 11, 2008 has created a guide to DRM free living.

Welcome to our brief guide to living a DRM-free existence. We want to provide a range of links pointing you toward online stores, video/music players, software and hardware that will help you take back your rights as a concerned customer and citizen.

Their blog entry mentions that help finding DRM free services is appreciated.

Please let us know about your favorite DRM-free sites and we’ll add them to the Guide. With your help, this spring we can build a comprehensive guide to DRM-free living.


Apple restricts user rights… again

January 28, 2008 reports that Apples Digital Restriction Management (DRM) is obstructing legal creativity.

People sometimes think of DRM as solely a means to prevent copying, but the fact is that it directly obstructs other legitimate work.
Apple’s recent update in … Mac OS X is … disables crucial features in video-editing software.
Attempts to export videos from many applications after the update results in a DRM permissions error.
Worse yet, it is not possible to roll back to a previous version of QuickTime without doing a full operating system reinstall. The supposed system upgrades are actually people from exporting their preventingown video.

More attacks on user rights from apple
Apple and Sony attack digital freedom
Screw you Apple iPhone