Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 23rd Jan 2009 17:34 UTC, submitted by poundsmack
Multimedia, AV With every major online digital music vendor slowly but surely abolishing digital rights management, you might wonder how much sense it makes to launch a music service that locks tracks to the devices they're downloaded to. Still, this is exactly what Microsoft has done with its recent launch of its UK Mobile Music store. To make matters worse, there's a whole boatload of other weird decisions regarding this new service that makes you wonder if Microsoft UK has been in contact with anyone outside of its own main office building for, say, the past 5 years.
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Comment by Kroc
by Kroc on Fri 23rd Jan 2009 18:11 UTC
Kroc
Member since:
2005-11-10

They’re doing this because it’s profitable in the same way shovelware on the iPhone is profitable. It’s profitable in the same way £3 ringtones have been profitable for eons.

What "MSN Music" is doing is scrapping the absolute bottom of the barrel as hard as possible given that their "third party provider" come from somewhere in the middle of 13th Century England and are therefore want to enforce iron-fist dictatorship (via DRM).

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by Kroc
by Vanders on Fri 23rd Jan 2009 22:21 UTC in reply to "Comment by Kroc"
Vanders Member since:
2005-07-06

What "MSN Music" is doing is scrapping the absolute bottom of the barrel as hard as possible


They'll have to scrape all the way through. The "bottom of the barrel" is free: the majority of people still download their music without paying.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by Kroc
by Karitku on Mon 26th Jan 2009 09:11 UTC in reply to "Comment by Kroc"
Karitku Member since:
2006-01-12

Ever heard Nokia music service, this pretty much same thing. But as long as people are stupid, lazy and more concerned on been hip than buying quality, these stores will just keep coming. One problem or should i say salvation is that both Nokia and Microsoft have rather poor marketing when it comes selling hip-style products. Perhaps when Zune service finally lands on Europe this MSN music will be killed, unfortunatly it might take too long.

Reply Score: 1

1 step forward, 2 steps back
by poundsmack on Fri 23rd Jan 2009 18:12 UTC
poundsmack
Member since:
2005-07-13

typically you know something is a bad idea because, like this, it is obviously a bad idea. Come on MS you know better than that.

Reply Score: 2

They just don't learn do they?
by darknexus on Fri 23rd Jan 2009 18:16 UTC
darknexus
Member since:
2008-07-15

Subject says it all, I guess. Obviously, someone wasn't thinking. Didn't the MSN music store teach them anything? Don't they remember what happened to the music people purchased when it went under?
DRM is ridiculous. There's not a scheme invented that doesn't inconvenience legitimate users and let the pirates get off scott free.
Earth to Microsoft: even Apple is dropping DRM on their iTunes music--too bad they can't do that for movies as well, but hey the movie studios are being stupid about it. Wake up.

Reply Score: 5

RE: They just don't learn do they?
by flanque on Sat 24th Jan 2009 03:10 UTC in reply to "They just don't learn do they?"
flanque Member since:
2005-12-15

Come v3 of their music store, whatever it's called then, they'll start to get it right.

It always seems to be by v3 they start to "get it".

Reply Score: 4

christianhgross Member since:
2005-11-15

That rule used to apply...

Not anymore I would say.... For example they still cant create a decent mobile operating system. Apple did it in one maybe 1.5 versions.

No Microsoft is a dud of a company!

Interestingly this all occurred once Bill Gates left.

Reply Score: 1

weildish Member since:
2008-12-06

What about the Windows 3.x platform? It was just a little before I actually was old enough to understand a bit about computers, so I never used that system (woah-- that was the time when I used to think that all the guts of the computer were in the monitor-- I blame the Macintosh Plus for that-- I was so young then). Did MS start getting it right then? I'm actually curious what those older than me who used it thought about it.

Reply Score: 1

RE: They just don't learn do they?
by 3rdalbum on Sun 25th Jan 2009 05:40 UTC in reply to "They just don't learn do they?"
3rdalbum Member since:
2008-05-26

Correction: It's not the movie studios' fault. Apple believes in DRM on movies.

Reply Score: 1

melgross Member since:
2005-08-12

I'm willing to bet that if the movie companies were interested in dropping DRM, Apple would lose it the same day.

You must understand that unlike with the music companies, Apple hasn't been as successful about getting movies because those companies are wary of letting Apple do to the movie download business what they did to the music download business. More movies are already downloaded from iTunes than all the other movies sites put together. That was reported on a while ago. And Apple still has far fewer movies available than do some of those other sites.

Apple is just being diplomatic. They don't want to do anything to scare those companies away.

Reply Score: 1

darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Not quite. Apple isn't going to press them, given that they don't want to scare other movie studios away. Keep in mind that, compared to the number of movie studios around, Apple has very few of them on iTunes.
That aside, I think the CSS system on DVDs and encryption on other video media that has followed indicates the position of the movie studios quite well. They, clearly, are in favor of DRM regardless of Apple's opinion, or anyone elses for that matter. They want their control, and won't do business with anyone who tries to deny it to them. They're fighting a losing battle--the fact that CSS and other forms of video protection are always being cracked speaks to that--but it is one they seem determined to continue fighting.

Reply Score: 2

What are you talking about? This is great!
by areimann on Fri 23rd Jan 2009 18:17 UTC
areimann
Member since:
2006-06-12

I just went and purchased all of the things I have on CD because Windows doesn't recognize my CD-ROM drive so I can't rip them. It is saving me time.

*just kidding*

Reply Score: 3

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

why be kidding? I think you where bang on point.

In countries where copywrite is more rational and allows fair use of legally obtained media, one can rip music for playing on the home stereo or mobile music player. You can even duplicate the original disk so it can be kept in good condition while the copy is worn out through normal use. The key is buying the rights initially through the cd purchase and retaining the original CD since it is both the shipping medium and usage license.

Screw the online vendors who lace the audio drugs with DRM stricnine. Buy your music legally on disk and transfer it to the applicable device for your rightful listening pleasure.

It's the places where copywrite has been completely twisted or intentionally crippled by "Mellenium Act" type legal tricks that are the problem. Sure, it's still legal under fair use to copy your music from CD to a more usable format but the mellenium act is there as a "gotcha" saying you can't decrypt your legally obtained media during the transfer process to a more usable format. F'ing slimy lawyer tricks meant to keep RIAA happy and contributing to political pockets.

Reply Score: 5

melgross Member since:
2005-08-12

You misunderstand.

You're writing as though the Millennium Act came before DRM. The concept was to protect the DRM, as in protecting the copyrights, which the copyright owners do have the right to do.

It's the digital medium, and particularly the internet, which has screwed up those copyright rights the owners have. They have ALWAYS had those rights, but before, it was very difficult to get around them. New technology changed that.

I'm not saying that I'm in favor of DRM, I'm not, because it doesn't work that well anyway.

But the truth is that when products are offered at fair prices, and DRM is reasonable, as Apple proved, sales will be good.

What's interesting here is that Amazon increased its sales a good bit when the new DRM-less store came out, but their percentage has stalled at 8% for the last few months. Why would that be, as they are selling songs as a loss leader (the RIAA isn't giving them a discount), without the DRM, and in 256Kbs?

It's because that most legit music downloaders don't care about Apple's DRM. Apple's music sales were the best ever this last quarter, even with most songs containing DRM, and being sold at 128Kbs AAC.

We'll have to see if their sales take a leap now, or just continue to grow at about the same rate.

But this new MS music store really is a joke. It's not only a problem when you buy a new phone in two years, or one year, ore even in six months, because that will be the customers CHOICE.

The real problem comes when the phone gets stolen, or is lost, or is broken past the point of repair.

That's why THIS DRM is intolerable. It's really hard to understand why MS can't figure out a way to transfer these songs to a PC for at least backup! After all, this is MS, it's their software on both ends. I would think that from reading this short interview that they just don't care.

Reply Score: 1

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

It may be the fault of my bad writting but my meaning was that some countries have a more rational view of copywrite where it is perfectly legal for the legitimate license owner to transfer the music off the CD and into a format more accessible for them. This provided they are not making that music available to others who do not also own the original madia.

DRM is surely not anything new. I can remember the hardware keys attached to serial and parrilel ports to enable software.

Now, where I may have not been clear was that the millenium act then comes into play as and end run around perfectly legal fair use of copywrited materials. With music, it's perfectly legal to move the songs from disk to mp3 for listening on your mobile but the millenium act says it's illigal to decrypt the CD encrypted music.

So, in response to the original poster who was kidding about the new DRM infected MS music store motivating people to buy music on CD and rip it to a usable medium, I ask; why be "just kidding". For those who live under more rational laws, buy your music on CD and DVD. You get high quality original media not crippled and bound to a single device or music store by DRM and you can still enjoy that music legally on your mp3 player.

As for the Millenium Act.. F'ing bullshit. It's a set of laws enacted purely to further RIAA's empire not help either the music artists or the consumers who both get screwed by the media labels.

My original understanding was that the Act's rule against decryption was to proctect communications in transit but it turns out that it was all about protecting DRM'd media from fair use by licensed consumers.

Reply Score: 2

melgross Member since:
2005-08-12

It is perfectly legal in the USA to transfer music off a CD onto another storage medium. The DMA doesn't have anything to do with it.

You do misunderstand the situation here.

Pretty much ALL countries have some form of law about copyrights that disallow one to break them. France, for example, has written some copyright laws that are far more restrictive than anything we have here, and the EU as a whole has been moving into very restrictive copyright legislation.

In the USA, nothing prevents a company from declaring that no copyright protection will be used.

The DMA just strengthens the copyright laws by saying that copyright breaking will be illegal if it breaks the DRM designed to enforce it. It's an enforcement action.

Let's face it, if so many people didn't come up with false reasons why their stealing of music wasn't stealing, and so was alright, then these companies wouldn't think that DRM was needed in the first place.

The fact that it doesn't work too well, and the fact that a good, and increasing, number of people are honest enough to pay for music is what's convincing them to drop it.

Reply Score: 1

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

I'm surely not meaning that the false reasons people justify theft with are acceptable. My gripe is with companies twisting laws at the expense of the law abiding consumers.

My area of expertise is not law either though. I do remember an exception eventually being allowed for music transfers to mobile devices but that only came about after RIAA used the Act go after honest customers.

Either way, copywrite and patent laws are such a mess they'd easily expand into an entire forum discussion of there own (and often do).

Reply Score: 2

Epic fail....again!?
by aaronb on Fri 23rd Jan 2009 18:39 UTC
aaronb
Member since:
2005-07-06

I can't quite remember what is was called but haven't Microsoft already done that and failed at on-line music store with DRM, with the store closing down, leaving people at risk of technically loosing access to their music.

Or am I getting this mixed up with another company?
(No really I'm not sure).

Edited 2009-01-23 18:41 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Epic fail....again!?
by Kroc on Fri 23rd Jan 2009 19:16 UTC in reply to "Epic fail....again!?"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

Oh you mean Virgin Music Store,
no wait, you mean Yahoo Music Store,
no wait, you mean...

Reply Score: 3

RE: Epic fail....again!? - Play-for-sure
by jabbotts on Sat 24th Jan 2009 00:21 UTC in reply to "Epic fail....again!?"
jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

I believe you mean the Play-for-sure DRM framework that they dropped leaving everyone who'd purchased music out int he cold along with the "partners" that had included PFS in hardware devices.

Like Kroc points out though, they are not the only company to try and double-bill customers by switching DRM schemes.

Reply Score: 3

Between the lines...
by StephenBeDoper on Fri 23rd Jan 2009 19:42 UTC
StephenBeDoper
Member since:
2005-07-06

I read "We're doing this in conjunction with a third-party provider" as a euphemism for "Someone else is footing the bill, so we really don't care about the results."

Reply Score: 5

Over and out
by deb2006 on Fri 23rd Jan 2009 19:56 UTC
deb2006
Member since:
2006-06-26

I cannot believe THAT kind of stupidity. It does not make sense at all. It is a waste of time and energy. So why are they doing it? Well, they have not the faintest idea about the music business, that's why.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Over and out - sadly, neither does the music bis
by jabbotts on Sat 24th Jan 2009 01:04 UTC in reply to "Over and out"
jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

Sadly, they seem to have as much understanding of.. or the same idea about.. the music industry as the media rackets like RIAA have.

Now, if only they'd all realize what it is the _Consumer_ wants.

Reply Score: 2

Just remember their last effort
by shotsman on Fri 23rd Jan 2009 20:02 UTC
shotsman
Member since:
2005-07-22

Plays for Sure

Then remember that the Zune is not sold in Europe and then you will realise that this is doomed to fail.

Downloading Music with DRM is so 'like man, yesterday'

Sigh.
I wonder if this is the parting shot of one of the 5000 who got the elbow yesterday?

Reply Score: 3

Drone
Member since:
2009-01-22

Huh, DRM is about RIGHTS not more than jails are about freedoms.

Paying for DRMed content is something strange, just like paying for cool chance ... get jailed, yeah! ;) . Are you willing to pay just to get jailed? And why I expected to pay for restrictions in DRMed content, then? What a strange guys. Also this leads to moron case when pirated content not just cheaper or free but also provides better quality from consumer's point of view (you can listen to music without restrictions, on any device, any computer, ... everywhere!). Anyone have seen pirated content with DRM? No? Right! DRM *ONLY* hurts LEGAL CUSTOMERS. And nobody else! Don't you think it is STRANGE to pay for getting RESTRICTED?

Edited 2009-01-23 20:17 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

I apologize if I misunderstood you, due to the language barrier, but your post doesn't make much sense.

The purpose of DRM is to prevent piracy. Ie, if it has DRM, its supposed to be piracy proof. If you want to pirate the song, you must first remove the DRM ( which is very possible).

Plus, the choice isn't just between legal DRM music, and illegal DRM free pirated music. As others have mentioned here, both iTunes and Amazon both sell legal music that does not have DRM cheaper than this new store.

Reply Score: 1

darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

I think that was the point: why pay for content with DRM? Why pay to be restricted when you can either pay for unrestricted content (Amazon MP3, iTunes, etc) or download it for free without DRM anyway? Why pay to throw yourself in a padded cell, as it were?

Reply Score: 4

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

The media and big business justification for DRM is managing the rights of the content retailer. The effect it has is to restrict the rights of the paying customer. Piracy is unaffected as criminals have found ways around every DRM scheme so far. It's the paying customer that is hurt by DRM not the thief.

This is why it is commonly refered to as Digital Restrictions Management except by those supporting the racket like big media companies.

Worse still, it's the middle-men as the artists are just as screwed out of there music as ever before.

Reply Score: 4

Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

I think the person is trying to say some people call DRM Digital Restrictions Management, because that's what it is doing for most people.

While we are on the subject of DRM, why do I see Windows 7 being received in a very positive light eventhough it's just as full of DRM, they are just waiting for there being a critical mass of Vista, Windows 7 and things like HDMI. I don't understand why people buy into this stuff. The people who post here should really know better.

Reply Score: 1

Were it anyone else...
by bert64 on Fri 23rd Jan 2009 21:17 UTC
bert64
Member since:
2007-04-23

If anyone else released a music store like this, it wouldn't even make the news sites...

Microsoft products have always been inferior to the competition and overpriced, and yet through a combination of user ignorance, leveraging existing monopolies and heavy marketing they still manage to succeed.

We should all be very worried about what harm this service could do, in a few years now they may have driven the better alternatives out of the market and everyone will be forced to pay the higher prices for inferior product.

Reply Score: 4

it's for the phone market
by gfx1 on Sun 25th Jan 2009 04:43 UTC
gfx1
Member since:
2006-01-20

It's aiming at the phone market, the one where kids are paying for sending and receiving text messages (cost to the provider zero), ringtones and other stuff.
These customers don't know or don't care about being ripped off.
When I was a kid I bought a lot of Cd's costing something between 15 and 20 euro's I spend thousands of guilders on music ;)

Edited 2009-01-25 04:48 UTC

Reply Score: 1