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MSN Music DRM Servers Going Dark In September

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the crippled-for-sure dept.

Music 543

PDQ Back writes to tell us about an email Microsoft sent to former customers of MSN Music today. The company said it would be turning off the DRM servers used to authorize playback of music purchased from the now-defunct MSN Music store. "'As of August 31, 2008, we will no longer be able to support the retrieval of license keys for the songs you purchased from MSN Music or the authorization of additional computers,' reads the e-mail. This doesn't just apply to the five different computers that PlaysForSure allows users to authorize, it also applies to operating systems on the same machine (users need to reauthorize a machine after they upgrade from Windows XP to Windows Vista, for example). Once September rolls around, users are committed to whatever five machines they may have authorized — along with whatever OS they are running."

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suppositories (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23166192)

they melt in your ass, not in your hands.

Re:suppositories (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23166214)

Considering that we're talking about DRM, the parent poster is strangely on topic.

Re:suppositories (4, Insightful)

fyngyrz (762201) | more than 6 years ago | (#23166600)

Just wait until MS decides to turn off the server farm that enables XP installations; that'll put the music in perspective.

Can't say they should be surprised -- after all, they knowingly depend upon a product with fatal, vendor controlled DRM on it. That's playing with fire in any sensible person's book. The question is: Will MS's victims (excuse me, I should probably call them consenting masochistic partners) learn from this? Or will they continue to buy products booby trapped with fatal DRM?

I guess we already know the answer, anyway. It's that darned Gaussian come back to haunt us again.

DRM (5, Insightful)

mosiadh (1045736) | more than 6 years ago | (#23166196)

Proof that DRM is inherently evil, even for the MS fanbois.

even for M$. (1)

twitter (104583) | more than 6 years ago | (#23166242)

How much money are they losing on this idiocy?

Re:even for M$. (0, Offtopic)

westbake (1275576) | more than 6 years ago | (#23166262)

How much better would Vista have been without DRM?

Re:even for M$. (1, Informative)

Moridineas (213502) | more than 6 years ago | (#23166322)

Well, having used Vista for a couple of weks now, I would say not significantly.

My problems with Vista are the UAC, breaking EAX sound, shitty, SHITTY control panel layout, and in general UI speed.

I guess you could blame speed on somewhat on DRM, but that's really the least of my complaints.

Re:even for M$. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23166486)

arent most of these problems coming to xp with sp3? i know uac and breaking eax are...

Haven't you heard? (0, Offtopic)

DaedalusHKX (660194) | more than 6 years ago | (#23166494)

Vista is like a gun. It burns ammo and requires a decent resupply stock.

The ammo in question is USB sticks. USB 2.0 preferred. I believe the technology is called Vista Ready Drive or Vista Ready Speed. I find it amusing since Microsoft spokesmen are rumored to have said those sticks were supposed to last TEN YEARS!!! Get this... frequently written to, USB sticks, also allowed to stay plugged in and get warm do NOT last 2 years, nevermind 10! I've burned out a couple here and there writing to them non stop and leaving them plugged in. Learned the hard way that you don't leave them to get hot and keep writing to them over and over. They also have a lifespan, and regardless the quality of the memory stick, it will die sooner or later. Using them as secondary RAM sticks is clever of Microsoft, finding a wonderful way to offset their bulky OS by putting the expense on the customer, once more. (If you laugh when I say I saw it coming, I will have to ask: "What, you mean you didn't?")

If you aren't willing to burn through a stick or ten, expect vista to remain relatively slow, at least until DDR4 or DDR5 :)

Re:Haven't you heard? (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 6 years ago | (#23166606)

flash drives aren't meant to be written to regularly. using a flash drive as swap space means that your million writes will get hit very fast.

What worries me are the SSD drives running windows. Since they must have swap space to function promptly. Linux can disable swap. I am not sure if OS X can even do that, but I haven't yet tried either.

Re:even for M$. (-1, Troll)

willyhill (965620) | more than 6 years ago | (#23166652)

Anyone replying to this thread should be aware that "westbake" is the same person who posted the original comment. Here [slashdot.org] is essentially the same thread.

twitter posts at -1 for trolling, so he has seven different accounts that he uses to shill up his comments and try to game the moderation system.

They'll just go to the Zune store... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23166362)

It should be, by all rights, but just watch people sign up for their new Zune Marketplace and get screwed all over again.

And, no doubt, we'll have a story just like this one for the Zune Marketplace in a few years when they copy some other idea from Apple.

Re:DRM (5, Insightful)

catwh0re (540371) | more than 6 years ago | (#23166428)

In the past, the argument against perpetual authorisation was along the lines of "if the music retailer goes under" then all your music will be lost. This, however, is proof that only a change in business strategy can render all your purchased music defunct. There could also be legal/authorisation issues if music labels pull out of the store. (Or in MS's case swap from strategy to another.)

Re:DRM (5, Informative)

nine-times (778537) | more than 6 years ago | (#23166456)

Yes, this is a perfect example against those who would say, "DRM isn't a problem unless you're a pirate." I'm sure there were people who paid good money to buy audio tracks. Not rent, *buy*.

I know, I know, make whatever legalistic argument you want, but when people paid there money, they had an expectation that they were *buying* the music. Therefore, deactivating these servers is effectively stealing those people's property, much more so than "pirates" do. When I "pirate" downloads a music track, they haven't deprived the rightful owner of the use of that music. However, when Microsoft disables their servers, the rightful owners are deprived of their ability to listen to that music.

Of course I'd like to see DRM disappear. Short of that, companies should at least be required to offer the means to crack their DRM should they ever deactivate their servers.

A side question: can Microsoft really not afford to just keep these servers running? I guess they're having some problems with Vista being a flop and all, but how expensive can it be to maintain these servers? On the other hand, I don't particularly blame Microsoft for this situation. It's an inherent problem with DRM, and it was bound to happen to someone sooner or later.

Re:DRM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23166550)

When you say 'rightful owner' I think a better choice of words would be 'rightful licensee'? We don't own artist's music.

Re:DRM (5, Interesting)

kimvette (919543) | more than 6 years ago | (#23166590)

Which is why they say "Own it on CD today" or in the case of movies "own it on DVD today" ?

Re:DRM (5, Insightful)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 6 years ago | (#23166564)

Backwards I am afraid.
DRM isn't a problem if your a pirate. It is only a problem if you are customer.

Re:DRM (5, Insightful)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 6 years ago | (#23166620)

Here's a thought: class action lawsuit naming both Microsoft and the record labels as codefendants. Demand that they make available DRM-free copies of all music that has been legally purchased or at a minimum provide free copies based on a more up-to-date DRM mechanism. It's time to force the industry to pay the true cost of DRM: maintaining support for it forever.

Once that is over, we should push for a law that requires all DRM-laden music sellers to be bonded for enough money to cover the cost of maintaining the DRM scheme indefinitely (that is, operating off of only a portion of the interest earned on the principal).

Brilliant (5, Insightful)

conteXXt (249905) | more than 6 years ago | (#23166198)

simply brilliant.

At last Microsoft makes the case AGAINST DRM.

Thank you gentlemen.

Re:Brilliant (3, Insightful)

Artuir (1226648) | more than 6 years ago | (#23166300)

Too bad absolutely nothing is gonna change, huh?

Re:Brilliant (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23166422)

Well, think about it: if all 54 customers who bought DRM'ed WMA tracks unite.... they could.... ehm..... write an angry letter to Microsoft?

Now If (3, Funny)

Prince Vegeta SSJ4 (718736) | more than 6 years ago | (#23166202)

They would only turn of the servers that supply Vista "updates"

Within terms of agreement? (5, Insightful)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 6 years ago | (#23166222)

Do the original terms of the sale/license agreement permit Microsoft to do this?

And if so, does this show that the product, even as initially sold, was defective, unfit for purpose, or deceptively advertised?

Re:Within terms of agreement? (1)

Mateo13 (1250522) | more than 6 years ago | (#23166250)

I'm sure they have a clause in there that they can change the agreement at any time without notice. So if the original agreement doesn't allow for this all they'd have to do is whip up a new one and tada! it's legal.

Re:Within terms of agreement? (1)

setagllib (753300) | more than 6 years ago | (#23166560)

It may not be enforceable. A lot of EULAs aren't, or aren't confirmed to be.

Re:Within terms of agreement? (1)

astrosmash (3561) | more than 6 years ago | (#23166326)

Do the original terms of the sale/license agreement permit Microsoft to do this?

And if so, does this show that the product, even as initially sold, was defective, unfit for purpose, or deceptively advertised?
It's not first time in history a music format has become obsolete. Although, in this case it's never been easier to transfer your music to another format.

Re:Within terms of agreement? (3, Insightful)

belg4mit (152620) | more than 6 years ago | (#23166400)

The format isn't obsolete, the dude you gave the key to your record vault to has gone and chucked it in the trash.
Not being able to get to the media is different from not being able to use the media if it's accessible.

Re:Within terms of agreement? (4, Interesting)

Khyber (864651) | more than 6 years ago | (#23166348)

It won't affect those of us in California with nice consumer protection laws and prior case law against End-User License Agreements as far as I'm aware of. We'll have our compensation somehow.

Free Brown Zunes for everyone? (5, Funny)

tlambert (566799) | more than 6 years ago | (#23166388)

"We'll have our compensation somehow."

Free Brown Zunes for everyone?

-- Terry

Re:Free Brown Zunes for everyone? (1)

Khyber (864651) | more than 6 years ago | (#23166414)

More likely an order to make an application to strip the DRM from the music so the consumer can actually use what they paid for. Nothing monetary, mind you. California's too broke to force that from Microsoft.

Re:Within terms of agreement? (3, Insightful)

AndyCR (1091663) | more than 6 years ago | (#23166532)

Do the original terms of the sale/license agreement permit Microsoft to do this?

That clause should go over well. "We reserve the right to deny you use of what you paid for whenever and however we wish."

They are so quick to apply property metaphors to data (copying as "theft", intellectual works as "intellectual property", finite distribution of an infinite object, etc.). Why aren't they applying it here? How would you feel if your toaster disappeared because Sunbeam decided not to make toasters anymore? Furthermore, how would you feel if a little card came with your toaster saying that might happen?

iTunes (4, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 6 years ago | (#23166236)

And if you don't buy the non-DRM iTunes songs (meaning you buy the regular iTunes music) this is exactly something you have to look forward to in the future. Some legal action by the RIAA or what have you causes Apple to revoke DRM licenses and/or stop supporting iTunes client applications.

Never forget that DRM means you are dependent on a company ... as long as you want to be able to access that music, the company has to let you.

Which is why I buy from Amazon (or if the band's site supports/suggest another) non-DRM MP3 format.

Please do not respond with "which is why I buy all my songs for $0.00 from a site called Bittorrent posts." I do tire of those ... we all already know the majority of slashdotters have the balls/lack the brains to defy the RIAA blatantly in that manner.

Internet Archive. (4, Interesting)

twitter (104583) | more than 6 years ago | (#23166288)

The worst thing to do to greedy RIAA asshats is to share really free music [archive.org] . There's more high quality music at that one site than you can listen to over the next 100 years.

Re:Internet Archive. (5, Informative)

iggy_mon (737886) | more than 6 years ago | (#23166492)

The worst thing to do to greedy RIAA asshats is to share really free music. There's more high quality music at that one site than you can listen to over the next 100 years.

i wonder why this comment is modded -1?

www.archive.org not only has DRM free live and studio music, but copyright expired movies, books, etc, etc etc. it's an amazing site and parent deserves to be modded up not down for making an interesting comment.

Re:Internet Archive. (1, Offtopic)

setagllib (753300) | more than 6 years ago | (#23166598)

The poster is twitter, whose karma has been buried very deep. It doesn't matter what he posts now, the moderation system automatically assumes it's trash. Similarly, we get +1 automatically for not being utter prats.

Re:iTunes (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23166316)

But here's the thing: If Apple revoked all DRM tomorrow, you can still burn an audio CD of each of your DRM albums, and re-rip it in whatever format you like. So you're not ENTIRELY at Apple's mercy.

I agree it's not ideal, and I personally hate the scum that is DRM, but it's just worth mentioning that Apple does give you an out in this case.

Re:iTunes (1)

Lemmy Caution (8378) | more than 6 years ago | (#23166412)

But here's the thing: If Apple revoked all DRM tomorrow, you can still burn an audio CD of each of your DRM albums, and re-rip it in whatever format you like. So you're not ENTIRELY at Apple's mercy.
This is true with the MSN Music files, too. And it's still crappy. And lossy.

Re:iTunes (1)

mortonda (5175) | more than 6 years ago | (#23166578)

Of course, if the lossy-ness of this bothers you, why did you buy this format in the first place?

For most of the junk out there, you don't really lose much.

Re:iTunes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23166372)

Actually iTunes is now offering free DRM music. I don't know if it's possible for all its songs, but it goes under the itunes plus banner.

Slashdot does extend outside of the US, you know (1)

Rix (54095) | more than 6 years ago | (#23166648)

In the free world, "defying" the RIAA is perfectly legal.

Ob "Thank you, Microsoft!" (5, Insightful)

vrmlguy (120854) | more than 6 years ago | (#23166240)

I keep trying to explain to people why DRM is bad. This makes my job easier.

Re:Ob "Thank you, Microsoft!" (1)

mortonda (5175) | more than 6 years ago | (#23166610)

It's easy. DRM is designed to make it hard to copy music, thus supposedly blocking piracy. But what happens when you want to copy the music to a new computer because your old computer is too slow? DRM will eventuall prevent that.

don't worry... (5, Insightful)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 6 years ago | (#23166256)

... bittorrent has them backed up for you.

Re:don't worry... (2, Interesting)

lorenlal (164133) | more than 6 years ago | (#23166360)

Actually...
Would that be illegal? If you purchased the music through MSN, and then downloaded an MP3 of the same song, would there be a case against you?

Fixed/Correct link to original article (4, Informative)

FrozenFrog (539212) | more than 6 years ago | (#23166270)

Seems the link in the article is incorrect (or has changed). Correct link is: MS to nuke music DRM [arstechnica.com]

Did Anyone Else See This Coming? (2, Interesting)

mfh (56) | more than 6 years ago | (#23166272)

MSFT has a lot of power, and they can't use it properly. Sure they have incorrect philosophies, but they should at least be able to EXECUTE them... but they can't.

Personally if I ever get that much power, I would like to be able to use it to achieve what I want. What would you do with that much power?

Re:Did Anyone Else See This Coming? (4, Insightful)

bwy (726112) | more than 6 years ago | (#23166368)

MSFT has a lot of power, and they can't use it properly. Sure they have incorrect philosophies, but they should at least be able to EXECUTE them... but they can't.

That is a pretty good point, actually. I guess it proves that being successful is something you have to work every minute of every day at. Just because something good happened to you yesterday and now you have a lot of $$$ in the bank doesn't make it any easier to be successful at something else tomorrow.

In Microsoft's case, they obviously did something right to get most of the PC's in the world running their OS. But they've had some pretty big flops over the last few years. Proof that pumping money into something isn't enough.

Re:Did Anyone Else See This Coming? (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 6 years ago | (#23166462)

Two chicks at the same time. /ob

Sucks to be you (5, Insightful)

Firas Zirie (1179357) | more than 6 years ago | (#23166276)

Well that's just fabulous. Microsoft are basically telling their customers that in a few months your music is precariously balanced on the edge of not playing. How about unlocking all the music and getting over your failure of a music store huh?

I don't get it... (4, Interesting)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 6 years ago | (#23166522)

Would it cost them a huge amount of money to keep the server running? I doubt it. Compared to stuff like Windows update it's a tiny drop in the ocean.

It's almost as if they *want* this to be a lesson to somebody...nah, couldn't be...

Re:Sucks to be you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23166634)

M$ probably signed deals with the RIAA and/or the artists to say that the material would be put out under DRM - I doubt that Microsoft have the right to simply open the license and let those people have non-DRM copies.

OTOH - it seems really doubtful to me that Microsoft couldn't afford to keep the servers alive. Compared to the tens of thousands of computers M$ have up on the net - what does a handful more cost? What's more, the number of people needing this service can only decline over time - pretty soon a single PC on the net would be plenty enough to keep the service running.

It's good to see DRM being shown up for what it is. I feel slightly sorry for the victims - but "I TOLD YOU SO".

Hm... (5, Funny)

ChinggisK (1133009) | more than 6 years ago | (#23166292)

This doesn't just apply to the five different computers that PlaysForSure allows users to authorize
Am I the only one that read that the first time as meaning that there are only five former customers of MSN Music?


Sorry, been a long day studying for exams.

MSN Music today?? DRM Servers? (1)

brunokummel (664267) | more than 6 years ago | (#23166318)

I still listen to music for free, you insensitive clod!

Music on demand [deezer.com]

Hey, my CD still works... (5, Insightful)

tjstork (137384) | more than 6 years ago | (#23166320)

I have a bunch of CD's that I bought from a record store that went belly up. They still work. Maybe this DRM world ain't all its cracked up to be after all.

Screws For Sure (tm) (1)

swschrad (312009) | more than 6 years ago | (#23166332)

that's Microsoft.

Not quite (5, Funny)

symbolset (646467) | more than 6 years ago | (#23166506)

I believe the term "Plays For Now(tm)" is more appropriate. Goes for all DRM content too.

"MSN Music DRM Servers Going Dark In September" (3, Funny)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 6 years ago | (#23166334)

So, only rap after that then, huh?

/ducks

sorry, sorry, sorry, had to...

Why is this news? Because it's Microsoft. (-1, Troll)

el_flynn (1279) | more than 6 years ago | (#23166352)

I don't see why this is really big news. In fact, this really has got _nothing_ to do with DRM per se. For those who can't see the forest for the trees:

* Company X makes product Y and sells to the public
* Company X does not make enough profit selling product Y and decides to discontinue selling it
* Company X decides to stop supporting product Y (e.g. by making spare parts etc)

How is this any different than, say, Ford discontinuing its Aerostar minivan line?

Re:Why is this news? Because it's Microsoft. (1)

bwy (726112) | more than 6 years ago | (#23166410)

How is this any different than, say, Ford discontinuing its Aerostar minivan line?
Sure, it is exactly the same. Assuming, of course, that your minivan can only run when authorized. The authorization dongle is connected to your PC, and your PC has a license that you won't be able to transfer to a new PC when your PC dies.

Re:Why is this news? Because it's Microsoft. (2, Interesting)

samkass (174571) | more than 6 years ago | (#23166498)

Well, to follow up on the parent poster's car metaphor, it's basically like saying they're not going to make any new parts for your car, so you can drive it just fine now but if you want to change anything at all in the future, you can't, and if anything breaks and you need to replace it, you're screwed.

Re:Why is this news? Because it's Microsoft. (2, Interesting)

CanadianRealist (1258974) | more than 6 years ago | (#23166552)

Not at all the same.

With a car, even if whoever made it stops making parts, other suppliers could and likely would continue to supply parts.

No one else can legally authorize Microsoft's DRM for you.
i.e. with the car you still have hope, with DRMed music, you're screwed.

Re:Why is this news? Because it's Microsoft. (2, Informative)

vought (160908) | more than 6 years ago | (#23166584)

No the analogy breaks down because Ford doesn't come to your house and take your keys away when they stop producing that model of car.

"Sorry, we know we sold you that 2003 Mustang, but now that we've discontinued the Mustang, you'll need to give us your keys and turn over the car."

That's how DRM works, in this case. iTunes is a bit more forgiving. None is perfect, but Microsoft shutting off the servers is particularly egregious.

Re:Why is this news? Because it's Microsoft. (1)

setagllib (753300) | more than 6 years ago | (#23166656)

And additionally, if you "fix" it with third-party or home-made parts, it's illegal. In fact, the tools you use to fix it may even be illegal to distribute, under the DMCA circumvention clause.

Re:Why is this news? Because it's Microsoft. (4, Insightful)

canajin56 (660655) | more than 6 years ago | (#23166542)

While you may think that's a ridiculous car analogy, it's not that far from reality. My parents' Saturn car, for example, has a special chip in the key to deactivate the anti-theft immobilizer. Even if you get another key cut at a locksmith, the key will open the door but will not start the car. So you have to spend $25 to get a new key cut by the dealership. If Saturn went under and you lost your key, you could no longer use your car. You can't even hotwire it easily, cus that's the whole point of the immobilizer in the first place.

Except that in this case it would be perfectly legal to get a mechanic to go and rip out the immobilizer circuit, whereas it's against the DCMA to strip the DRM from your WMA files. Then again, who cares about the legality, you can download a stripper to remove DRM from WMA files. It only works if you have the key in your "keyring", so people with MSN Music would have to strip it before changing OS or reinstalling their OS.

Re:Why is this news? Because it's Microsoft. (1)

compro01 (777531) | more than 6 years ago | (#23166424)

if ford came to your driveway and rendered it permanently undrivable when they stopped making it, no difference at all in that case.

Re:Why is this news? Because it's Microsoft. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23166430)

Umm when ford stops their Aerostar line you can still drive the one you have, buy 3rd party replacement parts/repair existing ones, and refuel it.

Re:Why is this news? Because it's Microsoft. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23166434)

How is this any different than, say, Ford discontinuing its Aerostar minivan line?
If ford discontinued the Aerostar, all Aerostars they already sold would still work perfectly fine.

Re:Why is this news? Because it's Microsoft. (3, Funny)

corsec67 (627446) | more than 6 years ago | (#23166558)

Aerostars they already sold would still work perfectly fine.

Apparently you missed the part where it is a Ford?

Re:Why is this news? Because it's Microsoft. (2, Informative)

eiapoce (1049910) | more than 6 years ago | (#23166444)

How is this any different than, say, Ford discontinuing its Aerostar minivan line?
It is different in that you can keep driving the Aerostar and keep finding spare parts from third party vendors or using recycled ones.

Selling imaginary property is much different than selling goods.

Re:Why is this news? Because it's Microsoft. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23166624)

Except that it's not entirely different. Eventually, that supply of spare parts will go away, or become prohibitively expensive; Smart people learn when the total cost of ownership of a given item becomes too expensive, and would be better served in replacing said item.

Maybe the people will learn to replace their DRM'ed music with something a little less... DRM-y.

Re:Why is this news? Because it's Microsoft. (1)

PhireN (916388) | more than 6 years ago | (#23166446)

But when Ford discontinues its Aerostar minivan line, there is nothing preventing you from still driving the minivan that you own.
When Microsoft turns off their DRM servers, and you upgrade from XP to vista (or reinstall XP because its now really bloated and slow, or buy a new computer), all the music that you 'own' is impossible to play.

Re:Why is this news? Because it's Microsoft. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23166450)

Because another company can build replacement parts which you can use to repair it and keep driving your kids to the soccer game.

Re:Why is this news? Because it's Microsoft. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23166454)

It's more like Ford going out of business and all their cars refusing to start from that point on.

Re:Why is this news? Because it's Microsoft. (1)

MikeUW (999162) | more than 6 years ago | (#23166460)

As I understand it, the difference is that the owner of such a discontinued vehicle is still free to replace any parts as needed, from whatever source he/she can acquire them (e.g., a scrapyard), and the vehicle can still run. You don't need authorization from the original manufacturer to continue using the vehicle for its intended purpose after it has been modified.

Re:Why is this news? Because it's Microsoft. (3, Informative)

sonofusion82 (1038268) | more than 6 years ago | (#23166464)

I don't see why this is really big news. In fact, this really has got _nothing_ to do with DRM per se. For those who can't see the forest for the trees: * Company X makes product Y and sells to the public * Company X does not make enough profit selling product Y and decides to discontinue selling it * Company X decides to stop supporting product Y (e.g. by making spare parts etc) How is this any different than, say, Ford discontinuing its Aerostar minivan line?
No, it is not about M$. It is about DRM. For most cars, even after the manufacturer discontinued the car, we can still repair the car and keep it going for years even with 3rd party or 2nd grade spare parts. But with DRM it is more like, after Ford discontinuing its Aerostar minivan line, the car engine will never start again after another driver tries to drive it.

Re:Why is this news? Because it's Microsoft. (4, Insightful)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 6 years ago | (#23166468)

How is this any different than, say, Ford discontinuing its Aerostar minivan line?

Unlike DRMed music, it's not a federal offense for someone service your minivan when it breaks.

Re:Why is this news? Because it's Microsoft. (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 6 years ago | (#23166472)

How is this any different than, say, Ford discontinuing its Aerostar minivan line?


Ford discontinuing a minivan doesn't stop me from driving the *one I already bought*, or from obtaining spare parts and having repairs done.

Re:Why is this news? Because it's Microsoft. (1)

friedman101 (618627) | more than 6 years ago | (#23166480)

because your minivan doesn't explode when aerostar goes belly up

i can only assume you typed that moments after huffing from a spray paint can

Re:Why is this news? Because it's Microsoft. (1)

sc0ob5 (836562) | more than 6 years ago | (#23166502)

It's different in the sense that you still own the car and can buy after market parts if required and you can on sell it if you want. It really is an unfair comparison. I think a more fair comparison would be if you bought an Aerostar minivan and you could no longer put fuel or people in it.

Needless to say that if you actually bought the license to play music from this store, you probably deserved to loose "your" music.

Re:Why is this news? Because it's Microsoft. (1)

el_flynn (1279) | more than 6 years ago | (#23166510)

Yes, all the replies to my original post have valid points. But then again, these are the _details_ of it, not the main gist of the story.

Sure, DRM is bad - I'll be the first to admit it - but MSFT shutting servers on products that it no longer supports? What's the big deal about that?

The main point is this, again using the (blast!) car analogy:

* Ford builds two new purpose-built factories to manufacture its Aerostar line
* Ford discontinues its Aerostar
* Ford shuts the two factories

What's the big deal?

Re:Why is this news? Because it's Microsoft. (1)

vought (160908) | more than 6 years ago | (#23166538)

What's the big deal?
Uh, Ford doesn't come to your house and take the keys to your van when they discontinue production?

More proof that car analogies don't work - especially for such a weak argument.

Re:Why is this news? Because it's Microsoft. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23166512)

It's different because you can get parts for an Aerostar from different suppliers. You can't get DRM licenses from someone else.

Re:Why is this news? Because it's Microsoft. (5, Insightful)

nine-times (778537) | more than 6 years ago | (#23166530)

How is this any different than, say, Ford discontinuing its Aerostar minivan line?

Did Ford engineer the Aerostar specifically so that, if they ever discontinued the line, you'd immediately be unable to change the oil or refill the gas tank?

It's one thing if a product happens to have necessary limits. It's another thing for the product to be purposefully and artificially crippled so that it will not function as expected.

Re:Why is this news? Because it's Microsoft. (3, Funny)

pfleming (683342) | more than 6 years ago | (#23166630)

How is this any different than, say, Ford discontinuing its Aerostar minivan line?
When Ford discontinues the Aerostar your kids and your aging poodle with the bladder control problem won't be locked inside with no way to get out. That is assuming that you want to listen to your kids or the dog again.

Awesome! (5, Funny)

Sneftel (15416) | more than 6 years ago | (#23166394)

Heck, this sounds like great news. After all, unlike many a failed new media content venture, Microsoft isn't going out of business and leaving their customers high and dry... just retiring this particular service. So they have plenty of time to come up with a migration plan for their customers, so that nobody who paid for music has to lose access to it. I mean, hell. They're a multinational corporation with an image to protect. They're not just going to tell their customers to go fuck themselves, right?

Right?

Re:Awesome! (3, Insightful)

Tavor (845700) | more than 6 years ago | (#23166524)

Only on Slashdot could the bleeding sarcasm in parent comment be modded "Insightful" or "Interesting".

Re:Awesome! (3, Funny)

HairyCanary (688865) | more than 6 years ago | (#23166626)

On the bright side, that means there is hope for your comment, too.

Glad I never got into this stupidity (1)

kcredden (1007529) | more than 6 years ago | (#23166418)

This is just the reason why I never bought any music online. Unless it's MP3 or can be converted to MP3 I won't fool with it. Apple's Itunes is marginally tolerable, only because you can convert them to MP3 by re-ripping a burt CD. But if I do that, why should I buy them in the first place? I'll just buy a used CD and rip it. Sad people are getting screwed, but maybe they'll think before buying next time. Yeah, and maybe horses will fly too. - Kc

Re:Glad I never got into this stupidity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23166654)

Apple's iTunes is marginally tolerable, only because you can convert them to MP3 by re-ripping a burt CD.
In that case, then Microsoft's MSN store is also "marginally tolerable" because the same thing applies to it.

It also applies to Sony's CONNECT store which shut down earlier this year.

This is not a feature of iTunes; it is a characteristic of any music DRM that does not prohibit burning of audio CDs. As others have pointed out, it's lossy; but it exists.

The only way in which iTunes is "better" than MSN Music or CONNECT in this regard is that iTunes has not shut down yet. Nothing is forever, and eventually iTunes will meet its demise. At that point, all the iTunes DRM-protected music will suffer the same fate. Don't think for one moment that Apple would do any differently.

It would be a different matter if there were to be legislation which requires that any DRM system remove the DRM lock (and thus free the music) when the DRM provider shuts down. The chance of such legislation happening is about the same as the French repaying the war debt.

Where are the lawyers? (1)

chaz373 (671243) | more than 6 years ago | (#23166432)

Anyone want to take bets on when the 1st class action lawsuit will be filed due to this? I'll take April 30th 2008.

Re:Where are the lawyers? (1)

v1 (525388) | more than 6 years ago | (#23166490)

The knee-jerk reaction to this is "oh MS will just release an app to strip the DRM from your music". BUT... you know they have signed agreements from where they got the music, saying they can't DO that.

So, it should get much more interesting, because the only thing that can get them out of the pot is leaping into the fire.

Serves them right.

ONLY GOOD THINGS COME OUT OF IT!!! (5, Insightful)

eiapoce (1049910) | more than 6 years ago | (#23166438)

I am utterly pleased with MS decision to shut down the DRM servers.

Know why? There are people that don't realise how bad are DRM downloads until they get royally fucked in the ass and this is what's going to happen on sept 1 2008.

Nothing educates more than a bad experience.

In the immortal words of Nelson: (3, Funny)

Socguy (933973) | more than 6 years ago | (#23166478)

HA HA!

Yep, (1)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 6 years ago | (#23166534)

The used CD market is looking a lot more attractive now, innit?

PlaysForSure (3, Funny)

daveime (1253762) | more than 6 years ago | (#23166544)

Isn't this classed as deceptive advertising ?

PlaysForAsLongAsWeTellYouItPlaysNowFuckOff would have been more appropriate.

Not that big of an impact (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23166554)

I talked to my rep, & he said that this only affects the 5 people who actually bought music from MSN Music, & only equals 40 or 50 songs... mostly Mel Torme albums.

I felt... (5, Funny)

actionbastard (1206160) | more than 6 years ago | (#23166566)

a great disturbance on the Internet, as if millions of Plays For Sure musicplayers suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced.

Perfect Example why DRM sucks... HOWEVER. (4, Insightful)

Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) | more than 6 years ago | (#23166612)

While this is a perfect example of why DRM sucks, its also a perfect example of how media distributors can force a user to buy their music & movies multiple times. All they need do, is terminate one of their companies, and start a new one requiring a different DRM key or scheme.

Like it or not, companies love this because by licensing you products, they can terminate the license at anytime and force you to buy it again. :)

DRM sucks.

Is MS marketing really that stupid? (4, Interesting)

Lieutenant_Dan (583843) | more than 6 years ago | (#23166622)

Okay, first skip the obvious answer ... it was a rhetorical question.

They don't want to support it. Fair enough, stop issuing anymore of these types of DRM keys.

Now, what would cost them to keep this operational for a few years? 2 dedicated servers? 10? 20? 2 full-time staff for 5 to 10 more years to support this and use the existing datacentre support folks for the basic 24/7 stuff. Let's round it to a nice $2.5 million for 10 years. Not a whole lot for a large company.

What heat will they get from this? This is a PR fiasco for their DRM technology in general and more importantly shows that MS is willing to leave their "followers" high and dry when it suits them. What will these pissed off users do next time? Yeah, get iTunes, pirate, avoid music altogether, and better yet, avoid MS products. Potential revenue loss from 10,000 stranded users? Probably a few million. Think about: these folks PAID for DRM music. Easy sheep to get money from. They're killing their cash cow.

Someone at the MS marketing or client services department needs to get axed.

...but this could never happen.... (1)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 6 years ago | (#23166628)

...to DRM controlled video content, right? Oh wait...

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