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Yahoo! Music Going Dark, Taking Keys With It

timothy posted more than 6 years ago | from the myopia-!utopia dept.

Media 396

iminplaya writes with a link to an excellent article at Ars Technica, extracting from it a few choice nuggets: "The bad dream of DRM continues. Yahoo e-mailed its Yahoo! Music Store customers yesterday, telling them it will be closing for good — and the company will take its DRM license key servers offline on September 30, 2008. Sure, it's bad news and yet another example of the sheer lobotomized brain-deadness that has characterized music DRM, but the reaction of most music fans will be: 'Yahoo had an online music store?'... DRM makes things harder for legal users; it creates hassles that illegal users won't deal with; it (often) prevents cross-platform compatibility and movement between devices. In what possible world was that a good strategy for building up the nascent digital download market? The only possible rationales could be 1) to control piracy (which, obviously, it has had no effect on, thanks to the CD and the fact that most DRM is broken) or 2) to nickel-and-dime consumers into accepting a new pay-for-use regime that sees moving tracks from CD to computer to MP3 player as a 'privilege' to be monetized."

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People are still buying DRMd music. (5, Insightful)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 6 years ago | (#24332003)

but the reaction of most music fans will be: 'Yahoo had an online music store?'

Unbelievably, the follow up to that from many slashdotters will be: "My music store will never go offline." Unbelievably, people are still buying (and defending) DRMd music.

If this story (and the MS one before) doesn't alert you to the sad fact that you don't own any DRMd music you've bought, nothing will.

Re:People are still buying DRMd music. (5, Insightful)

somersault (912633) | more than 6 years ago | (#24332055)

Are you kidding? I wouldn't have thought that slashdotters would go for DRMed music. I did buy a couple of albums from iTunes as a test, one ended up being DRMed and the other wasn't - I just burned it to CD and ripped it again. I know I'll have lost some quality, but if I ever use iTunes again I'm going to make sure the songs are 'iTunes plus'.

most DRM is broken

s/most/all/

If you can listen to it, you can record it. That will always be true. DRM for music and video is a completely broken concept.

Re:People are still buying DRMd music. (-1, Troll)

mucizeurunler (1321115) | more than 6 years ago | (#24332283)

I see lida [lidacapsul.com] ,fx15 [fx15.in]

Re:People are still buying DRMd music. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24332457)

s/most/all/

If you can listen to it, you can record it. That will always be true. DRM for music and video is a completely broken concept.

DRM for Video makes sense, especially in a "rental" situation.

If you "rent" a film, tv show or the like, DRM makes perfect sense. Let the renter watch it, set the DRM to expire after 3 days, then bam, it's gone. Useless. Saves having to go to the store, grab a DVD then return it after.

But yes, DRM on things you buy rather than rent is retarded.

Re:People are still buying DRMd music. (4, Interesting)

aliquis (678370) | more than 6 years ago | (#24332505)

In my opinion not there either because really, why does it matter if you keep the copy and can watch it forever or can only see it one time? Where is the lost? Heck, I even own regular DVDs I bought like 5 years ago which I still haven't watched .. What says people would see their rented movies multiple times anyway?

Just sell the shit cheap and shoot for volume instead, no protection needed, especially if the consumers actually think the product is worth the price and prefer to buy it.

I don't get renting either, how much goes back to the company which produced the movie? Do they really earn much on a rented copy? Or are you mostly paying to the person renting you the movie? In that case why is that so important? Why does renting even exist? If the companies only get a very small amount of money for rented copies but people still rent because it's cheaper and one only watch most stuff one time anyway they should hate it.

Re:People are still buying DRMd music. (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24332069)

Linux is illegal! You are breaking the law, and hurting yourself and your family with your ILLEGAL SOFTWARE. Your ip has been noted and is being forwarded to the SPA with a reccomendation that they investigate your CRIMINAL ACTIVITY. Please destroy all your unpatriotic linux software before the government finally cracks down on you people and you all end up as lampshades or soap.

Re:People are still buying DRMd music. (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24332107)

This is just a guess, mind you, but I bet the other AC was going for "funny" rather than "flamebait".

Re:funny vs. flamebait (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24332131)

really now... hmm.

Re:People are still buying DRMd music. (-1, Flamebait)

Zarluk (976365) | more than 6 years ago | (#24332241)

Even if Obama wins? Gee... glad I don't live in the US.

Re:People are still buying DRMd music. (4, Interesting)

Panaqqa (927615) | more than 6 years ago | (#24332335)

/. - Don't be in such a hurry to mod this "Funny". If the so called "Trusted Computing Initiative" goes through as planned, then indeed your Linux distro may well turn out to be illegal, especially if you have added or removed stuff and recompiled. In these cases, it will not be "approved" software as the hash will have changed.

All DRM is almost as completely screwed up as the laws that purport to deal with it. My personal favorite silly DRM law is the one which sets out massive penalties for circumventing a DRM mechanism - making anyone who holds the shift key while loading a CD into Windoze box a felon.

Re:People are still buying DRMd music. (5, Insightful)

jimicus (737525) | more than 6 years ago | (#24332553)

/. - Don't be in such a hurry to mod this "Funny". If the so called "Trusted Computing Initiative" goes through as planned, then indeed your Linux distro may well turn out to be illegal, especially if you have added or removed stuff and recompiled. In these cases, it will not be "approved" software as the hash will have changed.

Just to pre-empt the inevitable shower of folk who have neither glanced at nor fully understood the implications of Trusted Computing saying "It's my computer, how will they stop me?"

In answer to those people, "Very simple. Your computer will no longer be a general purpose computer, it'll be a device like your Tivo or your DVD player. And, like your Tivo, it'll be more or less impossible to change the software on. Or, if you do, you'll create as many problems as you solve because online banking, shopping and even Internet access can and quite possibly will demand that your 'computer' prove it's fully "Trusted" before they have anything to do with it."

The technology has all been thought through very carefully and virtually every counter-argument (particularly the "it'll never work" arguments) has been dealt with in hardware. AFAICT, the only way you'll break it wholesale is by infiltrating a chip fab and maintaining the breakage for so long that it's not practical for the manufacturer to revoke all the compromised keys.

Re:People are still buying DRMd music. (1)

lorenzo.boccaccia (1263310) | more than 6 years ago | (#24332355)

I don't know which will be the year of linux on the desktop, but the next will be the year of linuxers on the courtrooms

Re:People are still buying DRMd music. (3, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 6 years ago | (#24332083)

There's nothing wrong with buying DRM'd goods. It's no worse than buying that great deal at the market with 'sold as seen' written on it. Sure, it may not work when you get it home, and it may not continue to work beyond the first time, but if you're happy to accept that risk then you might get a really good deal.

Of course, if you buy DRM'd music for more than a fraction of the price of DRM-free music then you are as stupid as someone who pays 90% of RRP for something on eBay that probably doesn't work.

Re:People are still buying DRMd music. (1)

Tastecicles (1153671) | more than 6 years ago | (#24332383)

Slight problem with "Sold As Seen" notices... they're illegal ("Sold As Seen" could mean "Utterly Broken" or "Dangerously unfit for any purpose" or it could mean "Slight cosmetic damage"). At least in the UK. A better notice would be "Please ensure before buying that this item is fit for purpose." Means what it says - thoroughly examine the object/device before purchase to make sure of its functionality and/or ergonomics.

Re:People are still buying DRMd music. (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 6 years ago | (#24332525)

Yeah I think it's meaningless in Sweden as well because you can't say "haha but I told you I sold it as seen" if it's broken ..

some of us can work arouynd it without bitching (3, Insightful)

thermian (1267986) | more than 6 years ago | (#24332099)

I buy drm protected audiobooks from Audible, and intend to continue doing so, because their service is excellent. Their catalogue of audiobooks is the best I've found.

They actually provide a rip to cd thing with their software, so you can go direct to unprotected mp3. A lot of people miss this point.

I prefer to use goldwave to convert the files to mp3 as soon as I download them, mp3 album maker to join them into one big file, then audiobookcutter to split into ten minute chunks. All in all about ten minutes work. Certainly its equivilent to the time it takes to rip a bunch of cd's

That way I get the immense convenience of downloading my two audiobook fixes a month, and avoid most of the problems caused by drm.

I'm not sure that they approve of customers using goldwave. Ok, I know they don't, but they still get my money each month, and will continue to do so as long as they keep getting in books I want.

Re:some of us can work arouynd it without bitching (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 6 years ago | (#24332471)

Serious question: why do you rip to mp3 instead of to wma or ogg or some other more efficient format? mp3s are stone age; their only remaining use, so far as I can see, is as a common format of exchange on p2p.

Re:some of us can work arouynd it without bitching (1)

thermian (1267986) | more than 6 years ago | (#24332521)

the iPod doesn't use Ogg, and I see no advantage to using wma.

Besides, audiobooks are voice only, 32bit is more then adequate, and mp3 is fine.

Re:some of us can work arouynd it without bitching (2, Interesting)

EdgeyEdgey (1172665) | more than 6 years ago | (#24332473)

How much more would you pay to be able to directly download the whole book pre-split into 10 minute chunks?

You can work it out. Take how much you get paid an hour, divide it by 6. That's the going rate for 10 minutes of your life.

Re:People are still buying DRMd music. (5, Informative)

Chrismith (911614) | more than 6 years ago | (#24332109)

If you RTFA, you'll see that no one is losing access to their music, they just won't be able to transfer them to another computer without a workaround such as burning them to a CD. Annoying, yes, but not the end of the world.

Not that I'm all for DRM, this just isn't as big of a deal as the article makes it sound. This won't be the wake-up call that makes the average user see the evils of DRM, because most of them won't even notice.

Re:People are still buying DRMd music. (2, Funny)

jambox (1015589) | more than 6 years ago | (#24332301)

I've got perfectly legit CDs that I've had to re-rip recently because the DRM on them - I forgot to uncheck the box in media player :( - don't know why that happened but the wma's (I know, I know, I just assumed it would do them in mp3) simply won't play any more.

Re:People are still buying DRMd music. (5, Insightful)

dwandy (907337) | more than 6 years ago | (#24332313)

they just won't be able to transfer them to another computer without a workaround such as burning them to a CD. Annoying, yes, but not the end of the world.

There is a loss of quality and meta-data when you do this. Of course it's not actually the end of the "world" but it is the end of the music (at specified quality & features) that you paid for. So pretty much it is the end of the world (for your purchase).

This won't be the wake-up call that makes the average user see the evils of DRM, because most of them won't even notice.

This is only true because on the Dark Day it's unlikely that even an insignificant number of the customer will want to move their music to a new computer. There won't be a wake-up call, because it will only be as people replace their old computers or want to move it to another device that they will realise they've been screwed. That doesn't make Digital Restrictions Management any less evil.

On the other hand, there was enough backlash to make MS decide to leave their servers on ... so who knows? I think that what is true, is that the more this happens, the more people will realise they don't want DRM on their media. Like Linux adoption, there may never be a "Year Of The Anti-DRM": it may just be a slow awakening.

Re:People are still buying DRMd music. (3, Insightful)

msauve (701917) | more than 6 years ago | (#24332511)

There is a loss of quality and meta-data when you do this. Of course it's not actually the end of the "world" but it is the end of the music (at specified quality & features) that you paid for. So pretty much it is the end of the world (for your purchase).

If you bought, then the limitations of DRM were also a part of the purchase, and should have been factored into the purchase decision. No one has suggested that by discontinuing the service, Yahoo has in any way broken their side of the contract by discontinuing the service. So, yes, you do still have exactly what you paid for.

Re:People are still buying DRMd music. (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 6 years ago | (#24332563)

If I'd bought a lot of music I doubt I would just let it get removed forever when I switched computer.

But I'd probably exist the seller to also let me redownload the same music to my new machine. Just log in and download the music I have registered as bought.

Re:People are still buying DRMd music. (5, Insightful)

v1 (525388) | more than 6 years ago | (#24332393)

The exact mistake you just made will start biting people in the not-so-distant future.

OK I can convert my collection of music to MP3, good and fine, no rush right? I'll do that next week.

Meanwhile, the servers go offline. Then Murphy stops by. HD crash. Glad I have a backup. Restore backup. "Change in hardware configuration detected, contacting authentication servers to renew license.... Error, unable to contact servers. Please call Yahoo Music Store support for assistance."

You lose.

The only way to avoid this is to get a law passed that requires DRM manufacturers to put DRM unlockers in escrow somewhere and in the event that they close shop, go out of business, their servers burn down, etc, the public is given the keys so they can unlock and strip the DRM from their purchases.

Re:People are still buying DRMd music. (2, Interesting)

S-100 (1295224) | more than 6 years ago | (#24332465)

Um, not being able to transfer your music to another computer IS losing access to your music. It should just be a matter of hours before the first class-action suit is filed.

Re:People are still buying DRMd music. (3, Insightful)

Tim C (15259) | more than 6 years ago | (#24332133)

Well, iTMS can go offline and it won't affect my ability to play the 6 or so songs I've bought from there.

I dislike DRM as much as the next slashbot, but some implementations are less bad than others. (You'll note however that I have only bought half a dozen or so songs, so I'm clearly still not that comfortable with it...)

Re:People are still buying DRMd music. (1)

rufus t firefly (35399) | more than 6 years ago | (#24332233)

Unbelievably, the follow up to that from many slashdotters will be: "My music store will never go offline." Unbelievably, people are still buying (and defending) DRMd music.

If this story (and the MS one before) doesn't alert you to the sad fact that you don't own any DRMd music you've bought, nothing will.

I agree wholeheartedly. I don't buy any DRM'd music, preferring to deal as directly with the artist as possible, through places like CD Baby [cdbaby.com] , which eschew DRM in favor of straight MP3 downloads once you have purchased an album.

Haha? (5, Funny)

fluch (126140) | more than 6 years ago | (#24332011)

Come on, guys, what does it take so long to tag this story with the 'haha' tag??? Are you all asleep?

Insanity... (3, Insightful)

bobbocanfly (1061244) | more than 6 years ago | (#24332013)

This is exactly the reason music piracy is so rampant at the moment. Companies need to learn: DRM doesnt stop Pirates, it encourages them.

When was the last time you downloaded something from bit-torrent and six months later you couldnt play it because of the company going down?

the real criminals (5, Insightful)

pimpimpim (811140) | more than 6 years ago | (#24332019)

Will they be fined for fraud? they charged their costumers not so much less as the price of a track on a CD for mp3s with an amazingly limited lifespan. For ripping of their costumers they risk what? Nothing. Whereas people getting their music from other online sources are being threatened with jailtime and god-knows-what. Russia was more or less not allowed to join Nato because the perfectly legal and costumer-friendly allofmp3.com.

Re:the real criminals (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24332101)

Russia was more or less not allowed to join Nato because the perfectly legal and costumer-friendly allofmp3.com.

Uhh, not exactly. You likely mean WTO but that is quite far from NATO... ;)

Re:the real criminals (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24332125)

Screw the customer! thats our motto. --RIAA

Re:the real criminals (2, Insightful)

thermian (1267986) | more than 6 years ago | (#24332127)

Its not fraud to close a branch of a company.
Sure its annoying, but its perfectly legal.

How much would it cost to keep the servers? (3, Insightful)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 6 years ago | (#24332461)

Leaving a DRM server online would cost them peanuts. Is it really worth all the bad publicity?

"It's not fraud..." (2, Insightful)

msauve (701917) | more than 6 years ago | (#24332531)

Unless there are unfulfilled contractual commitments. I'm not suggesting there did, but if Yahoo had promised something like "you will have the ability to move the license for your music to another computer at any time in the future," then yes, the parent company would be committing fraud by closing down that portion of the business.

Re:the real criminals (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24332195)

Russia was more or less not allowed to join Nato because the perfectly legal and costumer-friendly allofmp3.com.

No, I think Cuba was not allowed to join Nato for that reason. Russia maybe for something else, maybe there was not enough room

Re:the real criminals (1)

Erikderzweite (1146485) | more than 6 years ago | (#24332459)

USA actually tried to make Cuba join NATO in 1961 at Bay of Pigs :)

Re:the real criminals (4, Funny)

LordLucless (582312) | more than 6 years ago | (#24332297)

Yeah! When will there be an online music service that offers real costumer service? I want to know what music goes well with this pantomime lion suit.

Re:the real criminals (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24332385)

Okay I'll accept a lot of conspiracy BS but an MP3 format keeping Russia out of NATO is a stretch well beyond, Roswell and the JFK shooting. Russia was shut out of NATO because NATO was largely created to defend against them. It's kind of like having the Mob team up with the FBI to fight racketeering. Not real likely and kind of like having the mouse lend a hand guarding the cheese.

More Ammo (1)

yotto (590067) | more than 6 years ago | (#24332027)

This is just more ammunition for when someone asks me why I care about DRM.

Thanks, Yahoo!, though to be honest I didn't know they had a music store either.

Excellent news! (5, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 6 years ago | (#24332035)

While I feel sorry for the people who have lost their music as a result of this, it has two excellent outcomes

The first is that it gives a great example of why the analogy that I've been using for DRM'd goods for a while is accurate. When I'm explaining DRM'd products to non-technical people, I tell them that they are equivalent to things labelled 'sold as seen' at a jumble sale. You get them home and they may work, and they may continue to work. If they do, you might have got a good deal, but there is absolutely no guarantee that they will work, nor that they will continue to work in the future. In contrast, DRM-free goods are guaranteed to work for as long as you want them to.

The second is that it gives a perfect case study for persuading legislators that DRM should not be legal (or, as I usually argue, that technical and legal protections on creative works should be mutually exclusive - you can have whichever you prefer, but you can only pick one). There is no possible way in which allowing an organisation a government-granted monopoly to sell products and then remotely disable them fording you to buy them again from one of their other resellers can be good for the economy.

Re:Excellent news! (1, Funny)

purpledinoz (573045) | more than 6 years ago | (#24332223)

I bet their customers aren't chanting "Yahoo!" over this.

Re:Excellent news! (1)

fluch (126140) | more than 6 years ago | (#24332331)

Or maybe their customers are actually chanting "Yahoo!" over it. Maybe just with a different meaning to it... like in "D'oh!".

Re:Excellent news! (1)

AlphaBlade (629798) | more than 6 years ago | (#24332419)

I was actually thinking of them chanting "Yahoo!" in a manner not entirely dissimilar to Kirk chanting "Khaan!"

Well duh? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24332047)

This is what happens when you're essentially *renting* your music or movies. It's just a matter of when they're going to stop letting you use it. This will surely happen to those who bought songs from the itunes store (DRM'ed ones), it's really just a matter of when.

The same applies to some software even. Imagine what will happen to Windows XP-style activated apps if the company goes out of business, or just plain decides to stop activating it (could perhaps be legal, using clauses in the purchase agreement or whatever, or not so legal...)

Re:Well duh? (4, Insightful)

DarkOx (621550) | more than 6 years ago | (#24332145)

Thats a good point IT WILL HAPPEN. Itunes might be arround for 20 years but some day it will be closed. I think the longevity might be the sadest part of all. Unless Apple in the end pushes some automajic code in a later release that strips the DRM from any protected files it finds most people won't ever be bothered to do it, and won't be thinking about it when ITMS shuts down.

Children won't be rediscovering momy and daddys 20 year old records in the future. DRM could cause an entire generations music to be lost.

Re:Well duh? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24332369)

Lucky for us that we have ThePirateBay and the like, so we in twenty years time can download. Ye oldie MP3's

Re:Well duh? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24332399)

Children won't be rediscovering momy and daddys 20 year old records in the future. DRM could cause an entire generations music to be lost.

Let's rephrase that. Children of today will have to repurchase mom and dad's music collection at some point in the future.

There will be no albums to browse in garage sales, there'll be no CDs to lend out or sell. All the noise the record companies make and their apparent dislike for digital music is a ruse. They love it! There are no resales of digital purchases. As more and more people move to the digital model for their purchases, the market for pre-owned media will all but disappear. It'll be the same for books if they make them cheap enough for book readers to catch on.

Consumers will be left with two choices, to buy again at full retail, or pirate. Flaky hard drives, windows machines ruined with crudware, and umpteen other reason will mean the music on peoples' machines will get "lost" over time. You can't redownload your purchases when the stores have gone down. Let's see, google video, microsoft and now yahoo have all closed stores previously selling digital media. These are multibillion dollar companies, not snotty upstarts.

Re:Well duh? (5, Funny)

TomRK1089 (1270906) | more than 6 years ago | (#24332497)

"Children won't be rediscovering momy and daddys 20 year old records in the future. DRM could cause an entire generations music to be lost."

Oh no! How will our descendants survive without being able to appreciate the lyrical genius of K-Fed, NSYNC, and My Chemical Romance? It really is the end of the world!

Re:Well duh? (1)

erlando (88533) | more than 6 years ago | (#24332565)

DRM could cause an entire generations music to be lost.

With the quality (or lack thereof) of most of the music produced today maybe this is a good thing?

Re:Well duh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24332583)

Considering most of the music out there today -- is that really a bad thing?

Question! (5, Interesting)

neokushan (932374) | more than 6 years ago | (#24332067)

I am not a Lawyer (And I refuse to say IANAL - it took me 3 months to figure out what that meant), so I'm curious as to what the legal implications are for downloading DRM free versions of songs you LEGALLY own (in one form or another)?
I know that in the case of software, it's perfectly legal to download pirated versions providing you legitimately own it (ROMs in particular are a good example of this), but what about media?

Re:Question! (4, Funny)

geordie_loz (624942) | more than 6 years ago | (#24332123)

Erm.. YSYRTSIYTIIIYPA (You Say You're Refusing To Say IANAL Yet There It Is In Your Post Anyways)
:)

Re:Question! (1)

neokushan (932374) | more than 6 years ago | (#24332139)

I'm glad your homepage is broken =P

Re:Question! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24332261)

I'll never people who refuse to use the well-known acronym IGYHIB.

Re:Question! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24332137)

unfortunately it is not legal to download pirated ROMs even if you own the original. Though I doubt it would ever go to court.
People have been prosecuted for downloading versions of software they own, most commonly a european release of a game that they own as a US release.
And going back to ROMs and rips, the code you download is often not identical to the original e.g. a crack or patch has been applied making it a copyrighted derivative work.
You do not expect to get free copies of remixed music when you own the original, ignoring the *anything is free to download* argument.

Re:Question! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24332177)

Actually, I am not a lanyard, but I'm pretty sure it IS illegal to download commercial ROMs weather you own the original media or not.

No! Downloading ROMs ain't necessarily so... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24332213)

I am not a Lawyer (And I refuse to say IANAL - it took me 3 months to figure out what that meant), so I'm curious as to what the legal implications are for downloading DRM free versions of songs you LEGALLY own (in one form or another)?
I know that in the case of software, it's perfectly legal to download pirated versions providing you legitimately own it (ROMs in particular are a good example of this), but what about media?

It depends upon the jurisdiction that you're in, in many places this is also illegal. The USA (and any country that has a trade agreement with them) have anti-circumvention measures that make obtaining ROMs illegal.

For example Nintendo products are generally protected in this way as the storage mechanism is always custom designed for the console unit it question, it's not like making a "backup" of a Playstation DVD.

nb. I'm not condoning the fact that downloading of ROMs is illegal, just making an observation.

appropriate captcha: echelon

Re:Question! (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24332219)

Actually, I don't think it's legal to download ROMs. It depends on your jurisdiction, of course.

Here in Sweden, we have a (relatively new) principle called "lovlig fÃrlaga", literally "legal source". That is, if the material was illegally distributed (for example, a movie was uploaded via bittorrent), then it is illegal to download it. This means that in Sweden, it's illegal to download songs from a CD you actually own.

I don't know where you're from, but I'm guessing U.S.A... And I find it hard to imagine that your copyright laws would be more lax than ours.

Re:Question! (1)

jmpeax (936370) | more than 6 years ago | (#24332441)

I refuse to say IANAL - it took me 3 months to figure out what that meant

This website is very useful: Acronym Finder [acronymfinder.com]

Three months? Ever hear of "google"??? (3, Informative)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 6 years ago | (#24332479)

Go to google.com, type "IANAL" into the little box...

Re:Three months? Ever hear of "google"??? (2, Insightful)

neokushan (932374) | more than 6 years ago | (#24332495)

Well done on missing both the point of my post and the sarcasm held within it.

Re:Question! (1)

sanosuke001 (640243) | more than 6 years ago | (#24332517)

Actually, the companies owning the software say it isn't legal. (Same for ROMs) Though, your common sense and fair use would seem to point in a different direction.

If it were legal, then sharing music online would be ok. The people downloading it would be getting sued and they would have to prove that they own a legitimate copy in court. But, this is not the case. The file sharers are being sued because you are not allowed to give a copy to anyone else. Fair use states that you can make a copy for personal use from your own copy. Downloading a copy is not covered; though it should be. Not everyone is tech savvy and downloading is sometimes their only course of action and getting around DRM is often too difficult for most to make a viable backup.

That is whats wrong with all of this. They make their customers out to be thieves and try to control something they really can't control effectively.

Re:Question! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24332567)

And I refuse to say IANAL - it took me 3 months to figure out what that meant

3 months? Really? Did it never occur to you to google it?

Re:Question! (3, Funny)

houghi (78078) | more than 6 years ago | (#24332579)

I am not a Lawyer

I am glad you (and others, including the once using IANAL) point this out as it is my understanding that unless specified, you ARE a lawyer and I always take whatever I read online as legal advice.

(Oh, IANAL)

And consumer faith with them (2, Insightful)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 6 years ago | (#24332095)

The music industry's inability to conceive of a good reason for why people would need to break DRM for a good purpose has just helped Apple once more. Yes, their stuff is protected by DRM, but it can also be burned to a CD as audio tracks. No one in their right mind will buy music this way again except through Apple until someone comes out with a system that is as laissez faire as Apple's.

Re:And consumer faith with them (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 6 years ago | (#24332157)

right thought wrong reason.

Yahoo was mainly a subscription site, as most windows media sites are. once the servers stop you lose your subscriptions. They may rig the setup to keep playing for a year instead of a month, but sometime soon all that music you spent money on is gone.

Apple sells DRm, and DRM free tracks, you keep it working even if apple goes boom.

Yahoo Music is a Rental Service (5, Insightful)

Jellybob (597204) | more than 6 years ago | (#24332105)

I may be entirely wrong, but I thought that Yahoo Music worked on a rental basis, where you could listen to as much music as liked so long you kept paying the service fee, so this isn't quite as bad as the OP made it sound.

People havn't *bought* the music, so they havn't lost something that they paid money for, expecting it to continue being available for the rest of time.

Re:Yahoo Music is a Rental Service (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24332279)

Why the heck is this modded troll??? Even if he is wrong, it still doesn't look trollish!

Wake up slashdot mods!

Isn't it ironic... (4, Interesting)

Solo-Malee (618168) | more than 6 years ago | (#24332163)

...that this story follows that in the UK where six ISPs have now agreed a deal that will see hundreds of thousands of letters sent to net users suspected of illegally sharing music. Now I suppose there'll be a few more trying to get replacements for tracks that yesterday they were able to listen to and today they can't.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/7522334.stm [bbc.co.uk]

I just hope that the BBC picks up this latest music industry/tech fiasco and asks the question...

"Who is looking after the consumer?"

Me, I'll always be buying the original CD (preferably from an indie artist!)

Re:Isn't it ironic... (1)

Yer Mum (570034) | more than 6 years ago | (#24332477)

So first the servers you check your DRM'd music against are taken down then you receive nasty letters/a reduction in service from your ISP/your ISP stops providing you a service/a possible fine if the law changes/etc... when you try and download songs you already own through eMule or BitTorrent so you end up buying the CD if you really care about the music.

It's genius, I never knew there were so many ways to pay for the same thing.

Actually, I think the real news is... (-1, Redundant)

Llywelyn (531070) | more than 6 years ago | (#24332171)

Yahoo had a music store?

Re:Actually, I think the real news is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24332493)

Unfortunatly - Yes - they aquired and then totally 'broke' the great Musicmatch player.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Musicmatch [wikipedia.org]

Why MSN Music store was going. (5, Interesting)

Kingston (1256054) | more than 6 years ago | (#24332193)

There is a good article here [guardian.co.uk] covering DRM issues and the decision, since revoked, to shut down the MSN music store licence server. It boils down to:

So the trail leads back to the licence server - which Microsoft is turning off for its customers. Why is it doing that? According to Rob Bennett, who wrote the shock email, it was too complicated to support. "Every time there is an OS upgrade, you saw support issues. People would call in because they couldn't download licences. We had to write new code, new configurations each time,"

So it was too much hassle to support, and as for the customers who had purchased music, they thought forever - they could take a running jump.

For now, DRM doesn't interfere with my music (1, Informative)

Dekortage (697532) | more than 6 years ago | (#24332225)

I buy several albums from iTunes a year (probably 20+ albums). Since I have a Mac, and an iPod, and I burn the music to CD to play in the car during my lengthy commute -- Apple's DRM doesn't really bother me. When possible, I buy their DRM-less albums, and I have occasionally used the "convert to MP3" feature so I could make an MP3 CD... but so far, Apple's DRM has not interfered with my music listening.

Maybe if I wanted/needed a different music player, or I cared about saving a few pennies and buying music from Wal-Mart, then I'd start caring about this. But for now I don't.

Re:For now, DRM doesn't interfere with my music (0)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 6 years ago | (#24332555)

Sorry, but this sounds like fanboi speak. I would suggest that you have adapted your music listening to accomodate Apple's DRM - after all, downloading a non-DRMed track format would probably not require any conversion at all before being able to make a CD for the car. I also fail to understand, even to this day, why anyone would buy an album from iTunes? I can, to a degree, understand why some people want to get individual tracks (although I'm an album person myself & can't think of a worse way to listen to music than treating it like a bag of "Pick N Mix" sweets) but every time I have looked on there, not that I would ever use iTunes, I have easily been able to source the actual CD at a lower price. Well, whatever works for you, I guess, but I'd really like to understand what the big deal is with downloadable music - okay, maybe if you need a particular piece of music at 2am in the morning possibly... because for less money, I can have a tangible disk, sleeve notes to read, at excellent quality that I can then rip myself at whatever bit rate I see fit.

ok (-1, Offtopic)

mucizeurunler (1321115) | more than 6 years ago | (#24332251)

I have just heard Yahoo has a music store. lida [lidacapsul.com] ,fx15 [fx15.in]

long live Amazon (4, Interesting)

misanthrope101 (253915) | more than 6 years ago | (#24332259)

Amazon has gotten more of my money for DRM-free music than I had previously spent on music my entire life. I'm not even that big on music, but somehow I ended up with about 25 Nina Simone albums, about the same number of Billie Hoiday, 15 CDs or so of Dinah Washington, and who knows what else. Never would've bought this stuff if they'd DRM'd it.

Re:long live Amazon (4, Informative)

MtViewGuy (197597) | more than 6 years ago | (#24332379)

Thank you very much for mentioning the Amazon MP3 store! :-)

In short, Amazon's MP3 store is the first truly viable alternative the iTunes Music Store for these these reasons:

1) The cost in many cases is much lower than iTMS on a per-song and per-album basis.

2) Amazon encodes their MP3's using the LAME 3.97 encoder with 256 kbps variable bit rate encoding, which results in excellent sound quality that is almost the same as the uncompressed CD original.

3) Because the MP3 files have no DRM restrictions, that means no hassles copying the music with third-party programs to your portable music player.

4) Amazon's MP3 downloader program automatically puts the playlist into either Windows Media Player 11.0 or iTunes, which means easy syncing with your favorite portable music player that uses these programs to copy music to your player.

It's small wonder why I've bought several albums through the Amazon MP3 store and are searching for more albums to download. That explains why older music stores that use DRM restrictions are rapidly falling by the wayside.

Re:long live Amazon (5, Insightful)

Plantain (1207762) | more than 6 years ago | (#24332559)

5) Not available outside of the US

Even with a fake name and address, they go to extreme measures to stop the poor Aussies from getting their music :'(

Back to the iTunes monopoly I go!

(if you != fed; do s/iTunes/bittorrent/)

And that is why (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24332289)

And that is why I only buy non-DRMed "plus" songs from iTunes. While I trust Apple, and love their products, I think putting trust into DRM is asking for just a weeeee bit too much.

i have an excellent comment to make (4, Funny)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 6 years ago | (#24332345)

please send $5 to my pay pal account to read my comment

(oh man, i'm going to be a millionaire! it works for the music industry!)

Re:i have an excellent comment to make (5, Funny)

illumastorm (172101) | more than 6 years ago | (#24332569)

*torrents comment*

Or 3...developing profiles for targetted marketing (3, Insightful)

dyfet (154716) | more than 6 years ago | (#24332359)

I am surprised the author missed an important reason for DRM, being able to track and form marketing "profiles" of captive "consumers" based on their listening habits. By it's very nature, DRM schemes have to validate what music one has, and collect statistics while it is being played, and all tied to user identities. Rather convenient, eh?

Of course, the closed source "legally protected" tamper-free DRM client (and associated licensing server) may do more than just keep track of what your listening to and when. Like other source-secret client applications (such as Skype), it can also snoop on registry keys, or other information, perhaps to further expand the potential for target marketing. Even homeland security can get into this act. Imagine, listen to too much pink floyd, and get on the early list for the new FEMA camps ;).

Yahoo! Music Going Dark (3, Insightful)

Dan East (318230) | more than 6 years ago | (#24332361)

I know video can go dark, but shouldn't music go quiet?

Re:Yahoo! Music Going Dark (1)

hansraj (458504) | more than 6 years ago | (#24332447)

I was about to call you a grammar nazi, but then I thought that maybe you prefer being called a semantics nazi.

Obligatory 'PlaysForSure' reference (1)

Burz (138833) | more than 6 years ago | (#24332373)

Customers who have purchased music from Microsoft's now-defunct MSN Music store are now facing a decision they never anticipated making: commit to which computers (and OS) they want to authorize forever, or give up access to the music they paid for. Why? Because Microsoft has decided that it's done supporting the service and will be turning off the MSN Music license servers by the end of this summer.

article link [arstechnica.com]

S/PDIF Interfaces can save your music (5, Informative)

EmagGeek (574360) | more than 6 years ago | (#24332381)

If you want to save your Yahoo! music, you can re-record it using two S/PDIF interfaces without losing any quality. There are no D/A conversions involved. You just need some decent recording software. Just tell Windows to use the S/PDIF as the default audio output device.

On Linux, I recommend Ardour for recording. www.ardour.org

On Windows, Audacity does a nice job.

Re:S/PDIF Interfaces can save your music (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24332561)

the S/PDIF output of such compressed audio file has already the audio artifacts from that compression (excluding "lossless" compression formats)

Converting this raw output back to a compressed file format will introduce artifacts AGAIN to the resulting wave (double compression), sounding awful enough.

Re:S/PDIF Interfaces can save your music (5, Interesting)

Mascot (120795) | more than 6 years ago | (#24332585)

If you want to save your Yahoo! music, you can re-record it using two S/PDIF interfaces without losing any quality.

This is not something I have researched, so I'm making a good number of assumptions and qualified guesses here. I'm sure someone will set me straight if I'm way off.

I may be missing something, but unless you can manage to get Windows to output the raw unencrypted data stream, I don't see how this would help any.

In my experience Windows will take the audio and make a PCM stream out of it if you tell it to use S/PDIF as default device. Which means you end up with much the same as you would if you burned to CD and used that as a source for further processing. Either way, you end up having to add a lossy step somewhere along the way to make it practically useful.

Where's the list of these failures? (4, Interesting)

v1 (525388) | more than 6 years ago | (#24332403)

Is anyone keeping a list somewhere of all the places that have folded or closed a service and have as a result left people with unusable content? This is at least the third story I've read on /. about this sort of stunt, and we've also read where DRM supporters are always saying this sort of thing never happens, I'd love to see that list stuffed in their mouth.

I'm no fan of DRM, but... (3, Interesting)

kaos07 (1113443) | more than 6 years ago | (#24332411)

Whenever I do buy songs online, I buy them a store that sells them at 320kbps in .mp3 form with no restrictions whatsoever.

I really don't like DRM. I've been bitten by it in the past with iTunes locking me out after too many computers were authorised to play tracks I legally purchased. Anyway. The argument coming from this story against DRM doesn't make much sense to me. "The validation servers are offline". All that's showing is that the one possible benefit that can come out of DRM is no longer there. And in this specific area it's at the same level as non-DRM music. That's a tad confusing so I'll explain further.

The only positive I can ever see coming out of DRM systems is the fact that once you've "bought" something, you can download it again and again. Say if you reformatted or something. This is obviously negated by limitations such as the above iTunes example. However other DRM services like Steam pull this off brilliantly. I've downloaded my Steam games several times after formats and computer changes, and they work fine. Now while this is a limited concept in most DRM systems, it's non existant in non-DRM online stores. I don't know any online store without any kind of DRM that allows you to download a song or an album and infinite number of times once you've purchased it.

So tying this back to the story, the validation servers going off-line simply means that if you lose a song, you can't re-download it. Just like if you bought a CD, or downloaded from another music store without DRM.

lewis (1)

lewismark87 (1332723) | more than 6 years ago | (#24332427)

as i am a big music lover , i used to browse through many sites..
its a good thing that Yahoo started an online music store... something i was hoping for...
where the reputation of yahoo comes in ..
but it has to be seen how much it will live up to it..
-------
Lewis

Did you see it? One more time? You won't get faked out here!

http://www.SelectWealthSystem.com/?t=wc [slashdot.org]

On a similar note (1)

Grimbleton (1034446) | more than 6 years ago | (#24332433)

I have a few DVDs which I can't play on my computer running XP. I get DRM errors in WMP and a few other programs. Is there any way to get around that? I don't want to rip them or anything, I just want to be able to play my purchased media on the hardware I choose.

Numbers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24332499)

It would be interesting to try and agregate the data on the number of users affected by this move is, and how many songs there are that they're losing access to.

Well that sucks... (4, Informative)

The Dancing Panda (1321121) | more than 6 years ago | (#24332501)

But it's not really as bad as slashdot would have you believe. Yahoo music is a subscription service, mostly, so unless Yahoo plans to continually take your money after the servers are shut down, this is no problem. Sure, the people using it will be slightly inconvenienced, but there are other subscription services. No one on a subscription service should think they have any right to that music once they cancel the subscription, just as I don't have a right to the Howard Stern show after I cancel Sirius.

Furthermore, Yahoo Music's 0.99c songs are all, as far as I know, Non-drm'd MP3's. People that bought the songs should have no problem listening to them. DRM is really a non-issue here, as it doesn't affect anyone in a manner that they wouldn't expect.

Two words: Class Action (2, Interesting)

Fuzzzy (967665) | more than 6 years ago | (#24332535)

You bought a CD. You have the right to use it. You have the right to play it using another CD player.
You bought a song. You have the right to hear it. You have the right to transfer it to another playing device (i.e., computer).
Your CD is a property. The right to hear a licensed song is a property too, despite what the license may claim.

Now, the second party pulls the license away. It renders your property nontransferable, hence eliminating some of your property rights. The court may monetize the lost rights into compensation.
A successful class action may discourage future DRM schemes, once DRM owners are forced to keep their servers up and running forever.

Hahaha! (1)

Kamineko (851857) | more than 6 years ago | (#24332571)

Take that, Alicia [wikipedia.org] !
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