Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Zune Won't Play Old DRM Infected Files

Zonk posted about 8 years ago | from the do-as-we-do-not-as-we-say dept.


Spritzer writes "According to the EFF, the new Zune portable media player from Microsoft won't play files infected with the old Microsoft DRM. It seems that all of the 'PlaysforSure' media that has been sold and is currently being sold will not play on the Zune. In addition, Microsoft has now advocated violating the DMCA in order to transfer files to the player. Microsoft Zune architect J Allard was quoted as saying there's 'Lots of DVD ripping software out there that encodes to those formats, so the most popular formats out there, whether it's MPEG-4 or H.264, we'll support those.'" ZDNet offers up additional commentary on this revelation.

cancel ×


Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

DRM (1)

nickyx (897989) | about 8 years ago | (#16137598)

Does this mean we can now break Apple's DRM also?

Re:DRM (5, Interesting)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about 8 years ago | (#16137619)

You would think that cases like this would illustrate to the world that DRM is an inanely stupid idea that doesn't serve consumers. Maybe when a company like Microsoft tells it's users that they have to break the law in order to view media they purchased, Congress should consider repealing the law.

This was bound to happen. Let's see if anything good comes of it.

Re:DRM (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16137643)

Maybe when a company like Microsoft tells it's users that they have to break the law in order to view media they purchased

I don't think MS is advocating Breaking The Law. I think their spokesman is a Judas Priest fan.

DRM (1, Funny)

rackhamh (217889) | about 8 years ago | (#16137603)

Nothing for you to see here. Please move along.

Apparently Slashdot has jumped on the DRM bandwagon...

Re:DRM (-1, Offtopic)

rackhamh (217889) | about 8 years ago | (#16137709)

Well, I certainly didn't expect my post to be modded informative or insightful, but offtopic? A bit harsh, no? Don't you think that mod point would have been better used elsewhere?

Re:DRM (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16137855)

ha ha, you should have replied as AC... *ouch*

Re:DRM (2, Insightful)

rackhamh (217889) | about 8 years ago | (#16137937)

ha ha, you should have replied as AC... *ouch*

I'd rather speak for myself, even if it means getting modded down by people with nothing better to do.

PlaysForSure? (5, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | about 8 years ago | (#16137604)

It seems to me that if you create a format called "PlaysForSure", it should actually "Play for Sure". OTherwise your customers might - oh, I don't know - lose confidence in your ability to compete in the market? Instead, they'll go to a certain competitor that does "Play for Sure" despite not advertising such?

It's almost as if Microsoft is reading Slashdot. Their new business plan is:

1. Create a format called "PlaysForSure"
2. Make certain that it doesn't "Play for Sure"
3. Cede 95% of the market to Apple
4. ???

Re:PlaysForSure? (-1)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | about 8 years ago | (#16137632)

Heh heh, PlaysForSure, more like PlaysForUnsure, LOL MI RITE?

Re:PlaysForSure? (2, Insightful)

jimstapleton (999106) | about 8 years ago | (#16137645)

Instead, they'll go to a certain competitor that does "Play for Sure" despite not advertising such?
The only competators I can think of for that is "plays for sure but only in restrictive circumstances".

Re:PlaysForSure? (3, Interesting)

networkBoy (774728) | about 8 years ago | (#16137864)

Oh, I don't know about that.

AllOfMP3 plays for sure (as long as the site is up).
supernova &&|| all it's vairents tend to play for sure as long as the torrent isn't comprimised.

While the legality of the former is questionable and the latter is, well, known for sure, these are still legitimite competitors to the DRM media.


To clarify legitimate competitor != legal competitor. The media companies need to understnad that if they break their own rules then they are opening the gates to others ignoring the rules a bit wider every time.

Re:PlaysForSure? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16137670)

Maybe they should rename it to PlaysfoShizzle...

Re:PlaysForSure? (2, Insightful)

grub (11606) | about 8 years ago | (#16137723)

Consumers should lose a lot of faith in MS' DRM and proprietary formats when Allard says '[...] the most popular formats out there, whether it's MPEG-4 or H.264, we'll support those.'

Re:PlaysForSure? (0)

stubear (130454) | about 8 years ago | (#16137753)

PlaysForSure was not a format, it was a marketing device to let people know that if they purchased a device with that logo, the music they purchased on like-branded stores would work on the device. It was designed to create more of an ecosystem of content providers instead of the single point of purchase iPod+iTunes has created. I'm a little disappointed that Microsoft is not ensuring Zune is not a part of the PlaysForSure campaign but then again, I don't purchase digital music. I buy CD's and rip the content however the hell I choose, not the way some RIAA marketroid or snot-nosed geek who can barely wipe his own ass, much less hear the difference between 64 and 128 kbps audio, thinks I should be listening to. If I want 64 kbps files to rip larger compilation CDs and 128 kbps files to transfer to my audio player, I can easily do that from a CD. I cannot do that from a compressed file, regardless of the format (OGG, AAC, WMA, MP3).

Re:PlaysForSure? (3, Insightful)

Bob9113 (14996) | about 8 years ago | (#16137814)

lose confidence in your ability to compete in the market? Instead, they'll go to a certain competitor that does "Play for Sure" Apple


A blatant demonstration of exactly why DRM is an extaordinarily bad deal for the user, and the answer you reach is, "People will switch to the other mass market DRM"?

Wow. The worst part is, assuming any of the unwashed masses even notice, you're probably right.

You know what they say about assumptions (2, Insightful)

everphilski (877346) | about 8 years ago | (#16137874)

From the Article: Buried in footnote 4 of its press release, Microsoft clearly states that "Zune software can import audio files in unprotected WMA, MP3, AAC; photos in JPEG; and videos in WMV, MPEG-4, H.264" -- protected WMA and WMV (not to mention iTunes DRMed AAC) are conspicuously absent.

In other words they are drawing conclusions from two missing entries that may turn out to be typos or may be missing for a reason other than compatibility. Just another FUD-laden EFF article.

Re:PlaysForSure? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16137902)

Instead, they'll go to a certain competitor that does "Play for Sure" despite not advertising such?

Huh? Are you saying Zune plays FairPlay-protected iTunes tracks, or are you saying that old WMA files can be played on the iPod? Because last I checked, Apple's songs only "played for sure" on Apple's hardware, and Apple's hardware only played Apple's songs "for sure".

Choosing between Apple's DRM and Microsoft's DRM is like asking whether you'd prefer to be locked up in a state prison or a Federal prison. Your ass might be marginally less likely to be raped in a state prison, but you're still a prisoner.

PlaysForSure? (5, Insightful)

byolinux (535260) | about 8 years ago | (#16137607)

This is kinda dumb.. but I don't think this is something that Microsoft is alone in. This is just an example of the problems with Digital Restrictions Management. We'll see a lot more of this to come.

Re:PlaysForSure? (3, Interesting)

Gr8Apes (679165) | about 8 years ago | (#16137626)

This certainly looks like an excellent candidate for exhibit A in any argument against DRM.

ironic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16137612)

I love it. "PlaysforSure" won't, for sure.

Hold up a sec (4, Insightful)

spacedx (458227) | about 8 years ago | (#16137620)

How about everyone not flip out about the specs on an unreleased product?

Re:Hold up a sec (3, Insightful)

thrillseeker (518224) | about 8 years ago | (#16137702)

How about everyone not flip out about the specs on an unreleased product?

Yeah - they should give their hard earned money to the manufacturer before complaining that it's not something they want or would buy.

Re:Hold up a sec (3, Informative)

AceCaseOR (594637) | about 8 years ago | (#16137883)

Yeah - they should give their hard earned money to the manufacturer before complaining that it's not something they want or would buy.
Well, it's not even out yet, so unless somebody has pre-ordered a Zune, they haven't given Microsoft any of their hard-earned money yet.

Re:Hold up a sec (1)

AP2k (991160) | about 8 years ago | (#16137721)

Not only that, the article has no proof that the Zune doesn't. The only source it cites is a footnote that includes media the Zune *can* import, not a list of the only things it can import. Oddly enough, the footnote doesnt even say the Zune can import files from its own DRM. Is that to suggest that the footnote says that the Zune cannot import files from iTunes and other media stores INCLUDING MICROSOFT'S OWN DRM??

No, it doesn't. Someone is jumping the gun and suspending fact in order to rant against DRM/DMCA. I don't like either, but lets not go off spouting lies.

It is said that absence of proof is not proof of absence.

Re:Hold up a sec (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16137735)

This is slashdot...You must be new here.

Re:Hold up a sec (1, Interesting)

xlr8ed (726203) | about 8 years ago | (#16137784)

Pure EFF FUD!!

Even if Zune doesn't use Playforsure, how do we not know that the software included with Zune will allow the DRM to be modified to run on Zune. And before someone pops off about changing the DRM violates the DMCA, that is not true if you have the proper permissions from copyright holders/distributors.

ell-oh-ell, yo! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16137622)


All your old DRMed files are belong to us!

That's certainly some faggotry right there. But can you run Linux on it?

I'm kind of stunned by this (3, Insightful)

jeffs72 (711141) | about 8 years ago | (#16137630)

I guess this is Microsoft wanting to get their player popular, but to have a public company say "Sure, violate DRM" is sort of flabberghasting, especially coming from Microsoft.

Think of the liability this opens them up to, didn't edonkey get shut down for enabling those evil hackers from trading music and movies?

Hopefully this will point to a market trend, an admission that copyrights are out of control to a large degree. I hate buying music from Itunes because of all the stupid license rules associated with it. It'd be nice to just be allowed to buy some .mp3 files and do with them as I feel. I don't even need a lossless format, my damaged ears can't tell the difference anyway.

Stop buying DRM'ed music if you dislike it. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16137719)

I hate buying music from Itunes because of all the stupid license rules associated with it.

Then don't do it. Even if you dislike doing it, each time you purchase tainted music files you're giving a show of support for DRM. Not only that, but it's financial support you're offering, which is perhaps the worst kind, as it directly allows for their deviant behavior to continue.

We know that DRM-encumbered media has many disadvantages. This Zune nonsense is a perfect example of that. So the best thing to do is to stop buying music from iTunes. Don't start buying music from whatever service Microsoft might offer. Don't buy CDs. Don't download MP3s.

What you should do is get involved with your local music scene. Get to know the bands and artists in your area, or the nearest city. Many times they're far more deserving of your financial support than the multimillionaire fucks in California, and their music is often so much better! Not only that, but you can interact with them personally, and possibly even collaborate with them to some extent (if you're a musician yourself). The best part of it all is that you're getting to listen to some decent music, and you're not supporting corrupt companies and DRM, but rather you're supporting your neighbors.

Re:Stop buying DRM'ed music if you dislike it. (1)

jeffs72 (711141) | about 8 years ago | (#16137737)

Well, I don't buy music on iTunes. I'm just frustrated that there is no legitimate means of purchasing music that doesn't suck.

Re:Stop buying DRM'ed music if you dislike it. (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 8 years ago | (#16137809)

That depends on your definition that "Doesn't Suck". I think that CD's without copy protection mechanisms don't suck. Sure there are some downsides such as not being able to buy a single track, but it definitely falls into the "Doesn't suck" category. I really don't see the problem with CDs. The quality is great, the price is good (only a little more expensive, sometimes cheaper, than downloading, and you get a physical copy with liner notes), they're pretty durable, provided you know how to take care of them, and they are easily backed up. For the number of hours of enjoyment I can get out of a CD, $10-$15 CDN isn't a bad price to pay.

Re:Stop buying DRM'ed music if you dislike it. (2, Insightful)

jeffs72 (711141) | about 8 years ago | (#16137835)

The only problem I have with buying CD's is that a portion of the funds go to pay for the RIAA, new copy protection schemes, and companies that used to put out good music but now produce garbage. I don't really feel like I should have to contribute to the legal quagmire that copyrights has become just because I'm missing a Beatles track I like.

Re:Stop buying DRM'ed music if you dislike it. (1)

Hollyfeld (959273) | about 8 years ago | (#16137923)

1. join la-la 2. pay $1.49 to trade CD's 3. rip to lossless format, convert/burn backup as necessary 4. Trade for new CD's after ripping 5. RIAA does not profit...

dear slashdot editors (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16137634)

can we please get a little _more_ biased writeup please?

Re:dear slashdot editors (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16137650)

No, I'm sorry, you can't. This one's all the way.

Re:dear slashdot editors (1)

SengirV (203400) | about 8 years ago | (#16137667)

Well then, why don't you tell us how you would write it up Mr. Gates?

Re:dear slashdot editors (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16137694)

Um.... I'm a little unclear on how it's biased. Are you saying it's biased to present the fact that certain restricted media files won't play on Zune, or that it's biased to reprint people's quotes?

Or are you one of those people who thinks "unbiased" means "every possible viewpoint gets equal time regardless of the facts" because you don't know what unbiased means?

Re:dear slashdot editors (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16137722)


Plus, its only against the DMCA to rip a protected DVD, which isn't explicitly contained in the quote (I'll give that its implied, but Allard doesn't come out and say "ignore the DMCA").

Re:dear slashdot editors (2, Insightful)

timster (32400) | about 8 years ago | (#16137705)

Cry bias all you want, but Zune's lack of ability to play PlaysForSure content is completely preposterous. This is the absolute, objective truth.

End to End Solution (4, Interesting)

Winterblink (575267) | about 8 years ago | (#16137637)

It's obvious Microsoft is shooting for an iTunes-ish end-to-end solution for music, a tightly integrated store+software+player solution. It's just interesting to me that URGE and Windows Media Player aren't it to them, which shows a pretty shocking lack of confidence in their own services and products, as far as the Zune is concerned.

RealNetworks and Sandisk have already stated their intent to do something similar, which reeks like all the PlaysForSure partners aren't too impressed with this move by Microsoft.

How cute! (2, Interesting)

corroncho (1003609) | about 8 years ago | (#16137649)

Ah look at Microsoft trying to appeal to the masses. How cute. Sounds to me more like an excuse because they have no mechanism in place for delivering media for this device.
Free iPods? Its legit [] . 5 of my friends got theirs. Get yours here! []

Shut up losers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16137653)

No, he wasn't advocating that all. I know you all love to steal and such, with whatever lame excuses you put forth, but there are actual legal dvd ripping programs. All they require to be legal is a valid CSS license, so these programs won't be free.

Re:Shut up losers (3, Insightful)

XzQuala (950050) | about 8 years ago | (#16137910)

Where the hell is my damn -1 WRONG modifier? ANY attempt to circumvent the WEAKEST of encryption (css ispretty freaking weak) without the consent of the copyright holder is a criminal offense in the USA. And just to make matters totally STUPID, its a felony to boot. Thank you DMCA.

It's a trap! (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16137656)

It's a trap. I expect a later announcement that the Zune will, in fact, Play For Sure (tm). This move has been taken to discredit opponents of DRM, like the EFF and most of the people who comment on this site. Every opponent of DRM will use the Zune as an example of how DRM fucks the consumer in the ass, and then Microsoft will reveal that they are wrong about this speciifc case, suggesting that perhaps they are wrong about DRM in general, too.

Just think about it.. just how dumb do you think MS are?

Re:It's a trap! (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 8 years ago | (#16137748)

If you needed this article to realize that DRM is crap in a can, something went wrong far before Zume was even considered.

Re:It's a trap! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16137807)

How do you explain DRM to a non-techie? Most people use examples to demonstrate why it is bad. Here is a case that seems to be a good example. The grandparent post is a warning that perhaps all is not as it seems. I do hope that the EFF are sure of their facts!

DRM is not infection (4, Insightful)

Yvan256 (722131) | about 8 years ago | (#16137657)

I know most of you don't like DRM, but it's not infecting files. It's not a virus/trojan/whatever.

It's a lock. A digital lock. Call it Digital Restrictions Management if you must (since it stills describe what it does), but not infection.

The general public already has their hands full trying to understand all this technological mumbo-jumbo. Let's not spread more FUD.

Re:DRM is not infection (4, Insightful)

Ant P. (974313) | about 8 years ago | (#16137692)

Actually, this Zune POS makes it exactly that. It silently infects every file on the device with DRM.

Re:DRM is not infection (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | about 8 years ago | (#16137704)

You mean it adds DRM to files I already have? Files not bought through their online store?!

Re:DRM is not infection (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 8 years ago | (#16137763)

Indeed it does. There was something about it on /. a few days ago, citing that it might not be received well by the creative commons community.

Re:DRM is not infection (1)

absorbr (995554) | about 8 years ago | (#16137904)

this is bull. post proof or put up!

Re:DRM is not infection (1)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | about 8 years ago | (#16137781)

Re:DRM is not infection (5, Informative)

Otter Escaping North (945051) | about 8 years ago | (#16137805)

You mean it adds DRM to files I already have? Files not bought through their online store?!

Based on what I've heard, it's not true that it adds DRM to all files on it. The issue is that it wraps DRM onto files that you wirelessly share with your Zune friends - whether you want it to or not, whether it's permitted to (Creative Commons licencing) or not.

An article about it at ig-innovation-viral-drm []

Re:DRM is not infection (5, Insightful)

TheCarp (96830) | about 8 years ago | (#16137746)

Honestly, I think DRM *IS* an infection from the very start.

Ok, so we have systems that work. They do what the user wants. Its a pretty healthy system overall.

DRM comes in pretending to be something that the user wants. It is a trojan horse, a virus. It is brought in, under the disguise of something that helps the system. Then, when it strikes, like this, it does nothing but hurt the system. It doesn't help the user, it hurts the user.

Like a virus, it turns the users own system against the user. It makes the system do what DRM owners (the viruses source) want. It is an infection that only works because it is becoming ubiquitous.

DRM is the classic slippery slope. If we accept the infection, if we don't fight it tooth and nail, then down the road when it really is in everthing, we will have turned over all control to the big boys who control the DRM.

It is a viral infection of the worst sort. It deserves to be described as such. This IS the battle for hearts and minds, and the enemy is not at all shy about casting precious freedom in their own jaundiced light. I say its time to call a spade a spade. This is infection.

This is the first symptom of the infection. Definitly past time to start treating this disease.


Re:DRM is not infection (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 8 years ago | (#16137759)

It's not an infection? It sounds like it to me. It is something added to files that stops them playing where/how I want them to. I can play DRM-free files on my 'phone, but not ones infected with DRM.

Personally, I am very grateful to Microsoft for this. Until now, there were very few good, clear, instances of DRM harming the consumer. This is almost the exact case-study I would have asked for when talking to politicians. I almost wonder if it's intentional...

Re:DRM is not infection (1)

Malc (1751) | about 8 years ago | (#16137826)

If you don't like it, don't acquire DRMed files. I've got thousands of audio files that I often play in WMP. On no occasion has DRM been added to them against my wishes. So what exactly are you doing wrong? I thought so: you're just using inflammatory terms like "infection" because it's cool to be part of the childish anti-Microsoft clique on /. It's not cool, it's sad and pathetic.

Re:DRM is not infection (1)

ADamiani (983317) | about 8 years ago | (#16137789)

It locks out the legitimate owner. It is software that the user never desired that interferes with the proper functioning of the media. I don't think you can blame people for considering it an infection.

Re:DRM is not infection (1)

dk-software-engineer (980441) | about 8 years ago | (#16137790)

It's something we don't want to be there, it lowers the value of the files, and sometimes makes the files useless. It sounds like me when I get a disease, so I don't see the problem with "infected". But how about "contaminated" then?

Re:DRM is not infection (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | about 8 years ago | (#16137866)

I agree that "contaminated" is more descriptive than "infected". I got a few tunes bought from the iTMS and so far they haven't "infected" my other files (CD rips, overclock remix files, etc).

Re:DRM is not infection (3, Informative)

Kjella (173770) | about 8 years ago | (#16137810)

I know most of you don't like DRM, but it's not infecting files. It's not a virus/trojan/whatever.

Normally I'd agree, as long as the files are and always have been restricted. Applying DRM to files that is not restricted, is viral. In fact, it's more "viral" than the GPL ever was, it's infectious by mere aggregation. The closest similarity are to the viruses that lock down your files, holding them hostage against the owner. I am the owner of those files (as far as Zune knows anyway), and Zune has no business applying their locks against me.

Yes, it is!! And I can prove (1)

Zaatxe (939368) | about 8 years ago | (#16137834)

You are thinking of "infection" only in the biological meaning. Wrong. According to [] , infection can mean:

moral corruption or contamination;

So, depending on the point of view, DRM can be an infection.

LEGAL DISCLAIMER: English isn't my first language. Actually, it's my third language.

Re:DRM is not infection (1)

CopaceticOpus (965603) | about 8 years ago | (#16137850)

AIDS isn't an infection either. It's just a biological lock on your immune system.

Semantics are fun!

DRM is not infection. It's much worse than that. (1)

Criffer (842645) | about 8 years ago | (#16137920)

I call it Draconian Restrictions on Media. And it's not a trojan, but it is a virus. The requirement to use approved software to read media which you have paid for is ridiculous.

When said software executes (which you can't prevent if you're running Windows), it does actually infect your media files. It prevents you from reading files you created with any other software. And that is an infection.

But the objection to DRM is much, much worse than merely wanting to play music in your car.

The whole RIAA/DMCA crap is just a cover for one Microsoft-sponsored ploy - to enforce using particular software for any particular reason. It's what Palladium is about. And once They are able to arbitrary change the restrictions on what you, the computer user, can do, you have lost any freedom you may have once had. Mandatory software can do anything it wants; including spying on you, logging keys and phoning home.

Imagine your computer had a built-in camera which you were unable to turn off due to the DMCA - you might, say, be recording what's on screen with a video camera and selling the resulting discs on eBay, and we wouldn't want that. Imagine everything you do is then recorded and analysed by the NSA, just in case you might be a thoughtcriminal. The word of the day is terrorist, but you can just as easily substitute paedophile (the Lovejoy argument) or whoever is today's Emmanuel Goldstein [] .

Big Brother is here, in the form of Palladium. And that is why DRM is evil.

Standard formats vs blackbox drm (1, Redundant)

GodWasAnAlien (206300) | about 8 years ago | (#16137658)

It should be ovbious to the consumer eventually that standard, transparent formats are good.
And with opaque encrypted formats all are just as temporary as the intented player.

Plays for sure is a different license (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16137662)

I Think that microsoft is bringing zune in under its own licensing agreements. Rather than the Plays for Sure ones. So they can do the wireless sharing thing for consumers. In reality the Zune is quite ingenious.

PlaysForSure obsolete? (2, Insightful)

LaughingCoder (914424) | about 8 years ago | (#16137669)

I assume the Zune will not be stamped with the PlaysforSure logo, certifying that it is able to play those tracks. This does not compromise the validity of PlaysForSure at all -- that is merely a way for consumers to know where their media will be playable (ie which portable media players they can buy). There was no guarantee, explicit or otherwise, that these songs would play forever - only that they would play on devices that were certified PlaysForSure compatible (of which, apparently, Zune is not one).

This suggests to me that there haven't been many PlaysForSure track purchases. I suspect most people who play DRM'd WMA files subscribe to unlimited services like Yahoo Unlimited. I am such a person, and I have yet to purchase a "burnable" track.

Re:PlaysForSure obsolete? (1)

scsirob (246572) | about 8 years ago | (#16137783)

So, may I ask what you will do with all your legally purchased PlaysforSure tracks once the player you use dies, and no new players are available?

Thank you for flushing your money down the drain... PlaysforSure?? Pay For Sure.

Re:PlaysForSure obsolete? (1)

LaughingCoder (914424) | about 8 years ago | (#16137884)

I store them with my 8-tracks.

Ouch (5, Funny)

TheWoozle (984500) | about 8 years ago | (#16137674)

Microsoft really does a remarkable job of shooting themselves in the foot, don't they? It's like a frickin' comedy of errors with Microsoft's attempts to enter into the media device market.

The worst part is that their formats (WMA/WMV) have become the formats of choice for a large number of devices and services. And now those services are feeling what it's like to be a Microsoft customer. Ouch. Sorry guys, we should've told you to lube up first.

Re:Ouch (1)

Hijacked Public (999535) | about 8 years ago | (#16137797)

It is funny to me that you portray Microsoft as a bunch of imbeciles, then note that their formats have become the formats of choice.

Re:Ouch (1)

kfg (145172) | about 8 years ago | (#16137877)

Sorry guys, we should've told you to lube up first.

Just be sure to use Redmond approved lubrication product: MSand.


no contradiction (4, Insightful)

oohshiny (998054) | about 8 years ago | (#16137681)

It's a common theme that companies and governments want you to do things that are illegal. In fact, arguably, a lot of legislation is aimed at making things illegal that many people will be doing anyway (and, in some cases, don't have a choice): traffic laws, drug laws, decency laws, copyright laws, etc. Those sorts of laws are useful tools for selective enforcement, stronger contract negotiation positions, barriers to entry, and differential pricing.

Microsoft like DRM and the DMCA because it gives them the ability to implement differential pricing, erect bariers to entry, and have stronger negotiating positions; and they like DRM-breaking software because it makes their devices more useful. There is no contradiction in their behavior.

Of course, there is a contradiction tp their stated justifications for DRM, and it is important to bring this up prominently whenever Congress reconsiders DRM-related legislation.

Buy hardware and music without DRM. (3, Insightful)

crazyjeremy (857410) | about 8 years ago | (#16137686)

Why again do people still buy hardware with DRM at all? There are still plenty of products from the States and other countries which do not have these limitations.

Re:Buy hardware and music without DRM. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16137871)

I buy stuff from because it's relatively cheap and they have a good selection. So far their DRM has not limited me much. is a good DRM-free alternative, but their inventory is more limited. Their Netflix-like subscription service is a great idea, but for most items they are limited by the copyright holders to shipping cd-audio. You end up getting three hours at a time, with a turnaround time of around a week. Downloading DRM-restricted files from is more convenient for me.

Micro$oft said it was Ok. (2)

Anon-Admin (443764) | about 8 years ago | (#16137695)

So the next person to be taken to court for violation of copyright should claim that it was Microsoft's idea, they told me it would be OK to do it.

I knew it was only a matter of time before this type stuff started happening to DRM. With the DCMA backing up DRM and the vendor lockin to players, it will not be long before congress steps in and makes some changes. Just wait until one of there kids has an issue with it.

LOL, the RIAA will finally have somebody to sue! (3, Funny)

swschrad (312009) | about 8 years ago | (#16137725)

Microsoft, meet the devil. RIAA, meet The Borg. lock 'em both in a room and wait for the noise to die down before looking to see if anything survived ;)

Re:LOL, the RIAA will finally have somebody to sue (4, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | about 8 years ago | (#16137776)

...then shut the door again 'til you're sure the other one's dead, too.

Re:LOL, the RIAA will finally have somebody to sue (1)

Apocalypse111 (597674) | about 8 years ago | (#16137917)

No, don't do that! I played Doom in the 90's, I *know* what happens when demons get borgified! Get me a rocketlauncher quick, before the Cyberdemon spawns!

Anyone not see this coming? (4, Insightful)

dtfinch (661405) | about 8 years ago | (#16137728)

If you buy aggressively DRM'd media, they'll find yourself having to buy it again, break the law, or go without when it stops working years later.

Legal format conversions? (3, Interesting)

imkonen (580619) | about 8 years ago | (#16137729)

Why can't there be legal format conversions? Why can't MS (and other DRM happy companies) release a tool that converts "old" DRMed media to "new" DRMed media...still locked to the same computer. (I realize there are other complicated permuations of DRM like getting data off of a DVD in any manner, but in terms of online purchased, DRMed media...) Wouldn't it only be "circumventing" if it stripped the DRM? I realize media companies have no incentive to do that willingly, but if MS and other compatibility challenged hardware manufacturers are serious about marketing the Zune et al., actually solving this problem for their customers would seem like an obvious step.

Re:Legal format conversions? (2, Interesting)

Sloppy (14984) | about 8 years ago | (#16137837)

Wouldn't it only be "circumventing" if it stripped the DRM?

Nope. Changing DRM means you have to remove the old DRM and then add the new DRM. By the time you add the new DRM, you have already violated the law. It's not like adding the DRM somehow retroactively makes the earlier violation become not a violation.

Sure, it's ridiculous. But it's also ridiculous that playing a DVD without permission from the copyright holder is a violation. Yet it is. What can I say? It's a ridiculous law that no honest person voted for. It was intended to harm the innocent, and be as bewildering and unfair as Catch-22.

Makes Sense (3, Interesting)

WiseWeasel (92224) | about 8 years ago | (#16137730)

Although it's not the smartest tactical move, it does make some sense that Zune won't play PlaysForSure content, as it guarantees some additional revenue (beyond the PlaysForSure licensing fees MS charges those other vendors) as customers are forced to use the MS music store. It will also make customer support much more straightforward; having every aspect of this music device from a single vendor will ensure a better user experience. Personally, I think the addition of PlaysForSure would have been an effective selling point, and could have helped MS get a foot in the market's door. On the other hand, those other music services haven't been too successful, so it isn't that big of a penalty.

While the decision will surely harm MS in the short term, and completely alienate all the other PlaysForSure software and hardware licensees (probably killing the format), it would definitely improve MS's long-term prospects, assuming it isn't pulled off the market after a year of dismal sales. If history is any indication, MS will stick with it, keep improving their offerings, and eventually have something that appeals to the lowest common denominator on the market.

I somehow knew this was coming. (0)

trudyscousin (258684) | about 8 years ago | (#16137769)

When I first encounted the term 'PlaysForSure,' the sophomoric 'PlaysForShit' sprang to mind. As if to suggest that iPods wouldn't play "for sure."

Speaking of shit, I'm reminded me of a note of excretion my father once gave me with regards to the coprony I kept: "Play with shit, and sooner or later, you're bound to get it on you." That rather splatteringly sums up my scatitude toward Microsoft.

(Go ahead. I can afford the points, you humorless shithead, you.)

DRM is a joke. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16137780)

Everyone who ripps an MP3 from a CD is in violation, that's everyone I know... It's all a joke. Copyright laws were created to protect intellectual property in two ways 1. To stop anyone from taking a invention and plagiarizing it. 2. To stop anyone from taking profits from the author by bootleging.

Legitimate enforcement of copyright laws are patent infringement lawsuits and high profile sting operations on organized bootlegers (i.e. the guys who cell pirated CDs and DVDs on the streets and in other dark places, including the web.) I have no problem with that kind of enforement as people are clearly breaking the law.

When little Joey or Grandma Johnson takes her new CD and rips it to MP3 files so she can listen to it on her iPod or whatever this should not be a vilolation, according to the way the law is written I don't think it is (think about it, do you really $10,000 per mp3 ripped is really justice, do you think that's an example of let the punishment-fit-the-crime... No it's not, but's the minimum fine.... should tell you, the laws were not created to sue little Joey or Grandma Johnson, or you or me.... They were written to attack bootlegers and patent theives), but it appears several US judges disagree with me out of arrogance and/or ignorance, or perhaps under the table bribes.

Fortunately it sppears the the RIAA and the music industry in general is losing this battle, they will continue to lose the battle. The music industry needs to be destroyed from the top down and rebuilt.

Re:DRM is a joke. (1)

kfg (145172) | about 8 years ago | (#16137935)

Legitimate enforcement of copyright laws are patent infringement lawsuits . . .

Burbank, we have a problem.


Mixed feelings (1)

xoyoyo (949672) | about 8 years ago | (#16137794)

One part of me wants to be reasonable and compare this to the natura evolution of data formats, like taking IFF files from teh Amiga and making them into SNDs for the Mac and then making those into AIFFs and then converting those to FLACS...

The other part wants to laugh like a pirate on nitrous oxide. And that's the part that's winning right now.

Phisical Media the way to go (2, Insightful)

wingfoot (769619) | about 8 years ago | (#16137796)

This is exactly why I still buy CD's. I have control over my music (when there isn't a rootkit on the CD of course). I can do what I want with it. I can rip it into unlimited types of formats...and its all DRM free. Plus, I have a backup in case something happens to the files. A new, cool, small footprint, lossless format is devised? Just re-rip the CD and press onward.

PlayForSure is correctly named. (4, Funny)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about 8 years ago | (#16137804)

I wonder why slashdotters make comments disparaging the monicker "PlayForSure". It is named correctly and it works as designed. The problem seems to be that slashdotters think "PlayForSure" means the songs the chumps bought will play for sure. Nah. Common misunderstanding. Play for sure, simply means, MSFT will play these chumps who buy DRMed music for sure, play them like a fiddle, shake them down for music they have already bought.

Is It Just Me? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16137819)

I had a look at the article and it seems to base the supposition that Zune won't support PlayForSure content on it not being explicitly mentioned in the footnotes of a press release. Given that Microsoft isn't totally stupid, I'm guessing that this is an oversight in the release, rather than a very subtle admission that zune won't be compatible with their own technology.

Hate to defend M$, but... (2, Interesting)

orb_fan (677056) | about 8 years ago | (#16137820)

I hate to do it, but it sounds like a mis-reading of the press release, or at least bad PR writing. I imagine that the Zune software will add M$ DRM to any un-protected files you IMPORT into the software, and this is why Play4Sure is missing from the list - you don't need to import it, just copy it to you Zune.

I hope that I'm wrong about this, as it would be too funny if the Zune couldn't play DRMed music.

Zune It Zucks! (0, Offtopic)

fprog (552772) | about 8 years ago | (#16137829)

I don't know about you but... Zune It Zucks!

Free download of same title, different format? (1)

dpbsmith (263124) | about 8 years ago | (#16137841)

I don't understand why Microsoft didn't, or doesn't provide something similar to they were rumored to provide for iPod owners.

Why can't the Zune store recognize that that you own a PlaysForSure-protected version of a music title, and allow you to download the same title in Zune-protected format at no charge?

zune commercial song (1)

thedrunkensailor (992824) | about 8 years ago | (#16137847)

This heres a story about billy gates and stevie ballmer Two young lovers with nothin better to do Than sit around the house, get high, and listen to zune And here is what happened when they decided to cut loose They headed up that microsoft, the biggest castle The best at creating for us a great big hassle Billy Gates rockin out, waving his (high school) tassel Stevie Ballmer wants to take your money and run Come on take my money and run Come on take my money and run Come on take my money and run Come on take my money and run G.W. only know he's from texas You know he knows just opposite what the facts is He's gonna let those two escape justice He makes his livin off of the peoples taxes Stevie Ballmer, whoa, whoa, gots to get paid Billy Gates plays xbox all of every day They got our money, hey You know they got away They head up the market until the monopoly gives way Singin come on take my money and run Come on take my money and run Come on take my money and run Come on take my money and run Come on take my money and run Come on take my money and run Come on take my money and run

Re:zune commercial song (1)

pimpimpim (811140) | about 8 years ago | (#16137885)

Ye don't seem to sing like a drunken sailor to me! Arrr!

(especially not on a day like this)

Re:zune commercial song (1)

thedrunkensailor (992824) | about 8 years ago | (#16137909)

lets put it this way: i'm so drunk for a sailor that i'm basically a sober person

An article about preventing piracy today? (2, Funny)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | about 8 years ago | (#16137860)

Of all the days... []

Microsoft, you scurvy dogs!

Did you hear that? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16137863)

That was the noise of those few /. readers who just realized that nobody cares about DRM as /. editors want them make to believe in a desperate stance to gather some last readers together around FUD on their AC-unfriendly-controlfreak-"news"-site.

Thank you, Thank you... I'll won't be here all night since some adipose cosplayers on youtube are waiting for me watching them.

J Allard Interview - Link (3, Informative)

giafly (926567) | about 8 years ago | (#16137912)

Q. Where is Zune going to fit in with people's pre-existing media libraries? What is it going to support? What can we expect when we actually get a Zune and want to be able to use it with the media that we currently have?

A Lots of DVD ripping software out there that encodes to those formats, so the most popular formats out there, whether it's MPEG-4 or H.264, we'll support those.

Q When PlaysForSure was introduced, the premise was, we make it simple so that you don't have to worry about whether your player works with the music you're purchasing...

A. We've also found that there's a category of customers that say, "Give me a brand experience, advertise it to me on television; I want to be part of the digital music revolution, and that solution [PlaysForSure] doesn't work for me." So they're two complementary solutions -- not everyones gonna want Zune and not everyone's gonna want PlaysForSure. They're different paths there, and we're okay with both of them.

Extracts from The Engadget Interview: J Allard, Microsoft Corporate Vice President []

drm = crazy (1)

xoundmind (932373) | about 8 years ago | (#16137919)

Suppose I release a CD (I have; many in fact) and it is manufactured and distributed by a label. As usual, I get to keep lots of copies of the cd for sales and distribution as I see fit. But let's say - for kicks - I bought one of my own songs from Napster. Now I want to transfer it to Zune. Based on this DRM crap...
I am not legally allowed to listen to that copy of my own song on Zune.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?