Media Player 11 DRM Terms Stricter

    September 25, 2006

There’s some serious differences between the DRM terms between Windows Media Player 10 and 11. Most specifically, this section:

Backing up and restoring licenses

Windows Media Player 11 does not permit you to back up your media usage rights (previously known as licenses). However, depending upon where your protected files came from, you might be able to restore your rights over the Internet.

If you encounter an error message that indicates you are missing play, burn, or sync rights for a file and you had these rights previously, you might be able to resolve the problem by restoring your media usage rights. You have several options to do so:

  • If you obtained the file from an online store, contact the store to find out if it offers media usage rights (license) restoration (some stores refer to this procedure as computer activation, computer authorization, or license synchronization).

    The procedure for restoring your rights varies from store to store. For example, you might be able to right-click the file in your library or click an Error button or an Information button next to the file, and then click a command. Or you might be required to delete the file from your computer and then download the file again.

    The store might limit the number of times that you can restore your rights or limit the number of computers on which can use the songs or videos that you obtain from them. Some stores do not permit you to restore media usage rights at all.

    For details, see the store’s customer support or Help links.

  • If the file is a song you ripped from a CD with the Copy protect music option turned on, you might be able to restore your usage rights by playing the file. You will be prompted to connect to a Microsoft Web page that explains how to restore your rights a limited number of times.
  • As you can see, you can no longer back up your music “rights”, ensuring a fail-safe if something goes wrong. Microsoft is basically saying it has no responsibility to protect your purchase, and that some stores won’t even bother to help you if you lose your music. In the end, the music store can choose to give you as few or as many rights as it wants. And if you want to switch stores, well, you’ll have to buy your music all over again.

    See, when it comes to legally downloaded music, this is why I prefer the subscription model. If I don’t really own the music anyway, and I have to deal with licenses and such, I’d rather have a means of switching stores without taking a huge hit. If I buy my music, I might have to re-buy it for a new music store or a new device, but if I subscribe, I can switch stores easily.

    I really don’t like the idea of copy protecting music ripped from CDs. It’ll never work with every ripping program, and it only convinces MP3 player owners not to buy a CD. When you listen to most of your music on an iPod (or a Zune or whatever), why would you ever buy a CD you couldn’t rip? In this day and market, the idea is preposterous.

    More at Slashdot, and hysterical ranting at the Enquirer.



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