Zune’s Big Innovation: Viral DRM

Now that Microsoft has released some hard facts about Zune we can finally begin to sort out how much of an impact the product might have on the digital music market. For weeks we’ve been hearing rumors about how Zune’s wireless capabilities will be used to enable new types of music sharing and discovery. It’s the one feature that could potentially set Zune apart from the iPod.

Unfortunately Zune’s wireless music sharing is turning out to be one of those features that seemed better when it was just a rumor. While Zune users will be able share music with friends, there’s a catch (isn’t there always). As Jim noted earlier, recipients of shared songs will only be able to listen to them three times or for three days, whichever comes first. It sort of sounds like a really bad tire warranty.

Zune accomplishes this amazingly stupid feat by wrapping shared music in a proprietary layer of DRM, regardless of what format the original content may be in. If Microsoft’s claims are to be believed, this on-the-fly DRM will be seamless and automatic – which must be some kind of first for Microsoft.

What Microsoft has created is a new form of viral DRM. Zune will intentionally infect your music with the DRM virus before passing it along to one of your friends. After three listens the poor song dies a horrible DRM enabled death. Talk about innovation.

Microsoft will undoubtedly claim this limitation is designed to support artists and prevent piracy. There’s just one problem. Not all artists want their music protected by DRM. Furthermore, not all artists benefit from having their music protected by DRM.

While it may come as a surprise to Microsoft and the major labels, independent musicians frequently promote their music by posting unencrypted mp3 files on their websites in hopes of finding an audience. If Zune is really all about community, as Microsoft claims it is, then it would allow music to spread virally, instead of DRM.

Meanwhile, if you’re a musician who is more concerned with building your audience than you are with restricting access to your creative works, you might consider adopting an appropriate Creative Commons license. Based on the item below it appears that Zune’s viral approach to DRM is in violation of all of Creative Commons licenses. It’ll be interesting to see how long it takes before someone actually challenges Microsoft on this.

What happens if someone tries to protect a CC-licensed work with digital rights management (DRM) tools?

If a person uses DRM tools to restrict any of the rights granted in the license, that person violates the license. All of our licenses prohibit licensees from “distributing the Work with any technological measures that control access or use of the Work in a manner inconsistent with the terms of this License Agreement.”
Creative Commons FAQ

Update: Since most of you probably won’t be wading through the comments below I’ll address an issue that should have been included in the original article above. It’s been asked repeatedly how I know that Zune will wrap non-DRM’d songs in a layer of DRM. Confirmation of this actually came from Microsoft’s own Zune Insider, Cesar Menendez.

This is from his blog in response to reader questions about Zune functionality.

I made a song. I own it. How come, when I wirelessly send it to a girl I want to impress, the song has 3 days/3 plays? Good question. There currently isn’t a way to sniff out what you are sending, so we wrap it all up in DRM. We can’t tell if you are sending a song from a known band or your own home recording so we default to the safety of encoding. And besides, she’ll come see you three days later. . .

Update 2: Zune Insider Cesar Menendez has contact me with clarification about Zune’s file sharing limitations. See my latest post for more details.

133 Responses to “Zune’s Big Innovation: Viral DRM”

  1. zune says:

    I wonder if you can store and transfer data files like .zip. It would be the first wifi memory stick.

  2. Kirk says:

    I don’t know Zune, that sounds like a recipe for for software piracy.

    Actually, you might be able to. As I understand it you’ll have the ability to exchange photos (without DRM), so it’s a possibility.

  3. karson says:

    if (in microsoft’s head) sharing requires drm, they can patch to detect creative commons licenses (from media metadata) and not allow its sharing.

  4. Phil says:

    Interesting that photos will not have DRM. Considering that some images could well be copyrighted… XD

    but i guess the photo copyright lobby is not a strong as the RIAA.

  5. pete says:

    if (in microsoft’s head) sharing requires drm, they can patch to detect creative commons licenses (from media metadata) and not allow its sharing.
    … which will make for exceedingly easy-to-circumvent DRM.

  6. Alan Pope says:

    @carson

    And if there is no meta data in the mp3? No ID3 tag for example explicitly detailing the licence under which it was distributed? Should it default to DRM or no-DRM?

    Surely if it indeed can detect by some magic what licence a file has been released under, if that licence is a broad “free to copy me” one then it should do exactly that. Not prevent copying because their copy process breaks the licence. They should observe and respect the licences under which the *artists* wish to release their content.

  7. Peter says:

    How long till Zune gets hacked and the gratuitous DRM installation “feature” gets removed?

  8. Petrol says:

    How long before an artist sues MS for placing DRM on their open song?

  9. Yannick says:

    … which will make for exceedingly easy-to-circumvent DRM.

    No, such a solution would give you two choices: share, with automatically added DRM, or not be able to share at all, in compliance with the CC license.

  10. Skotake says:

    3 plays or 3 days? I think regular, no cc copyright holders may sue microsoft. There is no “3 plays or 3 days” exception to copyright law. While this music sharing gimmick will be ok for Zune store licensed purchases, it could well be a copyright violation for cd rips and such. The RIAA could still sue microsoft for inducement.

  11. Is it clear that when previously non-DRM files are shared that DRM will be added? Or is it only that DRM files get the 3-days-or-plays DRM when shared? If the latter there should be no conflict with CC licenses.

  12. Kirk says:

    Mike – yes, according to Microsoft’s Zune insider DRM is applied to ALL files that are shared wirelessly. See his comments here:

    http://www.zuneinsider.com/2006/09/answers_to_some.html

    I made a song. I own it. How come, when I wirelessly send it to a girl I want to impress, the song has 3 days/3 plays?” Good question. There currently isn’t a way to sniff out what you are sending, so we wrap it all up in DRM. We can’t tell if you are sending a song from a known band or your own home recording so we default to the safety of encoding. And besides, she’ll come see you three days later. . .

  13. Kirk, thanks for that reference. Argh!

  14. roxfan says:

    I would assume that 3-in-3 rule applies only to protected tracks. Is there a specific mention anywhere that it’s imposed on unprotected tracks too?

  15. roxfan says:

    Er nvm the answer was posted while I was reading.

  16. David says:

    Some of these posts show a profound misunderstanding of the law. It’s not Microsoft adding DRM to the song, it’s the user. The user by sharing the song adds the DRM, thus violating the (Creative Commons) license.

  17. Kirk says:

    David – Microsoft is clearly enabling and encouraging those violations.

    Napster, Kazaa, et al tried to use the same defense. They weren’t actually violating copyright, their users were. Guess what, the RIAA shut them down.

    How is this any different?

  18. JWB says:

    So did MS suddenly decide it could circumvent any and all copyright laws currently in place by making it’s own rules?
    I can’t see how this 3/3 thing is any different than my downloading a tune illegally and listening to it 1000 times. Or is it just that when MS does it to make money, it’s ok, but if we do it to save money, it’s thousands in fines from the RIAA.
    Of course they don’t sue anyone who comes to my house and listens to my music without paying, so maybe they think it’s more similar to that than making a mix-tape and giving it to someone.

  19. adamv says:

    Knowing Microsoft, the solution to this problem will be to blame the users, e.g. update the EULA on the firmware so that you are legally ONLY allowed to use the sharing features with music or other data files whose copyright holder(s) explicitly permit(s) such use of their intellectual property.

  20. Jeff says:

    While I definitely don’t like Zune’s “Big Innovation”, I wonder who would actually be guilty of violating the license? Would it be Microsoft for creating the hardware, software, and other infrastructure that allows violating the license, or would it be the person who actually shared the content?

    I’ve never actually used any of the peer-to-peer applications that are out there, but I don’t want my right taken away to use them legally. (To trade files that I am licensed to trade or share). P2P apps are tools; if I use a P2P app to illegally trade music, then I think I should be the one responsible, not the developer of the P2P app.

    I don’t see how this is any different: Microsoft has created a tool that shares music in a restricted way. It seems to me that the person doing the sharing is the one violating a creative-commons-style license, not the creator of the tool that allows sharing.

  21. Kirk says:

    Jeff – I understand your point, but that would create a double standard. The RIAA has made it a point of shutting down companies that enable the violations. So far they’ve been quite successful. As a result, you now have fewer P2P networks to choose from.

    Should Microsoft get a pass where all of the other enablers didn’t? If so, why?

  22. Mike says:

    David – Microsoft is clearly enabling and encouraging those violations.

    Napster, Kazaa, et al tried to use the same defense. They weren’t actually violating copyright, their users were. Guess what, the RIAA shut them down.

    How is this any different?

    Umm, Microsoft has more lawyers?

  23. Xymor says:

    Wait, people will be able to copy my music without license?
    No matter if it’s 3times, 3 days or just one, in any case, copy without a license to do so is illegal.
    Or is it MS giving away licenses to copy anything with zune?

  24. Jeff says:

    Kirk —

    I agree that we can’t have a double standard, and unfortunately, it seems that the courts *have* been shutting down the P2P networks rather than seeing the networks as tools that can be used legally or illegally. I guess my point is that I still have a hope that — in the long run — we don’t ban technologies, but rather enforce our laws against those that violate them by using technology in an illegal way.

    In any case, we can’t have it both ways. If the courts do continue to shut down P2P networks, then it follows that they should apply the same standard to Microsoft’s wi-fi enabled media player.

  25. ASBO for miccysoft says:

    Rediculous; microsoft wants to infest the entire world with DRM, and that is one of the major viral outbreaks that will again be against humanitarian efforts to keep us liking eachother.

    DRM is just a rediculous excuse for those who want more money to lock users out of their own computers and devices they are paying good money for.

    Microsoft is being very cheeky, trying to hedge its bets all over the place. You always have to be wary when looking at what microsoft is doing; this time last quarter, they were trying to get into open source and root it out from the inside.

    Tough luck bill; sort out your personality disorders along with the board of directors also.

  26. bill says:

    meh, it’s a ridiculous product and probably won’t be half of the reason the thing doesn’t sell. i can’t imagine this thing is going to honestly compete with i-pod, or at least do so for very long. it doesn’t sound like it has any advantageous features.

  27. JKFan says:

    More idiotic knee jerk responses from people who have abolsutely no clue about the law.

    Sorry, people, but what you want will NEVEr be allowed. NO music player will ever let you share music indefinitely. And this is NOT in violation of any law, becuase people who received shared music can easily obtain them for whatever the original cost is. If that is free, then they can get it free however way the original owner got it.

    Seriously…I know this is the internet where a bunch of 12 year olds like yourself think you can look smart, but when you talk about things when you have absolutely no idea what you are talking about, you do just the opposite. You look stupid…even for 12 year olds.

  28. Kirk says:

    JKFan – do you even know what Creative Commons is?

  29. commonsense says:

    Sorry, people, but what you want will NEVEr be allowed. NO music player will ever let you share music indefinitely.

    Ummm… don’t most music players allow sharing of music indefinitely? I just have to hook it up to my friend’s computer first, then copy the files to her hard drive, and then she can share my files indefinitely.

    Adding the wireless option to it isn’t really that much of a breakthrough– in fact, “wireless thumb drives” seem like they could have quite a niche.

    If I had a wi-fi enabled music player that can send files to other wi-fi music players within physical proximity, is that really very different from bringing my USB hard drive to my friends’ house?

    Seems like Microsoft added in the DRM because (a) they afraid of getting sued, since many lawsuits don’t follow common sense or legality, and (b) they somehow hope/want to make money off their proprietary DRM.

    But surely SanDisk or Apple could turn around tomorrow and add wi-fi capability to their players, and at least argue the legality of such.

    As for the CC-licensed stuff– no, no it’s not breaking the license if the Zune REFUSES to share CC-licensed stuff. It’s breaking the license if Zune wraps that CC stuff in DRM against the artists’ will. And as has been pointed out, the Zune has no way of accurately deciding between CC-licensed stuff and copyrighted, ripped MP3s.

    More idiotic knee jerk responses from people who have abolsutely no clue about the law.

    Seriously…I know this is the internet where a bunch of 12 year olds like yourself think you can look smart, but when you talk about things when you have absolutely no idea what you are talking about, you do just the opposite. You look stupid…even for 12 year olds.

    Coming from someone who sounds like an 11 year old that’s pretty funny.

  30. mark says:

    the answer is simple. don’t buy a zune. if you see someone with a zune, take it off them, then violently shove it up their anus. problem solved.

    if bill gates thinks he’s going to get away with this crap he is going to be sorely disappointed.

  31. joe says:

    from the article I read the 3 or 3 will only be available for music that has given microsoft permission to do so. ie not all labels will allow this and that music the zune would not allow you to share.

    I have not seen details about music cds you own and rip yourself

  32. mark says:

    joe you are wrong.

    never, ever give microsoft the benefit of the doubt. they will screw you every single time.

    time to put a stop to this nonsense, shut the company down, throw the workforce in a large pit and fill it over with quick-drying cement.

  33. Matthe says:

    Whatever they decide on, it will get hacked. That’s a given. It happened to the Ipod, PSP, Xbox, Xbox 360 and now it will happen to the Zune. It’s too cool of a toy to not be fully exploited. We’ll be sharing music and videos (pR0n) wirelessly before you know it.

  34. Bitcloud says:

    The only sure fire way to tell if something is DRM or Creative Commons is to analyse the music for shitness.

    If the SQ or Shitness Quotient is above a certain threshold, the software should be able to determine that it originated from the RIAA and not from *real* musicians, who frankly are not DRMing anything.

    Many are even giving it away, like our band:
    http://www.childreninthegame.net

    If I ever found out there were copies of my music floating around that someone had modified to include DRM, I would use ever cent I have, and plead with others to help, to sue these self righteous world police for everything they deserve.

  35. Matt says:

    Zune is not violating the license, the user sharing the CC licensed audio however, may be. Do you want to blame the tools or blame the end user’s actions. You know, the whole lock pick and screwdriver argument. Make up your mind.

  36. Zune Forums says:

    DRM sucks but in my opinion is here to stay. There are many assumptions being made on something we know very little about.

    The new Microsoft DRM has been designed to facilitate sales of user generated content. The sharing feature is more a sampler than a true gift.

    The idea seems to be to expose others to your music and if they like it then they buy it from Zune Marketplace or download it on their own and import it to their device again under the DRM.

    You can read more about the new Microsoft DRM including the tech sheets here.

    http://www.zunemax.com/category/drm/

  37. Alex Markley says:

    Hey all. As an indy artist, this really ticks me off.

    So the question is: What are we going to do about it?

  38. bob says:

    any guesses on how long it will take to run linux on this thing and remove those annoying restrictions?

  39. Morpheus says:

    Say what!!? Shared music can only be played three times over three days…well that right there is enough reason to steer clear of the Zune. I have alot more faith in Apple releasing an IPod with wireless sharing capibilities with more generious rights, maybe we will get lucky in the Spring of 2007.

  40. Chel says:

    Some artists do distribute MP3 recordings for free, but still are
    copyright owner of those MP3’s. If MS is adding DRM technology to those
    MP3’s without permission of the copyright owner, MS is violating the
    copyrights of the owners of the music: changing freely distributable
    music to restricted music is a right that belongs solely to the owner of
    the music, I think.

  41. This is great says:

    Let’s hope someone sues microsoft over this. It’s a win-win situation.

    Either microsoft will lose, because they made a tool to break the CC lisence. Slap on the wrist for MS for thinking the rules don’t apply to them. That’s good.

    Or hopefully microsoft, with it’s army of lawyers, will win. Then we’ll have a case giving precedent that making a tool to enable a breach of license isn’t illegal and that you’ll have to go after the user instead. That can be used by all drm-breaker makers. That’s better.

  42. loopy says:

    “Rediculous; microsoft wants to infest the entire world with DRM, and that is one of the major viral outbreaks that will again be against humanitarian efforts to keep us liking eachother.”

    No.
    Microsoft has no interest in DRM, as they are not an entertainment company.

    They do have an interest in keeping the RIAA of their back, and in making money from selling products.

    So, they will implement DRM, it will be cracked, and they will continue to sell lots of them as a crack makes it useable.

    MS wins both ways.

  43. mark says:

    Matt wrote on September 15th, 2006 at 7:45 pm

    Zune is not violating the license, the user sharing the CC licensed audio however, may be.

    That is the same argument used by p2p providers.

    Point is the Microsoft DRM on this thing is crap. Microsoft is crap. What do you expect? These so-called “zune” devices are a useless piece of shit from the guy that said 640k would be enough and the company that dreamt up the blue screen of death.

  44. bcs staff says:

    This viral “protection” system is easy to break 😉
    cha

  45. loopy, and others…

    Microsoft is very interested in DRM, as they are interested in creating a platform monopoly. Many people miss the point that DRM isn’t what is applied to content (simple cryptography is), but what is applied to the device. Everything DRM claims to be able to do is done by creating a platform monopoly where there is a tie between encrypted content and encumbered devices which contain the decryption keys. These encumbered devices have technical measures applied to them which treat the owner of the device as the attacker of what they own.

    I wrote an article that tries to detail the pieces:
    http://www.flora.ca/documents/digital-ownership.html

    The entertainment industry will in the long term receive absolutely no benefit from DRM, with the hardware manufacturers receiving all the benefit. In fact, when these platform monopolies become strong enough the hardware manufacturers will be able to replace the legacy intermediary status of organizations like the recording and motion picture industry. Not only does the RIAA/MPAA not benefit from DRM, it is unlikely they will be able to survive it.

    In Canada we are hosting a Petition to protect Information Technology property rights which I hope any Canadian reading this will sign. http://www.digital-copyright.ca/petition/ict/

  46. Brian says:

    Well, it’s a good thing nobody will buy these things. 😀

  47. Kassia says:

    Russell — You are absolutely correct in stating that Microsoft has an intimate investment in DRM because it ties the user to hardware (just as Apple needs the iTunes DRM). MP3 is a democratic format when it stands alone. The fact that hardware manufacturers prevent us from moving music between our devices takes away our rights to choose the way we hear music we have purchased (though, yes, we are only purchasing a license to this music — consumers do not “own” the songs they buy). A Zune husband cannot share with an iPod wife.

    I think I disagree with you on the entertainment industry receiving no benefit from DRM (I say think because I will need to twist this around in my mind a bit longer). The media companies must control access to their vast libraries of content. If everything is easily accessible and freely available, then inherent value in a motion picture, for example, is reduced. DRM allows the entertainment industry to limit access in a variety of ways — limiting the number of days you can play the media, the number of times you can access the media, the channels you can use. DRM is not always tied specifically to hardware; it is attached to the CBS or NBC media players (which are software) as well.

    In the past, entertainment products had value because they were subject to scarcity. Only so many radio outlets, so many theater screens, so many channels on your television. As options increase — and I was once told that the studios don’t really want true video on demand for this reason (by a longtime studio insider) — then value decreases. Volume sales may not make up for lost revenues. So, yes, the media companies rely upon DRM to promote scarcity.

    Hmm, must consider this further. Great articles on the topic, by the way.

  48. Thomas B. says:

    Isn’t the user who shares the CC work with his zune the licensee? Isn’t he the one breaking the CC license?

    Presumably you can’t bind a license on MS without their knowledge or consent, then suddenly tell them they’ve broken the license they agreed to, can you?

    I know we want to get MS on this one, and I think the device just begs for a non-DRM competitor, but a common sense reading of the licenses doesn’t really leave them open to litigation here.

  49. Kirk says:

    Thomas, as others have noted above the argument can be made that this technology is no different than Napster or other P2P networks that allow users to share content. The companies running the P2P networks argued that their users were the ones violating copyright. The courts didn’t see it that way and the RIAA has had several P2P networks shut down as a result.

    If Zune’s wireless file sharing system moves forward as planned (eg, by wrapping ALL shared content with DRM) then Microsoft is clearly enabling and encouraging an activity that will violate some content licenses – specifically CC.

  50. Bob Wyman says:

    I think we’ll see a strong argument that Microsoft is inducing people to make illegal copies by “teaching” them that “three free plays” is permitted “fair use.” This will tend to spill over into areas much broader than just Zune use… Folk will assume that if Microsoft thinks three free plays are ok, then it must be permitted by the law. The result is that Zune will be a device that not only makes sharing illegal copies massively easier than before, but it will also make many people much more comfortable with the idea of making illegal copies in general. The result will be messy. I’ve written more on this subject on my blog.

    bob wyman

  51. sabik says:

    Kassia, if everything were easily accessible and freely available, the inherent value would be *increased*. The captured revenue might be reduced (or it might not), but that’s a different question. The inherent value would be bigger.

    On another topic, I wonder if Zune qualifies as a Circumvention Device? After all, it reads (or should read) the CC license information in the MP3 files and copies those files in contravention of that CC license?

    η

  52. Frankenstein says:

    I should point out that while it’s true that a musician who distributes his or her work under a CC license could easily sue Microsoft for violating the terms of the license, and even if he/she can actually prove an actual violation of the license, there’s still the question of damages, and proving damages will be very, very difficult.

  53. sabik says:

    Frankenstein, in the US at least there’s the concept of statutory damages – the (in)famous $150,000 per song.

    No need to prove actual damages.

    η

  54. B&Massa says:

    As an indepependent artist, I’m stating right now, my music is banned for use on Zune until the DRM wrapper can tell free and CC licences from “proper” copyright material.

  55. SigEpBlue says:

    Heh, can’t you just see an RIAA boardroom full of suits looking over the Zune, and wondering, “why can’t we put a coin slot on these things?” If they could make us pay for each and every time we listened to one of their “protected” songs, they would. I’m surprised they haven’t tried yet, honestly. Keep up the fight, you independent artists!

    This ain’t no iPod killer. If anything, it’ll drive people back to them. As for me, I’ll stick with my years-old, tried-and-true iGP-100. 😉

  56. Vapymid says:

    Stupid name, stupid features, designed by a company whose programmers only care for their coding quota and deadlines and not for whether their code will actually work or not.

    Isn’t that enough to just forget about that “zune” outright and never think about it again?

    And if you want to impress your girlfriend – just give her a compilation CD or a USB stick full of MP3s…

    Don’t buy that thing and you will never have to worry about it’s DRMs.

  57. Kev says:

    Looks like the Sony MP3 player’s, A-Trac fiasco all over again…taking good hardware and ruining it with awful, crippling firmware. I cannot imagine anyone would be interested in this….sharing songs but only good for three days or three plays? This takes an interesting, although somewhat gimmicky feature and makes it absolutely worthless.

    Microsoft needs to be careful here, or the Zune will be doa. It makes you wonder, did Microsoft feel legally obligated to wrap all user songs with DRM?

  58. Bendite says:

    If Microsoft’s claims are to be believed, this on-the-fly DRM will be seamless and automatic – which must be some kind of first for Microsoft.

    I’m not some overzealous supporter of Microsoft at all, but as someone who works with computers every day, I’m so completely annoyed by the continued trendiness of bashing MS. Sure there are reasons to do so, but the above comment is asinine! Ever hear of plug-n-play? Perfect by no means, but if you’re used to it and ever try the switch to another platform that doesn’t have it, you’re in for a rude awakening. Knee-jerk comments like this one erode any credibility your argument might otherwise have, and this article is rife with them.

    Bash MS if you want to, but do so in an inelligent, discriminating fashion if you want people to take you seriously. This article comes across as an axe-wielding proponent of one side of a black and white argument…which DRM isn’t (at least not if you use some common sense).

  59. Kirk says:

    Bendite – I run my own business. It’s a fairly small operation, so I also provide my own tech support. As a result I’ve supported the Windows platform and Microsoft products for over ten years. There’s a reason why we’ve slowly migrated all of our systems to Mac-OSX over the past year or so. Things work better. I spend less time on support and upgrades and more time actually doing what I’m supposed to be doing.

    Plug-n-play is not seamless. Windows repair disks rarely work. Security patches frequently break functional systems. XP is still all too prone to the dreaded blue screen (usually when it decides it doesn’t like one of those plug-and-play devices). It’s a nightmare. Windows is better than it used to be, true – but it’s still not good enough.

    What I’m trying to say is that my original comments hardly qualify as knee-jerk bashing.

    As for DRM, you’re right. It isn’t a black and white argument. Unfortunately most of the DRM we see is intended to eliminate the fair use rights that consumers have become accustomed to over the years. It frequently exposes consumers to unnecessary risks (remember the Sony root-kits?), and it’s almost always used as a tool to lock consumers into a proprietary system (Apple Fair Play and now Zune DRM).

    You don’t find the viral nature of the Zune DRM to be more than a little heavy handed? Are you a musician? Do you know any musicians? If you do, then you should ask them how they’d feel about Microsoft determining the terms-of-use for their recordings.

  60. Bendite says:

    Kirk, I agree that P-n-P isn’t “perfect”, but as something taken for granted in most cases, it is extremely functional and does in fact work seamlessly 95% of the time…at least in my personal expreience over the past 12 years. Perfect, no, but really what is? Mac? Linux? I don’t think either of us would like to go down that road…

    Like I said, my intention wasn’t to come off as pro-MS, just to point out that while there are problems that MS needs to address with Zune, using that topic as a platform for general MS bashing dilutes the credibility of your article as a whole. Ok, that aside…

    Regarding Zune’s DRM ~ I am not a musician, yes I have musician friends. How would they feel about Microsoft determining the terms-of-use for their recordings? Probably not too good (I wouldn’t either). But how would they feel about Zune enabling the population at large to distribute their music to anyone else with a Zune player, in a completely unrestrained manor? Probably not too good. Anyone that thinks that Microsoft could get away with (even if they wanted to) wireless device-to-device sharing of media without *some kind* of limitations in place is kidding themselves. We’ve seen countless lawsuits on this topic recent years, it’s a wholy unrealistic ideal given the current state of copyright law.

    Let’s look at this from a different angle – I own an iPod. If it had the abilty to share media with my friends with iPods, wirelessly, in the same 3 listen/3 day restriction fashion, would I use it? Hell yeah I would! Would I wish there wasn’t that restriction? Of course. But that doesn’t mean that I’d turn around and attack Apple, calling the feature an “amazingly stupid feat”. In fact, I think it’s a decent compromise. Honestly, I wish my iPod had that feature.

    Finally, you’re absolutely right, not all artists want DRM on their music, and they distribute it freely. In that case, anyone who wants it can get w/o DRM, right? If I share a file with my Zune buddy from a band who supports free distribution of their music, then great! If my buddy likes it he can go download it from free from the ‘Net himself. So how does the initial sharing of their work harm the artists in question?

    Thanks for the response by the way.

  61. Laer says:

    Bendite, I am a musician with many songs online under a Creative Commons license. Part of the reason for that is the fact DRM is prohibited under such licensing. This couldn’t be simpler. To anyone who thinks this sounds like an argument from a 12-year-old, the CC licenses address the DRM issue in terms simple enough for someone half that age to understand: *NO* DRM. For anyone who says that it’s the *user* who’s breaking the CC license, Microsoft made it this way in structure and spirit through their design. I don’t see that as an accident, nor do I see it as a sign of goodwill toward the musicians who made this licensing choice.

  62. John Beezer says:

    One thing to consider in explaining Zunes seemingly arbitrary DRM rules is that Zune file transfers may be lossy.

    If Zune is built on Windows Media, they would need a kludge to get around the fact that Windows Media DRM encrypts files to the device. Possibly, that kludge woiuld involve playing the fiole back and re-encrypting it on the fly for transfer. This would almost certainly be a lossy process.

    I don’t know any of this for a fact, but it explains a lot.

    Any thoughts on this?

    John
    beezer@weedshare.com

  63. Bendite says:

    Laer, I understand fully. I think there will be enough fallout regarding CC license that MS will need to readdress how they’re doing things.

    I’m curious though, and I’ll ask you directly to share your feelings and not to feel as though you need to speak for ALL artists who realease music under a CC license ~ how is it that you see Zune’s approach as a damaging one, in your case? No argument here, I’m purely curious.

    Do people on this board really think the MS is being malicious in their use of DRM with the Zune? If so, I’d say it’s time for a reality check. MS is attempting to offer maximum features while limiting their liability. It’s a difficult problem, and no matter the solution, they’re not going to be able to please everybody. The idea behind media sharing with Zune is, in my opinion, quite sound. Their execution of that idea needs to be reexamined, and I think that it will be, particularly in regard to the CC license issue.

  64. GM says:

    As a comparison, the iPod could NOT be easily adapted to do the same thing. Apple’s DRM (FairPlay) is added by the iTunes software in the user’s computer. This way, Apple’s servers aren’t bogged down with the encoding process. The music does NOT have any DRM when sent to the iPod. This is how you can have unlimited iPods with your songs on them. Just as with the servers, by not having DRM policing issues within the iPod, the iPod’s internal software is much simpler and faster. iTunes is the central control for DRM. This is why there will be no Apple DRM 3rd-party licensing, because it doesn’t exist on the music until after it enters your iTunes. Apple is quite smart to keep all of the DRM monitoring in one place, their own iTunes software, where your computer has the CPU power to do the necessary controlling of all of the music and attached devices/media. One traffic cop, one location, one set of rules; iTunes.

  65. Bendite says:

    One traffic cop, one location, one set of rules; iTunes.

    GM, you forgot “one bloated, slow, restrictive, controlling POS”.

  66. EvangelizeWithRespect says:

    OK Bendite, NOW who’s being a knee-jerk reactionary?

  67. Bendite says:

    EvangelizeWithRespect, I’m not convinced you know what “knee-jerk” means, but I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and say that my stament regarding iTunes comes about as a result of two and a half years of use and frustration with that application. It is bloated. It is slow. It is restrictive. It is controlling.

    I loathe iTunes, as do most of my friends with large music collections. I also loathe Quicktime, which is an iTunes requirement. As a (1) consumer and a (2) programmer, I will shout from the mountain tops that iTunes sucks. It’s my educated opinion, and it’s most certainly *not* a knee-jerk reaction.

  68. Kirk says:

    Bendite – now you’re showing your side 🙂 See what happens when you get frustrated by technology? For the record, I’m not an iTunes fan either.

    GM – I’m not sure you’re entirely correct. iTunes songs are encoded with DRM when they’re added to the iTunes store. The files you download are pre-encoded, and they’re transfered as-is to your iPod. Your iPod has the ability to decode FairPlay encoded songs. If you were correct, then two things would likely happen, 1) someone would have figured out a way to transfer iTunes songs to non-iTunes players, 2) it would be very easy to use software to pull the en-encoded songs off of any iPod.

    Also, there IS a limit to the number of iPods you can load your iTunes songs on. I’m not sure what it is right now, but it’s part of Apple’s FairPlay DRM policy. The fact that you haven’t noticed this restriction would seem to indicate that Apple’s DRM policies are somewhat less obtrusive than some of the other DRM schemes floating around.

    I’m no fan of DRM, but as I’ve said before I think Apple has come the closest to getting it right by crafting a DRM policy that allows for song burning, and support for multiple portable devices. They’ve at least made an effort to allow for fair use, even while they’ve eliminated the right of first sale.

  69. Samson says:

    I had a thought — this is probably kinda nuts. Follow along, won’t you?
    (“People Using The Zune” shall be abbreviated as PUTZ® for simplicity. )
    Let’s say that PUTZ#1 wirelessly shares the song ‘ABC.MP3’ with PUTZ#2. PUTZ#2 now has 3-days, 3-plays, right?. What happens if:
    PUTZ#3 shares the SAME song with PUTZ#2?
    or…
    PUTZ#2 shares the song ‘back’ to PUTZ#1? (Or any other Putz.)
    or…
    PUTZ#1 re-names the original file to ABCd.MP3 and then shares it with PUTZ#2 AGAIN!?
    I seriously doubt that MS has considered all the crazy stuff that PUTZes can come up with.
    I’d like to hear read your thoughts.

    P.S. to Bitcloud. “Many are even giving it away, like our band:”
    Er… I went to the site. “Giving it away” is probably a good plan. And may I say it’s worth every penny. Has anyone told you that just because you *have* a Casio Keyboard with lots of sound effects, you really don’t have to use them ALL. I’m just thinkin’ maybe a little music in your ‘music’ would be nice? (Let’s use the black and white keys too, not just the brightly-colored ones with fancy-sounding names at the top, ‘kay?)

  70. Kirk says:

    Samson – I think you might want to change that acronym. My understanding is that Putz is the name of the next Prism DuroSport media player, and I can tell you from experience that those people are litigation happy.

    You can find more information here. They’re apparently doing wireless song transfers too, but they haven’t announced the details yet.

  71. Samson says:

    Kirk

    Thanks very much for the link — incredible site. I had never heard of the Putz but after looking around the site, I think the worst product ever made by Prism DuroSport is better than the best product ever made by Microsoft. Heck, I’m ready to buy a Prism Home Media system tomorrow but I have a really bad back so I’ll need to wait ’til my boys are at least sixteen so they can help me carry it. Unfortunately they just turned three, so it’s gonna be a while yet.

    All seriousness aside, it’s a brilliant site and I don’t know the whole back-story on ‘Medialoper’ & ‘Nero’ or what their relationship is, but I think both sites warrant frequent visits from now on.

    Thanks again!

    Regards,

    Samson

  72. Laer says:

    Bendite, I’ll give you a two-part answer.

    Part 1: Indie artists’ creating a buzz with free tracks is a time-tested strategy, proven once again with the success of sites like Myspace. This is especially true for the type of music I write and produce; it’s meant to be DJ-mixed/remixed/arranged/etc. The more people who hear it, and the more ways it’s remixed, the better for everyone involved. Win-win. Creative Commons licenses let me specify up front that such uses can happen with my blessing. Standard copyright doesn’t technically specify this, and DRM kills it altogether.

    Part 2: Naturally, I own sole distribution rights to all my tracks along with owning their copyrights. Creative Commons licenses supply the language needed to make my distribution choices legally binding when I decide to allow or disallow certain conditions. Legally binding unless, apparently, you’re Microsoft. History shows that it’s easier to defend rights you have than to regain rights you’ve surrendered. In this case, MS clearly disregards my rights to dictate distribution conditions as the owner of these tracks! This type of callous disregard could set a scary precedent for indie-artists without the backing of some multimedia conglomerate for years to come. And these conglomerates will become less and less relevent within the music-distribution system as technology continues to develop and niche markets grow (which is currently happening). This will leave little protection for the growing number of indie musicians increasingly at the mercy of heavy-handed DRM systems like the one in Zune. Scary precedent indeed!

    Microsoft should have just continued writing code and avoided getting into the music biz. I was much happier with MS before I understood what all the haters were talking about! Music is not code, and musicians are a totally different breed than your standard computer geeks. I really don’t think MS knows what their doing here…

  73. Bben says:

    DRM=No zune for me!
    I quit buying CDs because of DRM. How is the music industry going to make any money when everyone else does?

  74. webrunner says:

    Isn’t breaking one licence just as bad as another?

    Wouldn’t that make microsoft guilty of exactly the same crime as a major software pirate?

  75. Chahk says:

    RIAA Vs. Microsoft… That’s a legal battle I’d pay to see!

  76. Paul says:

    Many are focusing on what the artists want, or what the recording industry wants, or what Microsoft wants, but we seem to forget that there is a reason copyright privileges are granted in the first place. According to the Constitution, copyright exists to “promote
    the Progress of Science and Useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries”
    .

    Copyright is not an absolute in otherwords, but a temporary (i.e. limited time) privilege granted to promote the common good, although Hollywood and the RIAA would like us to believe that their rights are God-given and absolute. DRM in any form should not be
    permitted legally, because it interferes with the rights of the consumer, does nothing to stop real criminals and is contrary to the common good. Although the industry and some artists may not see it, in the long term it is also contrary to their good.

    This is just one more reason why DRM is evil and, in the case of Zune, won’t survive the first lawsuit.

    Microsoft does not have an iPOD killer here — why on earth would anyone who has already invested $100s in music for an iPOD switch to something which at best is only marginally better, and have to rebuy all their music. This is just another technology dead
    duck, like Betamax.

    The only way any vendor will ever take on Apple is to completely do away with DRM on principle. In design, Zune is good enough to take on iPOD if it was DRM-free, but as is, it is a useless product. We don’t need a proliferation of DRM Towers of Babel — we need
    common sense and respect for the consumer. Then, maybe, the music industry and music player manufacturers will both rebound in tandem.

  77. al richards says:

    just one more pat on my own back for switching to apple, and gradually eradicating everything-microsoft from my electronic life

  78. zune mod says:

    well microsoft have been rather good to this point with making software modable devices, the zune player sounds like it could be great with a little hacking

  79. dr.bomb says:

    What’s so stupid in all of this is that flash-based MP3 players, y’know the ones which can simply connect to your computer via USB and can have their files R/W as simple as through drag’n’drop via Windows Explorer, are overlooked.

    I mean, what’s stopping the aforementioned girlfriend mentioned above from bringing her MP3 player along so that both of youse can hook both up to one computer and transfer files BETWEEN them?

    Forget WiFi! How about a couple flash-based MP3 players, a USB hub and a computer? And, best of all, no DRM problems! Oh, and no additional software needs to be installed either.

    Sneakernet lives! Long live the Sneakernet! Oh, and tell your girlfriend/boyfriend/SO to go with open MP3 players. DRM-free, baby! ;->

  80. Aragorn2 says:

    … which will make for exceedingly easy-to-circumvent DRM.

    Pete, how about actually reading the things you reply to? It’s free, it only takes a frew braincell-seconds, and you don’t need a written permission by the RIAA (yet).

  81. Chad says:

    I can’t believe the primary concern here is whether MS is violating copyright laws by allowing the 3-for-3 method. What I’m more concerned about is another shitty proprietary music format that tries to restrict what I do with my music.

    Up until iPod, the idea of putting restrictions on how music is shared and listened to, was unheard of. Only through genius marketing to idiots, has iPod managed to convince people that they NEED restricted music. Whereas, almost every other media player, lets you do whatever you want with your files.

    A hardware manufacturer’s concern, should only be to release a product that WORKS. Let the rest of the world argue and complain over the legalities of the files themselves. Unless you people want to live in a world where burned CD’s shoot from your computer and shatter against the wall when they try to write a protected file.

    So many sheep in this thread.

  82. Kirk says:

    Hey Chad – This article focused on one concern of many. We’ve talked about a variety of other concerns regarding the Zune elsewhere on this site.

    My general feeling is that DRM is a virus and it must be stopped.

  83. Chad says:

    Sorry to be so general with my comments – I only read the first 20 or so.

  84. BK says:

    A Failure to Launch…

    This Zune Player launch is almost stealth, and the marketing is shotgun at best. How many people picked up a Sunday paper and went through the circulars from Best Buy, Circut City etc?
    I found the Zune Player present in only one of the ten advertisers properties. It appears that there might be a few problems not only with DRM stepping on the CCL, but in even getting the Zune player to the consumer and grabbing a share of the {Apple restrictive} iPod market.

    The Mircosoft, ZuneMarketplace website seems to confuse more than it helps, at least according to the e-mails I’ve had to answer.

  85. Okroshskas says:

    The ‘bigger games’ thing is essentially one big lie and will bear no fruit for years to come. Microsoft has no intentions of creating games using the HD DVD format either , meaning that they fully expect that through the life of the 360 that it will be capable of storing ‘next-gen’ graphics on a dual-layer dvd. Those games that happen to be extremely massive will fit comfortably on two dvds. Titles that are dually available for both consoles at the moment look roughly identical on both consoles, with occasionally PS3 or 360 pulling slightly ahead in the ‘looks’ department. You would think they would have wanted to show off their ‘bigger games’ in the beginning to win over support eh?

    They had planned to do hardware emulation which should have made it 100% compatible but instead (and to save money I think) they went the software route, just like Microsoft did with the 360. And like with the 360, that’s why the PS3 has trouble playing some 200 PS2 titles.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. […] Medialoper » Zune’s Big Innovation: Viral DRM […]

  2. […] Tal y como publica BoingBoing (al que llego via Metsuke) haciéndose eco de ZuneInsider, el “reproductor MP3″ de Microsoft Zune (que como siempre, llegan tarde y lo hacen mal) atenta contra la libertad del creador, pues independientemente de lo que éste quiera, introduce DRM (Restricción de Derechos Digitales) a los archivos que en él son insertados. Como dice Medialoper: DRM Viral. Lo que nos faltaba. Eso ya no es ser malo, es ser malísimo. […]

  3. […] Medialoper » Zune’s Big Innovation: Viral DRM Link via Techdirt. […]

  4. […] Slechts 83 procent van de iPod-eigenaren in Europa koopt online muziek blijkt uit een rapport van Jupiter Research. Gratis downloaden of cd’s rippen van je vrienden genieten de voorkeur boven betaling en de DRM-beperkingen van Apple, ook al is die beveiliging gekraakt. Microsoft maakt het met de Zune helemaal bont. De nieuwe speler ondersteunt Microsoft’s eigen PlayForSure-bescherming niet eens. De muziek die je bijvoorbeeld bij Napster koopt, kunnen niet worden afgespeeld zonder gehackte conversie. Als Microsoft denkt op deze manier de iPod van zijn troon te stoten… Oh, en dat draadloos delen op de Zune zou ik ook maar vergeten, tenzij je een fervente distributeur wil worden van de Zune DRM. […]

  5. […] Zune will wrap everything in DRM – Apparently, anything you want to share with another Zune owner will be wrapped in DRM regardless of who created the music, even if it’s your own tune. I’m not sure there’s much to worry about here because I’ll bet the wireless sharing feature is the first one pulled to meet the shipping deadline. […]

  6. […] Via Tweakers, a Dutch site, I learned about Medialoper’s article regarding Zune and its wireless capabilities. It is planned to have support for wireless music sharing, but now it looks like in an attempt to prevent abuse, it’ll wrap any music shared that way in a special layer of chocoDRM to limit the recipient’s use, regardless of whether the track at hand is in need of such protection. […]

  7. […] Microsoft does it again, it is now being noted on Medialoper that their new Zune media device will automatically wrap DRM onto shared media, regardless of licensing. Meaning if you transfer a media file you created under a CC license to the Zune, the Zune will just automatically apply its DRM to said media file. Judging from the response from Cesar Menendez of Microsoft’s Zune Insider about this new viral DRM, it sounds like a resounding ‘tough shit’ from Microsoft to all CC and public domain media creators. Posted by tacos138 Filed in media, microsoft, DRM, licensing, zune […]

  8. […] Microsoft’s Zune will place DRM on any song you share with someone else, regardless of whether that song has DRM in the first place. […]

  9. […] Medialoper » Zune’s Big Innovation: Viral DRM […]

  10. […] Genau da liegt der Hase im Pfeffer. Microsoft setzt sich mit diesem Verfahren über Rechte und Lizenzbestimmungen hinweg. Medialoper weist hier auf einen besonders heiklen Punkt hin: Die Verletzung der Creative Commons Lizenzbestimmungen. Wird ein Lied unter CC veröffentlicht, dann gibt es eine klare Regelung: kein DRM! In den FAQ’s wird dies wie folgt erläutert: What happens if someone tries to protect a CC-licensed work with digital rights management (DRM) tools? […]

  11. […] Unfortunately, as Medialoper points out, in doing so the Zune player will wrap in DRM any content you’ve put on it, even if that content is explicitly licensed under, for example, creative commons, or is in the public domain. […]

  12. […] Nope. The Zune actually takes DRM a step further by virally infecting your own non-DRM files with a whole new flavor of DRM. […]

  13. […] Sedan kommer vi till hjärnsläpp nummer tvÃ¥. Det börjar lovande, med att Microsoft vill att vi ska kunna skicka över en lÃ¥t till kompisen. Därför virar man in lÃ¥ten i ett “skydd” innan den skickas över till kompisens Zune. Där kan man lyssna pÃ¥ den max 3 gÃ¥nger innan den raderas, och den kan i sin tur inte skickas vidare igen. Okej, vi förstÃ¥r väl alla poängen med detta, skivbolagen skulle väl knappast gÃ¥ med pÃ¥ ohejdad spridning. Men nu kommer det mindre roliga. Även om du har en lÃ¥t i ett annat format än Microsofts nya DRM sÃ¥ viras den fortfarande in i samma “skydd” innan den skickas över till din kompis spelare. Även om artisten vill att musiken sprids kommer alltsÃ¥ Zune att hindra detta. Är musiken licensierad med Creative Commons-licens betyder det att man faktisk bryter mot denna licens, som säger att man inte fÃ¥r vira in CC-licensierat material i DRM. […]

  14. […] It’s been four days since we noted that Zune’s wireless file sharing sounds an awful lot like a form of viral DRM that may be in violation of the Creative Commons licenses. This afternoon Cesar, the Zune Insider, has stepped up to clarify his original comments: I misspoke (mis-blogged) on last week’s post. We don’t actually “wrap all songs up in DRM:” Zune to Zune Sharing doesn’t change the DRM on a song, and it doesn’t impose DRM restrictions on any files that are unprotected. If you have a song – say that you got “free and clear” – Zune to Zune Sharing won’t apply any DRM to that song. The 3-day/3-play limitation is built into the device, and it only applies on the Zune device: when you receive a song in your Inbox, the file remains unchanged. After 3 plays or 3 days, you can no longer play the song; however, you can still see a listing of the songs with the associated metadata. […]

  15. […] In the light of ripping your own songs to your computer (the ones you bought on CD yourself, that is!) the record chiefs are playing Microsoft like a toy-doll  / lap-dog / .  Here’s their latest attempt to fuck over the world’s free rights concerning playing music. Microsoft was already engaged in an early attempt to install DRM (Digital Rights Management) secretly through their critical update system. Hardly a critical update, much more a critical annoyance. For the people who are a bit uneasy with terminology, “Management” reads as “Fuck Over”.  Later on the goons at Redmond invented the PlayForSure alliance, a group of hardware and software vendors backing a new DRM standard, which would reduce the number of playbacks of your DRM files considerably. Your DRM files (music, video content) for which you payed hard cash would simply become useless after 3 playbacks or 3 days. You can not move music from one PC to another either, it will render the files unplayable as well. The money you paid for it? Pay again, to restore your rights, please! Here are your specific rights to YOUR music, or is that the lack thereof?  PlayForSure is installed since Windows Media Player 10 on the Windows XP Media Center Edition. However, because it’s Microsoft, there was a security hole in it, and with an unseen speed, microsoft released a patch for it days (rather than weeks or months as usual) after it was discovered. It was an absolute first! Never before was a security hole fixed so quickly!  Microsoft’s much anticipated Zune player (or iPod-killer, as they like to call it) will NOT play your PlayForSure DRM infected files, instead it adds yet another layer of proprietary DRM.  How’s that for a service. By the way, Zune works with a monthly subscription system, so you will barely feel how bad you’re fucked over!!  Microsoft is not the only one trying to play nice to record companies. Apple has FairPlay to protect it’s iTunes, Samsung is in the PlayForSure bizz.. While these companies are going to war over the best DRM solution (trying to squeeze out YOUR rights on playback and generate revenue out of that), here are some other voices from the market about DRM. […]

  16. […] Microsoft has graced us with their iPod killer the Zune (now available in turd brown). It needs some work, but it does contain one new innovation – Viral DRM. Nice! So, even if you own the copyright to the music you have on your Zune, you can’t share it openly. Thanks, Microsoft. Thanks again. […]

  17. […] The 3×3 DRM layer (share a song for three plays over three days) will supposedly wrap files of any supported type (MP3, AAC, etc.) in DRM during the transfer. Medialoper poses a very interesting question: what happens to Creative Commons licensed media when shared? Because adding DRM to CC media violates the license, you know. [Via Slashdot] […]

  18. […] MediaLoper – Zune’s Big Innovation: Viral DRM […]

  19. […] Het grootste probleem doet zich voor in de DRM (Digital Rights Management), diversen bedrijven, hebben onder druk van de platen- en fimmaatschappijen DRM moeten invoeren om illegaal kopieeren tegen te gaan. Maar de nieuwe speler (Zune) ondersteunt Microsoft’s eigen PlayForSure-bescherming niet eens. De muziek die je bijvoorbeeld bij Napster koopt, kunnen niet worden afgespeeld zonder gehackte conversie. En verder beloven ze draadloos delen van muziek op de Zune. Maar dat zou ik maar vergeten, tenzij je een fervente distributeur wil worden van de Zune DRM. […]

  20. […] Yesterday Microsoft revealed that Zune’s highly touted wireless file sharing will infect otherwise unprotected audio files with proprietary DRM. If users are sharing songs that are covered by a Creative Commons license, this would be a clear violation of that license.read more | digg story […]

  21. […] “What Microsoft has created is a new form of viral DRM. Zune will intentionally infect your music with the DRM virus before passing it along to one of your friends. After three listens the poor song dies a horrible DRM enabled death. Talk about innovation It’s in direct violation of Creative Commons licenses. It’ll be interesting to see how quickly this gets challenged in court … (tags: music geekery whaddafuck dumbass copyleft microsoft) […]

  22. […] But Zune’s DRM isn’t Viral. Never has been, and if the laws of business don’t suddenly change, never will. We’re not to sure who came up with this BS, but it has no sources, and it’s been officially debunked anyhow. Just remember, Microsoft has never pushed the boundaries of DRM, and were against Blu-Ray for that very reason. […]

  23. […] As Jim noted earlier, recipients of shared songs will only be able to listen to them three times or for three days, whichever comes first. Zune accomplishes this amazingly stupid feat by wrapping shared music in a proprietary layer of DRM, regardless of what format the original content may be in. What Microsoft has created is a new form of viral DRM. Not all artists want their music protected by DRM. Furthermore, not all artists benefit from having their music protected by DRM. Summary of: http://www.medialoper.com/hot-topics/music/zunes-big-innovation-viral-drm/ […]

  24. […] How wrong is that? You can read the details in simple language, here. […]

  25. […] We rag on Microsoft a lot around here. Zune, particularly, has come in for a lot of pre-sale criticism from these quarters. So we should praise them when they do something right. And today’s announcement that they have set up a deal with several studios to offer downloads directly to their Xbox Live service in just a couple of weeks smacks a whole hell of a lot of doing things right. […]

  26. […] We’ve been pretty hard on Zune here, noting several issues before it has even launched.. Nevertheless, I had still toyed with buying one, just to review it. It only seemed fair to maybe give it a try. After all, after surviving the Prism DuroSport 6000, how bad could it be? But forget all of that, because I read something last night that ensures that I will never ever buy one. Microsoft is giving a percentage of the money from sales of Zune to Universal Music. […]

  27. […] And how much of that money will end up in the artists’ hands? UMG says half, but the way most record deals are set up, that half will end up going toward recouping the advance, which means the bands themselves will never see a dime. And what about the indie artists, who get shafted by default because of this deal? Think about this: if you give a song to a friend through the Zune’s wireless connection, the Zune software automatically puts a DRM wrapper on that song that prevents your friend from listening to it more than 3 times — even if the song is legitimately available for free on the Internet. If the song is available under a Creative Commons license, as Dave’s Lounge is, the Zune might violate that license with this DRM. […]

  28. […] People are mocking the fact it doesn’t work with Windows Vista, raging about the its viral DRM, rolling their eyes about software crashes, and just plain scratching their heads that previously purchased “Microsoft PlaysForSure” DRM content, uh, doesn’t play. CNN’s morning show had a nice overview of the Zune. “Why don’t they get some decent design people… it’s clunky.” Zing. […]

  29. […] – Respecto de eso, al meterle sistemas de protección de derechos (DRM), se limita en forma severa lo que puedes hacer y no hacer con tu música. En definitiva sin preguntarte cosa alguna, limita sustantivamente y por código computacional lo que puedes y no hacer con los archivos. Esto implica que por ejemplo en el caso de archivos con música que esté el dominio público también se vea sujeta a las mismas limitaciones, no obstante que legítimamente podamos hacer prácticamente lo que queramos con ella. Donde la ley no nos controla, nos termina controlando el código. […]

  30. […] Related (and not funny at all): Zune’s viral DRM […]

  31. […] In “Dude, where’s my data?” Computerworld’s Jon Espenschied quickly found out that users are no longer in control of their data. Like in Microsofts Viral DRM embedded in its Zune musicplayer (using an on the fly DRM wrapping around personal files that you own, made and are allowed to share) Vista is the incarnation of (watch out, PR new-speak) “Trusted computing”, a highly controversial strategy. Quote: “The term is taken from the field of trusted systems and has a specialized meaning. In this technical sense, “trusted” does not necessarily mean the same as “trustworthy” from a user’s perspective. Rather, “trusted computing” means that the computer can be trusted by its designers and other software writers not to run unauthorized programs.” […]

  32. […] Microsoft’s slogan for the Zune is “Welcome to the Social,” which apart from being an absolutely horrid slogan, seems to be a reference to the Zune’s ability to “squirt“-again, an absolutely horrid (sorry… reasserting neutrality again) term for sharing songs via the Zune’s wifi feature. The idea is that if two Zune users meet, and one says, “Hey, check out this song!” the one guy can transfer it to the other Zune wirelessly and the second guy can enjoy it to his heart’s content. Well, as long as his heart’s content is 3 plays or 3 days, regardless of whether the song is copy-protected or not. Oh, and if the song was purchased from Zune Marketplace, then about half of them won’t work either, due to the Zune’s absolutely horrid DRM and licensing scheme (MUST…. RE-ASSERT… NEUTRALITY….). […]

  33. […] Zune’s Big Innovation: Viral DRM | Medialoper … has released some hard facts about Zune we can finally begin to sort out … Hub ” Blog Archive ” Big surprise – Microsoft Zune to suck after all wrote on … […]

  34. […] 3 day self-destruct is the latest form of DRM – viral DRM. and so, microsoft has managed to kill their product quite […]

  35. […] You have to wonder about the value of a product with features like those detailed in this Medialoper article: […]

  36. […] Zune, designed to battle the iPod is a mess.� It infects all your music with viral DRM, violates all Creative Common licenses, won’t play protected Windows Media.� � […]

  37. […] let alone buy songs online. The only apparent use for Zune’s wireless connectivity was to share crippled songs with other Zune users, provided you could find another Zune […]

  38. […] Zune’s Big Innovation: Viral DRM […]

  39. […] of giving the entertainment industry exactly what it wants — the $1 per Zune surcharge and Zune’s 3×3 WiFi sharing limitations — it’s not hard to imagine that a future Zune firmware upgrade might add a new […]

  40. […] You have to wonder about the value of a product with features like those detailed in this Medialoper article: […]

  41. […] the music industry, Microsoft attempted a similar effort a couple of years ago with its Zune MP3 player, which allowed wireless sharing of songs between devices. The limitations were like […]

  42. […] the fate of Microsoft’s Zune, which allowed users to exchange songs via a WiFi connection – with a play count strictly limited by DRM hardware, even under protest of the copyright owner (say, for files licensed under Creative Commons.) I […]

  43. […] might recall that Microsoft has a similar file sharing capability with the Zune, with the ability to send a music file from Zune to another over WiFi. The difference […]

  44. […] might recall that Microsoft has a similar file sharing capability with the Zune, with the ability to send a music file from Zune to another over […]