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.