Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Yahoo! The Internet Businesses Media Music

Yahoo Offers Compensation For Unplayable Music 143

Posted by samzenpus
from the no-music-for-you dept.
DrEnter writes "According to this article, Yahoo will offer some compensation after they turn off their DRM servers and Yahoo Music customers will no longer be able to access their music. The company said Wednesday it is offering coupons on request for people to buy songs again through Yahoo's new partner, RealNetworks Inc.'s Rhapsody. Those songs will be in the MP3 format, free of copy protection. Refunds are available for users who 'have serious problems with this arrangement,' Yahoo said. Nice to see them step up and do something, especially without trading one DRM scheme for another."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Yahoo Offers Compensation For Unplayable Music

Comments Filter:
  • Real player (Score:5, Funny)

    by SoupGuru (723634) on Wednesday July 30, 2008 @06:27PM (#24410223)

    How much would they have to pay you to interact with the company that makes Real Player?

    • Re:Real player (Score:4, Insightful)

      by socsoc (1116769) on Wednesday July 30, 2008 @07:07PM (#24410621)
      How is this offtopic? Experiences with Real Player were so unsatisfactory that many people I know won't use ever use a RealNetworks product. *buffering*
      • Re:Real player (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) on Wednesday July 30, 2008 @08:15PM (#24411165)

        How is this offtopic? Experiences with Real Player were so unsatisfactory that many people I know won't use ever use a RealNetworks product.

        Perhaps it's off-topic because, as even the summary points out, the alternative being offered is in unprotected MP3 format: hardly a proprietary RealNetworks product, nor likely to suffer from the same problems that plagued early versions of RealPlayer. One man's joke is another man's unconstructive and irrelevant cheap shot; YMMV.

        • Re:Real player (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Aadomm (609333) on Wednesday July 30, 2008 @08:30PM (#24411257)
          Its not offtopic and you are wrong. The issue is not with 'early versions of RealPlayer' the issue is with the horrific and unnecessary baggage which traditionally comes with any RealPlayer install to date. If you don't understand then go and educate yourself.
          • by Ash Vince (602485)

            Its not offtopic and you are wrong. The issue is not with 'early versions of RealPlayer' the issue is with the horrific and unnecessary baggage which traditionally comes with any RealPlayer install to date. If you don't understand then go and educate yourself.

            Your comment about baggage with all RealPlayer installs only applies to Windows, they do a damn decent client for Linux that just installs a basic media player.

          • Its not offtopic and you are wrong. The issue is not with 'early versions of RealPlayer' the issue is with the horrific and unnecessary baggage which traditionally comes with any RealPlayer install to date. If you don't understand then go and educate yourself.

            Speaking of educating people: Rhapsody doesn't use RealPlayer.

          • You are just as off-topic as the previous post I replied to. This has nothing to do with Real Player. Whatever your personal beef with that product might be, this is not the place to discuss it. The company Real Networks is involved, but we're talking about Rhapsody, which provides plain, ordinary MP3 files.

            • by skarphace (812333)

              You are just as off-topic as the previous post I replied to. This has nothing to do with Real Player. Whatever your personal beef with that product might be, this is not the place to discuss it. The company Real Networks is involved, but we're talking about Rhapsody, which provides plain, ordinary MP3 files.

              Yes but you can easily judge a company by it's previous products. *cough* Windows

      • by Lisandro (799651) on Wednesday July 30, 2008 @08:28PM (#24411247)
        Ahhh, those lovely '90s memories... [krellan.com]
      • Re:Real player (Score:5, Interesting)

        by _KiTA_ (241027) on Wednesday July 30, 2008 @09:23PM (#24411597) Homepage

        How is this offtopic? Experiences with Real Player were so unsatisfactory that many people I know won't use ever use a RealNetworks product.

        *buffering*

        Perhaps because it's 5 year old FUD that doesn't apply anymore, ever since Real actually started doing good things -- like ignoring codecs [wikipedia.org] that are probably violating their IP and supporting Open Source Media Initiatives [wikipedia.org].

        Seriously. We get it. Real circa 1990 sucked. Real circa 2008 is actually a pretty good company. Hell, they even added a "download this stream" button to RealPlayer, in open defiance to the MPAA/RIAA. We should be CELEBRATING stuff like this, not attacking them for mistakes of their pas... *BUFFERING*

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by socsoc (1116769)
          You're right. In another ten years when MS releases their flavor of linux, I'll still be flogging Vista and you'll tell me that they started doing good things and that they made Enterprise/Gov see the light about FOSS.

          Still doesn't change the fact that the company left a bad taste in many people's mouths... Can I interest you in some Enron stock, they're all about renewable resources now, I promise.
          • Ease Back (Score:4, Insightful)

            by Mix+Master+Nixon (1018716) on Wednesday July 30, 2008 @11:54PM (#24412415)

            Yeah they left a bad taste, but if they've cleaned up their act, why continue to kick them? Where's the incentive to do the right thing here? Real listened to what we wanted, acted on it, and took extra steps to antagonize **AA members with their download features. Cut them some damn slack.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Real circa 2008 is actually a pretty good company.

          wikipedia quote:
          "In 2006, Power Metal band Rhapsody had to change its name to Rhapsody of Fire after running into a trademark dispute with Rhapsody parent RealNetworks, which owned the Rhapsody trademark in the United States. The band Rhapsody had been around four years before the launch of the Rhapsody service."

      • Re:Real player (Score:4, Interesting)

        by AmberBlackCat (829689) on Wednesday July 30, 2008 @09:32PM (#24411653)
        You know, I think the main reason for that "buffering" problem was broadband wasn't as common then. It got a lot better for me after I got access to high speed connections. Maybe the RealPlayer was just before its time.
        • by lilomar (1072448)

          The problem with the buffering was that there was no way to stop and let it buffer. It would load up its pre-set buffer size, play that, stop, fill up its buffer again, play that, stop.....

          Really got annoying.

      • by mdwh2 (535323)

        Indeed. The only worse player is Quicktime - same reason I won't ever use an Apple product.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      Do they pay you for the effort of having to repurchase the same songs? I wasn't silly enough to buy this DRM ladened shite, but if I was, I would insist that they not only offer me vouchers to buy the same songs, but that they also compensate me for my time in repurchasing the same songs. Or did they warn people that they would have to do maintenance on their music collections?

      • by gd2shoe (747932) on Wednesday July 30, 2008 @07:39PM (#24410845) Journal

        Now wait.

        Who said that they were being offered vouchers for the same songs? They implied it, but I don't see anyone saying that every song previously available with DRM be available from Real. The only thing they said is that the songs that are available from Real will be without DRM. There is a huge potential difference there.

        Any affected customers want to tell us if they think they can have their entire library transfered over? Does anybody have a clue more than my cynical speculation?

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by RAMMS+EIN (578166)

          ``Any affected customers want to tell us if they think they can have their entire library transfered over?''

          Have it transfered over? No. Rather, they'll have to download every single song all over again, manually, if they want to rebuild their collection. And that is only even possible if (1) the library the coupons give access to has all those songs and (2) the coupons are enough to pay for all that.

          Alternatively, of course, they could pay out of their own pocket to download the songs from a different serv

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by KGIII (973947)

        Err... If your car is recalled due to a fault of the manufacturer do you expect them to pay for the time you took off of work to go get the part fixed?

        I understand your idea but it is really quite unrealistic and I think if you insisted that they do so that they would likely just giggle at you.

        Meh... I'd want to be compensated too. They're just not going to do it. You insisting that they would (had this happened to you) wouldn't actually get you much other than some entertaining emails.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          If my car was recalled due to a fault by the manufacturer, I would expect them to collect the car, provide an equivalent vehicle while the fault is remedied and then deliver the car. My time is valuable and anyone wanting my custom should respect that.

          One might offer to use vouchers to download songs and send an invoice for time and materials with penalty clauses for late payment. Most companies don't like it when people don't accept their offers to resolve claims because it means they are exposed to risk.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by onecheapgeek (964280)

            Well, you had better hope your car is never subject to a recall, because you are going to be SORELY disappointed when they tell you to bring it in between 9 and 5. If they have a courtesy car, you might get one that is vastly different than yours. Otherwise, it's a rental they've arranged on the cheap. Might even have a CD player.

            Sure, you can try to make waves, but what is your alternative? You think there's gonna be a lawsuit over this? "You see, Your Honor, they HAVE to stay in business because my m

            • by Bert64 (520050)

              They do it this way because the vast majority of people will just accept it...
              Most people have quite a high threshold before they are willing to kick up a fuss and complain, so companies will target their first offer just below that threshold for the majority of users.

              A few people will go to the trouble and complain, and usually end up with a better deal.

              That said, this case is a lot better than the recent MSN case, where they are simply turning off the activation servers and completely screwing the custome

              • They do it this way because the vast majority of people will just accept it...
                Most people have quite a high threshold before they are willing to kick up a fuss and complain, so companies will target their first offer just below that threshold for the majority of users.

                They don't _have_ to do anything - I can't see a reason why they would give you a better deal if you complain. If you were stupid enough to buy a licence to use some DRM'd media with no contractual guarantee that you would be able to use that media forever more, then it's your own problem - the vendor has no obligation to you.

                Personally, I'm all for people getting screwed over as badly as possible with DRM since that's about the only way the DRM-buying public are going to work out that DRM is a Bad Thing a

          • If my car was recalled due to a fault by the manufacturer, I would expect them to collect the car, provide an equivalent vehicle while the fault is remedied and then deliver the car. My time is valuable and anyone wanting my custom should respect that.

            And while they pick themselves up off the floor from laughing too hard, they will realise you've never had a car recalled before...

          • by scot4875 (542869)

            Might as well ask for a pony with that, while you're at it.

            --Jeremy

    • Re:Real player (Score:5, Informative)

      by hax0r_this (1073148) on Wednesday July 30, 2008 @07:57PM (#24410983)
      As shitty as Real Player is, Real Networks isn't such a bad company. Their Helix media framework is mostly open source, and they gave $500,000 to the OSU Open Source Lab a few years back for their work in using it on the OLPC project.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        That's probably still not enough to overcome the bad blood with users who interacted with the malware known as RealPlayer, and their pushing of the privacy envelope.

        I remember a tech support call around 2000, where their representative tried to hard-sell an acquaintance of mine into buying customer data from them. It was like a street corner hustle.

        • by Bert64 (520050)

          Windows realplayer was always garbage and laden with ads..
          The linux clients didn't come with ads and worked a lot better... Real even went to the trouble of supporting exotic flavors of linux like linux/alpha and such, which very few other closed source apps do. Yes i would massively prefer an open source player, but real's linux support was about the best of any closed source, whatever their reasons were for not releasing the source.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Rhapsody, the music service by the guys that make Real Player, uses MP3s for their music format. Surprisingly, they even screw this up. The music available on all major competing music services (Amazon, iTunes, etc) sounds substantially better, even in the same format, than what is offered on Rhapsody. Now this is just my opinion. But I believe it as fact.

      The quality difference is such that I wonder if they watermark the files with downloader's credit card information.

      • by Jonny_eh (765306)

        "Now this is just my opinion. But I believe it as fact."

        Well, which is it? Opinion or fact?

    • How much would they have to pay you to interact with the company that makes Real Player?

      A second coupon will be provided for a free clothespin that users can clip to their nose when dealing with Rhapsody.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by eWarz (610883)
      RealPlayer may be bad, but as a yahoo user who has recently migrated to rhapsody, I can tell you that Rhapsody is superior in every way and I've NEVER had a problem from them. They are WAY better than yahoo music. You can also listen to the music on linux/os-x for their subscription service thanks to the flashed based web player. I HATED real player, but rhapsody is nothing like it.
      • Same- I write the blog http://hackingym.blogspot.com/ [blogspot.com] and I've been following this transition closely. Rhapsody's service is far superior, including a much larger library, and more "radio" stations (channels). It's worth every penny. (Especially with the Squeezebox Duet that /. convinced me to buy)
  • About Time (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 30, 2008 @06:28PM (#24410235)
    But what they really should do is offer a unique ID, so that you can listen to it anywhere in the world, anytime you want.
    • MOD PARENT UP! (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Oxen (879661) on Wednesday July 30, 2008 @06:31PM (#24410269)
      Good point. And furthermore, you should get that ID with a hard copy of your music, so you can download music if you break your hard copy.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by LostCluster (625375) *

      But what they really should do is offer a unique ID, so that you can listen to it anywhere in the world, anytime you want.

      You really should take up one of the unlimited-for-a-monthly-fee plans if you want that. Bandwidth is a constant expense, so they're not going to make money selling you unlimited downloads for one-time payments, but most of the download services allow you to multiple devices signed in on their unlimited plans.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I don't want to listen to a unique ID anywhere in the world, thanks.

  • Unexpected (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Itninja (937614) on Wednesday July 30, 2008 @06:29PM (#24410245) Homepage
    With so much 'stick it to the customer' activity from corporations in the past several years regarding digital music, it is indeed nice to see one of the big players actually offer this without being forced to by a lawsuit. It almost makes up for forcing me to get a Yahoo account to continue using Flickr. Almost.
    • Re:Unexpected (Score:4, Insightful)

      by nbert (785663) on Wednesday July 30, 2008 @06:39PM (#24410357) Homepage Journal
      On the other hand they didn't have much choice. Imagine the loss of confidence they would have faced if they had proceeded as planned. I don't know anyone who has ever purchased music there, but I'm hoping that most of them will claim their DRM-less copy. There isn't a valid reason why we should give up rights we had in the days of physical copies - even the lower price is just a compensation for the lack of case and media we used to buy in stores...
      • Microsoft seems to be getting away with shutting down the DRM servers for their MSN music store just fine. I think some people are even buying DRM'd music from their new Zune music store.
        Perhaps we have Microsoft to thank for the current trend of music without DRM? I can't imagine retailers selling these DRM'd WMAs were too happy when Microsoft stabbed them in the back by creating a new DRM system that only worked with Zune. Well, I think they sell music that works on other players, but allow no one else t
        • by Bert64 (520050)

          Perhaps those people foolish enough to buy the new drm'd music need educating about how microsoft turned off their last drm service, thus cutting off all their customers, and there's nothing to stop them doing it to the current zune users.
          It would make a good advertising campaign for one of the non drm music stores, but perhaps zune users are not a big enough market segment to make it worthwhile?

  • Well... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by harryHenderson (729254) on Wednesday July 30, 2008 @06:30PM (#24410255)
    at least they are doing the stand up thing. However it would be better if it weren't opt-in.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by thegnu (557446)

      it just means anybody who's bothered by it can get compensated for it. This is generally how companies offer refunds; they don't track down 100% of their customers to hand out stuff.

  • Surprising (Score:5, Insightful)

    by EdIII (1114411) * on Wednesday July 30, 2008 @06:33PM (#24410291)

    I really am surprised that Yahoo stepped up like this. Really Surprised.

    The offer to receive a DRM-free MP3 seems pretty darn reasonable to me. I wonder why Microsoft did not stand up and offer anything remotely as reasonable as this considering their size when they were going to shut down their DRM servers.

    DRM has always been a less valuable product inherently, but Yahoo has backed up the customer and made sure they will be able to play the music they paid for.

    I almost feel.... hopeful.

    Good for Yahoo. They did the right thing.

    • Re:Surprising (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Optic7 (688717) on Wednesday July 30, 2008 @07:27PM (#24410779)

      I wonder why Microsoft did not stand up and offer anything remotely as reasonable as this considering their size when they were going to shut down their DRM servers.

      Probably because that would have been akin to an admission by Microsoft that their product (WMA with DRM) sucks and should be avoided.

      Yahoo has nothing riding on WMA or on music file DRM so they could care less about the impression that this makes for WMA or for DRM in general. After all, they were (one of?) the first major music store trying to convince the major labels to offer non-DRM music files, and the first to offer a song from a major label artist on unprotected MP3 for sale, as an experiment a couple of years ago.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by EdIII (1114411) *

        I wonder why Microsoft did not stand up and offer anything remotely as reasonable as this considering their size when they were going to shut down their DRM servers.

        Probably because that would have been akin to an admission by Microsoft that their product (WMA with DRM) sucks and should be avoided.

        "akin to admission"??

        Microsoft taking down the DRM servers and TOTALLY screwing their customers does not require an admission of guilt. It's a smoking gun. Bloody hands. Their spooge all over the crime scene,

        • by jimicus (737525)

          Microsoft taking down the DRM servers and TOTALLY screwing their customers does not require an admission of guilt. It's a smoking gun. Bloody hands. Their spooge all over the crime scene, etc., etc., etc.

          This is Microsoft we're talking about. If you showed video footage of a board meeting in which every single executive explicitly agreed that WMA with DRM was never going to work and the only sane thing to do was cut their losses and shut down the DRM servers, they'd accept that the footage was genuine and still deny that there was anything wrong with their DRM.

        • by MojoStan (776183)

          Microsoft taking down the DRM servers and TOTALLY screwing their customers

          If Microsoft had stepped up and supported their customers rights to enjoy music they paid for

          The act of Microsoft taking down it's DRM servers makes them so guilty beyond a reasonable doubt

          I know I'm late to this flamefest, but I think it's worth mentioning that MSN Music's DRM servers will be active until at least the end of 2011 [arstechnica.com]. However, I'd be surprised if Microsoft did a Yahoo! and gave customers free Zune Marketplace DRM-free MP3s at the end of 2011.

          • by EdIII (1114411) *

            Well I would not call it a flamefest. I think it's pretty friendly here, and I am not bashing Microsoft just because they are Microsoft.

            I know that MSN Music's DRM servers are active till 2011. I was speaking more towards their intentions and position when they said they were going to shut it down. The enormously negative response caused Microsoft to back peddle a little and then commit to the 2011 deadline. However, during the time between the initial announcement and the public commitment to the 2011

    • by Jurily (900488)

      DRM has always been a less valuable product inherently, but Yahoo has backed up the customer and made sure they will be able to play the music they paid for.

      Indeed. Hopefully other companies will learn from this as well.

    • by maglor_83 (856254)

      I wonder why Microsoft did not stand up and offer anything remotely as reasonable as this considering their size when they were going to shut down their DRM servers.

      You do?!

  • by LostCluster (625375) * on Wednesday July 30, 2008 @06:33PM (#24410293)

    "Company complies with rules to avoid chargebacks" should be the headline.

    When you sell a perpetual license that needs to be reauthorized every so often, you have to either keep your license server up forever, or ofter to give customers all their money back.

    We saw this happen when Google Video shut down. At first Google thought they could get away with giving out Google Checkout credits, but the credit card industry upheld chargebacks so they had to refund all credit card charges too.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by goaliemn (19761)

      They didn't sell a perpetual license, or at least it wasn't worded as such in the fine print. Much like Itunes, there, more than likely, is something in there covering them if they shut down the servers or if the DRM stops working for some reason. Itunes can shut your music off for almost any reason. I'm sure yahoo had similar wording in their agreement.

      • by compro01 (777531) on Wednesday July 30, 2008 @07:18PM (#24410711)

        Just because a contract says something doesn't mean it is legally valid.

        • by gd2shoe (747932)

          Agreed.

          Every time a lawyer draws up a contract that is not legally binding, there should be some penalty to them. Perhaps a three-strikes style law is in order. If you have serious legal problems in three contracts that you've drawn up in the last decade, you should have your license to practice law revoked. The "legal" maneuvering done by many companies should be illegal, and not tolerated.

    • by rtechie (244489) * on Wednesday July 30, 2008 @07:10PM (#24410653)

      Mod the parent up please.

      As he said, Yahoo HAD to do this. Killing the license server violates their contract with the credit card company for "non-delivered goods". As far as Visa is concerned, breaking the tracks is the same as shipping an empty box. Most people don't grasp that chargebacks are a major money-maker for the credit card companies, and they'll typically bend over backwards to accommodate the customer because each one can net then between $50 and $500 for Visa/Mastercard/etc. Yes, some merchants really are billed $500 for each chargeback.

      They would also face an inevitable class-action as pissed-off customers attempt to recover their losses.

      • by Bert64 (520050)

        What about the MSN drm servers being shut down? They didn't do much to help their customers...

      • by loraksus (171574)

        It should be noted that Discover will only deal with chargebacks where the purchase was made in the last 6 months. Discover sucks ass in this regard.

  • by Samantha Wright (1324923) on Wednesday July 30, 2008 @06:42PM (#24410391) Homepage Journal
    ...we could get some compensation for all of the unlistenable music that has come out in recent years, then perhaps we could move on.
  • by corsec67 (627446) on Wednesday July 30, 2008 @06:58PM (#24410533) Homepage Journal

    A good change to the DMCA would be that if someone wants to sell something with DRM that they have to support it until the copyright expires, and then have an unencrypted version placed in escrow for when {the copyright expires, the company goes bankrupt, the company turns off the drm servers}.

    Now the infinity+ copyright times seem excessive when it comes back on the music sellers.

    • Absolutely. This is the only way I will buy anything with DRM ever again. Yahoo seems to be taking the gentlemen's approach. Which really just saves the the effort and money of the class action lawsuit I was preparing to file. This would have been a likely settlement outcome. Still, I'm not touching DRM with a ten foot pole anymore.
    • by ender81b (520454)

      That is such a good idea it'll never get implemented. Yowser though, that's a fantastic idea.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by hellwig (1325869)
      I like the idea, but there is a problem with the reasoning. Copyright is an implied right. I don't have to put copyright notices on my works nor register them with some central governing agency. If i write a book or record a song, the copyright is implied. It is understood that I own the work. At the same time, it is my responsibility to police my work, and to seek legal compensation from people who violate my copyright. As such, DRM is not an extension of the copyright, it is the mechanism these comp
      • by mr_matticus (928346) on Wednesday July 30, 2008 @08:54PM (#24411413)

        I don't have to put copyright notices on my works nor register them with some central governing agency.

        But if you want to sell DRM'd copies, you should supply a non-DRM'd copy to ensure that once the copyright expires, there is another version available. This has the benefit of ensuring a richer public domain (because many works simply disappear before the end of copyright).

        However, the parent's suggestion is not without problems. First and foremost, where does the DRM-free copy go? The government isn't (and shouldn't) pay for a database of the files. You can't mandate that a business stay in operation. What would be the incentive for private industry to store files without sharing them for decades? Is most of the stuff we buy even worth anything when copyright expires?

        On the last point, most of what is produced vanishes because it doesn't matter. It has no real significance, no staying power, and a century from now, nobody will even care about it. Thus, the inability to access DRM'd files is a non-issue for most of the consumer product. Products with the enduring popularity or cultural significance to survive copyright will almost certainly be maintained from the original in a useful manner (whereas a WMA from 2008 might be useless, low quality trash in 2100). Very little is available solely in DRM-wrapped formats; it's a consumer option for low price disposables. Contrary to the Slashdot conspiracy, no media industry is hoping for a pay-for-play setup being the only option. It might be the wet dream of a few greedy people, but as someone who works daily with content creators seeking to protect their interests and sell their work, that's the exception, not the rule.

        Once the copyright expires, it doesn't matter whether you acquired it as a DRM'd file, a DRM-free file, or on CD. You can just delete the DRM'd file and acquire a then-modern-format, high quality copy wherever you like.

        Was their agreement with you worded such that you were right to assume that the song would be available to use at your discretion (i.e. without dependance on their DRM servers), or did they leave enough loopholes in to make it known that the song will only work in the presence of their DRM servers, and that those servers were not guaranteed to work past a certain point?

        This is a little backwards. Unless they made an explicit guarantee about future availability and compatibility, future prospects are just that: prospective. Supposition. A gamble. If technology, society, or any other element changes, rendering an investment worthless, you just lost. It's not any different anywhere else.

        • Why shouldn't the government pay for a database of files? Say, at the Library of Congress? Or maybe it could be delegated to one of the other libraries/library systems in the United States.
          Although, as you mention, this isn't really a problem for audio as most of it is available without DRM anyway. It seems software (including games) is much more likely to be released only with DRM, and thus should be a bigger concern.
          • Municipal libraries are horribly underfunded as-is, and the Library of Congress archives works of significance, but does not retain all works submitted.

            The cost of maintaining such a system, and its existence itself, falls outside of LoC's mandate and budget. It would be simultaneously dismissed by different groups as frivolous spending, an unnecessary archive of insignificant works, an extension of government control (by those conspiracy theorists who believe the government would withhold certain works),

            • by Bert64 (520050)

              Such a system should be paid for with a tax on companies which employ drm schemes...
              They have a choice wether or not they implement drm schemes which hurt the consumer. They are perfectly free to give the customer a better non encumbered deal and thus not be taxed on it.

              This is a problem created by those that choose to use drm schemes, therefore they are the ones that should pay to fix it.

          • by Bert64 (520050)

            Those who make money from selling DRM encumbered products should be taxed on them, and the money used to set up such a database.
            If you think such a tax is unfair, then you can always sell non encumbered files.

            These companies already expect various governments to bend over backwards to enforce their copyrights, and they expect the customers to simply accept situations like "you cant play those files you bought anymore because the activation server has been turned off" and "you have to pay twice as much for t

            • Those who make money from selling DRM encumbered products should be taxed on them

              They already are.

              If companies want to shaft their customers like this, they should get no help from the government.

              They don't need help from the government. The consumers are quite willing to accept less to save (less than) a buck. It's why Walmart is so successful.

              Government help enforcing copyrights and such should be supplied on the basis that they give their customers a fair deal.

              It is a fair deal. It's not a good deal for certain groups of people. There's a difference.

        • The problem (if it is a problem?) is is that Copyright law does not state that you are entitled to a free and unrestricted copy of the item when copyright expires on it, it only states that the rights holder loses the entitlement to decide distribution of said item.

          Put simply, the creator is under no obligation to ensure that you have access to anything after the copyright expires - as it should be. Copyright expiration does not prevent a copyright holder from continuing to distribute restricted copies
          • Precisely why the government should not bear the burden of setting up such a system, and, given the lack of incentive for the market to implement it on its own, why it will never happen.
      • by Bert64 (520050)

        Copyright sellers should have a responsibility to their customers...

        If you sell a copyrighted work, you should be required to continue selling that work under the same terms, if that work is drm encumbered you should be required to continue support for that drm scheme until the copyright expires. Having something you bought and paid for stop working because the drm servers is turned off is even worse than not being able to buy something because the original vendor doesn't sell it anymore.

        You should also be

    • by Bert64 (520050)

      Absolutely, i said something very similar before...

      In order to get copyright on a work encumbered with any kind of copy prevention scheme, you must register a copy that is not encumbered with these restrictions with a government department (which is paid for by a tax on profits made from selling encumbered media).

      You are then required to:

      Make sure the product remains available at the lowest price you sold it for or less and under the same or better terms, not counting a government approved inflation rate (o

  • Hooray. (Score:5, Funny)

    by FlyingSquidStudios (1031284) on Wednesday July 30, 2008 @06:59PM (#24410541) Homepage
    And there was much rejoicing from all 12 people who signed up for the service.
  • Dang, there goes all that negative karma I was racking up every time I listened to Ice-T/Body Count's Cop Killer and Anything from 2Live Crew.

  • by lena_10326 (1100441) on Wednesday July 30, 2008 @07:22PM (#24410735) Homepage
    Does that mean Ashley Simpson fans on Yahoo get a full refund?
    • ...That joke was so ripe for the picking. But I couldn't agree more. I think all Celine Dion purchasers should also get a hefty refund check.

  • Good for Yahoo (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 30, 2008 @08:29PM (#24411249)

    One thing we can know for sure is that if MS had purchased Yahoo already Yahoo would NOT now be offering money back or replacement music.

    Why do I say that? Because of what ms ALREADY did when they shut down their drm music business.

    This crap about Yahoo doing it because they "have to" is a bunch of bull. Yahoo could have waited until lawsuits were filed and then played games in court, BUT THEY DIDN'T. They lived up to their responsibilities like a decent corporate citizen. Saying they did this under duress is saying like saying man who doesn't beat his wife only refrains from doing so because there is a law prohibiting it.

    Too bad MS can't act like Yahoo, but as we all know it's against their character to act in the public good.

  • Is it not possible for Yahoo to release some sort of official DRM-removing software, along the lines of FairPlay? (disclaimer - never bought DRM music so is only vaguely aware of how it works)
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by FLEB (312391)

      Without the license server up, you'd likely have to crack or backdoor the DRM somehow, which would end up being a blanket solution applicable to a wide range of other WMAs. I doubt any respectable player the size and stature of Yahoo! would do such a thing, and they might even be DMCA-liable if they did.

    • by Sloppy (14984)

      Is it not possible for Yahoo to release some sort of official DRM-removing software, along the lines of FairPlay?

      Remember that Yahoo is not the copyright holder for this music, so their trafficking in a tool that circumvents a technological measure that limits access, would be a DMCA violation.

      Elections in November, folks. Vote right, and we can repeal DMCA. What are your houserep and senator candidates' position on this? Don't know? Then you're not ready to vote.

  • Now that yahoo is offering "refunds" for withdrawing a license to a licensee, it is time to use this as a precedent and sue Microsoft for refunds.
    No, am serious.
    As per the license agreement, i agree to pay a fee per month for having access to the music.
    As per the license agreement, microsoft agrees to keep the access "open".
    If they violate the terms of a contract, then am entitled to compensation: in this case refund of license fees.

It isn't easy being the parent of a six-year-old. However, it's a pretty small price to pay for having somebody around the house who understands computers.

Working...