Microsoft to cease authorizing MSN Music keys

By Justin Mann on April 22, 2008, 9:08 PM
If you ever needed more proof of why DRM is just a terrible set of technologies that do nothing but frustrate legit customers, the MSN Music store is a prime example. The doomed service was shut down over a year ago upon the launch of the Zune, forcing people to switch to a new service. That minor annoyance aside, the change was manageable because Microsoft kept alive their authorization server for the DRM-locked music files people had previously purchased. Thus, even if the customer purchased a new computer, they could unlock that music.

But that is about to change. Microsoft has announced that they will cease maintaining the key retrieval service by the end of August.

As a result, for all the music purchased on the MSN Music store it will become impossible to retrieve your keys. If the music is transferred to another device, it can never be unlocked again at least not in a legal way rendering that purchase a total loss to that person. For those that have libraries of music purchased through the MSN store, they will be locked in to that specific hardware for as long as they want to use those files.

Ultimately, this serves as a reminder of what DRM really is: A way for companies to control your use of their content. Rather than purchasing, you are renting.

User Comments: 3

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nirkon said:
Yes, but you are renting for purchase price...shameful.
N!Sung said:
Horrendous is the only word i can describe for such a terrible way in treating your customers. Restricting and CONTROLLING your customers to only listen to music where ever they want you to? No thanks! I want to enjoy the freedom in watching/listening my movies/music anywhere I please! I PAIED FOR IT! HELLO!? I sold my zune for a measly 50$, I couldn't stand it anymore. Mostly because of extremely poor codec support tho. Instead I got myself a sleek new PSP. It does everything the zune does + obviously play some awesome psp games and internet capability. I been throughly enjoying it immensely! In addition with all the homebrew software you can install on to this thing is just mind blowing.[Edited by N!Sung on 2008-04-23 10:45:58][Edited by N!Sung on 2008-04-23 10:46:26]
nic said:
The least they should do is to allow users to unlock their downloads by removing the DRM before they shut down the site. If they can't do this then they need to consider refunding anyone that has purchased music they may no longer be able to listen to ...
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