Yahoo abandons customers, plans to shut down DRM servers

By on July 25, 2008, 5:45 PM
Yahoo has become the latest company to abandon customers who bought tracks from its music store encoded with DRM – such as MSN Music, Sony's Connect music store and other online music services have done in the past. The company recently notified its Yahoo Music customers that on September 30 it would shut down its DRM servers along with the store.

These servers hold the keys needed to unlock the copy-protection software built into songs. As a result, purchased tracks will continue playing on the existing authorized PCs but if users want to move music to new hard drives or computers then they are out of luck. One “solution” suggested by Yahoo is that users back up their purchased tracks to audio CDs before the store closes.

It’s important to note that the shutdown only affects those who bought individual music tracks from the store, as subscription users will still be able to purchase and stream music through Rhapsody. Still, the move is yet another indication of how DRM technology can be a major nuisance to users. Earlier this year, Microsoft also announced the closing of its MSN music store after August 31, but decided to keep the DRM authorization servers running through 2011.

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