Sunday, August 27, 2006

Engadget's Open Letter to Microsoft

Of course itune's rival services offer the same DRM-related problems as Apple's popular online music store.
For windows users FairUse4WM offers a workaround that ensures customers can play the tracks they own on all their devices.

In this Open Letter to Microsoft, tech-blog engadget is asking the software giant to keep this "hole" open:
"... please don't stop consumers from using FairUse4WM to remove copy protection from music they've downloaded. ...
We're big fans of the subscription services, here at Engadget, but let's face facts: the damn things don't work very well. It's pretty easy to download tracks, but it's a serious pain in the ass to successfully transfer them to a portable device. The only way for DRM to be successful is if it's painless and seamless, and we get tons of emails from consumers complaining about how hard it is to get Napster, Rhapsody, Yahoo Music Unlimited, etc. tracks on to their players, or, god forbid, Macs. ...
Without a doubt you guys in Redmond are getting an earful from the record labels. You promised them a secure system, and you failed. They might already be threatening to withdraw their licenses for their music, but here's where you have to stand up and explain to the labels why they need to chill. Send Steve or Bill or J or whomever to smooth things over. We aren't assuming this is going to be an easy thing to make happen, but c'mon, you guys are /Microsoft/, if any company has the clout to make this happen and drag the entertainment industry into the 21st century, it's you. The music industry needs to accept that there is always going to be a certain amount of piracy, and then just get on with the business of selling digital. Let 'em keep the DRM in place if they want - we can all pretend that it still works -- just make it possible for anyone who really wants to get rid of it to take that extra step. ...

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