The Microsoft Zune: Are You Playing It or Is It Playing You?

Microsoft May Build a Copyright Cop Into Every Zune | Bits | Technology | New York Times Blog

As if Microsoft had not provided its users sufficient reasons to abandon the Windows platform, it has now provided the ultimate reason. Microsoft is contemplating building a digital rights management scheme that will disable or erase content whose provenance it cannot verify. In other words, if your Zune player or Microsoft Windoze Vista cannot verify that you obtained your music or movie “legally”, it will prevent you from playing this content. Of course, “legally” in this context means through Microsoft’s proprietary means of ascribing legality: whether you bought it through Microsoft or not.

This report is very much on the rumor mill level of things, but it is entirely credible because it is not such a drastic departure from the existing Microsoft DRM schme. if it proves true, then every Microsoft user will have to register every CD she or he owns with Microsoft so that she or he can play it on the computers that she or he has authorized. Indeed, every Microsoft user will have to ask Microsoft for permission to play anything on her or his computer or Zune player.

“Thank you, sir. May I have another?” is the phrase that may be relevant to Microsoft users at this juncture. And, apparently, they do want to have another, and Microsoft is all too happy to deliver the blows.

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