Suramya's Blog : Welcome to my crazy life…

April 27, 2008

DRM: All your music are belong to us…

Filed under: My Thoughts — Suramya @ 11:59 PM

Yes, I couldn’t resist making a play on “All your base are belong to us”. 😉

All readers of this blog know that I don’t like DRM (Digital Rights Management) because it restricts access to books/music/media to specific systems and/or Operating Systems. The following news confirms all the stuff I dislike about DRM’d systems.

If a person bought music from the MSN Music store are only allowed to hear it on specific computers and devices. Whats so wrong about that? you ask me. Nothing much except that Microsoft is the one who controls the licensing server and they can decide to shut them down. In fact thats what is going to happen by the end of the summer, MS is going to shut down the MSN music licensing servers and after that no new computers can be authorized to play *your* music that you have paid for.

So lets say you have this laptop and have authorized it to play your music, a few months down the line its hard drive dies so you get a new one and want to transfer your music to the new laptop. Unfortunately you can’t do that, because the licensing servers have been shut down you can’t authorize the new system. So all the money you spent on ‘buying’ that music has been wasted.

In reality with DRM’d files you are not purchasing the music. You are renting it. Other people can decide weather they want to continue allowing access to these files or not. This is my problem with DRM.

Another example, I bought a book online from Fictionwise. It is DRM protected and the reader software only works on Windows. I have switched from a windows system to Linux so I can no longer read the book unless I convert it to another format.Which I can’t do because its illegal to break DRM.

So what can I do? Should I have to keep one machine running windows to read this book? Should I crack it? Buy another copy?

Would you agree to buy a car that would only run on specific roads? No? Then why do we allow DRM’d information that is only accessable on specific computers/OS?

Think about it.

Thanks to open… for the story.

– Suramya


  1. I don’t like DRM either cause I can’t play music on other music players, and that’s why I found this software, Tunebite, it removes legally the copy protection and also it can convert audio and video files into the formats I need, so now I have all my favorite music on ipod and MP3.

    Comment by Raoul — May 29, 2008 @ 4:47 PM

  2. Removing DRM from a protected song is illegal in most countries, esp in the US/UK/Canada etc. So if a software removes the copy protection it *is* breaking the law (atleast in some countries).

    BTW, I am not a lawyer so don’t take my word as legal advice. 🙂

    – Suramya

    Comment by Suramya — May 29, 2008 @ 5:50 PM

  3. I know that it is illegal to remove the DRM protection, but as far as I know it isn’t illegal to remove it for personal use so that I can transfer my musics on other music devices. Of course it isn’t legal to remove it for sharing the files with other persons. 😉

    Comment by Raoul — May 30, 2008 @ 5:20 PM

  4. Actually, from what I understand Its illegal to remove the DRM under the DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) but its a grey area if its legal to do it for personal use, as that would fall under the fair use clause.

    Personally I tend to avoid DRM’d stuff ’cause most of them break on my Linux box and I like to be able to move stuff between all my systems.

    – Suramya

    Comment by Suramya — May 31, 2008 @ 1:24 AM

  5. Yes, indeed, the it’s much safer to avoid this DRM. As far as I’m concern I’m staying with this tool cause I think it is a good way to get lose of it. 😉

    Comment by Raoul — June 2, 2008 @ 3:34 PM

  6. Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. 🙂 Cheers! Sandra. R.

    Comment by sandrar — September 11, 2009 @ 3:14 AM

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