Microsoft Shafts Music Patrons Pre-Zune
This pretty much means that, unless you back it up, you can expect to lose what you paid for next time you update your OS or change computers.
"Had we had the ability to deliver DRM-free tracks at the time, we absolutely would have done that," whines Rob Bennett, the exec dispatched to notify MSN Music customers of the change.
Uh ... yeah, guy. It's called "MP3." It's a fairly ancient technological breakthrough. But Bennett insists MSN's hands were tied by record labels, which rings a bit like BS considering Microsoft's sheer industry tonnage. When Wal-Mart, Amazon and iTunes wanted to go DRM-free, major labels were happy to jump aboard.
"Now, the industry is making progress. The labels are understanding the downside of DRM when it's used the way they wanted to use it, they end up punishing the users who bought music legally more than those who want to circumvent the system," Bennett diplomatically concludes.
Sounds suspiciously like a buck-pass. Right about now, I'm thinking Zune's "sharing is caring" stance -- which I've come to like a lot -- should not be confused for a Microsoft ethos.