RealNetworks file preemptive lawsuit against movie studios

RealNetworks file preemptive lawsuit against movie studios

RealNetworks launched their RealDVD software today and just one hour after it was made available, the company filed a lawsuit against Hollywood movie studios and the DVD Copy Control Association in a preemptive move to ensure the software does not violate any DVD copy agreements.

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Yahoo! Music offer MP3 download coupons to DRM victims

Yahoo! Music have announced their compensation plans for downloaders whose DRM-encrypted tracks will be left stranded on current devices once the company’s licencing servers go offline.  Coupons will be issued allowing users to re-download music in MP3 format from Yahoo!’s new partner, Rhapsody.  Describing the amount of users affected by the issue as a “small number”, spokesperson Carrie Davis declined to go into detail about exact figures.


Yahoo! Music promises to ‘compensate’ download users

After surprising subscribers with the suggestion that they should bypass their own DRM, Yahoo! Music are now claiming that they will “compensate” those who have bought tracks from the service and for whom the DRM servers going offline would prevent future re-licencing.  Company spokesperson Carrie Davis told Information Week that Yahoo! would be examining situations on a case-by-case basis, although she couldn’t disclose exactly what they would be offering:

“You’ll be compensated for whatever you paid for the music.  We haven’t said exactly what we will do, but we will take care of our customers” Carrie Davis, spokesperson, Yahoo! Music


Yahoo! Music closing shop, suggests bypassing DRM to users

Yahoo! Music have announced that their online store will close as of September 30th 2008.  In an email to subscribers, the company also confirmed that on that date their DRM-authentication server would go offline, meaning that anybody who had bought tracks from the store would be unable to transfer them to another computer:

“After the Store closes, Yahoo! will no longer be able to support the retrieval of license keys for music purchased from Yahoo! Music Unlimited, and Yahoo! will no longer be able to authorize song playback on additional computers.
After September 30, 2008, you will not be able to transfer songs to unauthorized computers or re-license these songs after changing operating systems. Please note that your purchased tracks will generally continue to play on your existing authorized computers unless there is a change to the computer’s operating system” Yahoo! Music email


EA backs down on crappy DRM for Mass Effect

I love the age we live in. It’s a time when not only does everyone have a voice on the internet, but we can also be heard. In the old days if you were upset about something, you’d write a letter to someone important, or perhaps if you felt strongly enough you might start a protest. However, if a company decides to load down a new game with really crappy DRM, thousands of people start complaining about it online, and then something gets done about it.


NuVo upgrades their music server to 500GB – upgrade from your 160GB version

Alright, I’ll admit, I’m impressed with NuVo and the systems they offer. However it seems they should probably let someone else make the music servers if a 500GB music server is going to sell for $3000. The thin profile of this component, sleek design, triple outputs, networking capabilities, and OLED screen make it an interesting proposition.


USB to Carry HD Video with DRM

A new variant of USB will be announced on next year to implement HD DRM content used in personal media players or mobile device and Digital Display. The wired version from USB Implementers Forum is designed to move compressed high def video between displays and mobile devices. The technology allows developer to implement HDMI existing HDCP layer on top of the new USB variant.


BitTorrent Saves The Day For Evil Doer

In one of the more recent issues of a Fantastic Four comic, there was a villain named Klaw. This particular villain has a device that utilizes sound to create physical objects, including himself in some weird turn of events.

In the story, someone else steals his power essentially ridding himself of his own existence. Well one of his fellow evil doers wasn’t to keen on Klaw’s absence so he did something about it.


Zune DRM Cracked

FairUse4WM only removed the restrictions up until now. The DRM is cracked and users of version 1.3 of the FairUse4WM software are reporting that the new software completely removes the DRM from Zune music.


EMI and Apple offer DRM-free Music on iTunes

I don’t like DRM, never did and I think many consumer like me feels the same way about it. Apple and EMI finally step up to the plate offering high quality and DRM-free music on iTunes. EMI has made their music available without restrictions with slightly higher price at $1.29/€1.29/£0.99 per track. If you have already purchase the track with DRM protection on it, you will be able to upgrade your tracks to DRM-free version for $0.30/€0.30/£0.20 per track. These DRM-free tracks will be available starting this May.


MCE Tunes brings iTunes music into Windows Media Center

Now I’m neither an iTunes nor a Windows Media Center user, but I know a lot of people would love to be able to play their DRM-encrypted music library from the former through the lounge-friendly interface of the latter.  Unfortunately, encrypted music can’t currently be streamed that way, at least not without the addition of a little programming magic (or illegally breaking the copy-protection, which is of course not something we’d suggest you do).  Thankfully the binary-kids at Proxure have decided to unleash some of that necessary magic, calling the end result MCE Tunes.


Zune Wireless Update 2

Oh dear.  Just when I’d got all excited again about Zune, on the premise that only DRM-encrypted audio would be subject to the draconian 3 days/3 plays policy, one of Zune’s PR contacts got in touch to let us know that, in fact, all audio will expire according to those limits.  If you were thinking you could just re-transfer it over and over, then you’ll be pleased to hear that Microsoft has also put a stop to that, too – apparently multiple consecutive song swaps are limited as well.

If I were a PR person I think this is the part of the job that I’d enjoy the least – having to put people off buying the product I represent by justifying its crippling limitations as insisted on by the manufacturer (or the manufacturer’s powerful content allies).  Microsoft can warble all they like about song metadata remaining on the player and the music staying in your list of files, but consumers are going to see WiFi and think “great, wireless transfers!” and not “great, self-destruct wireless transfers.”  I’m afraid Zune has just fallen off my shopping list again.

[Thanks to Sara @ Edelman for the info]

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