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RIAA Says "Don't Expect DRMed Music To Work Forever" 749

Oracle Goddess writes "Buying DRMed content, then having that content stop working later, is fair, writes Steven Metalitz, the lawyer who represents the MPAA, RIAA in a letter to the top legal advisor at the Copyright Office. 'We reject the view that copyright owners and their licensees are required to provide consumers with perpetual access to creative works.' In other words, if it stops working, too bad. Not surprisingly, Metalitz also strongly opposes any exemption that would allow users to legally strip DRM from content if a store goes dark and takes down its authentication servers."
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RIAA Says "Don't Expect DRMed Music To Work Forever"

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  • Re:Seriously? (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 30, 2009 @02:03PM (#28885127)

    And go where? There are idiots everywhere, they rule the planet.

  • by bennomatic ( 691188 ) on Thursday July 30, 2009 @02:11PM (#28885261) Homepage
    LOL. Of course, I'm sure you're trying to be funny, but don't forget, they did this because of a lawsuit (and French law), and for the non-French one, they don't control the volume, they allow you to set your own limits. To quote from your linked article:

    Apple's worldwide vice-president of marketing for the iPod, Greg Joswiak, indicated that this patch is available for people who want "an easy-to-use option to set their own personal volume limit." It is available for free download.

  • like the old days? (Score:3, Informative)

    by bb5ch39t ( 786551 ) on Thursday July 30, 2009 @02:13PM (#28885307)

    OK, for us oldies who used to buy "vinyl" records. The more you played the record, the faster it degraded in quality. If you really liked the record, you ended up buying it multiple times. This was before it was easy to record it onto tape. The RIAA wants to return to the days of yesteryear when they could sell a song, the same song by the same artist, multiple times. That appears to be their mindset. After all, in the days of records, you couldn't return a damaged record for a new one. So they had a limited life. And so, in their mind, should all "creative works". I imagine a number of book publishers hate me. I have books that I have reread many times over the years. All for a single "license fee". But, as with records, books "wear out" (paper ages and degrades). I now have a number of books in PDF form. They will never wear out.

  • by Anna Merikin ( 529843 ) on Thursday July 30, 2009 @02:25PM (#28885537) Journal

    This is the "music as a service" model

    You might think so but Metalitz in TFA says otherwise:

    "No one expects computers or other electronics devices to work properly in perpetuity, and there is no reason that any particular mode of distributing copyrighted works should be required to do so."

    This not only muddies the (logical) waters, but is dead wrong: The first computer I bought new (in 1990), an Acer laptop, 386-20Hz, still works. It will not run Windows Vista, but it runs DOS just fine -- still. It does what it was intended to do when it was bought. I do not expect it to run a modern OS. But I DO expect it to be repairable (it hasn't needed any) and to work as long as I live.

    Same for my music and movies, Mr. Metalitz.

  • Re:Forever? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 30, 2009 @02:49PM (#28885947)

    IANAL but this is illegal in the UK. This is why EULAs are not enforcable over here (although I'm not sure if its been tested in court).
    The seller/licensee cant dictate terms after the sale has been made.

  • Re:Forever? (Score:2, Informative)

    by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Thursday July 30, 2009 @03:03PM (#28886145) Journal

    So, what he's basically saying is that there should be no expectation on the consumer's part that the product he's paying for should work at all

    Yes, that's exactly what he's saying. It's like buying a scratched DVD in a second-hand shop. It may work when you get it home. It may even continue to work for a while. Or it may not work at all ever. If it's priced sufficiently cheaply, then it may be worth it on the basis that it will probably work for a little while. If it's priced at a similar level to DRM-free products, then it represents a terrible investment.

  • by Optic7 ( 688717 ) on Thursday July 30, 2009 @03:10PM (#28886247)

    iTunes lets you upgrade your old DRM'd tracks to non-DRM'd versions, or at least most of them because not all iTunes tracks are available in non-DRM'd versions yet. The bastards do charge a fee of course - US$0.30 per track - even though the new non-DRM'd tracks are the same price as the old DRM'd ones.

  • Re:Forever? (Score:5, Informative)

    by suzerain79 ( 1441559 ) on Thursday July 30, 2009 @03:13PM (#28886303)
    It is called a Deceptive Trade Practice and it is illegal. If you represent a product is X and when you sell it is Y or does not have the capabilities as previously advertised, then it is actionable. Treble damages and attorney fees in Texas if you win.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 30, 2009 @03:59PM (#28887037)
    One can find a list of record labels/riaa members here. [] Let your favorite band's label know how you feel. If the labels discontinue their relationship with the RIAA, their revenue will slowly dry.
  • by Man On Pink Corner ( 1089867 ) on Thursday July 30, 2009 @03:59PM (#28887039)

    I keep thinking how these approaches would work when applied to books.

    You don't have to imagine it -- that's exactly what just happened, when Amazon's Ministry of DRM unpublished '1984' on the Kindle!

  • Re:Forever? (Score:3, Informative)

    by ciroknight ( 601098 ) on Thursday July 30, 2009 @04:06PM (#28887159)

    So, why doesn't someone try following their lead in the music industry?

    You mean companies like TuneCore [] and CD Baby [] which do nothing but act as publishers of music? Tune Core will publish your music to half a dozen online music stores, and CD Baby will print and ship CDs with your music on you, no copyright B.S., no record labels, no bullshit period. They do charge money for it (hey, it is a service they're providing for you), but it's cheap enough that absolutely anyone with a few bucks can get in on the ground floor.

  • Re:In Regards... (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 30, 2009 @04:27PM (#28887523)

    Yes, Goodbye RIAA. has replaced you.

  • Re:Forever? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Grishnakh ( 216268 ) on Thursday July 30, 2009 @06:10PM (#28889209)

    What the hell are you talking about? CDs, by and large, do NOT have DRM. There were a few failed experiments with that, but I really don't know of any mainstream DRM in CDs right now.

    If you disagree, please post citations.

    And CDs with a data track with "AutoPlay" doesn't count. That's not DRM. DRM uses encryption to make copying difficult. Taking advantage of stupid Windows OS features which are easily bypassed by anyone with half a brain cell does not constitute "DRM".

  • Re:Illegal (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 30, 2009 @08:07PM (#28890683)
    Off topic, but if you want to make a point on your signature, make sure it's not broken next time.
  • Re:Forever? (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 31, 2009 @12:40PM (#28897787)

    If you represent a product is X and when you sell it is Y or does not have the capabilities as previously advertised, then it is actionable.

    Assuming you don't disclaim it, there is an implied warranty []:

    The warranty of merchantability is implied, unless expressly disclaimed by name, or the sale is identified with the phrase "as is" or "with all faults." To be "merchantable", the goods must reasonably conform to an ordinary buyer's expectations, i.e., they are what they say they are. For example, a fruit that looks and smells good but has hidden defects would violate the implied warranty of merchantability if its quality does not meet the standards for such fruit "as passes ordinarily in the trade".

    Depending on the jurisdiction and the good in question one may not be able to disclaim merchantability (same source as above):

    In Massachusetts consumer protection law, it is illegal to disclaim this warranty on household goods sold to consumers etc.

If it's not in the computer, it doesn't exist.