Yahoo to shut down DRM servers on September 30

Owners of Yahoo Music accounts, take note. In line with the company’s plan to terminate its Yahoo Music Unlimited service, Yahoo intends to shut down its digital rights management authentication servers on September 30. As PC World reports, that means users won’t be able to listen to music files they purchased if they change PCs or upgrade their operating systems.

Yahoo did arrange a transition, whereby customers will be able to buy music from the Rhapsody service at the same prices once Yahoo Music Unlimited goes dark. However, that switchover apparently doesn’t cover DRM. PC World says Yahoo has advised users in an e-mail to burn their DRM-protected music to CDs, so they can access it later without authentication issues getting in the way.

Aside from the obvious logistical inconvenience of burning one’s music collection to 80-minute CDs, Yahoo’s suggestion could also get customers in trouble, according to Electronic Frontier Foundation attorney Corynne McSherry. She explains in a blog post, "This suggestion could put customers at legal risk, as they may not have documentation of purchase. . . . Furthermore, there is no certainty that all relevant copyright owners would agree that making such backup copies without permission is lawful." McSherry says Yahoo should offer to refund customers, offer DRM-free replacement tracks, and give them proofs of purchase.

Comments closed
    • Rakhmaninov3
    • 13 years ago

    F**K the RIAA and everything it stands for!

    And all the lawyers that put us here.

    • clone
    • 13 years ago

    I’ve oftened wondered what would happen in cases such as this…….. big business doesn’t care and see’s it as an opportunity.

    end users see no reason to buy legitimately.

    DRM free really is the only way to go if you want to buy legitimately….. I fear for this situation if a host of companies start copying Valve’s steam service and forget to sell hard copy’s of the games in question….. at least to me a serious concern in regards to games is the concept of Steam unless they allow me to backup the game once purchased online…… and I mean a complete damn version not half a game with the rest requiring to be downloaded.

    • provoko
    • 13 years ago

    wow, i didn’t think DRM could get worse…

    • smilingcrow
    • 13 years ago

    Forget burning to CDs, use Total Recorder Professional Edition to convert them to the format of your choice. This is only really practical if you don’t have thousands of songs as it’s a real-time process. It does keep the Tag data though which saves a lot of time. You can create a playlist in WMP and let the conversion process take place over night. With 2 months to go if you convert for 12 hours per day you have time to convert over 700 albums; that should be enough for most. 

    §[<http://www.totalrecorder.com/productfr_trPRO.htm<]§

    • Saber Cherry
    • 13 years ago

    As much as I like the EFF, McSherry is too much like MsCherry.

    As for people that buy DRM’d media… um, how can you not foresee this kind of thing?

    • BKA
    • 13 years ago

    I thought it was already known that if you buy music online containing DRM via Yahoo, Itunes or whatever, that you could simply burn it to a CD and rip it back to the PC. I don’t buy much music but I have bought a few songs online for my kids through itunes and thats the way I’ve always done it when I want to put in on their mp3 players that aren’t Ipods.

    • MarioJP
    • 13 years ago

    so if yahoo sent a e-mail to burn your music that you bought from them to cd’s then do it they are the one thats taking the heat not the consumers. After all they got you into this mess then they should get you out

    • Maddog
    • 13 years ago

    “Haw Haw”

    Nelson Muntz

    • Corrado
    • 13 years ago

    Why can’t they just release a program to strip the DRM from the files?
    Or allow them to download the Rhapsody DRM’d files free?

      • FroBozz_Inc
      • 13 years ago

      Yeah, either of those could be considered “real solutions” to this problem, instead of unrealistic workarounds.

      Seriously, if I had gone with this company, wanting to the the right thing….

      This THIS happened? Wow, I think my head might just explode.

      • matthewcollin
      • 13 years ago

      Google: QTFairUse

      Naturally, Apple threw a hissy fit and shut it down.

    • WaltC
    • 13 years ago

    Possession is 9/10ths of the law. Who, I wonder, does Ms. McSherry imagine will be knocking on doors with warrants granting search privileges so that each and every file on each and every burned CD a person has can be compared with his purchase receipts? I cannot imagine this happening to anyone, frankly. The invasive conditions Ms. McSherry imagines really don’t exist.

    Further, it seems to me that if Yahoo! is instructing people to burn their DRM files to CD that it is Yahoo! who is granting its customers express permission to do this, so any copyright owners who “do not agree with this” are best served by talking to Yahoo. Seems to me that by granting its express permission, Yahoo! has forever removed the onus from these Yahoo! customers.

      • Turkina
      • 13 years ago

      These conditions can and do exist – for instance, going through customs, you may be asked to furnish proof you legally own the music on that CD.

      And I think the argument against burning tracks to CD to remove DRM is that the rights are not Yahoo!’s to grant. They can say you can do whatever with the product, but if they do not have the right to authorize it (and I believe that only the copyright holders have this right), then their statement does not remove any legal “onus” from the user.

        • UberGerbil
        • 13 years ago

        “the rights are not Yahoo!’s to grant”

        That’s correct. I can tell you to break a particular contract, and that advice doesn’t suddenly indemnify you from its terms. The other party can still come after you. Stupid is as stupid does, and liable is as liable does, not as liable is advised. Of course, you could turn around a sue me for giving you bad advice, but I’m not sure how far that would go (further in case of Yahoo, since they do have an arrangement with you pertaining to this, but they also can afford more expensive lawyers than I can).

          • WaltC
          • 13 years ago

          What contract with copyright holders did Yahoo! customers sign? The customers purchased the property from Yahoo!, and it is Yahoo! making the recommendation. Any agreements with copyright holders as to the distribution of their copyrighted material were made with Yahoo!–not with Yahoo!’s customers. Without such agreements, Yahoo! could not have sold the copyrighted material, DRM’ed or not. Therefore, if there is any penalty to be borne, it will be borne by Yahoo! since Yahoo! is the selling entity and it is Yahoo! issuing the instructions. That’s the way it looks to me.

          First of all, it needs to be shown that Yahoo! is in abrogation of its agreement with copyright holders in issuing this instruction–which is not at all apparent at this time.

            • UberGerbil
            • 13 years ago

            Your corner record store (back when there was a corner record store, though there still are a few around here) didn’t sign agreements with, say, Sony Music when they started selling their CDs. And the customers who buy from that retailer don’t sign any agreements either. The customers are bound by the copyright that is assigned to the work, regardless of how they came into possession of it (you can even buy that CD from me, used, and you’re still bound by the copyright).. And nobody but the copyright holder (and the government) can change that.

            • WaltC
            • 13 years ago

            But back when those stores proliferated, people routinely “file swapped” all the time…;) Trading records, duping cassette tapes containing the cuts of all their favorite artists–and swapping those around–was so commonplace it was considered ordinary, and at the time it was most certainly considered legally to be “fair use” of the material you purchased. Back then, the RIAA was a promotional group that spent money encouraging people to “buy music” the way that dairy farmers spend money running “Drink Milk!” ads. Back then, the RIAA didn’t employ any lawyers and the record companies didn’t sue their customers for fair use of the merchandise they bought.

            And that’s what’s entirely erroneous about the current interpretations of copyright today: the position of the RIAA is that people who *pay* for the music they buy don’t have any legal rights as to what they do with it *after* they’ve paid for it. That’s wrong, and the RIAA is waging a war on that front that it has already lost.

            Oh, did I mention that “back then,” before the RIAA turned rogue, that the record companies were rolling in the dough? I should have, because it’s true. Fancy that–even with all of the fair-use “file swapping” that was going on–they still made a very decent buck. But that was before they forgot that biting the hand that feeds them is absolutely the wrong approach, especially if that hand happens to belong to your paying customers.

        • WaltC
        • 13 years ago

        Well, *anything* going through *customs* into various countries, or out of various countries, might well require some proof of ownership. There’s no special condition there that would be directly applicable in this case. And, so far as the ownership through customs is concerned, DRM is not an issue at all…;) You can either prove you own it or you can’t–customs doesn’t care about the DRM.

        Also, do you have some proof or indication that Yahoo! did not consult with copyright owners in advance of making this recommendation?

    • Buub
    • 13 years ago

    Gee, I wonder if anyone ever considered that DRM might not be a good idea, because it’s logistically unworkable. Naw… that’s crazy!

      • [TR]
      • 13 years ago

      Lo… logis… logista… no. What is this word you just made up? Does it mean DRM is the best thing ever for costumers? Because it is, you know?

    • Fragnificent
    • 13 years ago

    Haha there are people who still pay for music? I foresaw crap like this years ago. Why would I pay for music that might not be mine later? Burn everything to CD’s! 🙂

      • Usacomp2k3
      • 13 years ago

      You, sir, are an ingracious fool.

        • Fragnificent
        • 13 years ago

        No I’m someone who thinks for themselves. I highly recommend you do the same. :/ If you actually think artists receive the money from music sales, you’re mistaken my friend. If you want to support your favorite artists, donate to them or go see them live. The fact is, right or wrong, music downloading is what people are going to do. Most people, at that. You can accept that or not accept it, but it’s how people get music nowadays. People will always get something for free if they can short of stealing it. (And most people don’t do that only because of the cops). It’s human nature. As a corporation, you adapt to this or die. Simple as that. Mind you, I’m not saying it’s right or wrong, you can certainly argue it is wrong, but I’m going to do it anyway. It’s just 1’s and 0’s going over a network cable. If you argue that’s wrong, you might as well argue stealing the neighbors internet is wrong too and don’t tell me you’ve never done that before.. SO tired of the self-righteous “anti-download” folk…..*sigh* So go ahead and keep paying $25 for a CD when the songs are worth about $2 or whatever. Keep lining the record companies pockets. Or go buy it online for $1 and then when MrHappyMusicOnlineStore!.com goes out of business and you can’t listen to the music you bought, you can feel frustrated, while I continue enjoying my music. If I’m a “fool” you’re a sucker (because they still have your $1), and there’s one born every minute. 😉

          • MadManOriginal
          • 13 years ago

          You don’t ‘think for yourself’ you just want to get something for nothing. Whether one wants to argue semantics of calling it stealing or copyright infringement doesn’t matter, it’s still not legally right.

          I also wonder why people think the distribution companies and their employees deserve not to make any money or make a living. I think perhaps people don’t realize how they work. They take a risk by signing artists and paying them contracts for future work. For the artists that make it big in record sales the distributor gets back a return on their investment. For an artist who bombs they don’t. Further the artists willingly sign these contracts so they aren’t being taken advantage of, they are usually happy to sign. I’m not sure how a corporation can adapt to giving away something for free either. While I appreciate artists who are able to go direct to the fans like NIN did recently they would not have been in a position to do so without the backing of record companies in the first place.

            • Fragnificent
            • 13 years ago

            I never said it was right, in fact, I actually stated that it’s wrong right on my post. I’m not justifying it I’m saying people are gonna do it anyway. I don’t necessarily disagree with your thoughts on the record companies giving the artists a voice or whatever but it’s been proven that they make a pretttty hefty chunk of change, off someone else’s work. The artists should keep most of it, dont you think? I’ll start paying for music again (I have many CD’s) when I can go buy music for what it’s worth to me, and when I pay for it, it’s mine permanently. I’ve been burned by iTunes and shit like that, and no more. You reformat your PC, and it all disappears. Screw that. I want a song, I download it. Make a good legal version of that that works and is like $0.25 a song or whatever, and downloads the song to my PC with no anti-copy nonsense, and I’ll pay for music again. Until then, if I want a CD, I’ll buy it in a store (or even better mail order clubs), if I want a single song, I’ll go download it off LimeWire. I do it, you do it (stop lying) and just about anyone who has 45,000 songs on their laptop for “weekend parties” at every college in America does it so stop already with the righteous crap…

            • MadManOriginal
            • 13 years ago

            No need to call me a liar just because I called you a copyright infinger/thief 🙂 I have absolutely 0 downloaded music, whether paid for or not, guess what not ‘everyone’ goes to college parties with 45,000 songs on their PC. Some people are actually not in the same life situation as you *gasp* and when I was it was the Original Napster days so downloading music was available I simply didn’t do it. I get CDs, legally but cheaply, and rip them to FLAC, no DRM that way too. I wouldn’t buy compressed music anyway and see little point in downloading sutff just because I can. Also lots of music that’s coming out new these days doesn’t appeal to me so I don’t really spend that much on CDs.

            I’m sorry if my righteous crap upsets you but it’s not coming from a hypocrite. When you are working instead of going to school you might agree that getting paid for your work is a good thing, the artists agreed to pay the labels so it’s their own free will decision to do so and they don’t deserve a penny more than they agreed to.

            • Fragnificent
            • 13 years ago

            Hehe. I’m not in college anymore. Unfortunately.

            • lancepr
            • 13 years ago

            Follow kids rocks advice, just steal everything!

            §[<http://www.glumbert.com/media/kidrockpsa<]§

            • Fragnificent
            • 13 years ago

            I’m fairly certain he is using at least some level of sarcasm…

          • ssidbroadcast
          • 13 years ago

          q[

            • MadManOriginal
            • 13 years ago

            I just want to see FLAC downloads. I just can’t get over my reservation about buying compressed formats as the initial purchase. I do have an mp3 player (I use ogg to get more music in the same space at a given qulaity level) and so I listen to compressed music but I want to do that myself and be able to reencode or go to different formats without starting from a compressed file. As soon as that happens I won’t buy another CD.

          • eitje
          • 13 years ago

          it’s not human nature – it’s how ANIMALS behave.

          is that what you are? a dog, stealing a bone?

      • b4b2
      • 13 years ago

      Just buy non-DRM music and burn it to a CD.
      No one can touch then.

        • Fragnificent
        • 13 years ago

        CD sales have gone to crap since stupidity like iTunes came out…Don’t you think the people making the money (NOT the artists by the way, it’s the record companies, hence my thinking for yourself comment to Comp2k3 above) will notice when revenue goes down because people aren’t buying CD’s anymore? Why should I pay for something that isn’t really mine? That seems to me to defeat the purpose of paying “for” something…

          • liquidsquid
          • 13 years ago

          CD sales have gone to crap because the recording studios have pushed the engineers into a corner to make “loud” CDs which are even worse than the compressed crap you get online. I wont spend $5, $10, $20 on horribly clipped audio recordings. If I want it loud, I turn it up.

          CD sales have gone to crap because the record companies are so busy looking for fools to sign up, they ignore talent because it costs them more and is riskier. This translates to boiler-plate boring easy to ignore music.

          CD sales have gone to crap because there are not a lot of people left who sit in front of their speakers and listen to music critically, forcing the music industry to produce decent recordings. These people have moved into home theater since there is no compelling reason to stick with music when you have a huge plasma screen to show off.

          CD sales have gone to crap because they are not portable in quantity. If a CD were like the size of a needle, and you could put 2000+ into your iPOD all at once, but the needle stored the music not the iPOD, I am certain sales would go up. Nobody wants to lug a folder with 100CDs in it and get them all scratched up.

          -Mark

            • MadManOriginal
            • 13 years ago

            In addition to making music ‘loud’ lots of recordings these days are designed around the fact that people will end up listening to them in compressed formats. So even if the song has potential to start there just isn’t as much care put in to the engineering, mixing and recording to make it as best as it could be. Sound engineers have complained about this directly.

            I’ve found myself picking up lots of older music for this reason. Even stuff from the 60s and 70s, while obviously recorded on analog equipment, sounds much better than the ‘perfect’ loud music that seems to prevail today. There are a few artists who still make quality music that is loud but also musical and has dynamic range but it’s hard to find.

            • nonegatives
            • 13 years ago

            This is why I was so amused when the White Stripes were making such a big deal about how they recorded the entire album with old analog equipment. 99.9% of the people who would hear any of it would be listening to it in some digitally compressed format. DVD-Audio and SACD have gone away because the masses really don’t care (or would know) what good sound is. And I just laugh at the snobs who talk about how great vinyl is.

            • MadManOriginal
            • 13 years ago

            Let’s put it this way, good music is good music regardless of the recording technique. I still think that playback is best done uncompressed but even then good music is good. There are definitely good artists rcording today they just seem fewer and further between than in days past, or perhaps it’s just selective memory and nostalgia. Some of the best all-time music and rock in particular (just because that’s my general genre preference) was done on analog and even has recording and mastering errors that have become part of the song. The sounds at the beginning of Immigrant Song by Led Zep is an example.

            • Fragnificent
            • 13 years ago

            There is something to be said for audiophiles, or what have you. Some people have heightened sense of hearing or sight or touch or whatever, and they notice differences in quality . When I was younger, I had a very acute sense of hearing, so I could tell the difference between, say, 44 khz audio going over an analog channel with gold cables, and just a shitty mp3 player. As I got older, this ability to distinguish diminished with my hearing, so now I care less. It’s the same with food, some people just eat cuz they have to, other people are hedonists and enjoy food, and are very particular about what they eat.

    • flip-mode
    • 13 years ago

    Funny that a DRMed music service has the word “Unlimited” in it’s product name.

    I surely cannot be the first to note that.

      • [TR]
      • 13 years ago

      Judging by the fact that it apparently HAS costumers, you just might be!

      • Usacomp2k3
      • 13 years ago

      It’s a subscription service. DRM makes sense.

        • flip-mode
        • 13 years ago

        I didn’t say DRM didn’t make sense, I merely noted the irony of the term “Unlimited” being applied to a DRM’ed product.

    • Hdfisise
    • 13 years ago

    DRM free tracks should definitely be the way to go if anyone shuts down, and people wonder why piracy is so big.

    • herothezero
    • 13 years ago

    M$ wanted to buy this company for what reason again?

      • DASQ
      • 13 years ago

      Because morons are still typing “MS” with the dollar sign.

        • Grigory
        • 13 years ago

        I think we call them moron$ now.

        • UberGerbil
        • 13 years ago
          • indeego
          • 13 years ago

          If I had artistic talent, I’d draw a comic that says I’ve never laughed at a single strip from PAg{<.<}g

        • ludi
        • 13 years ago

        We morons tried it with an English pound sign, a Euro symbol, the Yen, and a couple others. None of them had the same ring as the good old fashioned dollar sign, so we kept it.

        Oh, and we’re not liable to giving it up, although it’s possible we could bribed. You might look into it, I do accept PayPal.

          • nonegatives
          • 13 years ago

          I think you meant to say Pa¥pal? I’m surprised I have never seen Über Linüx referenced before.

        • Mystic-G
        • 13 years ago

        It’s hard not to when they manage to live up to it quite a lot. E3 being the most recent example.

        I figure they should at least use honest slogans.

        – If we can’t beat’em, we buy’em.
        – Micro$oft, buying our way to victory one game at a time.

      • pogsnet
      • 13 years ago
        • dmitriylm
        • 13 years ago

        Oh god plea$e $top!

      • continuum
      • 13 years ago

      Pure stupidity? To waste money? I’m not quite sure what Yahoo does that’s really worthwhile… except maybe Flickr?

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