Yahoo! Music Store closes…taking the keys with it

As reported in Ars Technica, customers who bought digitally restricted media (DRM) from Yahoo! Music Store will lose the technical ability to play the music they lawfully acquired.

As Corey Doctorow has been teaching for years:

1. That DRM systems don’t work

2. That DRM systems are bad for society

3. That DRM systems are bad for business

4. That DRM systems are bad for artists

5. That DRM is a bad business-move for [in this case, MSFT]

But his lecture applied equally to AAPL, and YHOO.  But as Upton Sinclair said many years ago “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it,” and all these technology companies seem to believe that their paychecks depend DRM, whether practical, whether beneficial, whether profitable, whether fair, either in the general or in the particular.

But maybe this is a failure we can all learn from.  As long as the consuming public is ignorant as to the consequences of their actions, what cause have they to behave any differently?  Perhaps now that insult has become injury, more people will think twice about whether they really want to spend money on a right that can vanish with a shift of the economic winds. Perhaps they will reconsider the logic of a system which, after a finite time makes things less accessible to them instead of what the US Constitution promises, which is to shift the rights to the public after a limited time.

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