Microsoft handed plenty of ammunition to the anti-DRM crowd on Tuesday by announcing it will no longer furnish authorization keys for songs purchased from the defunct MSN Music service.
--the service Microsoft operated before closing it in late 2006 and opening Zune Marketplace-- the company said in an e-mail to former MSN Music customers.
It's important to note that the music won't disappear after the deadline. Songs will continue to play on authorized computers. What the announcement means is that former MSN
There are a couple of ways to safeguard the music but they aren't pretty. (the songs can be authorized to play on five different PCs). Another alternative is to burn songs to CDs and rerip. This means the loss of sound quality but offers more peace of mind.
Bloggers pounced on the news, writing that the situation illustrated just how anti-consumer that digital rights management is. The point most of them made: whatever hardware the songs are stored on will malfunction eventually, and the owner's music (in a high quality form at least) will be gone forever.
"," wrote Justin Mann at TechSpot.com.