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Main > Archives > 2008 > July > Yahoo Music Shuts Down, Your Music is Kaput

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Yahoo Music Shuts Down, Your Music is Kaput

I started covering the convergence of digital music, technology and society in 1999 while in graduate school at Berkeley.

I wrote hundreds of stories on the subject during my tenure at Wired magazine and Wired News, but the underlying theme was always the same: the recording industry wanted to make sure that you never owned your music.

Odd, huh.

The real fallout from the Napster file-trading legal wrangling is simple, the courts codified into law this simple fact: no matter what form you buy your music -- listening on the radio, buying tapes or CDs, purchasing digital files -- the reality is that you are only purchasing a license to listen to that music. You don't actually own anything.

How can I prove such an outrageous lie, you ask? Yahoo Music announced it would shutter its service anymore, which means that songs you purchased will -- at some point -- stop working because Yahoo won't have servers running that verify that you actually own the music.

Lest you think this is the first time this controversial "licensing scheme" has hit customers, check out this story from Cnet that chronicles Microsoft's headaches with the exact same issue.

In fact, you can't even purchase a CD ("but I own it") and legally make a digital back up of that work. Why? Because you only purchased the license to play to music, not anything else.

But, you know, keep on rockin' in the free world.

By Brad at 03:31 PM | Comments (0)

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