February 22, 2004
Napster and DRM
I have a question that I'm having trouble finding the answer to. According to the Mercury News, Napster has lost $15 million in its first 2 months and its executives are jumping ship. This does not bode well for the service. So what happens to its customers if/when it closes up shop?
All the music that Napster 2.0 is selling use Digital Rights Management, which restricts the usage of the files. If Napster goes under, will people still be able to use the music they paid for, or will the DRM stop them?
Posted by george at February 22, 2004 12:07 PM
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I believe that Napster is using Microsoft DRM, which installs a license for the media file at the time that it is downloaded. So from that point on the file will be playable for the specified duration or amount of plays - regardless of whether Napster's servers are still up and running. I'm not sure what those license rules are though, as I use emusic.com.
Again, I don't know too much about Microsoft DRM, but if Napster's DRM servers weren't around anymore would you be able to export your licenses to another computer when you upgrade?
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