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Yahoo to compensate music store refugees

updated 06:55 pm EDT, Sat July 26, 2008

Yahoo Music Compensation

Yahoo will compensate customers of its Yahoo Music online store once the company shuts down its servers and prevents customers from renewing their copy protection licenses, the company says. The firm now says that anyone who purchased tracks in addition to their monthly subscriptions to Yahoo Music will be refunded "for whatever [was] paid" for the songs so that they aren't forced to repurchase the tracks later. All active subscribers can also voluntarily transfer over to RealNetworks' Rhapsody subscription service and will have their lower $10 monthly rate carry over for a limited amount of time.

Customers should also have the option of converting their songs to unprotected MP3 songs from Rhapsody instead of receiving the refund. This will let them keep their tracks and freely copy them as well as get new compatibility, according to Yahoo Music representative Carrie Davis.

The gesture has echoes of a conciliatory move by Microsoft for customers of its long-closed MSN Music store, which will also shut down its copy protection servers this server. Instead of direct refunds, however, Microsoft has chosen to continue running the servers for three more years and deciding on its next course of action afterwards, depending on customer demand.

Yahoo's initiative re-emphasizes the potential issues with active digital rights management (DRM) systems such as the PlaysForSure system for protected Windows Media files. As the license keys for these purchased songs require an active Internet connection with a functioning DRM server, the method requires the company selling songs to maintain a server at all times. Other copy protection systems, including those for iTunes, often require only an initial authorization to play tracks.



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. SlimGem

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2008

    0

    Mmmm

    Well, it's something.

  1. Peter Bonte

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2001

    +1

    Something

    The poor b******* get there money back, Yahoo can't do much more than this. Lesson learned, never go in bed with MS. :P

  1. Guest

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 1999

    +2

    Something?

    Yes, it's something, but really not enough to let Yahoo! off the hook. It's "hey, you know that car I sold you last year? I'm taking it back. Here's your money back... no, you have no say in the matter."

    @ Peter Bonte: Yahoo! can, in fact, do much more than this. As the article points out, Yahoo should give people the option to trade in their DRM'd tracks for MP3s without DRM.

    This is Yahoo!'s fault and Yahoo! should feel the pain for the bad decision.

  1. Guest

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 1999

    +1

    lesson burnt

    give them money back? how are they gonna learn not to buy stuff from idiot MS-affiliated schemes now?

    Oh wait, they're giving them credits for RHAPSODY!

    Their lesson's still coming....

  1. pairof9s

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Jan 2008

    +1

    ???

    "Their lesson's still coming...."

    I'm not sure what this means. Do you imply that there is something to worry about DRM-free, 256 bit rate MP3 songs for $1 a song? Or is it that the credits they get will not allow them access to Rhapsody's MP3 songs?

    I've got nothing but good things to say about Rhapsody's MP3 store. As a long time iTunes user, I don't see a problem w/ a better offer, other than perhaps the use of MP3 versus AAC compression.

    /

  1. dynsight

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: May 2005

    0

    If Apple goes under?

    I am a Apple user and love their products, so please do not jump all over me...

    But what happens with iTunes DRM if iTunes goes out of business? Sure it might play on the 5 PC's, but what if you upgrade to a new PC and there is no company to manage the authorization. Although this scenario is unlikely, it does make the DRM free offerings at Amazon more appealing.

  1. Guest

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 1999

    -1

    my 2 cents

    @dynsight

    i am sure there will be hacks to get the DRM off itunes music files, especially after apple stops supporting the locking down of itunes music. most likely there will be 'leaked' info on how to get the DRM off. i know its not based on fact, but that is just my feeling according to what i know about the fun loving, hippie, fight the power people that work at apple.

    my 2 cents..

  1. Guest

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 1999

    +1

    learnt

    "'Their lesson's still coming....'

    I'm not sure what this means. Do you imply...'"

    No, I don't even use iTunes Store. I've purchased a few songs from them, then after many months of no purchases, i bought a song--from Amazon, precisely becuase it IS in .MP3, which will play in my car's CD player.

    No, I'm referring to the lesson of "Plays for Sure", which MS started and evangelized to heck and back--then abandoned, s******* countless trusting buyers.

    Perhaps over-cynically, I imagine that Rhapsody will ultimately be a news story with a community of disgruntled, orphaned users.

    I agree that everything you say is a good thing and I just hope it's not yet another service on the bankruptcy list, which seems so common these days.

    Really, though, they should have just given them their money back.Everybody who tries a service besides the juggernaut unstoppable iTunes is taking a silly risk, and they should reassure people by giving them their money back, not scare them by giving them credits to a service which may or may not last.

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