Buoyed by the news that three of the four labels are now making music available as DRM-free MP3s
, Wired's digital music columnist Eliot Van Buskirk has resigned from all the DRM-based subscription services he had subscribed to: Yahoo, Napster and Rhapsody. In a fascinating piece, he recounts the process of resigning from each one. Yahoo only took one minute, but check out the rigmarole Napster puts you through!
What a pain. There's no way to cancel online, so I called the cancellation number (800.839.4210) and waited on hold for about 20 minutes listening to messages like "Did you know that your Napster subscription lets you access over 5 million tracks? Please hold, and a customer service representative will be with you shortly."
A woman came on the line and asked me a bunch of questions (Was this my first call? Could I confirm my email? Is there a phone number on which she could call me back in case something goes wrong with the call? Can I hold again?). Granted, this is two days after Christmas, but still, I wasn't too happy at how long this was taking.
When she took me off hold again, I told her I wanted to cancel because 2007 was the year 3 of the major labels started selling music without DRM. Back on hold.
She came back -- presumably after consulting a manager or the internet to find out what DRM is -- and then responded, "I don't understand, because all of our music contains DRM." Back on hold. This time, I told her I wanted to cancel because the files were DRMed, and she finally canceled my subscription.
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s merciless mashup of the UK’s bumbling pound-shop Thatcher with Monty Python’s classic work of historical documentary is bound to infuriate the reactionary wing of the Pythons, but it brought a lasting smile to my face. (Thanks, Robbo!)
A new report from the US Copyright Office on Section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act — a controversial law that bans breaking DRM, even for legitimate purposes — calls for sweeping, welcome changes to the DMCA.
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