People who bought music from the MSN music store have been royally hosed by Microsoft: as of today, if you buy a new computer, or refresh your hard-drive, you have to kiss all your music goodbye. Microsoft has shut down its DRM "license server" and left people who bought music — instead of downloading it from a P2P site — out in the cold. All those years the music industry spent insisting that the only way they'd sell music is with crippling DRM attached managed to totally discredit the idea of buying music at all:
MSN Entertainment and Video Services general manager Rob Bennett sent out an e-mail this afternoon to customers, advising them to make any and all authorizations or deauthorizations before August 31. "As of August 31, 2008, we will no longer be able to support the retrieval of license keys for the songs you purchased from MSN Music or the authorization of additional computers," reads the e-mail seen by Ars. "You will need to obtain a license key for each of your songs downloaded from MSN Music on any new computer, and you must do so before August 31, 2008. If you attempt to transfer your songs to additional computers after August 31, 2008, those songs will not successfully play."
This doesn't just apply to the five different computers that PlaysForSure allows users to authorize, it also applies to operating systems on the same machine (users need to reauthorize a machine after they upgrade from Windows XP to Windows Vista, for example). Once September rolls around, users are committed to whatever five machines they may have authorized–along with whatever OS they are running.