There's an article in the NY Times entitled Want an iPhone? Beware the iHandcuffs which contains the following excerpt
Even if you are ready to pledge a lifetime commitment to the iPod as
your only brand of portable music player or to the iPhone as your only
cellphone once it is released, you may find that FairPlay copy
protection will, sooner or later, cause you grief. You are always going
to have to buy Apple stuff. Forever and ever. Because your iTunes will
not play on anyone else’s hardware.
Unlike Apple, Microsoft has
been willing to license its copy-protection software to third-party
hardware vendors. But copy protection is copy protection: a headache
only for the law-abiding.
Microsoft used to promote its
PlaysForSure copy-protection standard, but there must have been some
difficulty with the “for sure” because the company has dropped it in
favor of an entirely new copy-protection standard for its new Zune
player, which, incidentally, is incompatible with the old one.
the overly trusting customers who invested earlier in music collections
before the Zune arrived. Their music cannot be played on the new Zune
because it is locked up by software enforcing the earlier
copy-protection standard: PlaysFor(Pretty)Sure — ButNotTheNewStuff.
name for the umbrella category for copy-protection software is itself
an indefensible euphemism: Digital Rights Management. As consumers, the
“rights” enjoyed are few. As some wags have said, the initials D.R.M.
should really stand for “Digital Restrictions Management.”
It's weird to see the kind of anti-DRM screed that one typically associates with people like Cory Doctorow getting face time in the New York Times. DRM is bad for society and bad for consumers. It's that unfortunate that Microsoft is the company that has made one of the bogey men of anti-DRM activists a reality. As Mini-Microsoft wrote in his blog post The Good Manager, etc, etc, ...
In the meantime, I think a positive-because-it's-so-negative result of Zune is that it added fire to the DRM debate
No longer is it a theoretical problem that buying a lot of DRMed music from a vendor leaves you vulnerable if the DRM becomes unsupported or falls out of favor. Thanks to Zune and its lack of support for PlaysForSure. Now even the New York Times has joined the in the rally against DRM.
I have to agree with Mini-Microsoft, this is one of those things that is so bad that it is actually turns a 180 and will be good for all of us in the long run.