The recording industry has cozied up to Microsoft’s WMA technology, which can contain all of the “digital rights management” tools that will limit your right to listen to music on your computer without continuous payments. Microsoft is chasing their money and plans to cooperate fully. Here’s a quote from the license agreement for Windows Media Player 7.1 that ought to strike fear into your heart:
Digital Rights Management (Security). You agree that in order to protect the integrity of content and software protected by digital rights management (“Secure Content”), Microsoft may provide security related updates to the OS Components that will be automatically downloaded onto your computer. These security related updates may disable your ability to copy and/or play Secure Content and use other software on your computer. If we provide such a security update, we will use reasonable efforts to post notices on a web site explaining the update.
Got that? Software that will be automatically downloaded onto your computer that will disable your ability to use your .mp3 player. I’m telling you, these guys are scary.