6.24.2008

why i still buy CDs. & the issue of transference.

"Last April, Microsoft met with criticism when it announced that it would deactivate all music purchased from MSN Music." more at my legal love, the EFF.

as we move more and more digital, we will be experiencing ownership risks. i'm not talking copyright. i'm talking unabashed cynicism. i'm saying as money becomes credits and CDs become digital--as these things are subjected to hacking, crashing, burning, and who knows what else--we are going to be faced with the dilemma of easy transference. when something intangible goes "missing" who owns it?

for an easy example. i purchased for my mother a Starbucks iTunes card which would theoretically have enabled her to download, via iTunes, the entire new Duffy album. i spent tangible cash on it. she goes home and it won't download. now, yes, the iTunes reps have been very helpful. but that's not the point. the point is, it's not in her purchase history--so she can't report a problem on it. it's not downloaded somewhere odd on her hard drive, and yet, it says it's already been redeemed. where did my $14 go? to a little 5x7 plastic card with some musician in chiaroscuro on the front.

now with things like MSN threatening to "deactivate purchased music" by 2011, what happens with that? it was purchased. ownership was transferred. and yet, they are able to legally retract that. purchase not valid after X date. sounds like a library to me--and yet there was a monetary exchange. where did that go? if you can't hold your music in your hands--do you own it? have you purchased it? or just lent a big company some cash? in a way it reminds me of folks paying real dollars for intangible World of Warcraft objects.

"DRM-crippled music still has an expiration date –- whenever the company that sold that music becomes unable or unwilling to continue supporting the copy protection."

but hey. maybe that's just my affinity for the stone gods talking.

2 comments:

The Flash said...

You have just re-motivated me to pay some college kid $300 to sit and copy all my MP3s to CDs and index them so these things never happen to me.

the girl Riot™ said...

hell yeah! i do download digital, to be sure. i'm an iTunes girl. but you better believe i have copies on a second hard drive and on CD, too. i love music too much to lose it all. $300 well spent, i say. ;)