Yahoo has revealed plans to close the Yahoo! Music Store – and in an echo of the nightmare of DRM when online providers fail, has told customers it plans to stop supporting their legally-acquired music.
Essentially, the company will switch-off the authorisation servers, meaning users attempting to transfer their music collections to other computers will be sunk. They may as well have invested in 8-Track.
We’ve always been greatly concerned that DRM, far from protecting musicians, actually punishes consumers. The biggest question any music lover should ask when buying music online is “what happens when the service shuts down?”
Will the DRM still be supported? Or will music labels step in to help customers, since they have effectively taken the lion’s share of online music spending profits in digital music so far?
Clearly the answer is no in both cases. Buy music with DRM – get shafted if the store shuts down. And the labels don’t care about you, but about profits – they will sue you if you file-share, but they won’t underwrite your music collection if you are a legitimate music consumer. Another PR coup there, we note.
Anyway – here’s the Yahoo! bad news letter in full (thanks MacDailyNews).
The Yahoo! Music Store Will Be Closing; Important Information About Backing Up Your Music Files
The Yahoo! Music Store, along with the ability to purchase and download single songs and albums, will no longer be available as of September 30, 2008.
Songs and albums that were purchased through the Yahoo! Music Unlimited Store are protected by a digital rights management system that requires a valid license key before they can be played on your computer.
After the Store closes, Yahoo! will no longer be able to support the retrieval of license keys for music purchased from Yahoo! Music Unlimited, and Yahoo! will no longer be able to authorize song playback on additional computers.
After September 30, 2008, you will not be able to transfer songs to unauthorized computers or re-license these songs after changing operating systems. Please note that your purchased tracks will generally continue to play on your existing authorized computers unless there is a change to the computer’s operating system.
For any user who purchased tracks through Yahoo! Music Unlimited, we highly recommend that you back up the purchased tracks to an audio CD before the closing of the Store on September 30, 2008. Backing up your music to an audio CD will allow you to copy the music back to your computer again if the license keys for your original music files cannot be retrieved.
For further information on the closing of the Yahoo! Music Store, please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions or contact Customer Care.
Stay tuned! While the Yahoo! Music Unlimited Store will no longer be available, Yahoo! Music has partnered with Rhapsody so you can still purchase your favorite tracks. Plus, Yahoo! Music will continue to offer users a complete online music experience with the largest collection of music videos, Internet radio, exclusive artist features, music news, and more!
Thank you for using Yahoo! Music.
The Yahoo! Music team