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Old 05-27-2006, 06:52 AM
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dfkt dfkt is offline
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Join Date: May 2006
Location: Vienna, Austria
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Thumbs up iRiver gives customers the choice of switching off DRM

iRiver makes several digital music players that come loaded with an operating system that obeys Microsoft's crippling "Plays for Sure" specification -- which ensures that the device obeys big music companies instead of its owner. Hackers have fixed this for months by providing an unauthorized firmware for the device that turns it into a real MP3 player, and now the company has taken the hint and released an official version.

This is an object lesson in how DRM fails in the marketplace. iRiver's customers don't want DRM -- it makes their device less valuable. They want a device that obeys their wishes, and they're willing to void their warranties to get one.

iRiver can respond by locking down their devices further, but that's just declaring war on their customers. Instead, they did the smart thing and abandoned their Plays For Sure certification (which is meaningless, since Plays For Sure devices are notoriously incompatible in the field, prompting some former customers to call them "Plays For Shit"). They're giving their customers what they demand: legal devices that work as well as the company can make them.
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