While some people whom I greatly admire have stronger feelings than I on the subject, and many others, I felt the need to share some thoughts on DRM this morning.

Here at Rutgers, we had been promoting Ruckus for music downloading. The idea was that if you go to Rutgers, you get to use their service for free and download your music. I’ve never used it. Even if their software had worked with Linux, it’s still so badly DRM’ed that I couldn’t even burn the music to a CD. Being an old-fashioned person who has a regular old non-MP3 cd player in my truck, what good would that do me?

So, today Ruckus just shows this:

Ruckus shutdown graphic

I’ll admit it, I’m not the least bit sad to see it go. And not just because it was Windows-only at a time when Linux is gaining in popularity and MacOS is all-out exploding. What was my real problem with it? The DRM. What good is a bunch of 1’s and 0’s if I can’t use it the way I like? You couldn’t burn Ruckus music to CD, and I doubt you could use it on my ancient Sansa 512MB MP3 player either, as it doesn’t support DRM (and runs Linux).

So what’s my final thought? From TechCrunch.com:

We’re told that music that has not passed its “renew date” still works, but that music that has expired will no longer work because the DRM licensing server has apparently shut down.

If DRM wasn’t bad enough to begin with, the music you already have will just stop working… because the original distributor isn’t there anymore to tell it to work.


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