Microsoft Zune violates Creative Commons license

Microsoft Zune violates Creative Commons license. Well, of course the Zune itself doesn’t violate the license, it’s just an inanimate object.
No, the owner of the Zune will be the one that violates the CC license.

You see, the Zune has an exciting new feature that Microsoft hopes will give it an edge over the iPod, namely the ability to wirelessly transfer files between Zunes. Share with all you friends!

What about the <a href=""RIAA?In an effort to appease the RIAA, the Zune will automatically wrap all uploaded files in its own DRM if the file does not already have DRM. This DRM will disable the file after three days or three uses, which ever comes first. Think about that; the DRM is viral. IF you upload a public domain file, or even one that you made yourself, Zune will put its own brand of DRM on the file.

Now, in these cases it would certainly be annoying, but for file licensed under most versions of the Creative Commons, it is a violation to prevent the further use of the work covered under the license. Derivative works may or may not require a similar license, but the same work certainly does.

In point of fact, the copying of copyrighted works is a violation in the first place, so for commercial works, just transferring the files is a violation, but the DRM limits the damage done enough so that Microsoft hopes to avoid the sights of the RIAA. But in the case of the CC files, the violation is in the DRM, not the copying, so the damage is on-going. But of course, the RIAA sues the people that violate their license; there is no equivalent entity that will sue for the violations of the CC.

So, to avoid the problem in the first place, I urge you to boycott the Zune, unless and until there is a way to control the DRM.

Update: It turns out that the Zune doesn’t actually modify the file, but it does disable it after 3 days/plays. This is a little more questionable, but there are still those that think that whether the DRM is in the file or the device, it still stops the file from playing.



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