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A Copyright Cop In Every Zune 454

Mike writes "As if the Zune wasn't already crippled and unpopular enough, now comes a story indicating that Microsoft may build a 'Copyright Cop' into every Zune. A future update of the software for Microsoft's portable media player will likely include a 'feature' that will block unauthorized copies of copyrighted videos from being played on it. The president of digital distribution for NBC, J. B. Perrette, said the plan is to create 'filtering technology that allows for playback of legitimately purchased content versus non-legitimately purchased content.' Of course there's no way to tell legitimate content that you create from 'non-legitimate' content, so this looks like just another nail in the coffin of the Zune." Update: 05/08 20:50 GMT by T : From Microsoft employee Cesar Menendez comes this categorical denial of any such filtering mechanism.
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A Copyright Cop In Every Zune

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  • by Carnildo ( 712617 ) on Wednesday May 07, 2008 @05:19PM (#23329960) Homepage Journal
    This is a demonstration of Microsoft's new media-compatibility standard. They're calling it "Plays? Yeah sure!"
  • by NickFortune ( 613926 ) on Wednesday May 07, 2008 @05:22PM (#23330000) Homepage Journal

    I hear that if you're wiling to pay a premium, they'll arrange for Steve Ballmer to come over and kick you in the nuts, personally.

    Although, I expect that's only for corporate customers, OEMs, since Steve's time is valuable.

  • by zappepcs ( 820751 ) on Wednesday May 07, 2008 @05:23PM (#23330014) Journal
    Yeah, I was kind of wondering how many nails you need in the coffin of a dead product? I'd think the ones in there now are enough to keep it buried as a footnote for MS historians to bleat about on Pub Quiz nights?
  • by Uncle Focker ( 1277658 ) on Wednesday May 07, 2008 @05:26PM (#23330058)
    If I'm spending the money, I'd rather that he throw a chair at me.
  • by Shadow Wrought ( 586631 ) * <shadow...wrought@@@gmail...com> on Wednesday May 07, 2008 @05:28PM (#23330078) Homepage Journal
    I was kind of wondering how many nails you need in the coffin of a dead product?

    Its not so much the nails in the coffin you need as stakes in the heart. Unfortunately Zune's can only be killed by legitimately purchased stakes.

  • by Digi-John ( 692918 ) on Wednesday May 07, 2008 @05:29PM (#23330110) Journal
    There are some people who love Microsoft products, use Visual Studio to develop C# code, run Vista and swear up and down that they've never had any problems with it, and have purchased a Zune. I've known one such person. Besides him, I've never seen anyone with a Zune.
  • by Hatta ( 162192 ) on Wednesday May 07, 2008 @05:32PM (#23330158) Journal
    There are people who enjoy getting their nuts stepped on too. To each his own I guess.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 07, 2008 @05:44PM (#23330316)

    I've heard of this Zune, but never actually seen one out in the wild. Do they actually exist?

    In other words, the Zune can have as much DRM as it likes. No one who cares about that sort of thing will buy one anyway. In fact who does buy them?
    I saw a blurry photo of one and a video of one from a hundred yards away on a TV show. Then again the rest of the show was on bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster so I'd take it with a grain of salt.
  • by lewp ( 95638 ) on Wednesday May 07, 2008 @05:49PM (#23330386) Journal
    Finally, a reason not to buy a Zune.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 07, 2008 @05:55PM (#23330450)

    It goes without saying that Apple Inc., formerly Apple Computer, Inc., is among the greatest threats to centuries of progress brought about from Christian society. Having direct involvement in Islamic fascism, they are determined to undermine America and conservative values at any cost.

    Apple was founded late winter in 2001, shortly after the events of September 11, 2001 with the single focus of supporting the work of al Quaeda and Osama bin Laden. At the helm is “Steve Jobs”, better known within terrorism circles as Stennuh al Joqidah, and traitor Al Gore. These men, who are likely engaged in physical liaisons, are intellectual leaders of the vast left-wing fascist movement, which is constituted primarily of homosexuals, minorities, atheists, and scientists. Under the auspice of selling personal computers and iPods, Apple have infiltrated millions of American homes and are now targeting dozens of American businesses.

    At the tip of their spear is the Macintosh, widely known as the “Gay Computer”. These computers, which do not run the Christian operation system Microsoft Windows, are in use almost exclusively within the homosexual community. At their core is “Darwin”, software that affects nearly every aspect of the Macintosh and works to promote evolution and other atheist and scientific agendas. These machines will routinely promote materials from liberals, including Jon Stewart, while simultaneously censoring the works of true patriots like Bill O'Reilly.

    Following the Macintosh is the ever-present and highly dangerous iPod (and its cousin, the iPhone). These two devices, currently in the hands of literally hundreds of millions of American youth, fill the heads of listeners with endless Islamic and homosexual propaganda. The dangers here are self-evident, but even more frightening is the telecommunications services of the iPhone. To protect God-fearing Americans from the satanic forces at work in the world, the American government must listen in on phone conversations. (Incidentally, an activity that receives strong criticism from criminal liberals everywhere.) However, to thwart the forces of righteousness, Apple in conjunction with ATT, uses the iPhone to prevent wiretapping, and thus prevents law enforcement from defusing terrorist plots.

    In our chaotic world, we cannot afford to let these threats remain unchecked. Apple, receiving inspiration from the original sin, is attempting to destroy America and usurp Jesus at the behest of closely-allied Islamic extremists and atheists. If left to their druthers, the world will no longer be safe for our children and all patriotic Americans are encouraged to smash their Macintoshes, iPods, iPhones (anything bearing the Apple logo) and drive these cretins off our shores. Thank you for reading.

  • What this? (Score:4, Funny)

    by xbytor ( 215790 ) on Wednesday May 07, 2008 @06:00PM (#23330526) Homepage
    "non-legitimately purchased content"

    How do I non-legitimately purchase content? Are they talking about black-market Seinfeld videos?
  • by The employee can cho ( 857896 ) on Wednesday May 07, 2008 @06:17PM (#23330720)
    OK Microsoft-faithful and Apple-haters - listen up

    This is Slashdot. Who are you talking to?
  • by chartreuse ( 16508 ) on Wednesday May 07, 2008 @06:19PM (#23330738) Homepage
  • by NormalVisual ( 565491 ) on Wednesday May 07, 2008 @06:25PM (#23330818)
    Well, every now and again one gets through the filter. I understand they're working on that though.
  • by Mr. Beatdown ( 1221940 ) on Wednesday May 07, 2008 @06:42PM (#23330998)

    There are people who enjoy getting their nuts stepped on too. To each his own I guess.
    Really? Show me one.
    People who love Microsoft products, use Visual Studio to develop C# code, run Vista and swear up and down that they've never had any problems with it, and have purchased a Zune. That's 4 right there.
  • by goatpunch ( 668594 ) on Wednesday May 07, 2008 @08:35PM (#23332024)

    most people I encounter with iPods are listening to them on the bus or train - and have them buried away in their pockets.
    That does raise the obvious question... how do you know they're iPods if you can't see them? They might all be listening to Zunes...
  • by VisceralLogic ( 911294 ) <paul@NOSPAM.viscerallogic.com> on Wednesday May 07, 2008 @08:48PM (#23332134) Homepage

    In Europe, no one knows about Zune. Everything is either Apple iPod, or Creative, or Sony.
    I think it's the same here in the US.
  • by lilfields ( 961485 ) on Wednesday May 07, 2008 @08:49PM (#23332152) Homepage
    So, all I've read here is complete garbage on how Microsoft's Zune sucks...when no one here has ever even seen or used a Zune more than likely...as some have stated at least. So let me break it down for you...the Zune as a HDD player is better than the iPod Classic, the Zune as a flash player is just as good as an iPod Nano. I've own 3 iPods, and I've own 1 Zune 80. So far, I love the Zune much more than the iPod; just yesterday I received a Zune software update which has finally made the software not a complete piece of crap. There are great social features, radio, wireless, a slick interface, a "squircle" which is surprisingly easier to use than a scroll wheel. Go to Best Buy and play with a -new- Zune...aka second generation. The first generation, I frankly found to be a brick with a screen; however the Zune 80 is a different beast. The screen is beautiful and it has so many more features than an iPod equivalent. Now you can sync your Zune with WMP or iTunes thanks to a hack (Google it.)

    It really is a good device and Microsoft is making steps to combine the Xbox Live Marketplace with the Zune marketplace, which (in my opinion) will finally give iTunes a competitor. Anyhow I am willing to bet this technology never sees the light of day, a) the source is a blog on at New York Times and b) DMR has been a market failure. Just because Microsoft has blueprints of it, doesn't mean it will go to market; Microsoft will likely filter it through market testing or dumb it down just enough so they can find a happy medium for publishers and customers. The problem is that Microsoft needs to listen to the publishers, because they have such a small marketshare; Apple doesn't have an obligation...yet because of its massive marketshare; like I said though, Microsoft has plans to combine the Zune Marketplace and the Xbox Live Marketplace...and I think that could eventually compete with iTunes quite nicely, especially with the Zune's wireless syncing capabilities and the Xbox's user base.

Information is the inverse of entropy.