NBC and Microsoft Building Copyright Filters for Zune Player

Submitted by lalit on May 7, 2008 - 9:53pm.

According to a report by NY Times, Microsoft and NBC are working on a feature that will block unauthorized copies of copyrighted videos from being played on Microsoft’s portable media player. When asked, why NBC is working with Microsoft for selling TV shows and not with Apple, J. B. Perrette, the president of digital distribution for NBC said, the first reason is Apple insists that all TV shows have an identical wholesale price and the second reason is that Apple refused to cooperate with NBC on building filters into its iPod player to remove pirated movies and videos. Microsoft on the other hand is accepting NBC’s pricing scheme and will work with NBC to develop a copyright “cop” to be installed on its devices. DRM restricts the ways in which we can use the media bought.  I do understand that the copyright owners want to protect their content but adding a filtering technology that will decide what one can play or not play on a device that I paid for is crazy. Microsoft announced on its Zune insider blog that they have no plans or commitments to implement any new type of content filtering in the Zune devices as part of their content distribution deal with NBC. But to be true, I don’t believe Microsoft at all because the company changes its opinion every other day. Microsoft in 2005 believed that Play for Sure is the right way to sell music but they followed the Apple iTunes closed system approach and released Zune. Starting from August 2008, if you bought a song through Microsoft’s Play for sure service you won’t be able to transfer the song or play it on anything else except the computer it is authorized for. If you buy a new computer and get rid of your old computer, your songs are also gone. Another good reason to save yourself the trouble and not buy the Zune!