CyberTech Rambler

November 28, 2006

Zune does not satisfy Creative Common License in spirit

Filed under: Uncategorized — ctrambler @ 3:31 pm

Hot on the heel on Microsoft-Novell’s agreement violating the spirit of GPL if not the actual text, Microsoft’s Zune player is said to do the same with Creative Common License. At issue is the fact that your Creative Common Licensed work uploaded to you via Zune WiFi must go through the same indignity that all other upload must suffer, i.e., it will delete it on the third playback, or third day, whichever earlier.

Now, before we start saying “here we go again” or “it is only to be expected”, I believe Microsoft did not target Creative Common directly. The same cannot be said for GPL but that is a different issues. In fact, this may be a side-effect of keeping record labels happy with the over-the-air exchange of copyright material, with the intention of stopping rampant sharing of copyright material which users ripped from CD. However, I must admit this is poor execution on Microsoft’s part.  A good design will, at least in the minimum, use the metadata on the deleted material (which survive the delete) to point users to websites to download the material the next time the Zune player is hooked to the computer. Or even better, as suggested by Creative Common, use the URL to check with Creative Common whenever the device is hooked to the net. Then again… may be this will diminish Zune’s music store standing.

Creative Common has not ruled out modification to its license that will make this act of  deletion-through-ignorance illegal. If they do, this will permit the content creater to sue Zune. Apparently, one of the consideration is whether Zune proved popular. I say put this in the licesne whether Zune is popular or not. To concentrate on Zune alone is simply tunnel vision. Moreover, if reviews are any guide at all, Zune is perhaps…doomed.

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