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The limitations of Zune DRM

As you may have read there are individual tracks which can’t be shared via Wifi due to restrictions of the content owners. But the Zune DRM allows them, at least technically, to select: A play right, a burn right, a sync right and a send right and maybe more than these.

Some days ago there was an issue about which and why some files purchased from the MarketPlace can’t be shared via Wifi. Although there wasn’t a clear answer on this, the general idea is that content owners can restrict the Zune to Zune Wireless sharing of some tracks.

Reading an article of the Microsoft knowledge database, appears that it allows more restrictions to be set by content owners. They could allow or deny for tracks purchased from the MarketPlace or rented using the Zune Pass:

  • Play right: Listen to tracks on your PC using Zune Software (or Windows Media Player)
  • Burn right: Burn tracks on an audio CD
  • Sync right: Sync a track to the Zune Player.
  • Send right: Send a track Zune to Zune via Wifi to another Player

I’ve never read about a “play right” and “sync right” limitation anywhere. About the “burn right”, I know it is “on” for all the tracks purchased and “off” for all the Zune Pass tracks. The “send right” is off for some tracks and there is no way knowing it before trying to share and get an error. It is “on” for any track ripped from a CD or through other sources.

Here is the part of the article talking about it:

Media usage rights are permissions to use a protected audio or video file in a particular way.

Content owners specify the media usage rights for content that was obtained from the Zune Marketplace, and how you can use the protected audio that you subscribe to or purchase. For example, media usage rights may let you play an audio file on a computer (a play right), to burn the audio file to an audio CD (a burn right), to sync the audio file to your Zune device (a sync right), or to send the audio file to a Zune device (a send right).

For the content that we sell through the Zune Marketplace, we will respect any restrictions that the content owners have applied for sending.

Being technically possible it doesn’t mean these restrictions apply to any tracks on the MarketPlace. In any case have you met any other except the “send” (some tracks only) and “burn” (Zune Pass only) ?

You can read the article of the knowledge database here. Another related is here.

Microsoft, Zune, Zune DRM

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