So, Microsoft gives customers of now defunct MSN Music a final farewell kick in the teeth by pulling the plug on any future downloads or license activations. Your existing music will work until the authorized PC dies, after which it's back to the store to repurchase the music.
As of August 31st, we will no longer be able to support the retrieval of license keys for the songs you purchased from MSN Music or the authorization of additional computers.
To be honest, I've no idea why Microsoft has decided to take this course of action. Maybe the customer base is small or maybe integrating the old user data with the new system is complex, but either way it's a major blow for old MSN Music customers. While MSN Music has been defunct since 2006, users have still been able to activate new PCs to play their songs. This move effectively timebombs the existing content to the durability of the system activated at the time that Microsoft pulls the plug on the site. I'd say about five years on average, maybe ten years tops.
I guess that if you've only got a handful of songs then this isn't a big deal, but if you've got a substantial investment tied up in MSN Music downloads then be aware that as of August 31st, your content is living on borrowed time.
What more is there to say than this move sucks for consumers who paid money in good faith to Microsoft, and serves as yet another example as to why DRM is little more than an excuse to pick pocket consumers. At least highwaymen used to wear masks when they robbed you. Now the robbery is done over the Internet.