Five Stores That Hosed Customers With DRMS

Sure, it's easy to blithely state that DRM is annoying and sucks. But the fact is, it really can leave you holding vaporous media that you paid real money for, like when a vendor closes up shop or switches to new DRM. Last 100 rounds up five stores that have done just that: Major League Baseball (switched DRM, nuking any video bought pre-2006); Google (killed video store, and any vids you bought); Sony (ditched ATRAC and shut down Sony Connect); Virgin Digital (closed store, told customers to burn tracks to CDs and re-import as MP3); and most recently, Microsoft, which is shuttering MSN Music and its PlaysForSure (now officially worst DRM name ever) authentication servers in August.

While Apple won't be turning off FairPlay's authentication servers anytime soon, I do have this semi-dystopian fantasy of them all simultaneously, spontaneously combusting and watching billions in legally purchased music go up in smoke as it all becomes basically unmovable, save circumventing the tracks' DRM, if only so the average consumer finally learns what those three little letters really mean. Good times. [Last 100 via Dave Zatz]