Services shutdown, a call for dataportability

I've seen a couple of things recently which has had me screaming data portability.

Yahoo is going to shutdown its DRM licence servers, so if you've bought DRM music from the Yahoo store its going to stop working soon. This already follows the shut down of the unlimited music store a while ago. When MSN did this a while ago they at least switched on another load of servers and promise to keep them running till 2011. Without going into the whole DRM is a stupid idea and killing music debate data portability wise, the only way to get your LEGALLY purchased content to play on your computer in the future is to burn it to a Audio CD and then rip them. For people who have seen my dataportability talk, I have a slide (44) I use to talk about what happens when services shutdown. Well everyone laughs when i talk about one by one transfering images from a online service, well imagine burning 100's of albums to audio cd just so you can rip them again into a free or open format. This is insane and should not be tollerented by people who paid for music. Oh a quick plug, if your affected by this whole thing, give the open rights group a shout.

Its not just Yahoo at it, AOL have also decided to suspend some of their services and give their (in some cases – paying) customers a dilemma over getting there data back. Xdrive, AOL Pictures and Bluestring. There in talks about selling the services and if not AOL have said they will consider burning CDs and DVDs for its customers or allow them to transfer to other services. It will be interested to see if it allows access to other rival services.

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Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser.