Eliot Van Buskirk wrote an interesting piece on Wired.com today about the conflict surrounding the Zune and it’s possible Creative Commons license violations.
Here’s the background: Van Buskirk talked a bit about the Zune on his Wired blog a few weeks ago. Among other things he mentioned that the device only plays a song three times after it has been transmitted wirelessly. A reader responded by asking:
"If I have Creative Commons licensed MP3′s on my Zune and send them to another Zune (which then DRM’s them) where they can only be played 3 times this violates the Creative Commons license. How does Microsoft get around this?"
Today Van Bursik presented the answer: By not wrapping the song in DRM. Unprotected MP3s stay unprotected, but the Zune refuses to play them more than three times anyway. One explanation is that the DRM is based on the database, and not the file itself.