I know it to be true. I have some industry sources who share messages of interest with me from some of their own online forums.
Microsoft has lowered the boom on this issue after the Acoustica software loophole coming on the heels of Virtuosa. They definitely feel a more comprehensive solution to this is needed or they’ll be putting out these fires all summer. So, after informing Acoustica last week they were in violation of their licensing agreements, they also decided to start revoking permissions for transcoding -any- DRM protected content, regardless of the permissions set by the copyright holder. The thinking is this would shut down all transcoders which go online to check DRM status of a track prior to conversion. If there is a wholesale “no” in the key, nothing should convert. If I were a licensed software provider and Microsoft broke my software because of something I had a license to provide, I’d be mighty upset. For their part, Acoustica is just confused.
The updated DRM made it into the system over the weekend, and by Monday morning it should be fairly universal.
The real concern they have next is PyMusique and software like it that can potentially strip DRM off altogether. If that succeeds, no amount of screwing around with DRM license permissions is going to work. They are especially fearful about developments in the last week which claim to bury Napster’s DRM. The programmers say they just want to enable playback for Linux users, but just getting that to happen is just a step away from opening it up to eliminate the DRM issue altogether. There remains considerable rivalry between iTunes and everyone else, and Steve Jobs regularly delights in exposing competitors’ security holes.
Two major record conglomerates are also driving complaints about consumers recording tracks in real time and saving them to their PCs, but the majority don’t see it as a big deal.
The entire industry is continuing to push for hardware DRM “solutions” which would mandate that mainboards and/or sound cards have DRM built into them which would end -all- of these workarounds. There are two Los Angeles-area Democrats and a whole pile of Republicans who are friendly to the industry position who may seek legislative action to require DRM hardware sales in the US. People really need to begin voting in their best interests. There are a lot of elected officials in the pockets of these conglomerates, and they’ll happily legislate away your rights to fair use.