I got this mail from MSN Music this morning, and it confirmed to me that DRM is simply not for me. I will happily pay a premium to either get MP3s directly or continue purchasing CDs that I can subsequently rip to MP3.
...I am writing to let you know that as of August 31, 2008, Microsoft will change the level of support to be offered for music purchased directly from MSN Music prior to November 14, 2006. As of August 31, 2008, 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. License keys already obtained as of August 31, 2008 will continue to allow you to listen to songs on all the computers that you previously authorized for service.
We wanted to send out this notification well in advance to remind you to backup your music and to provide you sufficient time to confirm license keys for the songs you've purchased from MSN Music.
... If you intend to transfer a previously downloaded song to a new computer (or an existing computer with a new operating system, such as an upgrade from Windows XP to Windows Vista) within the maximum allowed limit of 5 computers, please do so before August 31, 2008. You will need to obtain a license key for each of your songs downloaded from MSN Music on any new computer, and you must do so before August 31, 2008. If you attempt to transfer your songs to additional computers after August 31, 2008, those songs will not successfully play.
If you have additional questions about this process or any other questions about playing your music, please visit MSN Music online help for more information or feel free to contact our Technical Support representatives for assistance, prior to the August 31, 2007 date...
General Manager, MSN Entertainment & Video Services
I do not download or share music illegally, but I do want to make sure that the music I am getting does not hold me hostage. Thankfully I spent at best about $40 on MSN Music and I have subsequently replaced most of that with MP3 counterparts. I was holding out hope that Microsoft would do the right thing here and offer people who had purchased MSN Music the opportunity to download the same songs under the Zune's DRM program, no such luck!