back to article Nokia calls Microsoft for DRM software

Nokia is to incorporate Microsoft's DRM software into its S60 and Series 40 mobile device platforms, fueling speculation that it's about to jump onto the music downloads bandwagon. Microsoft's PlayReady content access software allows owners of digital content to transfer it between different devices in a DRM-controlled manner …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bloody DRM

    Bloody DRM!

    Why has no one on Reg comments or these so called "Techys" noticed that is so easy to bypass the DRM restriction?!

    For example, I buy music off itunes... I then [do something to] get them to MP3 files with no restriction so I can do whatever the frigging hell I like.

    Not nice to see Nokia joining in with the DRM wars... wonder what bitrate they will give us as well... I like my high bitrated DRM tracks...

  2. Giles Jones Gold badge

    Oh no

    I've dreaded the day when Microsoft got its foot in the door for licencing of DRM and media formats.

    There's just no way they will ever licence to anyone using Linux, which means it's almost two horse race in the mobile market. Windows Mobile and Symbian. Linux devices and the iPhone will be shut out. It's not much of a worry for Apple who have their own DRM platform.

    DRM is as much anti-competition as it is anti-piracy.

  3. Dr. Mouse Silver badge


    Correction WRT "S60 is a web browser developed by Nokia"


    S60 is not a web browser. It is an abbreviation of Series 60, an operating system for mobile phones from Symbian, and is not developed by Nokia (or at least not only by Nokia), but is a derivative of the Psion OSes (see previous El Reg article about Psions). It is used by many phones. The first one I had was the NGage, and I currently use the N70, which runs it. The popular N95 also uses S60.


    Anyway, other than this, WHY OH WHY put Microsoft software into such a nice, reliable OS?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well I was looking at getting a Nokia

    ..but not now

    If people don't like DRM then don't buy the product - and let Nokia know that you are ditching them purely because of the DRM.

    Not that the techy voices will be heard - the average mobile phone lemming will just accept DRM and the pain and Microsoft will be laughing all the way to the bank


  5. Rich Bryant

    Why do it?

    > WHY OH WHY put Microsoft software into such a nice, reliable OS?

    Because of the available market. All Windows PCs will play it. All XBoxen will play it. All WIndows Mobile phones will play it. Both Zunes will play it. Without any hassles or re-encoding.

    The alternative was basically iTunes. I expect to see this thread flooded by Macintards any second screaming that it should have been iTunes because Apple's DRM is less evil than Microsoft's or something equally inane.

    Given supplier pressure for DRM, Nokia went for the biggest available market. All five "linux on the desktop" guys together would never buy enough music to compete with that!

    Disclaimer: I run Solaris.

  6. /\/\j17



    Actually S60 is an abbreviation of Series 60, a user interface layer developed by Nokia for the Symbian operating system.

    Currently Nokia are using versions 2 and 3 of the S60 interface - which are not directly compatible.

    Although developed by Nokia it has also been licenced to other handset manufacturers including Samsung and Panasonic.

    Sony Ericsson also use the Symbian O/S for their high end phones but prefer to use the UIQ interface, initially developed by Symbian.


  7. Karim Bourouba


    just to point out the obvious to most people who read this site:

    "..S60 is a web browser developed by Nokia and Series 40 is a platform for mobile phones based on Nokia's operating system, also known as the ISA platform.."

    S60 isnt a web browser, its a whole bleedin platform for smartphones. All of the N and E series are S60 phones - you can check for more info

  8. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

    I'm glad...

    ... that I don't use Nokia phones. Why should I pay my money to support technology designed to screw me over?

  9. Morely Dotes

    Good-bye, Nokia

    "Nokia is to incorporate Microsoft's DRM software"

    Let's see, now. That's Nokia, Sony, the BBC... Who else wants to be on our Corporate "unsuitable vendors" list?

    (Sony's there for the rootkit CD trick, in case anyone's wondering.)

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What speculation?

    Nokia will certainly launch a Windows Media based download service - that's why they bought Loudeye, who in turn bought OD2. So Nokia already have music download services using Windows Media DRM!

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The solution lies in economics

    If something doesn't do what you want it to do (i.e. allow you to copy music files), then don't buy it. Go with the compitition, or avoid upgrading. Consumers (that know what it is) don't like DRM. If the companies pushing it don't make any sales, DRM will die quickly. The latest version isn't always the best version, and as long a significant number of people won't "upgrade" than companies like Nokia will have to continue to support older products, while redesigning their new ones to do what their customer base wants them to do.

  12. Nick Ryan Silver badge

    Still waiting...

    "The latest version isn't always the best version, and as long a significant number of people won't "upgrade" than companies like Nokia will have to continue to support older products, while redesigning their new ones to do what their customer base wants them to do."

    Still waiting for Microsoft to do this with Visa...

    Oh, and maybe it's not a pact between MS and Nokia, maybe it's the BBC ensuring free and open access to the content that we've already paid for... by foisting it onto users on pathetically small screens that can't be seen in sunlight. You never know, at 2" square the iPlayer content might actually look OK

  13. Stan Ackroyd much anti-competition as it is anti-piracy

    Ha ha, good one Giles.

    "As much anti-competition"... no, it's *entirely* about anti-competition: locking out competitors, segmenting the market and controlling distribution channels. I don't think the criminal infringement community consider it much of a barrier.

    Saying "we just want to protect our hard work from being stolen by thieves" reads much better than "we want to conspire against and rob the public" though, so expect more of this industry spinning. Remember kids: the music industry loves you and wants to be your friend.

  14. Blain Hamon

    DRMs haven’t worked, and may never work

    Which MS DRM? The Zune Marketplace one, or the ironically-named PlaysForSure one, which are incompatible? And as a resident "Macintard", I have to add that it shouldn't be Fairplay either, and you can bet that Apple wouldn't bother even if Symbian begged. Remember the ROKR? Neither can I. I have to agree that, in terms of DRM you can actually license, MSFT's the only real player. But it's like saying that in terms of hands to cut off, cutting off the left hand is better. The best answer is "none of the above."

    Want in on a secret? DRM was never a key to iPod lock-in, because it never works. It was only there to appease the pigopolists. Because the real lock-in, the one that actually works, is user interface. They never even competed with the likes of Sony or PlaysForSure; their competition was bittorrent, kazaa, and gnutella - Offer a slight premium ($1 vs free) for added value (Time saved not downloading mislabeled tracks). That's why they put that big "burn CD/Defeat the DRM" button right in front. Lock in with a comfortable ripper/burner/mp3 player, and since iTunes works so well with iPods...

    Anyways, my money is on that this is not for full-out music in as much as the much-more-highway-robbery ring tones.

  15. Jan-Erik Finnberg

    Nokia has had DRM for a long time.

    Nokia phones have had DRM for a long time. How else do you think those ring tones they advertise on tv have been protected?

    But suddenly by adding support for Microsoft DRM, they become evil?

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Defective by design

    I was actually considering getting an update next month to an E70 so I could run the new version of S60 software. DRM on it's own is fine if you don't have to use it but i'm willing to bet that we'll start seeing things like ringtones must be DRM encoded as other phone models have. Looks like i'll just have to wait for that FIC Neo1973 i've been drooling over for months to hit consumer release - it'll be worth the wait to have a phone that does what it is told and isn't filled with aids.

  17. Steven Hewittt

    Could be best implementation so far

    Whist no DRM is better, at least it's less likely to be intrusive. Most people have Windows, and I think Nokia's are still the most popular handset sold in the UK - DRM is OK, as long as it's not intrusive. (E.G. I can still do the things that I want to do with my media and the DRM lets me then it's not a problem!)

  18. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

    Re Best implementation so far

    "DRM is OK, as long as it's not intrusive. (E.G. I can still do the things that I want to do with my media and the DRM lets me then it's not a problem!)"

    Non-intrusive DRM is an oxymoron IMHO. DRMs mean the content "owner" retains control over what I can or cannot do with a copy of his content after he has delivered it to me. This is an intrusion in my books, however you look at it.

    If there are tools to circumvent the technological restrictions that does not mean that DRMs no longer a problem because the use of such tools is being increasingly criminalised by sponsored legislation and it is inconvenient at the very least.

    DRMs are the symptoms of the cancer which the IP protection systems in the West have turned into. They (the copyright and patent systems) started as benign temporary measures to stimulate more innovation and creativity and have grown into a malicious monster which is used to suppress the innovation and creativity and to facilitate market power abuse by the owners of the IP.

    Just like there cannot be an OK-to-have cancer there cannot be an OK-to-have DRM system.

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