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Thursday, July 31, 2008
Yahoo Offers Refunds For Music That Stops Working

Yahoo will offer coupons or refunds to users who find songs they bought inaccessible after Sept. 30, when the company shuts its Yahoo Music store.

The decision to close the Yahoo Music Store had added fuel to criticisms over DRM protected music.

The company said Wednesday it is offering coupons on request for people to buy songs again through Yahoo's new partner, RealNetworks's Rhapsody. Those songs will be in the MP3 format, free of copy protection. Refunds are available for users who "have serious problems with this arrangement," Yahoo said.

Yahoo announced this year it was ceasing its online music subscription service and switching customers to Rhapsody. Subscriptions will continue at the same monthly rates for an unspecified period.

For people who bought songs outright - paying a one-time fee for a specific track rather than a continuing subscription for unlimited music - Yahoo will be shutting the digital-rights management servers needed to verify eligibility and allow playback of the music in a new computer or different operating system than those people had when they had purchased the music tracks.

Yahoo says users can burn songs onto a regular audio CD and rip them back as an MP3 file without the copy-protection technology.

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