The Electronic Frontier Foundation was the first to report on a remarkable example of how copyright abuse can harm consumers.

Microsoft’s Zune will not play protected Windows Media Audio and Video purchased or “rented” from Napster 2.0, Rhapsody, Yahoo! Unlimited, Movielink, Cinemanow, or any other online media service. As the EFF points out, “That’s right — the media that Microsoft promised would Play For Sure doesn’t even play on Microsoft’s own device.” Of course it also will not play music or video purchased from Apple’s iTunes.

Everyone buying media with DRM restrictions is locking him or herself into a limited number of devices. When the iPod is no longer cool and you want the latest and greatest incompatible device, you’ll kiss your library of iTunes music goodbye.

The MP3 format does not have any DRM restrictions. Insist on it! Spend your money at iTunes if you must, but at least rip your own CDs into MP3 format, not whatever restricted format is set as the default in your software.

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