WD MyBook locks your media files

December 10, 2007 // 2:33 p.m.

Tags: #1tb #digital #drm #illegal #legal #mafiaa #mpaa #mybook #nas #network #piracy #riaa #software #storage #western

So, you've bought yourself a shiny 1TB MyBook network-attached storage drive and want to use the famed media-sharing features to access your music collection from work? Not so fast, bucko: that sounds like pirate talk to Western Digital.

The drive, advertised with the taglines “Anywhere, Anytime Access” and “Share Photos and Files”, is aimed at users who have a large media collection and don't want to leave their PC on to access it. Offering the ability to “listen to your music while on vacation,” the drive seems like a dream come true for storage of your music and video collections. Purchasers are starting to find, however, that it's more of a nightmare thanks to overly restrictive DRM included by Western Digital.

The MyBook comes with built-in software to share files via a web interface, but if the files you want to share are AVIs, MP3s, DivXs, or any one of thirty-five different banned file extensions then you're out of luck: the software will refuse to even acknowledge their existence for anyone except the administrative user who created the share. Wanted your classmates to view your latest mash-up before it hits YouTube? Ain't happening.

Coming so soon after the PlusNet “we're not here to police your usage” pronouncement it's interesting to see that there are companies out there who feel the need to introduce 'features' likely to inconvenience everyday users more than they will the dirty filthy pirate types, just in case you might possibly have thought about sharing that Artist Formerly Known As Squiggle song.

If you're a creative type and were looking for a way to share your masterpieces, it might be a good idea to look elsewhere: after all, both you and Western Digital know full well that nobody gives anything away for free unless they're breaking the law.

Feeling peeved at being branded a pirate for having MP3 files on your NAS? Or do you have a better solution than Western DigitalRM's MyBook? Tell us your thoughts via the forums.
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