The company said Wednesday that it is offering coupons on request for people to buy songs again through Yahoo's new partner, RealNetworks Inc.'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.
Customers who paid a one-time fee for a specific track rather than a continuing subscription for unlimited music
will not be able to acesss the tracks, since Yahoo will be taking down the digital-rights management servers needed to verify eligibility. Copy-protection measures placed on the tracks require access
to those servers when users buy a new computer or upgrade their operating system. The company warns that "after the store has closed, you will not be able to transfer songs to another computer or
relicense these songs after changing operating systems." Users can burn songs onto a regular audio CD and rip them back as an MP3 file without the copy-protection technology, but it can result in a
loss in quality. --Tanya Irwin