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Bad DRM, Bad, Bad July 28, 2004

Posted by David Card in Uncategorized.

The Wall Street Journal seems to have implemented a new log-in policy that’s bad news.

Presumably to cut back on illegal subscription sharing, the Website now forces you to log off if you want to access your subscription on a different computer. So, for instance, if you forget to log off at work – a two step process – and just shut down your browser, when you try to log on at home, you won’t be allowed to. You can’t re-log on, you just get a message saying someone else is using your account. And the WSJ default when you log on is to remember your ID and password, so you’re encouraged to stay “on.”

This new system is horribly inconvenient and bound to confuse legitimate paying customers. A simple timing-out process, after a period of inactivity, would fix it. Even forcing a user to log on for each session would be better.

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