Pirate sites are here and Microsoft might have a new scheme to make use of them. The idea is that Zunes transfering pirated files to others will give them only 3 plays before the song has to be purchased:
“The technology proposed by Microsoft would essentially allow them to capitalize on this by "encrypting" songs transferred offline (in other words Zune to Zune). The person receiving the file could use it three times, then be forced to pay for the song. Once the song is paid for sales commission go to the sender and Zune Marketplace while the bulk of the money would go to the copyright holder. They system would essentially convert illegal music into legal music. It would also give a strong retail presence to Zune by creating 1 million traveling salesmen of all ages.”
If you can’t beat ‘em, exploit ‘em? Seems like this would be an interesting sales concept, but whether or not pirates will avoid buying Zunes due to this technology is certainly debatable.