“We have no plans or commitments to implement any new type of content filtering in the Zune devices as part of our content distribution deal with NBC. We think some folks in the industry were expressing hopes for how the entire industry, not just Microsoft, would come to look at content distribution, and some speculation has ensued. Again, no plans are in place toward this end.”
I had read the NYT article earlier today and before the firestorm on the net had let loose, I already had my doubts as to the veracity of any of this. I mean, this would have to be a pretty boneheaded move to begin with. There’s simply no way to determine whether the bits and bytes on your Zune are something you purchased or not and I couldn't imagine Microsoft blocking out user content not purchased through the marketplace.
I do know it’s very difficult to transfer licensed music off the Zune onto a PC and then back onto a Zune. This doesn’t work already and I don’t know how easy this is with the iPod. I think that’s about the extent of it that you’ll ever have to worry about.