More CD Copy Protections Coming: No More CDs Here

from the wait-a-second... dept

For all the talk here on Techdirt about file sharing, I don’t use any file sharing programs. I still prefer to have the actual CD. While I would like to be able to use file sharing apps to hear new songs in figuring out what to buy, the legality question is still very much up in the air, and it’s not worth messing around with those apps until it’s settled. A few months ago, I finally got around to the big project of converting my music to MP3s so I could listen to it on an MP3 player. Last week I bought a new CD online — and it was the first time I’ve received a CD that had copy protection on it (it points it out in tiny print on the CD — if I’d known beforehand, I wouldn’t have bought it). Since I started converting my collection to MP3, I no longer listen to CDs — even if I still like to have them for the backup and the full liner notes. It’s just more convenient to have everything on the MP3 player. So, here’s a CD that is more or less useless to me. I legally bought it — and yet I’m unlikely to listen to it at all, because I can’t turn it into MP3s. If anything, this only makes me more interested in finding the same songs on a file sharing program — and less interested in ever buying a CD again. How is this possibly beneficial to the recording industry? With that in mind, it’s amazing to see that EMI is following Sony BMG’s lead in making more CDs copy protected, and they even admit that it’s not to stop piracy, but just to annoy the legal purchasers: “Executives at EMI and Sony BMG said the point was to rein in copying by the everyday music fan, not to stop determined bootleggers.” That “everyday copying” is to make it so we can actually listen to the music we bought in a way that’s convenient. Since the “determined bootleggers” are getting the content on file sharing networks anyway — there appears to be absolutely no benefit whatsoever to putting copy protection on CDs. The only thing it does is give people less incentive to buy CDs.

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Comments on “More CD Copy Protections Coming: No More CDs Here”

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Michael Vilain says:

Why did you bother keeping the CD?

If you bought it from an on-line retail site, isn’t there any sort of return policy? If you’re stuck with the CD and you bought with a credit card, contest the charge claiming the CD is unusable to you and the merchant won’t accept it for a return. Most credit card companies allow this within 60 days of billing for the purchase.

bignose says:

Corrupt audio discs

Copy-restricted audio discs are implemented by violating the CD standards; they have a below-standard error rate, deliberately introduced to foil computer CD players.
Return the disc, complaining that it doesn’t play in a standard player as required by the “Compact Disc” mark, and is thus *not* a CD as advertised.
The only way the retail chain will care is if they don’t get your sale.

Mike (profile) says:

Re: Re: Corrupt audio discs

Best Bet — grab AudioGrabber, or CDDA and encode away.

I actually do use AudioGrabber already, so I tried it out. It actually does get most of the songs — but not all of them (and, actually, not the one song I really bought the album to hear).

What silly lengths to go through just to listen to the music I legally bought.

Binsky (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Corrupt audio discs

I had the same problem when I bought the (at the time) new Beatie Boys album…The silly thing was that it wqas perfectly possible to rip mp3’s off of it when I used my girlfriends pc. She had an older CD-ROM player, that just didn’t respond to the copy protection!

This is getting silly though, copy protection that makes it harder to listen to the actual cd.

fgc says:

the right ripper is irrelevant in some cases

i recently bought the dualdisc version of nine inch nails – with teeth and discovered that it’s cd-audio side is not cd standards compliant (read: copy protected). apparently this is “standard” for all dualdisc discs. the problem is not that i cant rip the cd, the problem is my computer will not recognize any content on the disc at all. i cannot copy, rip, or even play. the dvd-a side works fine and is easily ripped & copied. seems a mixed message here. (i should mention a friend of mine with the same disc is able to rip the cda with no problem. my disc drives are NEC ND-2500A dvd+/-rw & NEC DV-5800C dvd)

Anubis says:

Re: the right ripper is irrelevant in some cases

I bought the regular version of “With Teeth” as well as the remastered 10 Year Anniversary version of “The Downward Spiral” and have absolutely no problems ripping either of them with CDex from In fact, I was not aware there was such a thing as audio CD protection until I read about copy protection on the new LOA album. Actually, trying to find out more about it led me here…lol.
BTW: I have an older LG burner, but I rip my CDs with a generic Matshushita 52x CD-ROM.

Filip Verhaeghe (user link) says:

My First Time

Like most here, I listen to my CDs exclusively from my PC in the living room, in MP3 or similar format. All of my CD’s are digitized, which is great.

I figured it was only fair to buy the CD if I liked to artist. At the concert of Eleanor McEvoy, I bought her “Early Hours” CD. I figured it would support the artist more if I bought it there, as opposed to some online shop. She signed the CD personally, the last thing on my mind was that I would not be able to play the CD, and that I would not be able to bring it back to some shop…

After I ran into the no-play-on-CDROM problem, I figured I’d solve it with Audiograbber or something, but none of these programs helped. Next, I tried to download the music, since I have the right to, but I couldn’t find the music online.

Now this CD is NOT by BMG/Sony/EMI: it was a CD by Market Square Records, and it carries the “Compact Disk” label. I didn’t notice it at first, but it does mention the SA-CD technology, but it explicitly also say it has normal “Stereo CD”. The lesson here: don’t trust the copy protection labeling.

I simply will not buy CD’s anymore. Not a single one.

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