New Sony BMG copy-protected CDs lock out Apple iPod owners

“As part of its mounting U.S. rollout of content-enhanced and copy-protected CDs, Sony BMG Music Entertainment is testing technology solutions that bar consumers from making additional copies of burned CD-R discs,” Reuters reports. “Since March the company has released at least 10 commercial titles — more than 1 million discs in total — featuring technology from U.K. anti-piracy specialist First4Internet that allows consumers to make limited copies of protected discs, but blocks users from making copies of the copies.”

Reuters reports, “The concept is known as ‘sterile burning.’ And in the eyes of Sony BMG executives, the initiative is central to the industry’s efforts to curb casual CD burning… Under the new solution, tracks ripped and burned from a copy-protected disc are copied to a blank CD in Microsoft’s Windows Media Audio format. The DRM embedded on the discs bars the burned CD from being copied… Among the biggest headaches: Secure burning means that iPod users do not have any means of transferring tracks to their device, because Apple Computer has yet to license its FairPlay DRM for use on copy-protected discs.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Is this a nice Statue of Liberty play (desperate trickery or misdirection) against Apple by Sony BMG or just another type of CD that consumers should refuse to purchase? If people bought these discs in numbers could it pressure Apple to license FairPlay?

68 Comments

  1. “…copied to a blank CD in Microsoft’s Windows Media Audio format.”

    And that, boy and girls, is why the whole effort is a waste of everyones’s time. Who’s dumb enough to make an unpopular format even more abhorant? Asked and answered.

  2. They’re COMPUTERS for fuxsakes! If you can play it back, you can copy it digitally. Like all the other ill-fated methods, this will be be cracked by one entrepreneuring hacker and shared with the many within the usual timespan of 24-72 hours.

  3. You used to be able to circumvent this protection by holding down the shift key when inserting the CD. Apparently works on the Dark Side. This may be an “enhancement” to that system though
    mw: Spirit as in “not in keeping with the”

  4. To answer the MDN take, it’s another type of CD that consumers should refuse to purchase. Should this become mainstream, I will never buy another CD again – I’ll stick with iTunes. It’s funny that they try to appease the consumer by offering picture galleries on the CD. What a joke.

  5. Ok sooooo

    I find it hard to believe that someone won’t crack this before the end of the week.

    I also don’t understand how the disc could possibly tell my computer that it can ONLY rip .wma files.

    This sounds like a product that will work like intended in Windows, but NOT like intended on Mac’s.

    I feel like buying one just to see what can.. and can’t be done.

  6. “The DRM embedded on the discs bars the burned CD from being copied…”

    It sounds like you can’t copy a burned disk to iTunes or an iPod. It doesn’t say anything about copying an original CD to iTunes or an iPod. So what is the big deal?

  7. Sony BMG labels are:
    Arista Records
    BMG Classics
    BMG Heritage
    BMG International Companies
    Columbia Records
    Epic Records
    J Records
    Jive Records
    LaFace Records
    Legacy Recordings
    Provident Music Group
    RCA Records
    RCA Victor Group
    RLG – Nashville
    Sony Classical
    Sony Music International
    Sony Music Nashville
    Sony Wonder
    Sony Urban Music
    So So Def Records
    Verity Records

    So now you know who to avoid. But if you like all the top 40 music and want to buy those CDs, you’re going to have a hard time avoiding what they are forcing on you.

  8. “Under the new solution, tracks ripped and burned from a copy-protected disc are copied to a blank CD in Microsoft’s Windows Media Audio format. The DRM embedded on the discs bars the burned CD from being copied. “
    – It sounds like it might only apply to songs ripped in the WMA format. So as Escaport said, you probably can still rip the original to iTunes and then transfer to an iPod.

    – If you can still do what you like with the original, then I don’t see this as too much of a problem, but I agree with JadisOne that if at all possible, consumers should not buy and support this CD format.

  9. You guys are all criminals. Stop music piracy. The intellectual property is exclusive to the corporation and musician, not for your unfettered sharing and use.

  10. CDs with this kind of copy protection are, AFAIK, not Red Book-compliant CDs and should not be marketed as such.

    Copy protection should be implemented using SCMS technology and players like iTunes, Windows Media, etc. should be obliged to recognise SCMS flags – however, given that every man and his dog seems to be able to write a media player nowadays, the likelihood is that this situation will never occur.

    So, assuming that there is no warning on the exterior packaging of what we shall now call “The Fake CD”, here’s the answer…

    1) Buy the CD – even if you don’t want it.
    2) Take it back to the store the next day and say it doesn’t work in your Mac or in conjunction with your iPod.
    3) When record stores get tired of processing 30,000 refunds for every Sony BMG release, they’ll flag them with “The Mark Of Cain” by informing you in store that the disc won’t work with an iPod.
    4) The 12-34 age group will stop buying the Fake Discs in store.
    5) The stores will cease giving the Fake Discs shelf and warehouse space
    6) The record companies will be left with huge volumes of redundant stock

  11. And what’s to prevent someone on any machine from sucking the audio off the “protected” CD at a later time using the various software offerings that are out there for directly tapping into the audio feed?

    The rest of it just doesn’t make sense on so many levels.

  12. “You guys are all criminals. Stop music piracy. The intellectual property is exclusive to the corporation and musician, not for your unfettered sharing and use”

    And you’re an idiot. I think most people here are just referring to the fact that they want to be able to put it on their iPods, and cannot.

    Does that make us criminals? The answer is no.

  13. I just read an article where Alicia Keys brags about how touring is so much better now because thanks to iTunes she can take her entire music collection with her on tour without it taking up a lot of space. She also said she owns a Mac. Alicia is with J records, a Sony/BMG label.

    MW = “dead” (no lie!)

  14. I’m fine with whatever restrictions that music companies impose on their property.

    You should be fine with it too. If not, don’t buy their product.

    Bunch of mac-whiners. Boo hoo, it doesn’t work with my precious iPod.

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