“Recent CDs by Foo Fighters and Dave Matthews Band containing new anti-piracy technology are selling well despite a backlash among some fans angry that the discs are incompatible with iPods, experts said on Thursday,” Sue Zeidler reports for Reuters. “Aiming to curb piracy, labels like Sony BMG, which released both records, are rolling out copy-protected albums in the United States, which let users make three exact duplicates of a CD, and store files on a PC in Microsoft Corp.’s Windows Media format. But the copy-protection bars users from importing music onto iPods since Apple’s Fairplay software is incompatible with Windows.”
Zeidler reports, “Record executives said they were continuing talks with Apple Computer Inc. to make these CDs compatible with iPods. ‘It’s up to Apple to flip the switch,’ said one record label executive. Apple declined to comment on such talks. ‘We have not announced any plans to license Fairplay technology,’ said Apple spokeswoman Natalie Kerris… Sony BMG, a joint venture between Japan’s Sony Corp. and Germany’s Bertelsmann, said users can get the music onto iPods by transferring files to a PC, burning them to a CD, ripping those and transferring them into iTunes.”
Full article here.
The copy-protection bars users from importing music onto iPods since Apple’s Fairplay software is incompatible with Windows? Doesn’t iTunes come in a Windows version?
This is an attempt to force Apple to license FairPlay or incorporate WMA, more than anything else. For those who say that Apple’s “closed” iTunes Music Store (iTMS) + iPod system is to blame: Apple doesn’t force people to buy their music from the iTunes Music Store to get access to their music. What does Sony BMG offer? Discs that are useless for iPod users. The best option that Sony BMG offers iPod users are lower quality versions of the albums via iTMS. What if you want the CD-quality version of these albums? Will this tactic work to force Apple to license FairPlay to others or license WMA from Microsoft?
[UPDATE: 8:04pm, EDT: Added first sentence to “take” to highlight incorrect statement in quoted article. Also added “or incorporate WMA” as per reader comment(s) below along with various other fixes.]
Sony BMG and EMI try to force Apple to ‘open’ iPod with iPod-incompatible CDs – June 20, 2005