“Major labels Sony BMG and EMI are releasing more and more new CDs that block fans from dragging their tunes to iPods,” Billboard reports. “Now, in the most bizarre turn yet in the record industry’s piracy struggles, stars Dave Matthews Band, Foo Fighters and Switchfoot — and even Sony BMG, when the label gets complaints — are telling fans how they can beat the system… For now, the copy-protected discs work only with software and devices compatible with Microsoft Windows Media technology.”
“The DRM initiatives are generating complaints from fans, many of whom own iPods. The message boards of artist fan sites and online retailers are filled with complaints from angry consumers who did not realize they were buying a copy-protected title until they tried to create music files on their home computers,” Billboard reports. “One solution artists offer to iPod users is to rip the CD into a Windows Media file, burn the tracks onto a blank CD (without copy protection) and then rip that CD back into iTunes… Columbia Records act Switchfoot, whose latest album, ‘Nothing Is Sound,’ is copy-protected — and debuted at No. 3 on The Billboard 200 last week — recently took copy-protection defiance one step further. Band guitarist Tim Foreman posted on a Sony Music-hosted fan site a link to the software program CDEX, which disables the technology. The post has since been removed.”
“Sony BMG says it is not trying to prevent consumers from getting music onto iPods. Fans who complain to Sony BMG about iPod incompatibility are directed to a Web site (http://cp.sonybmg.com/xcp) that provides information on how to work around the technology,” Billboard reports. “The company, which has sold more than 13 million copy-protected discs to date, is urging people who buy copy-protected titles to write to Apple and demand that the company license its FairPlay DRM for use with secure CDs… Artist managers are upset that the security is so easily beaten — in the case of Sony BMG, with the company’s assistance — that it makes a mockery of content protection.”
Full article here.
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What good is copy-protection that utterly fails to protect and just upsets consumers? Purchase your CDs carefully. SonyMusic feedback: http://www.sonymusic.com/about/feedback.cgi
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New Song BMG copy-protected CDs lock out Apple iPod owners – June 01, 2005