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Old 01-02-2006, 05:48 PM   #1 (permalink)
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DRM, Anti-piracy and how I learned to hate the industry...

Well, after the Sony/BMG debacle with Digital Rights Management, you'd think it'd take another year or so for another company's folly to come about. However, Virgin Records appears to be doing something similar. Text for the Virgin Records issue is:

A CD insert to make Sony blush

1/2/2006 1:47:06 PM, by Ken "Caesar" Fisher

Coldplay's latest CD provides what may be one of the best tools to use against the onslaught of anti-consumer digital rights management technology. Their most recent album, X & Y, now comes in some regions with an insert that warns users not to expect the CD they just purchased to work with just any old CD player (the following exemplar is from India). Stating that "This CD cannot be burnt onto a CD-R or hard disk, nor can it be converted into MP3 for file sharing," the insert goes on to list 12 bullet-pointed exceptions to what devices can actually play the disc. But before they deliver the bad news, they start off with the good stuff.

Thank you very much for purchasing this CD and helping the cause of "Anti-Piracy." The recordings in this CD have an anti-copying function. They cannot be copied into a PC. In order for you to enjoy high quality music, we have added this special technology.

In less than 100 words, the spin doctors get their jabs in. See, MP3s are for file sharing (did you realize that?), and DRM is a special technology that will allow you to "enjoy high quality music." The hilarity rises to a fever pitch when the massive list of devices which can't play the CD is listed.

* Some CD players that have the capability of burning into an MP3 (such as portable players or car stereos).
* Some CD players that possess CD-R/RW functions (such as portable players or car stereos).
* Some car stereos with satellite "Guidance" systems
* Some CD players or car stereos with hard disk recording capacity
* Some CD-R/RW Recorders used for music

At this point, you may be think that CD-R users are being told to get lost, but it only gets better. The list goes on:

* Some portable CD players
* Some DVD players
* Some CD/LD Convertible Players
* Some Game Players

At this point I'm left wondering why they didn't just write "some CD players" and leave it at that. Clarity, however, is not part of the mission statement for DRM supporters. Witness this car wreck of a description of what the CD does on Windows:

* Although you can use your PC's Windows program to listen to certain tracks, this does not mean that the CD can be played in all PCs.
* The first time that this program is used (in Windows automatic starter software) it gets registered in Windows File. Thus, programs already registered to not affect Windows operations.
* Windows OS also uses the latest files.
* This CD does not support Macintosh PC software.

OK, I guess.

You might find this notification honest and perhaps even useful. Think again. Not only is the insert on the inside of the CD jewel case, where you can't see it until you've paid for the disc and cracked it open, but the insert kindly informs you that you can't return the merchandise.

* Except for manufacturing problems, we do not accept product exchange, return, or refund.

By now you may be wondering how this could be used as a tool against the onslaught of DRM. It's simple: copy this warning text, or get your hands on the actual insert, and mail it to everyone that represents you in government. This is a fantastic example of what industry players will do if they can get away with it. And the best part of it all? This copy protection is a complete waste of time; the album is available all over P2P networks, without DRM. Once again, the industry decides that punishing its paying customers is the best way to go. And one user who ended up with the CD found out that he could rip it anyway.
So what the hell? Why do companies continue to alientate customers that actually BUY the item, and not realize that they still fail entirely to prevent piracy and P2P file sharing? This kind of thing so thoroughly infuriates me that it's hard to express in words alone.

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Old 01-02-2006, 06:11 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Location: The Netherlands
I too can get pissed at record labels for this kind of sh*t.

I can see some of their point (being a trade-off between legal and illegal song trading). But I think this is not the way to go.

I can get even more pissed that the industry is not going overboard with this. I wish they'd just DRM themselves into oblivion. DRM everything! Make it so no-one can play the discs on anything except X.Y model of Z manufacturer.

That'll teach consumers!

Because that's part of the problem: Joe consumer is not (too much) bothered by this. This means that this will not hurt record sales too much, and therefore it will not be stopped.
More and more records will be DRM'd. But just one at a time, just so it doesn't affect us too much.
The record labels are softening us into the DRM'd world where they dictate what we can listen to, when and for how much.

I soooooo hope they go too fast, consumers revolt and we all go listen to independent music labels

Just my $.02

Just for the record (scuse me ): I normally do not buy CD's. I don't download songs either. I listen to the radio, and that's that. But it infuriates me to see an Industry bully joe consumer in a direction.
"Do not kill. Do not rape. Do not steal. These are principles which every man of every faith can embrace. "
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Old 01-02-2006, 06:19 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Location: Manhattan, NY
I haven't bought a CD in years... so no effect to me.

It just means that when I do happen to go to the store and think about buying a CD I just may put it back down because of this kind of practices.
I don't care if you are black, white, purple, green, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, hippie, cop, bum, admin, user, English, Irish, French, Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Buddhist, Muslim, indian, cowboy, tall, short, fat, skinny, emo, punk, mod, rocker, straight, gay, lesbian, jock, nerd, geek, Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, Independent, driver, pedestrian, or bicyclist, either you're an asshole or you're not.
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Old 01-02-2006, 06:22 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Location: Fort Worth, TX
Wow, must be rough. So instead of ripping it directly to the computer we hook the computer to an audio output from a cdplayer.

All they're doing is giving everyone further justification to download.
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Old 01-02-2006, 06:58 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Location: Central PA
I just bought dmb's stand up -dual disc- "the audio side of this disc does not conform to CD spec. and therefore not all DVD and CD players will play the audio side of this disc". it doesnt go into that much detail about what it will work with and what it wont. it doesnt work on my computer but it will work on my pioneer head unit which is the important one, if that didnt work i would have taken it back and purchased the non dual disc cause it doesnt say that it doesnt comform to cd spec. so at least with BMG its just the dual disc that is this way. I do wish i could have put it on my computer so i can put it on my wma player /shrug
What type of...

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Old 01-02-2006, 08:55 PM   #6 (permalink)
Location: home
This crap is getting so old
all it does is disable legitimate use.
any pirate will just use linix,
or rip it the old fashioned way.
It makes me wan't to go burn a dozen copies
just to give away
The record companys won't be happy
till they can beam the song directly into our heads
and charge us $.25 every time we hear a song
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Old 01-02-2006, 09:53 PM   #7 (permalink)
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They're trying to stop piracy, I got the same message in mine. I didn't really care because I usually just listen to the CDs. I use to just take specific tracks off but to me certain songs are not the same without the whole CD being there. CDs such as Pink Floyds "Dark Side of the Moon." It's a complete CD and taking one or two tracks off ruins the individual song. Anyways, though I do not support ultra egos like Lars (hence why I have not bought a Metallica CD) but I would rather support new, up and coming bands such as Thornley or Coldplay with their new album.
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Old 01-02-2006, 10:18 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Location: 17TLH2445607250
streak_56... that's not the issue. I mean, fair use and all is important to me, and I believe one SHOULD be able to make archival copies of data that you PURCHASE. However, the biggest concern is that DRM automatically prevents the CD from following true "color book" standards, and therefore makes it incompatible for playback with some legitimate players. That's BS. If I buy a DVD/CD player for my home entertainment system, and two years later it can't play some CDs I buy because the CD LABEL decided to break specs... that pisses me off.
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Old 01-02-2006, 10:19 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Err, also note that this doesn't stop piracy at all. In fact, some people have standard software that can STILL rip the CD. Thos who want the music for free will get it for free anyhow. Those who want to support the bands and buy the disc could potentially get screwed on an individual basis. How is the beneficial to anyone?
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Old 01-03-2006, 03:46 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Location: NYC
I guess they will not have to worry about me making extra copies, I will just have to not buy a cd, and download everything!
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Old 01-03-2006, 05:43 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Location: London
I find it such a shame that the industry is treating law abiding people in such a disgraceful manner. As someone who buys the majority of music i listen to and only downloads very occasionally to sample the album it annoys me. I even gone as far as having to download an entire album because i couldn't get the one i bought on to my mp3 player. What kind of crap is that. The music industry is really trying to kill themselves, it is the only industry that has been so protected of itself that it has almost destroyed itself.

You can look at the industry over it last 50 years and you can see the many blunders it has made, seeing everything as a threat rather than opportunity. Here is my brief history of music time:

Records: started off okay, as far as i know not too many problems here, but then again this was only the start of getting music into peoples homes.

Radio: Shit, thought the record industry with radio coming out who the hell will buy records, we'd better keep an eye on this, it will ruin us. They were right, it nearly did, at least they took a massive drop in sales, from $104 million to $6 million in 1932 when radio started. I bet they were crapping themselves that the record industry was dead. Took 9 years before record sales increased again to previous levels. Looked like they a couple of years after the introduction of radio they realised it was the perfect marketing tool.

1960 - Stereo music, still the industry was looking good, and we welcomed the beatles to the music world.

1963 - the tape. This doesn't sound too good, well back then it was okay but we al know that it would only take a decade or two until we would all be copying music on to tape. "Tape my god, it will ruin us". Well turned out it actually didn't, it slowed sales for a while but that's a distant memory.

1982 - welcomes the CD, and the best years music has ever enjoyed, ever!!! It looked like it couldn't get any better. Everyone was replacing their records and tapes and the cd could be produced cheaply, quickly and sold with a nice premium.

While that was happing, video killed the radio star, again the music industry wasn't too happy with this lastest development. I seem to remember that their weren't to many industry leaders who were happy about mtv. Again after they imbraced they realised the power of video and TV.

But the one thing that really pissed the industry off was the internet, i'm not talking about file sharing. I'm talking about them not giving the licences to online stores (amazone, moreover i think blockbuster was the first to want to sell music through online stores). Seems a little strange but it was all something to do with not being able to charge the price premiums in the countries they were in (no cheap imports for that country). I'm sure on line cd sales account for a significant part of their revenue now.

At the same time as all of this the blessed Napster took the industry to new levels of fear. They ploughed all their resources in getting it shut down, not in developing their own i-tunes. I say i-tunes just because they were the first major major brand to enter the market place. Even they had a battle aquiring the licences and they're not even a music company. Finally the industry is playing catch up, it took them long enough to start seeing new technology for what it is for. Now there are still alot of problems like the fact an album costs as much to buy the actual cd as it does to buy the files but at least they are getting there.

Of course with drm they are spoiling the good work they are doing, as any technology no matter how much protection on it can be hacked. So why waste all that money, they would be better off spending it on technology development, new artist and better service.

We can not also forget that not only but all the major record lables have interesting in businesses that facilitate the copying/filesharing. AOL Time Warner (internet/music/computers/winamp) looks like this would be all i would need to copy music over the net, play it back to myself and probably burn it. Too much interest in making money to remember that left foot is helping to fund the right and vice versa. Once they realise we are not all out their to get something for nothing the better they will be.

We just want value and even that is being lost through DRM. So many better aways to solve this issue but again they are running scared, fearing this is the end rather than an opportunity to do something new.
"The only way to discover the limits of the possible is to go beyond them into the impossible." - Arthur C. Clarke
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Old 01-03-2006, 08:10 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Location: Moscow on the Ohio
Originally Posted by streak_56
They're trying to stop piracy, I got the same message in mine. I didn't really care because I usually just listen to the CDs. I use to just take specific tracks off but to me certain songs are not the same without the whole CD being there. CDs such as Pink Floyds "Dark Side of the Moon." It's a complete CD and taking one or two tracks off ruins the individual song.
That's true, but there are thousands of other CDs where there are only a few songs worth listening to and the rest are just filling up space. It is nice to be able to rip these into MP3s and set up your own playlists.
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Old 01-03-2006, 09:01 AM   #13 (permalink)
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All the more reason to keep listening to Artie Shaw on my old 78's.
"I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires." - Susan B. Anthony

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Old 01-03-2006, 10:20 AM   #14 (permalink)
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superiorrain- Thanks for the history in brief. Such a paranoid industry, however, is doomed to fail in the long run. Each time in the past they were able to recover becuase no matter what, they were ultimately the source of the music for the masses. Now they are not. With the internet and the free trade of information, the digital ether is the source of everything for everything. They may not last forever, but alienating paying customers will just spell their doom that much quicker.
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