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Music Media

Michael Jackson Releases Uncopyable CD 452

Derek Jeter writes "NTK.net is reporting in their weekly newsletter that another copy restricted CD has surfaced, this time Michael Jackson's newest single, "Rock Your World". "When loaded into the CD drive, the disc spun continuously as though the drive was trying to access the TOC of a blank or corrupted CDR." Ughh, Doesn't this violoate the Red Book Standard?" I wonder how long before MP3s of this song exist despite the copy protection. So far its just free promotional copies of the single. I tell ya I'm gonna be pissed the first time I buy a CD and discover I can't listen to it in my computer.
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Michael Jackson Releases Uncopyable CD

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  • If the record companies are too slow to keep up with the pace of technology, so be it, its they're loss. Move on to new formats. They have to accept that theyre revenue has moved to other non physical formats.

    We have a range of various formats, e.g., MP3, WMA, ogg vorbis etc.

    Who needs a shiny disk? All it takes up is physical space.

  • These measures only hurt legitimate customers. It takes only one h@x0r to bypass the protection on that CD in order to freely share the song as MP3.
    This will only make more people copy this song as MP3 so they can play it on their PCs, and will probably cause less people to but the CD. They're really mostly hurting themselves here.
    • It just takes somebody with a CD player that has SP/DIF output, and a soundcard with digital input. No hax0ring required, it's dead simple. And I guess a LOT of people will download that file once it's available - just BECAUSE it is from a copy-protected CD.

      • I thought about this wrt the DMCA. This would make my Sony CD Player a Circumvention Device.

        Ironic that a company that wants this legislation makes a device that could be considered illegal under it.
    • Well, you _could_ just put it in a normal cd player and connect your sterio's output to your sound card. Sure, it takes more time and effort; but _somoene_ would go through the trouble.

      Or, as you say, a hax0r (bored 15-year-old) will probably find a way to do it. I just hope the said hax0r doesn't leave a trail back to him (DMCA, anyone?)
    • by hexx ( 108181 ) on Saturday September 22, 2001 @11:41AM (#2334191)
      These measures only hurt legitimate customers. It takes only one h@x0r to bypass the protection on that CD in order to freely share the song as MP3.


      I think we need to ask ourselves if the record companies truly don't realize this. My guess is that they understand that copy protecting the CD in this manner won't stop the MP3 from being made Anyone can make an ok mp3 with their normal stereo and a microphone wired to their computer. So what we really need to ask is why the record companies are releasing CD's in this manner.


      I believe it is to stop legitimate music owners from making MixCD's and from copying the CD directly. It's obvious that finding and downloading MP3 adds extra steps to the piracy (or backup) process - making redistributing a CD on a real medium (such as CDR) that much more difficult. In fact, if I bought a whole "protected" CD, I would never burn copies for my friends - because it would take fair amount or time and dedication to download *each* track from the CD in *good
      So the record companies have likely succeeded in their task of making music piracy (or backups) slightly more complicated for the legitimate CD owner.


      Of course, those people who don't buy the CD in the first place, i.e. the habitual music pirate, will not have a more difficult task than they already have with unprotected music, because the music will make it to MP3 format, and fault tolerant CDROM's already exist...

      • It's obvious that finding and downloading MP3 adds extra steps to the piracy (or backup) process - making redistributing a CD on a real medium (such as CDR) that much more difficult.

        Actually, for me it's easier to not buy the CD at all and just download it from the net.
        I can download and burn a CD in less time and with less effort than it takes for me to take my bike to town and buy it in a shop. (and since I don't use real CD's very often, I have to rip that CD after buying it, adding more time)

        and then I haven't even started about the costs...

        So if record companies want me to buy a CD, they have to make it
        • easier, no biking to town in the rain
        • faster, not spending half an hour in a record store, looking for that one record (+ travel time)
        • cheaper
        in other words: why should I pay for something that's harder to get, and takes more time to get. compared to the same product for free.
      • Nasty copy protection on C64 games often made it impossible to back up the flakey 5 1/4 disks they came on. That is, unless you went to your local pirate BBS and got yourself a copy of the latest patch. Those who did this enjoyed their games as long as they liked. Those who did not were stuck whining when their favorite game ate it after being shoved into and pulled out of the 1541 drive too many times.

        The same applies today with music. I was listening to one of my VNV Nation CD backups the other day, and it started skipping. This happened to be a limited edition- it would have been very hard to replace had that been the real CD I'd bought all scratched up and skipping like that. But I was able to go home and make another, then toss out the busted one. Good stuff!

        I protect my investment. My CD investment is quite substantial- over 250 CDs last time I checked... and all the ones that get real use from me get burned to copies. I wouldn't shed a tear if my CD case fell off a boat or got lost or whatever while I travel these days, since it's all burned backups. I wonder how people will get by in the future?
        • The same applies today with music. I was listening to one of my VNV Nation CD backups the other day, and it started skipping. This happened to be a limited edition- it would have been very hard to replace had that been the real CD I'd bought all scratched up and skipping like that. But I was able to go home and make another, then toss out the busted one. Good stuff!

          Quite apart from damage to the original media, another point is security. Recently some friends of mine were burgled, and close to 500 CDs were stolen from their three collections. Quite a lot of rare, obscure or just damned-difficult-to-get-in-this-country was taken. One of those guys has recently bought a CD writer, so that he can make copies of CDs to listen to, and store the rest at a secure location in a better neighbourhood. Protecting an investment of thousands of dollars (CDs cost on average about $35, here), where the dollar value of your insurance still won't bring back what you've lost, is fair use if you ask me.

          Another case I can think of is a DJ I know who had a large number of CDs stolen from the back of his car in a smash-and-grab a few months back. That music was his livelihood, not just a leisure item. He had to beg and borrow a lot of stuff just to keep working. This kind of thing can be avoided if you have the capability to make backups.

          Oh, and VNV Nation are pretty damned nifty, aren't they? Having been sent a few MP3s by friends on the net, and downloading samples off their website, I'm considering tracking down a distributor and importing a few of their CDs. Even though it's likely to cost me about $50 a pop. How weird is that?

      • It's pointless to sell music in non-standard formats. This may keep many of my peers from playing it. I'll hear it's not usable on my equipment. Even as a freebie given away for nothing, I will not be able to enjoy it. I won't get to know and like it. I'll have no reason to buy my own copy. Most of my music library I bought while in the service. I bought what others were playing that I liked and wanted to add to my collection. I still enjoy my collection even if half of it is on 12 inch records. I think they want to give away the single to see if the disc can be played by most of the people to see if the new standard will be adopted.

        Thanks for the post that this artist supports broken formats.

      • Note: with my CD player and my SBLive 5.1 platinum I can make PERFECT copies and mp3's no audio loss and nothing in noise injected.

        I dont care what they do, as long as I can play it on my cd player I can and WILL make mp3's of it.

        and if they make a move to the DVD format.. welll I can do it there too :-) until they eliminate the high-end digital audio path or force us to buy preamps and amps that have their encryption in it they are wasting time and only making it slightly more inconvient.

        If I can hear it with my ears I will be able to make Excellent copies. and with current stereo technologies I make Perfect copies.
    • The only things the record companies will understand is money. The have to be financially hurt for this to stop.

      If they see a large percentage of their product coming right back at them as returns, they might get the message. Personally, if I ever find a CD I cannot play on my PC, I will return it, saying it's defective. Likely, the store clerk will give me another copy, which I will also return, ad infinitum, until I get my money back. The store will have lost a sale, and the time its clerk took to deal with the issue. The record company will have to accept its defective disks back. Of course, the crecord company won;t notice this until it becomes really bad, since we know the cost of actually creating the physical CD and packaging is their smallest cost overall.

      Eventually, the record companies will likely have to label these things as not working on PC-CDROM drives, to avoid having so much of their product returned to them (and wasting the time of record stores). Which will make the average consumer ask why. Having to slap a label on your product informing your customer that you've just screwed them over is likely to make the consumer think. And that's not what the record company wants.

      This, of course, assumes that a large number of people use CD-ROM drives to listen to music. I'm not sure what the percentage of the average CD buying public this is. The Record industry has to either be betting that the numbers of people who, say, listen to CD's in the CD-ROM drive of their PC at work are small enough not to make a difference, or they are hoping that the consumer is sheep-like enough to simply accept that they cannot listen to their music in CD-ROMs. I'm not sure on either point.


  • I don't have any big urge to copy Michael Jackson's CDs anyway.
  • There is already a lawsuit [mp3newswire.net] out there over this. IANAL but I would guess all they have to do is disclose that it can't be copied on the box and they are covered. If it's labeled and you still buy it then you know what you're buying.

    Still, I hope this stuff gets cracked soon. I actually believe that people buy more CDs when they get the MP3 first. That's certainly true for me.
  • by epsalon ( 518482 ) <slash@alon.wox.org> on Saturday September 22, 2001 @11:27AM (#2334129) Homepage Journal
    The song is already on AudioGalaxy [audiogalaxy.com] and available for download. They just can't win. Copy protection doesn't work!
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Have you verified that its actually the song?
      AG is infamous for having songs incorrectly named usually on purpose on it.
      Also if it is the correct song is it a digital rip or an analogue transfer?
    • The song is already on AudioGalaxy and available for download.

      Just how hard is it to run a set of patch cables? The performance loss is far less than what you get on MP3 as it is.

      And besides, I can see some audio geek in a pro studio getting pissed off at the king of poop, and making a copy just to screw with him

      • Just how hard is it to run a set of patch cables? The performance loss is far less than what you get on MP3 as it is.

        Back in 86 I had by all rights one of the first cd players to come out, a Magnavox (IIRC) that had a "digital out" on the back (coaxil s/pdif). I used it until a belt broke in early 2000. I had no clue what the s/pdif was for most of the time I owned it, but I can't help thinking what an awesome tool that would be for making mp3s!

    • It's there, but only in very crappy form. No direct or high quality rips yet. Sounds like some guy with a internal Macintosh microphone and the car stereo from his Pinto.

      Getting heavy downloads though.

    • So instead of going after the "pirates", they go after their average consumer.

      Good one Rosen...
  • But then, what should we expect from a major record label?

    Remember when businesses tried to *please* their customers?

    -jcr
    • by zpengo ( 99887 ) on Saturday September 22, 2001 @11:47AM (#2334207) Homepage
      Remember when businesses tried to *please* their customers?

      Remember when businesses found out that ripping customers off was more profitable?

      The blames lies at least partially with us, for acting like cattle and continuing to support these things. We still buy Nikes, we still use Microsoft, and (some of us, I would imagine) still listen to Michael Jackson.

      • Remember when businesses tried to *please* their customers?

        Remember when businesses found out that ripping customers off was more profitable?


        Remember when businesses didn't automatically assume their customers were criminals?
  • by __aaaaxm1522 ( 121860 ) on Saturday September 22, 2001 @11:31AM (#2334146)
    *sigh*


    These guys just don't get it. All it takes is one audiophile with a decent sound system, a couple RCA cables, and an MP3 encoder. Sure it'll be an D-A-D job and you'll lose a bit of fidelity on the initial copy, but once that's done, it'll be perfectly preserved, copy after copy after copy after copy.


    Copy-protected music just doesn't work, because until we all start carrying around implants in our heads, the data *must* be converted to analog sound, and when that happens, the copy protection convieniently goes away.

    • by dboyles ( 65512 ) on Saturday September 22, 2001 @11:40AM (#2334189) Homepage
      Why do a d/a or a/d conversion? Just about any CD or DVD player costing more than a few hundred bucks comes with a digital output these days. We just need to take that feed into a soundcard with a digital input. I doubt you could get a bit-for-bit copy, but since most people are compressing to MP3 anyway the difference should be negligible.

      As others have mentioned, the other option for fighting this is tearing the plastic wrap off and then demanding a refund because the CD isn't Red Book compliant and won't play in your CD player. In other words, it's defective.
      • There are two s/pdif formats, "Consumer" and "Professional" ... Consumer has something akin to macrovision embeded in it called "SCMS" (serial copy management system). However IIRC its completley up to the device to honor the SCMS protection :)
        • something akin to macrovision embeded in it called "SCMS" (serial copy management system).

          So *that's* the other copy-protection that I can turn off in my Apex 600A "Loopholes" menu. It just occured to me that just about every $100 DVD player plays CDs and has digital audio out. How does this SCMS work? Anyone?

          --
          Evan

          • The copy protection is just a few reserved bits in the serial frame ... they indicate the "protection" the stream is supposed to recieve, "Original" (copying allowed), "1st Generation" (recieveng device should NOT allow copying), and "No SCMS" (off).
        • In fact most professional audio interfaces like will ignore the SCMS bit. I know mine does (although it has a software switchable setting between consumer and professional S/PDIF which, by the way is Sony / Philips Digital Interchange Format).
          • I've wondered for a long time what S/PDIF stood for. Obviously I never cared enough to look for an answer. But today one jumped out at me! Thanks!

            -Paul Komarek
        • Oh.

          You mean like this switch in ALSA, on my $12 Zoltrix Nightingale sound card with SP/DIF IO:

          switch("SPDIF Copyright", false)

          Just a thought...

    • by zpengo ( 99887 ) on Saturday September 22, 2001 @11:49AM (#2334213) Homepage
      Copy-protected music just doesn't work, because until we all start carrying around implants in our heads...

      Uh-oh. Someone probably read this and is going to get a raise for bringing it to his boss at the record company this morning.

  • now couldn't you just take your time and hook up a regular cd-player to the audio in of the sound card, digitaly record it and compress it? ??? but then you have to ask yourself, who wants a copy of a song from micheal jackson?
  • By the grace of God, you were spared. No one should have to listen to Michael Jackson. In fact, I bet that CD player is worth a mint now. I wish my CD players and computers all refused to play any Michael Jackson whatsoever!

  • 1. Have high-quality outputs on your stereo.
    2. Have high-quality inputs on your sound card.
    3. Have high-quality audio cables.

    Case closed.
    • But then its second generation and being the perfectionist that I am that just chaps my hide. Now that we have something to work from, we must diligently begin our attempts to "crack" their little scheme and once this is accomplished we can all point and laugh at them and send press releases to all the news organizations that they are SPNAKED!

  • Unless I'm mistaken, promo = what they hand out early to radio stations. My guess is they're trying to avoid tech-savvy DJs distributing MP3s of the song over Gnutella & Co. before the general public can get to it.

    Not that that justifies what they're doing, but it suggests they might be less likely to do it to end-user copies.

    • Do you know how many radio stations actually *play* CD's anymore? At Every Radio Station I've worked at, CD's come in, get dumped into a computer, and you play the CD's from there. Most record companies know this, and some even offer us our files music already encoded on CD-ROM.
      IMHO, if the record companies did this to the radio stations, they would shoot themselves in the foot big time.
    • That might be true. However, it ignores a simple fact.

      Most radio stations these days have DAT decks, and industrial-quality ones at that. Press record on the DAT, take it home, and rip. Oh, so hard. (Lots of DJs tape their shows this way: and yes, lots of DJs have home DAT decks, precisely for this reason.)

      Trying to use technological means to stop DJs from being pirates is like trying to use a vaccuum cleaner to stop the Pacific Ocean from being wet. You're going to need a really big one. ;)

  • If it was someone like NIN, it would be news worthy, but does any here really care about Micheal Jackson...
    • If it was someone like NIN, it would be news worthy, but does any here really care about Micheal Jackson...

      That's funny, I lump NIN into the same "preteen rubbish" category that Michael Jackson goes into.

      Listen to some real music someday.

      • That's funny, I lump NIN into the same "preteen rubbish" category that Michael Jackson goes into.

        The number one station on Live365 (which is a very large internet MP3 broadcasting company, for those that don't know - lost of "Shoutcast" stations are hosted on Live365) is Pop R&B, which would include Michael Jackson, so it's arguable that he's one of the most listened to artists on the net. I know that when I did a search on Napster in their glory days, there were ridiculous numbers of full albums.

        I'm not a tremendous fan of MJ - I was compiling an 80's Pop CD for the setting background music for a RPG, but he has plenty of various fans, and listening to "Beat It" and "Billie Jean" threw me back to when those were on heavy FM rotation.

        My point is - Michael Jackson is still a major artist, and his using copy protection on a CD is major news. Somewhat lessened by the fact that this is a promo CD (which, if for radio play, makes no sense whatsoever, since radio stations rip all CDs to a computerized digital jukebox).

        As for NIN - I liked Reznor's early, more experimental stuff (broken/fixed were his best, IMHO), but much of it involved things like sterio effects being 90 degrees out of sync and other exteremely suble, easily lost sonic experiments. Some of it is lost when it goes to CD, let alone compressed into MP3. I've been meaning to dig out my nice headphones, rip to 320kbps, and see if those little nuances are even there post-rip.

        --
        Evan

    • Hahahahahahahaha!

      "Ooooh, life's so hard, being 16, white, and upper-middle-class, only trent and marylin know how I feel."

      Sorry, I don't listen to anything michael jackson produced after smooth criminal (i love that clip) but at least he has talent.
  • All though it's a shame to give my good money to child-molesting Michael Jackson, anything for science!

    My procedure will be:

    1) Plug my regular CD player audio output into computer audio input.
    2) Launch your favorite free audio recorder/editor. Hit record.
    3) Press play on CD.
    4) Enjoy (if possibble).

    And I didn't even break a sweat.
  • by smugfunt ( 8972 ) on Saturday September 22, 2001 @11:38AM (#2334177)
    ... he's been releasing unlistenable CDs for years.
  • "When loaded into the CD drive, the disc spun continuously as though the drive was trying to access the TOC of a blank or corrupted CDR.."

    I hope that won't damage my CD drive. Someone better post some instruction on how to correct this, preferbly on a new clean CDR...

    Oh heck. I'll just skip buying this CD(or listening to the song). Time to save some money.
  • I have a Cd player with an optical out and a sound card with an optical in :)

  • A 15 second search on Gnutella found hundreds of copies of this song. I don't know if they're "digitially pure" but they're available.

    -Russ
  • Reportedly, the two people that wanted to rip the CD were disappointed.
  • I saw the mp3 up for download atleast 5 days ago. Obviously the technoogy really worked :P
  • News Update (Score:2, Funny)

    by zpengo ( 99887 )
    The latest research has discovered that in addition to being uncopyable, Michael Jackson's new CD is also unlistenable. Purchases report little more than high-pitch squeaks, scratches, murmurs and the occasional "hoo!".
  • by andy@petdance.com ( 114827 ) <andy@petdance.com> on Saturday September 22, 2001 @11:48AM (#2334212) Homepage
    Clearly, the majors have found the secret to making an uncopyable CD: Make it something that nobody would want to copy.

    Michael Jackson is such a prime example of someone who just needs to pack it in and stay at home.

    • Clearly, the majors have found the secret to making an uncopyable CD: Make it something that nobody would want to copy.
      That's funny (and true). Wish I had mod points right now.
  • by dsb3 ( 129585 )
    > I tell ya I'm gonna be pissed the first time I buy a CD and discover I can't listen to it in my computer

    I'll be more pissed the first time I buy a CD and discover I bought one by Michael Jackson. <shudder>

  • by z0mbie78 ( 117731 ) on Saturday September 22, 2001 @12:01PM (#2334247)
    This seems like a marketing tactic to me. You think that Jackson is smart enough to trick all us geeks into buying his CD just to try to crack it?
  • One wonders what former superstars would do if they could not take solace in the Napster myth [ridiculopathy.com] when their subsequent records fail to sell well.


    "Everyone who can still fill a stadium please step forward. Not so fast, Mr. Jackson."


    "All non-pedophiles [ridiculopathy.com] please step forward. Not so fast, Mr. Jackson."

  • To buy the new Plunderphonics [plunderphonics.com] box set!
  • by dpbsmith ( 263124 ) on Saturday September 22, 2001 @12:36PM (#2334338) Homepage
    ...but where on the CD case does it say that it conforms? As a matter of curiosity, does this CD actually have the "Compact Disc--Digital Audio" logo on it? Even if it does, does this mean that it complies with the standard--or does it mean only that it will play on players that comply with the standard?

    I used to wonder about the companies that broadcast scrambled pay-content over regular television broadcast channels. Weren't THEY violating FCC standards by transmitting a non-NTSC-compliant signal? Didn't seem to matter...

    As for PC vendors, they've been playing fast and loose with standards for ages. I remember first getting into this with people that kept insisting (incorrectly) that the Apple ][ generated NTSC video. Apple in fact had a carefully worded but misleading statement that said something like "the video is designed to be viewed on monitors that comply with the NTSC standard." That is, the signal was (way) outside the NTSC standard, but the NTSC standard for MONITORS requires them to be very tolerant...

    I keep hearing horror stories from DVD enthusiasts. Apparently, in this year of our Lord 2001, it's not at all rare to find DVD X that plays in player A but not player B... and DVD Y that plays in player B but not player A. Not because of copy-protection or anything like that. Just because of bad standards, lame engineering, and NO watchdogs.

    You know the sort of thing... the standard may say you can do thus-and-such, but very few DVD's actually do it, so lots of DVD players can get away with not implementing it quite right...

  • by Anonymous Coward
    but no one noticed....
  • So what happens when a it's recorded onto another CD with one of Sony's consumer CD recorders [sony.com]? Does it produce a normal CD without that wacko formatting, or does the little LED display read "OWN3D"?
  • When loaded into the CD drive, the disc spun continuously as though the drive was trying to access the TOC of a blank or corrupted CDR.

    Then this is something different than simply storing data with an invalid CRC. This is an error in the TOC.

    I wonder if this disc will also fail to play in some of the fancier auto sound systems with changers, the ones that pre-read all the TOCs to build a playlist.

  • I bought a CD from MP3.com and it will only play in my CD-ROM drive. The CD is a hybrid format with some Windows only CD player attached to autoplay. All of my CD players choke on it, thinking it's a bad CD.
  • The Pioneer DVD-ROM drives can usually handle more CD's than others. The Ricos are really bad. Creative Labs have trouble ejecting. Just because a particular CD-ROM drive stops working doesn't mean big business is taking away individual freedom by copy protecting CD's.
  • um, what? (Score:5, Funny)

    by rograndom ( 112079 ) on Saturday September 22, 2001 @01:04PM (#2334511) Homepage

    So far its just free promotional copies of the single.

    Record Company: This new copy protection method will ensure that nobody is getting a "free ride" with the new Michael Jackson single.

    Person with common sense: Aren't you giving away the single for free anyways?

    Record Compnay: Ummmmmmm....

    • The silly part is that the cost of these promotional copies does NOT come out of the record companies share of the royalties, but out of Jackson's.

      But it is mega-stupid. I attend the National Association of Broadcasters show every year, and a huge percentage of broadcasters are playing back from hard disk. Actually employing some talking monkey to put the new Jacko single in a CD player every 15 minutes would just cut into profits. Instead, they rip it to a Broadcast WAV file (although, given the amount of compression that is going to be applied at the transmitter, they might as well rip it to a 96k MP3)

      This is going to snap back into their faces so hard...

  • Let's face it, wouldn't you thrash and refuse to play a Michelle Jackson CD?


  • You know, PROPAGANDA has a nice photo of Michael Jackson's plastic surgery disaster [ibiblio.org]. Its no wonder he wears a mask wherever he goes.. his fucking nose is falling off.

    Cheers,
  • It used to be that when I wanted new music, I had to choose... should I buy the CD and rip it to my computer to listen to it, or should I just download the mp3 from a file sharing service? Now that choice has been made for me. ;^)
  • Although I'm not the owner of such a cd player, one of my dear friends has a mid-range JVC home mini-system with a built-in S/PDIF optical out for the CD-Player, meaning that anyone posessing an audio interface with compatible inputs would be able to make digital copies of the music (Although it would be like ripping at 1X). In fact, even soundblaster live has a RCA S/PDIF digital in. Meaning the widely used RCA S/PDIF outs on a lot of gear may just get noticed!

    As audio interfaces like the MOTU 828 [motu.com] and the Echo Layla24 [eachoaudio.com] become increasingly used in home studios, we all just might have a friend who can very well copy this "uncopyable" CD. My only question, to anyone who can answer this is, would some of the erroneous information be transmitted over the pipe? I would think not... but I don't know enough about it.
  • I don't think a lot of people are rushing to download Micheal Jackson's mp3. Like me, if I didn't see this post, I wouldn't have downloaded the mp3 at 196k/s and now am listening to this crapy song over my crapy ass soundcard.

    So you see, Jackson's team just wanted to stir a little bit of something, ANYTHING, to get attention. They know all too well that the protection won't work. They just hope that the new young techno savvy kids will download it out of curiosity... after all, all Jackson fans are, what, over 30?

    Agreed?
  • Let's look at this from an economics perspective: marginal cost vs. marginal benefit.

    What is the marginal cost of this new CD protection scheme? People who can't play legitimate copies of CDs they have purchased, the loss of the ability of some people to backup their CD, and the extra expense of licencing this scheme from a company (like how Macrovision is licenced).

    What is the marginal benefit of this scheme? Since we know that they can copy the data anyways (since any CD player plays music), we know that at least marignally degraded copies can still be made easily (and who'll notice at 128kbits MP3?). We also know that perfect digital copies can still be made with a little more effort (for those who like higher bitrates ;)). Once this effort is expended, though, it requires no further effort as everyone can make a perfect digital copy.

    The benefit is so small as to be non-existant, especially compared to the increased base cost of reproduction!

    This is not a smart decision. And like the flawed logic that MP3s caused CD sales changes (who here has seen sales data of 10 years with all other factors accounted for so we can see if the responding variable and controlled variable are, in fact, related?), the way the market works should ensure that efforts like these don't last very long -- just make sure to educate people whom you know about this scheme, and hope the distribution method between of artists to art enjoyers changes soon.
  • For most of the junk being pushed into the market a simple 128kps MP3 recorded off any TV music clip show is plenty good enough. There never needs to be a CD involved in the process at all.

    Not that I care, I stopped buying music CDs about 9 months ago. Haven't even downloaded a MP3 from MP3.com since "We Must Destroy X10" was released. Hmm... might go do that now.

  • So, go buy a copy, and return it claiming that it doesn't work in your computer player. Seriously, if the returns aren't high enough, they'll keep selling this crappy format.
  • The CD's still play in a normal cd player right? So someone can take the headphone out and split it to a right and left signal and record it into a nice soundcard to an mp3. There are still ways to make an mp3 of music without having to have the cd in the cd drive. Just food for thought.

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