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Digital Rights Management on CD's This Christmas? 543

Posted by Cliff
from the can't-play-your-new-music-presents-this-year dept.
McDrewbie asks: "Has anyone discovered that the new CD's found under the tree or in their stocking don't play on their brand new CD player? My father got a Brookstone Wafer-thin CD system and several new CD's. Most play fine, however several ones from Sony (with CDextra software on them) and from Columbia, either don't play or play with some crackling and popping, yet play fine on our older CD player. Did these companies decide to quietly unleash DRM on the public this holiday season? Or is this just a problem with the new player (separate from it not being DRM capable)? What are other Slashdot readers experiencing today?"
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Digital Rights Management on CD's This Christmas?

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  • by Speedy8 (594486) on Thursday December 26, 2002 @05:51PM (#4962572) Journal
    I think that DRM for a present is worse then coal.
  • Take them back... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Get a refund & then d/l them to burn on CD-R...

    If the music companies want to mess around, play them at their own game! :)
    • Re:Take them back... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by spanky1 (635767)
      What I want to know is how you would go about getting a refund. Most (if not all?) stores have a exchange-only-if-defective policy with music.
      • Customer walks into store with a CD from the store, a receipt, a couple other CD's, and two discmans.
        Customer: I'd like a refund on the CD I bought here.
        Employee: Sorry, we only refund CD's if they are defective.
        Customer: Well, I haven't scratched this or anything [shows bottom of CD], but look.
        Customer plays the other CD's just fine on both discmans, but attempts to play the CD from the store and both of them barf.
        Employee, fumbling: Well, ummm, if you take that to, uhhh, customer service...
      • by Dalcius (587481)
        Are the CDs labeled with a DRM sticker? If not, AFAIK, they're not following the standards of an audio CD. Hence, they're defective.

        They don't play in your CD player. Regardless of what they say to the above, I think you can make a very good case.
    • Bring the CD Player that doesn't play them correctly with you to the store so they can hear it if they won't give you a refund. If they will let you exchange it, get all the copies of the CD and open them up one by one until they give up and give you your money back. If they say its a problem with the CD player, have your other CDs at hand.
  • which cd's? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tezzery (549213) on Thursday December 26, 2002 @05:52PM (#4962591)
    Anyone care to offer some insight as to which cd titles are doing this? ... so I can save the trouble of buying them and skip right ahead to downloading the mp3's :)
  • by NanoGator (522640)
    "Or is this just a problem with the new player (separate from it not being DRM capable)? " .. I'd recommend getting a broadband connection and an iPod. That'll solve all your problems with defective media(intentionally or otherwise).
    • Re:Personally... (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Kinniken (624803)
      "Or is this just a problem with the new player (separate from it not being DRM capable)? " .. I'd recommend getting a broadband connection and an iPod. That'll solve all your problems with defective media(intentionally or otherwise).

      lol, my father got one (the iPod). Sure beat DRM CDs ;-)

      BTW, it had a "Don't steal music" sticker to fight piracy. Take your pick between the different protection systems, I've made my choide :P
    • ".. I'd recommend getting a broadband connection and an iPod. That'll solve all your problems with defective media(intentionally or otherwise). "

      Heh I don't think the moderators understood that I was being sarcastic.
  • by aaronsb (138360) <.aaronsb. .at. .gmail.com.> on Thursday December 26, 2002 @05:53PM (#4962595)
    Playing the "protected" cds in a CDROM drive would quickly reveal if they are truly copy protected.

    I've found that a lot of the stuff you can buy from the sharper image, brookstone, etc. is kind of cheesy. Maybe it's just a crappy drive mechanisim.
    • by ackthpt (218170) on Thursday December 26, 2002 @06:07PM (#4962714) Homepage Journal
      I've found that a lot of the stuff you can buy from the sharper image, brookstone, etc. is kind of cheesy.

      I've felt the same way about their stuff the past couple years. It looks pretty cool in the catalogs, but there is a Sharper Image store down the road and much of the stuff, up close, looks like maybe a good idea manufactured cheaply. In some cases, a stupid idea, altogether. Catalogs can sell stuff you wouldn't normally buy, because some little deception (usually a hot babe holding/using it) used to redirect your attention from it's faults.

      That said... With all the crap the music industry has been doing lately, I'm less inclined to buy their products. Are they going to dismiss my few hundred $ a year, no longer spent, on music piracy? I don't even download MP3's (I haven't even had a system I could do anything with them until recently.) I'm more likely to visit the local used CD store and pick up old, pre-DRM music (which might become a hot collector's item if the current trend continues.)

      Some day on eBay:

      3034898724 Beatles Sgt Pepper Non DRM Current bid: $57.61

      • I haven't bought a new CD in years. There's a bunch of used book and CD stores and near me that sell the kind of stuff I like. Yeah, these sales don't go to support the artists, which is a bummer, but they also don't support tyrannical record companies, either -- yet.

        I forsee the recording industry getting its way with used CD sales -- enacting a kind of "RIAA tax" on each used CD sold -- if the demand for DRM-free CD's out-strips the demand for new CD's. Governmentally mandated profits! I mean, why would anyone listen to the consumer anymore? Ignoring supply and demand worked for Communist Russia, it can work for RIAA.

        *sigh* No, the DRM CD's will probably sell as well as, if not better than, the DRM-free jobbers. Most people won't notice, and won't care about, the difference in functionality if the CD's sound the same. Not because they're "lusers" or "sheep" but because there won't be any change in how they listen to music.
  • Previous Stories (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 26, 2002 @05:53PM (#4962598)
    The Corrupted Audio CDs [dmoz.org] category at the ODP has several background stories, many from /.
  • I wonder... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonvmous Coward (589068) on Thursday December 26, 2002 @05:54PM (#4962605)
    "Has anyone discovered that the new CD's found under the tree or in their stocking don't play on their brand new CD player?"

    I wonder if the RIAA realizes that they're pushing me towards MP3's when they pull shit like this. I mean seriously, they'll have no trouble blaming P2P music trading for their downfall if the MP3 is higher quality!
    • Re:I wonder... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by NanoGator (522640) on Thursday December 26, 2002 @05:57PM (#4962635) Homepage Journal
      "I wonder if the RIAA realizes that they're pushing me towards MP3's when they pull shit like this."

      I think Slashdot should start an event called "Music Return Day". Here's how it works: Get as many people to buy a known copy-restricted CD as possible. Then, locate a national store that'll accept returns on 'defective CDs' (Best Buy or Walmart maybe?) then, on a particular date, have everybody return that CD.

      Heh imagine slashdotting Equifax.
      • Re:I wonder... (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Aggrazel (13616) <aggrazel@gmail.com> on Thursday December 26, 2002 @06:02PM (#4962666) Journal
        [i]"I think Slashdot should start an event called "Music Return Day". Here's how it works: Get as many people to buy a known copy-restricted CD as possible. Then, locate a national store that'll accept returns on 'defective CDs' (Best Buy or Walmart maybe?) then, on a particular date, have everybody return that CD.[/i]

        Actually, my wife works at Target. She told me that there are several CDs with "known" issues that they'll take back and exchange for another CD with no questions asked, even though the normal exchange policy is for the same title only if opened. They are returned frequently for not working in people's players.

        I don't have a list of the titles, but from what I gather its becoming more and more common. To the point that it will probably annoy the corporate buyers enough that this stuff will stop before it gets too common, IMO.
        • If Target has a list of CD's that are known to not work, why don't they give that information to the consumer up front so they don't have to go through the hassle of coming back to return it?
          • Re:I wonder... (Score:4, Insightful)

            by Cato the Elder (520133) on Thursday December 26, 2002 @06:54PM (#4963004) Homepage
            Many people have CD players where it won't be a problem, but would be scared away by an up-front warning. Futhermore, some people won't bother to return the CD. Together, these probably outway the expense of processing returns for Target.

            It would be interesting to see if they'd show you the list if you asked.
            • by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Thursday December 26, 2002 @07:33PM (#4963212)
              consider this. someone has an older analog style (not cdrom based) reader. their player works just fine on some protected cd - TODAY.

              then tomorrow their cd player breaks and they buy a new one. all of a sudden, that new player (and all other new players) refuse to play a disk that SEEMED ok before.

              I find this very unnerving. if you noticed it didn't play immediately (or in 30 days) you could return it. but suppose you had it for years and then the new player didn't play it? what do you do then?

              this whole thing sucks.
    • But these "New DRM-CD" (Digital Restricted Media - Compact Disc) really sucks for people like me that have a MP3 capable cd-player (a Sony...) in their car.

      I bought it so I could convert my CDs to MP3 and burn them to a CD-R (or -RW) saving me from having to carry 10+ CDs. Now most of the new CDs wont play on my computer. Not only that but now my original are bound to get scratched, a car is the worst nightmare for a CD.

      What do I do? I ask the guy at the store if I can have them in MP3, if not then I buy something else. Hint: the list is growing smaller and smaller day by day.
      • What do I do? I ask the guy at the store if I can have them in MP3, if not then I buy something else. Hint: the list is growing smaller and smaller day by day.

        1. Buy CD-RW.
        2. Download P2P file sharing app.
        3. (optional) Pay for a buy CD if you want to pay the record label for it.
        4. Download entire CD from P2P app.
        5. Burn to CD.
        6. Play in car.
  • by linuxbaby (124641) on Thursday December 26, 2002 @05:55PM (#4962608)
    The world's most complete list of music CDs that can't be copied or played on computers and many other electronics equipment, is at Fat Chuck's Corrupt CDs list [fatchucks.com].

    Please also post any new corrupt or DRM CDs you find on that complete list, there.

    (While you're at it, boycott the RIAA by buying independent CDs [cdbaby.com], instead!)

  • CD EXTRA defined (Score:5, Informative)

    by prisen (578061) on Thursday December 26, 2002 @05:55PM (#4962612)
    From Sony's website: CD EXTRA combines the worlds of Music and Multimedia. A traditional audio CD when placed in an audio CD player, CD EXTRA offers a free interactive multimedia experience when played in a computer's CD-ROM drive *. CD EXTRA offers the music fan a closer look at their favorite artists, with many CD EXTRAs containing exclusive content. Other CD EXTRAs contain Internet Service Provider Software which allows you to connect to the Internet.

    It's not DRM, AFAIK. I've got several Sony CD EXTRA CD's that are nothing more than multisession CD's [techtarget.com] that some audio CD players simply cannot handle. However, I don't think you can get the same CD offered in both CD EXTRA and non-CD EXTRA formats, so you may be out of luck when trying to play those particular discs in those particular audio CD players; in fact, some older CD-ROM drives can't even handle 'em.
    • by Jucius Maximus (229128) <zyrbmf5j4x&snkmail,com> on Thursday December 26, 2002 @06:56PM (#4963011) Homepage Journal
      Some audio copy protection methods use an extra session on the disc to confuse computer-based CD players. This is based on the fact that computer CD players will read the LAST session first, while audio only CD players (except certain car players that are actually CD Rom drives) will play the FIRST session first.

      Corrupt data is added to that extra session so computers will go boink when reading it. This is why that magic marker work-around worked -- it prevented the computer from reading the extra session.

      Now a good way to make proper back-ups of your Audio CDs is to remove this extra session. This can be done quite easily if you are using a plextor CD-Rw because the DiscDupe software that comes with it will, when presented with an audio CD, do a bit for bit copy of the first session only. This means that the resulting backup will have the protection removed so you can excercise your home use rights and easily make more copies for the car, ogg encoding, etc.

  • DRM sucks... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by I'm a racist. (631537)
    First, if it has DRM is it really a "CD"?

    Second - COMPLAIN!

    Regardless of it being DRM or a faulty player, you should be compensated. You bought a product (be it the CDs or the player) that does not work. Try complaining about the CD player first (and try the CDs in a few other machines too). Get your player and/or CDs replaced or get refunds.

    If it is DRM, they should have labelled it, and they deserve to take some shit for fucking over their customers.
    • by SweetAndSourJesus (555410) <JesusAndTheRobot&yahoo,com> on Thursday December 26, 2002 @06:09PM (#4962730)
      Wow, that's so insightful!

      I've never read those sentiments anywhere before. I find your completely original outlook on these matters interesting, and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

      Keep those stunningly fresh and new ideas coming!
  • DRM ON CD'S (Score:2, Redundant)

    by TREETOP (614689)
    Is it me or does the DRM sound a lot like the last desperate act of an industry on the ropes? How long before they realize that the average consumer does not care whether they make a profit or not? As I see it, technology is ripping into those profits like a hungry coyote into a bucket of KFC. And the middlemen do not like sharing. With anyone. Ever.
    • The thing is that sharing isnt hurting profits. There have been several studies (that arent funded by RIAA groups) that say people who download actually buy MORE music. And it makes sense... if your friend recommends a CD you're not going to spend money unless you know you'll like it, so you download it and test it. Not everyone, but some people do. Profits are down because fewer albums are released each year. not cuz of file sharing.

      File sharing isnt going to kill the music industry, but it might save it.
    • As I see it, technology is ripping into those profits like a hungry coyote into a bucket of KFC.

      Actually a close look at the evidence suggests that technology hasn't touched their profits. As was mentioned in an article on both the reg and slashdot, if the industry released the same amount of cds per year today as they did several years ago, then each of those cds would only have to sell 3,000 copies (an utter failure) to have them right back where they were before P2P came about. Oh well, they have only themselves to blame.
  • by Bonker (243350) on Thursday December 26, 2002 @06:01PM (#4962665)
    Downloaded the manual from Diamond/Sonic-blue.

    I was quite gratified to see that while the Volt supports WMA format, it does not support copy protected WMA files. In fact, the manual walks the user through disabling copy protection in Media Player.

    Now if only the Volt supported Ogg Vorbis...
  • Let's review (Score:2, Flamebait)

    by jayhawk88 (160512)
    1. Dad's new CD player doesn't play some of our Sony CD's that have CD-Extra on them.
    2. These CD's play fine on our other CD players.

    Conclusion: DRM!!1!! OMFG!!!1! D00d, that Sux0r!!1!

    In other news, my new Dell with Windows XP had trouble recieving Groupwise email the other day. Clearly M$ has decided to secretly break all other mail programs besides Outlook.
    • Re:Let's review (Score:5, Insightful)

      by NightRain (144349) <.ua.di.noryc. .ta. .yar.> on Thursday December 26, 2002 @06:09PM (#4962736)

      You obviously missed the question at the end of the article.

      Let me quote it for you . Did these companies decide to quietly unleash DRM on the public this holiday season? Or is this just a problem with the new player (separate from it not being DRM capable)? There. See how he asks whether the problem is related to DRM or if it's an issue with his player? You jump down the writers throat for no reason. Posting it in the context of some of the replies to this article would make sense. But straight off the article itself, as if the author is some sort of dweeb is a little rich

    • Well, let's consider. What's more likely - DRM, or a bug in the new CD player's digital-to-analog conversion circuits?

      If you don't know the answer to that question, perhaps you shouldn't be mocking something you don't understand.

    • Clearly M$ has decided to secretly break all other mail programs besides Outlook

      *cough*lotus notes*cough*
  • -1 redundant (Score:3, Interesting)

    by JeanBaptiste (537955) on Thursday December 26, 2002 @06:05PM (#4962692)
    The only people they are keeping honest with this bull$hit are honest people. The only people they are annoying with this $hit are honest AOL users. Anybody with a /. account will say 'big deal, if I can hear it I can rip it, a hack will be out within hours, no problem etc.' I am not worried about this $hit for my sake, I am worried about this for the non-technical people, whom are 99% of the people I meet.

    DRM won't stop the 'criminals', it will merely annoy those who are honest.
    • You're starting to sound suspiciously like some sort of gun rights advocate.

      What's next, 'If access to unrestricted recording technology is outlawed, only outlaws will have access to unrestricted recording technology'?

      Somehow that doesn't have the ring I was hoping for.

  • My sister got the grandparents a CD with "The Best of Elvis." It doesn't play on the home CD player... it spins up, and then the player skips to the next disc. I haven't verified it on another player, but I'd imagine that it may be DRM?
  • Half of these comments are saying that it's no problem, since you can just download the music as mp3s (cough, vorbis!!, cough). While I would personally never (ever) buy a cd with copy protection, I think this mentality is sort of stupid. I actually believe that you should support the artists which you like. Yes, perhaps artists don't get very much when you buy a cd, but listen. You're not punishing the record labels buy not buying their stuff! Ok, perhaps they get less money, but it's not like it makes a difference (consumer power to hell). What would be nice to do is:
    1. Buy the disc, rip it (as ogg vorbis, not fscking mp3). I've yet to encounter a copy protected disc which can't be copied...
    2. Turn the disc back to the store, claiming it's useless. (it is, sort of)
    3. Send a check to the artists, and say that you like them, but hate their record label, and explain what you did.
    4. Send a letter to the record label, say that you hate them, and tell them what you did about it.

    I'll admit I've never actually done this myself (because none of the music I like has been copy protected so far). But, hey, doesn't it sound like something?
    • 2. Turn the disc back to the store, claiming it's useless. (it is, sort of)

      Unfortunately, many stores, such as HMV [hmv.com] have stopped accepting returns on opened CD's, claiming that there is the possibility that they have been copied. At least we know that the CD stores are smart enough to know that any copy protection can and will be broken.
    • by elluzion (537796) on Thursday December 26, 2002 @06:42PM (#4962942) Homepage

      Huge flaw in this logic.

      Before I get started, let me clarify that I definitely hate DRM. I pretty much despise large record labels. So I'm not supporting them or anything, but simply sending a check to the artist is crazy.

      First, where the hell are you going to send a check? Their fanclub? Do you know Timberlake's address? How about Snoop Dogg's address? How about Creed's address? Tim MCGraw? Whoever it is you listen to, you probably don't have any idea how to actually get money to them, unless they are local to you. And that's an altogether different story.

      Secondly, there are TONS of people other than the artist who should be compensated. I mean, just because the CD says "Metallica", it doesnt mean that you are hearing Lars playing the drums on every track. It is very common for artists to hire studio musicians for recording sessions. Especially if they need to meet deadlines while the bassist is in rehab, or jail, or whatever. It happens, a lot, and the session players deserve a cut as well.

      Aside from the actual music, there are the studio people. There's as much talent involved with skillful recording as there is with skillful playing. The cover art came from somewhere, and that person should be compensated. There are lots of people who attempt to make honest livings from the production of music and rely on CD sales for a income.

      What the RIAA would have you believe is that their job is making sure the revenue gets spread out to all of these people fairly. And we all know this is a bunch of BS.

      Really, the best thing to do is to support independant labels when you can. And when you can't, go MP3, Vorbis, whatever. This will (hopefully, if enough people do it) draw the talent away from the RIAA music nazis and empower the independant labels. Everyone benefits.

      • I think this is wrong. First of all, most of the people in that whole set either worked on salary (the engineer, the producer, probably the session player) and they have already been compensated by the record company for that, regardless of the album's sales. Then there is the album cover-art designer. I don't mind them getting a cut of my cash assuming I actually get my copy of the cover art, but if you are fine with a burned cd then you don't have the cover art anyways, so let the starving artist starve.
      • First, where the hell are you going to send a check? Their fanclub? Do you know Timberlake's address? How about Snoop Dogg's address? How about Creed's address? Tim MCGraw? Whoever it is you listen to, you probably don't have any idea how to actually get money to them, unless they are local to you. And that's an altogether different story.

        A fair question. Answer: http://www.fairtunes.com/ [fairtunes.com]

        Aside from the actual music, there are the studio people.
        Bands pay for their studio time to produce the album. And they pay a lot for it. The "studio people" got their money already.

        The cover art came from somewhere, and that person should be compensated.
        If I download the MP3 for a song, why exactly should I pay for cover art?

  • I'm just a part time nerd. My line of work is making records. Most of the time my blood, sweat and tears (it comes to that much of the time) gets mangled by bad pressing. CDs are virually worthless. On a long pressing run (on E. John or yet another Bleatles greatest hits) the unit cost is negligible. It has often been felt that long playing-time CDs (greatest-blah-album-ever type things) sound poor but the wisdom is that digits-is-digits. Until Studio Sound actually tested this assertion. Bugger me if it wasn't true. Something to do with narrow track widths, thin allyplate and jitter. Time was that we, the producers, used to get a test pressing, to make sure that the inevitable transition to consumer formats hadn't sucked all the life from our babies. After all, as Producers it's our job to give the company a saleable product. Not anymore.They just press 'em, ship 'em and stack 'em. I've heard such abortions (of recordings I bust my guts over) coming from pressing plants that any cack you hear is possibly just bad pressing. Then again, The Enemy (the bastard cokehead record execs) may just be trying a technological stay of their inevitable execution. Chop away. We who actually make the records can't wait for the day when all OUR profits aren't snorted. Happy New Year to all fellow techs (and good luck getting that cabbie job to record company executives.)
    • Sorry, but this sounds like bullshit to me.

      has often been felt that long playing-time CDs (greatest-blah-album-ever type things) sound poor but the wisdom is that digits-is-digits. Until Studio Sound actually tested this assertion. Bugger me if it wasn't true. Something to do with narrow track widths,

      Bullshit. It doesn't matter how long the audio portion is so long as it's less than 80 (or 74) minutes. The track is the same width, regardless, it simply doesn't go all the way to the outside portion of the disk.

      This guy is just trying to sound like he knows what he's talking about.
    • I don't believe this (Score:5, Interesting)

      by CaptainSuperBoy (17170) on Thursday December 26, 2002 @08:06PM (#4963354) Homepage Journal
      Yeah, I'm going to have to call shenanigans on this. I have never heard of pressed CD's with a lower track width causing a higher rate of errors. And that's all it would be if this happened, a higher error rate causing the CD player to interpolate more samples. These errors would show up on a good ripping program such as EAC, reading in secure mode. It doesn't seem likely that the pressing process could produce a lower quality CD given a bunch of bytes.. it's not like the pressing machine secretly switches bits on and off. So maybe a longer CD has a higher chance of unreadable frames, although I've never heard of this. But to say that the pressing process creates a CD where the bytes of data on the CD do not equal the bytes on the master, is ridiculous.

      Lucius, if it's true you're in recording you're in a unique position to prove/disprove this theory. Just take the master of a track, at 44/16/stereo. Then get a pristine, pressed CD containing that track. Rip it with a good program and a good CD drive, then do a comparison on the files. Except for the very beginning and end of the tracks, they should be identical. Audiophiles will tell you ridiculous things, it doesn't surprise me that someone out there thinks a CD is 'more than just bytes.' I mean, you'll meet people who say that the quality of your DIGITAL audio cable matters - as if a cheap 3 ft piece of fiber will somehow lose bytes, but an expensive 3 ft piece of fiber will get all those bytes there intact. These are the same jokers who buy the CDs that are pressed with gold.
    • by Fross (83754) on Thursday December 26, 2002 @08:50PM (#4963542) Homepage
      i dont know what crack they smoke where you work, but...

      Track widths do not vary with CDs so you can stuff more on. Hence there is no such "narrow track width" problem with CD. however, this *does* apply to vinyl, and is one of the main culprits of poor vinyl quality over the last 15 years.
      I've not heard of any "thin allyplate" problems with CDs, however using thin, low quality material has been a problem for sound quality for vinyl. some believe this was intentional on the labels' part to get people to switch formats.

      also, having worked in the music business myself, i'm happy to say that i've never encountered an instance where the producers don't get a test pressing.

      methinks your record exec may not be the only cokehead. ;)

      fross
  • Wishing I had more time off from work. Was a welcome break.
  • This is not "DRM" (Score:2, Informative)

    by tuxlove (316502)
    The CDs in question are copy-protected. They are designed to play properly in a standard, dumb CD player, but not a "smart" CD player like the ones you find in your computer. Manufacturers are now starting to put CD ROM drives into CD players, which sounds like your problem.

    There are numerous copy protection schemes out there, but it sounds like Sony is using the one that has bad error correction info, which makes the disc sound like crap if the CD player pays attention to it. Dumb ones don't, and tend to play normally (until you get scratches on your CD!).

    Of course, anyone willing to spend about 10 minutes researching the issue can find the appropriate software/hardware to rip copy protected discs just fine. Copy protection will only stop the least sophisticated users from ripping the music. Just shows how stupid the record labels are.
  • If you don't like DRM CD's, then don't buy any CD's from any label which produces them. They'll get the message.

    If you disagree with the RIAA's politics or technological positions and you give their member labels money, you are a hypocrite. Take that money you were going to give to Sony and give it to a label which isn't a corrupt cabal of mobsters. One that will actually give the artists a fair cut of the money and not bootleg CD's under their nose. Or give it to the EFF.

    Don't be a hypocrite. Put your money where your mouth is. If you don't like DRM CD's, then boycott the labels that sell them.
    • by Chris Canfield (548473) <slashdot@@@chriscanfield...net> on Thursday December 26, 2002 @06:57PM (#4963017) Homepage
      You know, this is a good theory, but we did this. We bought 10% fewer recordings last year from the major labels. And, of course, they have used that against us as a sign that we need far MORE DRM in our lives. It couldn't be a 25% reduction in albums produced, or a ridiculous price creeping far above that set around the world, or a rising anti-RIAA sentimentality. Of course it is Napster's fault.

      We can't just boycott the labels. We have to take power away from the labels and give it to the independents. How do we do this? By buying CD's from independent music labels and sharing the first 4 tracks, and refusing to share music from the major labels. Kazaa isn't just a way to avoid the distribution tax... it is a way to discover new music. We need to make sure that music is good, both in quality and in spirit. It would also be great if we could convince major artists to move away from the RIAA labels and strike it out on their own, but so long as they feel that their livelyhood is threatened I doubt that will happen. We'll have to make it happen on our own.

      -C
  • ... to force record labels to change the term 'copy protection' to 'copy restriction'? (Note: Im not claiming to invent that term, somebody else on Slashdot coined the phrase and I have no idea who it is)

    There's got to be a legal justification for doing so. If they advertise it as 'protection', it sounds like they're made a superior product that'll play in anything. That sounds like false advertising to me. If they use the term 'restriction', then it's clear there may be playback issues.
  • DRM ruined two gifts I gave this XMas:

    1. I gave a GE DVD Player to my boyfriend's parents. They came home to watch their new DVD's on their new player only to find that their newer Sony VCR nicely chokes on the DRM watermark fading in and out as it converts the RCA signal in to coax their older TV can use.
    2. I gave my boyfriend a Sony MiniDisc Recorder complete with USB link to his computer so that he can record his first "Live Bagpipe Marching Band CD" while he's performing.

      We got it connected to his computer and discovered that their damn software will only allow to transfer songs to your computer that you and only you put on the MiniDisc. There's a petition here [minidisc.org] to get Sony to enable this ability as many journalist would benefit from this feature. It's not made clear on the packaging that you cannot transfer songs to your computer that you record with a microphone.

    Lesson learned: do your homework before buying any electronics from MPAA or RIAA members. :( And especially avoid electronics manufactures that are also content distributors (read: Sony)

  • by Anonvmous Coward (589068) on Thursday December 26, 2002 @07:01PM (#4963041)
    This is slightly - OT, but at least it's a real life story as to how DRM is harmful to legitimate customers.

    I moved a couple of months ago. My GTA 3 disk was damaged in the move through my own carelessness. I contacted the producer of the game to find out how much a simple media exchange would cost. Want to know how much it'll cost? $18 + S&H. That's just for the disk. They can't throw a copy on the burner for me and do it for $5?

    I should have backed it up. I'm not sure if I could have or not. I didn't try with this particular game, but I've had to go to rather extreme measures to back up other games I have. You'd think I'd have the right to protect my $50 investment, but obviously I don't.

    I find this infurating. It's either a copyright issue or it isn't. Either I'm holding an $18 lump of plastic, or I'm holding an $.05 key to content I have licensed. They can't have it both ways.

    I can't believe that these industries are legally allowed to get away with customer gouging.
  • by autechre (121980) on Thursday December 26, 2002 @07:45PM (#4963271) Homepage

    I bought "It Isn't The Fall" by The Lesser Birds of Paradise (Loose Thread Recordings) for my mother, and "High Society" by Enon (Touch and Go) for my brother.

    I know I sound like a broken record (ha ha ha), but these smaller labels actually want people to listen to their music. They have enough trouble promoting the stuff; they're certainly not going to put up any obstacles, or do things that would tick off the few customers/loyal radio stations they have.

    "But I don't know how to find that stuff / indie music sucks!"

    No, it doesn't suck. "High Society" certainly beats the hell out of Queens of the Stone Age. The new Apples In Stereo is great too.

    As for finding the music, the College Music Journal (cmj.com) is a great starting point. I'd point you to WMBC's own music database, which is (barely) searchable, but it's still a little shaky; I'm hoping to straighten out the code this winter and release it publically (it also does the tracking the RIAA requires for Internet broadcasting).

    [On a nice note, I also got "Big Swing Face" by Bruce Hornsby (RCA) for my father, and it wasn't crippled either.]

  • sue (Score:5, Interesting)

    by zogger (617870) on Thursday December 26, 2002 @08:24PM (#4963426) Homepage Journal
    --sue. Sue them, and here's how to do it. Take the LOCAL store manager to court, charge "fraud". Simple fraud is a crime. It's *illegal* to sell something that ain't that something. They offer to sell you a "cd" when it's not-it LOOKS like a cd but it isn't. It's fraud. Buncoism, it's against the law, just so widely done now it appears "lawful". You stick a crippled disk in front of 12 people on a jury and ask them what it is they'll say it's a cd, and cd's should play in cd players PERIOD. It's that simple a concept. Don't try changing the big guys all by yourself it ain't happening, don't try suing sony or walmart, take whomever took YOUR money and sold you something that wasn't as advertised to local small claims court or other appropriate venue for your situation and locality. Use this technique as a force multiplier. Don't even let them skate with a refund or a return, KEEP the crippled disk, that's your evidence of fraud, get some people who are "just following orders" to realise there ARE consequences for their actions. This is a basic problem our society has, "just following orders", it's never anyone's fault, nothing "bad" ever has any named human being attached to it just some vague "corporation" that's a bear to deal with, which is nuts, this goes for politics to economics, people just TAKE IT all the time when you don't have to. Don't let them plead ignorance or pass the buck or just rip off the next guy and the next guy and the next guy. If "anyone you" think this is an important enough issue, prove it! Once you get some judgements against these people, it will force THEM to bump it up, because THEY will in turn sue their bosses for being ordered to perpetuate and expand this scam congame. Work exactly at the level the crime occurred, you and your wallet and someone taking your money at a your local store.

    If you went into the store to buy shampoo and dumped it on your head and it was shoe polish, would you take it or sue the ^&^*(tards? If they kept selling shoe polish labeled as shampoo? Over and over and over again? If you went into the store and bought a can of corn and opened it up and it had rat parts in it instead of corn, would you sue, or just take YOUR time and go back and get a 'real' can of corn, knowing that half the cans on the shelf labeled corn that looked like cans of corn were in reality canned rat?

    The deal is these stores, and their corporate/cartel/monopolist bosses, want cowed sheepish brainwashed consumers, they want you to only grumble, maybe a few people exchange the defective products, they don't want to make the hard decisions that follow ethics, they want to skate the cheapest way they can. Suing some humongous corporation is HARD, suing a place local and a named individual for an exact specific crime is a lot easier and cheaper, and if thousands of people did it this crap would stop tomorrow.

    Sam with spammers, in the states where spam is now illegal-WHY aren't there thousands of lawsuits? I'll tell ya why, it's because 99% of people are sheep, easily cowed, don't want to "rock the boat", scared, think their single efforts won't matter, just content to bitch about things but nothing else-whatever, all excuses really for not taking personal indignation and getting shafted right back to the shafter and getting your day in court. If your cause is righteous, you at least have a chance, never even trying means you'll keep getting shafted, which just further emboldens the badguys to keep ripping people off and pulling more and more scams.

    If it was me with this particular issue, I'd tell that store manager (get their full name and job title) ONE TIME to stop selling crippled "counterfeit cd look-a-likes" that aren't "cds", that unless they are removed or labeled and displayed and stocked completely separately from REAL cd's PROMINENTLY six ways to sunday with BIG SIGNS that they AREN'T cd's and WON'T play in most normal cd players that you intend to sue HIM in local court personally,that you will file an official police report, then follow through if they keep ripping people off. Getting ripped off the first time is his fault, twice is "your" fault because "anyone you" puts up with it, generally and non specifically speaking.

  • by Rogerborg (306625) on Thursday December 26, 2002 @08:39PM (#4963486) Homepage
    Yes, right up there. "Many CD's bought this Christmas will come with little stickers that say they contain copy protection technology designed to defeat music pirates". And so on. Evil music pirates, starving artists, copy protection rather than rights removal. No hint that it's snake oil, no suggestion that all it does it piss people off and actively drive them to P2P. A rather ambiguous assertion at the end that "But some people who have got used to getting music for free might not buy it at all." What the hell that's meant to signify, I don't know, other than that the BBC employs way too many inbred RADA [rada.org] rejects in their features department.
  • by 1g$man (221286) on Thursday December 26, 2002 @08:59PM (#4963597)
    The way to end DRM is simple: find someone more powerful than the RIAA.

    And the only one more powerful than the RIAA in this country... is Wal-Mart.

    Get a few thousand geeks to buy copy protected CDs, and then demand a return at the same time because they are defective. If you get Wal-Mart annoyed enough, they'll throw their weight around and make changes.

    Ever wonder why many DVDs at Wal-Mart are fullscreen instead of widescreen? Because enough rednecks returned their DVDs and whined "'cos they didn't fill up mah dam screen!"

  • Click here to sue (Score:5, Informative)

    by Animats (122034) on Thursday December 26, 2002 @10:05PM (#4963875) Homepage
    Click here to sue. [milberg.com] Milberg Weiss, the well-known class-action law firm, is sueing the record companies over defective CDs. They sue big companies all the time and win, which makes them tons of money. Mostly they do shareholder lawsuits; they're the lead plaintiff in Enron litigation. But they do other class action work as well.

    Here's how they put it in their court filing.

    • Defendants conspired and agreed among themselves to sell defective audio discs which were rendered unreproducible or unstable for use in many personal computers, Macintosh computers, compact disc players, digital video disc players, car stereos and digital video game consoles. Defendants have affirmatively concealed the fact that their defective audio discs interfere with their customers' legal right to play or transfer music to other playback mediums. Additionally, Defendants have collectively misrepresented these defective audio discs as being standard Compact Discs (``CDs''), which they are not. Defendants undertook the acts alleged herein pursuant to, and in furtherance of, this conspiracy and agreement. Defendants manufactured, disseminated, advertised or sold these defective audio discs in such a way as to collectively conceal from plaintiffs, Class members and the general public the fact that these defective audio discs were of inferior quality and deprived customers of their legal right to backup and transfer their own music to other playback mediums. Such concealment resulted in plaintiffs, Class members and the general public paying more for these defective audio discs in expectation that, inter alia, the music would be playable on all playback devices and would be of equal quality to CDs, which they are not.

    That's clear enough.

    They ask that if you've found a defective CD, report it to them by clicking here. [milberg.com]

  • by TheScogg (609746) on Friday December 27, 2002 @01:47AM (#4964662)
    Damnit. Popped in my new John Cage album today. Low and behold...4 minutes and 33 seconds of pure silence.

All this wheeling and dealing around, why, it isn't for money, it's for fun. Money's just the way we keep score. -- Henry Tyroon

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