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Music Media

Coming Soon: Burn-Proof CDs 673

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the thats-not-so-cool dept.
An Anonymous Coward writes: "This article on MSNBC opens the door to the "Copyright protected CD's". Apparently the very first copyright protected cd is set to burn this April for some country star's album. Copyright protected cd's do not allow you to replicate them in a cd burner nor do they allow you to rip the audio tracks "digitally" (although can still be done through analog)." I wonder how long before someone finds a way around this. Actually the article is well-written, covering all the bases, although it neglects to say how we're all expected to bend over while our fair use of stuff we paid for is taken away from us.
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Coming Soon: Burn Proof CDs

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  • by Brento (26177) <brento.brentozar@com> on Wednesday March 28, 2001 @04:36AM (#334709) Homepage
    Oddly, this will really, really increase sales of this particular CD, and the music industry will say it's because people can't pirate it. But they'll have it backwards.

    Tons of us will race out and buy a Charlie Pride CD (even though we abhor country music) simply because we want to try to break it. We want to see whether or not it's really burnproof, and whether we can be the first to figure out the easy way around it.

    The industry will hail the huge sales of this CD as demonstrable proof that non-copyable CD's enjoy higher revenues because us nasty mean hackers can't make copies of Charlie Pride's wonderful stuff, and thus we have to buy several copies for our car, our office, etc. They'll show this fact to other recording artists and say, "See, you too could be enjoying this kind of royalty," and the artists will lick their chops in anticipation. I guarantee they'll be a long line of artists willing to be the second burn-proof CD.
  • by mach-5 (73873) on Wednesday March 28, 2001 @04:36AM (#334710) Homepage
    Don't buy the CD, if you don't agree with the copyright protection. The RIAA will eventually realize that their sales are dropping because of the copyright protection and they are better off without it.
  • There already was a rip-proof CD in Europe. If I remember correctly, BMG (of the Napster fame) had a system called Cactus that prevented CDDA extraction.

    I am an unfortunate owner of one such CD.

  • by kzinti (9651) on Wednesday March 28, 2001 @04:42AM (#334716) Homepage Journal
    I'm sure this is just coincidence, but when I clicked on the poll on the left margin ("Do you support copy-proctected CDs?") to vote "NO", their site took me to a blank page. When I tried to go back to the article, still nothing... blank page. Shortly after that, Netscape crashed. By now they have no doubt logged my IP address and sent a complaint to my ISP that I'm a potential pirate, and asking that my account be revoked.

    On the other hand, maybe I've been watching too much X-Files. And it's early... yeah, that's the ticket... early... brain not function... must... get... caffiene...
  • From everything I rea din this article, these schemes prevent the ripping of audio data from a CD, since there is extra data that confuses the TOC so that CDROM drives cannot read it. While this will keep your ripping program from working, I do not see how this would prevent the burning of a CD. A simple raw copy using dd or some other command would copy the raw data from the CD, no filesystem or format necessary. Then it is a simple matter of burning that image to a CD. I fail to see how there is any prevention of copying in this.
  • by holloway (46404) on Wednesday March 28, 2001 @04:46AM (#334722) Homepage
    Read the Salon article [salon.com]. There, much better.

  • by XorA (147020) on Wednesday March 28, 2001 @04:47AM (#334724) Homepage
    Why is it when schemes like this come out they always use terms like "It will be far too dificult for the average user". Is every person on the internet expected to crack the protection personally. Dont these companies realise all it takes is for one person to write the crack, then the "average user" can just run the program for himself.

    It just seems to me at times that large businesses seem unable to comprehend the basic concept of a programmable machine. The ability to store a list of instructions and repeat. Given the manufacturers reluctance to cripple dvd-rom drives, purposely making them easy to mod to multi-region. I bet they start advertising cd-roms that can read these so called protected disks fairly soon after release.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    and i remember a wired article mentioning the fact that such cds were withdrawn because a minority of ordinary cd players could not play them.

    so............instead of boycotting a country cd you'd never have even knew existed otherwise _anyway_ everyone should buy a copy and return it for being faulty.

    better still by ten or twenty.

    Caoilte
  • Worked for me, and 85% of the people said no, the don't want copy protected CDs.
    --
  • by xigxag (167441) on Wednesday March 28, 2001 @04:49AM (#334728)
    The article points out that BlindRead, CloneCD and other programs can read bit for bit copies of these copy-protected CDs.

    Hence, the technology, as it now stands, only frustrates the casual pirate, not the hardcore fair use maven. Also, N.B., the same article can be found on Salon [salon.com], and in point of fact actually comes from Inside [inside.com].

  • Recording from the Wire coming out of the back of your stereo system, is not a perfect digital copy. That is what they are trying to stop.
    When you rip a CD, you get a (near) perfect digital copy. When you record from the analog output, you get analog with all the extra little effects, artifacts and whatever that various layers of cd player, pre-amp, amp & recording equipment add into the mix.
    When you rip a CD, you just have to deal with the little skips & jumps you always get off a CD, the rest of it is a perfect copy.
  • Ever tried copying an audio track with dd?
  • Not one track, but a whole CD works fine
  • by DeeKayWon (155842) on Wednesday March 28, 2001 @04:53AM (#334738)
    ...unless they can somehow disable the CD Digital out on my DVD-ROM. It's a bit more cumbersome to have to manually record it as .WAV, but there'll be no quality loss. Right now I'm in the process of ripping all of my CDs to Ogg Vorbis format. This kind of bullshit would only prevent me from buying those CDs.
  • by DirkGently (32794) <dirk.lemongecko@org> on Wednesday March 28, 2001 @04:53AM (#334742) Homepage
    Yeah. Right. Just like PSX games.

    But even *that's* different, because the PSX hardware is looking for a boot code that doesnt transfer when the disc is copied (the burner's error correction removes it).

    But how will thier copy-pro work for a $50 Walmart CD player?

    And on the flipside, lets assume this copy protection does what it is supposed to to, if only initially. Lets also assume cdparanoia (for an example of a beautiful piece of software) releases a patch to defeat the copy protection. Aren't they violating the DCMA, as referenced in the interview with Rep Boucher? What recourse does that leave?

    dirk
  • by TekkonKinkreet (237518) on Wednesday March 28, 2001 @04:54AM (#334743) Homepage
    Mail your burned copy to the record company! Preferably postmarked the day of release...
  • by streetmentioner (28936) on Wednesday March 28, 2001 @04:54AM (#334745) Homepage
    PowerMac G4s, for example, have no analog connection coming out of the CD drive. The CD player software works by ripping the audio data across the IDE/SCSI/USB bus and then feeding it out of the sound card. That won't work with burn-proof CDs.

    The problem will get bigger with, for instance, the proliferation of USB speakers, where all data has to be transferred digitally all the way.

    Hopefully the population using such schemes will become large enough that the move will be politically impossible by the time the technology is there.
  • by BabylonMink (320466) on Wednesday March 28, 2001 @04:55AM (#334746)
    If they could only limit the use of these disks to Country CDs, then its a blessing in disguise that they prevent duplicates being made of them ;)
  • That ultimately WE are the ones paying to have our rights taken away - how much money do you think they invested in the technology? And who pays for it, ultimately? In more ways than one.
  • Okay, just take the spdif output of your cd player and plug it into your sblive - perfect digital copy. Even if you don't have a setup that can handle that, enough people do that it's moot.

    As a related aside, I've a friend who's entire audio system goes through his computer - he stores his music in 2 300 sony cds changers, with toslink optical outputs fed into his linux box. The clever bit is: Since they're Sony audio components, they use the s-link remote control interface - which he hacked up his parallel port to speak. So now he can rip and encode (stream?) any of his cds from anywhere in the world that he can get out on port 22 from.
  • MSNBC is optimized for
    Microsoft Internet Explorer
    Windows Media Player


    Serves you right for not using the one true browser on the one true OS.
  • by grammar nazi (197303) on Wednesday March 28, 2001 @04:59AM (#334754) Journal
    I read another article about this, and they said that current burn proof technology uses special sectors on the CD that a CDROM drive can't read. This effectively eliminates listening to the music in any CDROM drive. The RIAA phat-cats have mixed opinions about whether to release CDs that can't be played on a CDROM or not.

    I don't know about you, but my only CD player that I own is the one on my computer. Although I rip all of the CDs that I own, sometimes it is easier to download the album from Napster.

    Rant on capitalism:
    As a capitalistic society, we the consumers have the right to purchase the most value per money that we can. As a matter of fact, we are obligated to so, and it is in our nature to do so. If the RIAA comes out with CD protection that sucks and removes value from music, then we won't buy it. Thus the RIAA will have to trick people into believing that the percieved value of the new CDs is better.

    If you really want to put it to the RIAA, then go about informing people about this CD protection and convince people that the RIAA is actually removing value from the CD. In the long run this will hurt the RIAA more than anything else. Inform them with webpages, tell a friend, mention it at a community meeting or school, hang a poster on your locker or wall. You'll find that people do make informed intelligent decisions when given adequate information about things. Large companies don't like this idea so they try to brainwash people through the media.

    I made a lot of generalizations in this post, so please comment and tell me what you think! Don't bother correcting my grammar because we both know that it is impeccable.

  • by cyber-vandal (148830) on Wednesday March 28, 2001 @05:01AM (#334756) Homepage
    Only if you rip it to a .wav of about 40MB. Standard 128k MP3s don't sound as good as CDs (I didn't believe this either until I tried it out).
  • by markmoss (301064) on Wednesday March 28, 2001 @05:03AM (#334758)
    RTFA (read the fine article. In brief, they introduce errors in the table of contents and the data sectors that a typical audio CD player will just skip over, but most CD-ROM driver software will hang up on. So you can't use your computer to listen to or to copy the CD. The music industry seems to believe that no one is smart enough to hack the CD-ROM drivers and change the fault handling. I give it 3 days. Of course, distributing any such hack for the purpose of defeating the security is a violation of the CDMA.

    On the other hand, I really would appreciate a premium CD driver that would recover as much data as possible from scratched CD-ROM's. And if that just happens to make it read copy protected CD's...
  • Surely if they don`t conform to the Redbook standard exactly they will no longer be marketable as music CDs If they sell them as such and they will not work in a player that will play music CDs there are commiting a crime ie, improper description of there product Regards
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Unlike vinyl records, which store music in a continuous spiral, RedBook CDs -- the CDs owned by every music fan -- break up music tracks and distribute them higgledy-piggledy around the disk in "sectors" that are similar to the data sectors on computer hard drives. Because the data are scattered all over the disk, each CD has a "table of contents" that tells the player where to find each track. RedBook CDs run a maximum of 74 minutes and can hold at most 99 tracks -- if a CD is longer or has more tracks, the player won't know how to read the extra music. Importantly, the music sectors on a CD are interwoven with additional error-fixing data that the player's built-in software uses to reconstruct the tracks if dirt or tiny air bubbles from the manufacturing process make little chunks of the disk unreadable.

    CD-ROMs, which are also used for computer software, are different. Because CD-ROMs may have hundreds or even thousands of files, they need to handle many more than 99 "tracks," which means they have different, larger tables of contents and can, in theory, hold up to 100 minutes. Because computer programs can't just skip a bit of code if the disk is dirty, CD-ROMs are more exacting about error correction. For that reason, a YellowBook CD-ROM devotes an extra chunk of each data sector to a second method of detecting and fixing flaws.
    According to label executives and audio engineers, copy-protection firms take advantage of these differences by adding extra data to both the tables of contents and the music tracks -- data that are ignored by CD players but confuse CD-ROMs. One purchaser of the Midbar-protected version of Razorblade Romance, for instance, reported on Slashdot that an Onkyo CD player had no trouble with the CD, but Cdparanoia, a powerful open-source ripping program, could extract only 30 seconds of it. The CD player, the Slashdotter wrote, displayed "a playing time of 100 minutes, 30 seconds -- not! ... So the trick seems to be that the playing time of 100:30 is interpreted as 00:30." The literal-minded computer software, he suggested, stopped when told it had reached the end, whereas the "hifi-player also says 00:30 of course, but after 30 secs it goes down to 99:59" and plays normally. (Asked about this account, a Midbar representative said the firm "cannot provide more technical information at this time.")
  • For people that are too lazy to read the article.
    1. Copy protected CD's are coming.
    2. The copy protection is a joke because it's a simple matter of programming to get around it.
    3. Copy protected CD's will cause problems for many audio CD players (and my guess is that the audio quality will drop as they try to put more crap and errors in them to prevent copying - think macrovision)
    4. This is a stepping stone for some future devices that will have intense hardware copy protection and will be locked down and controlled by the music industry as much as possible.
    5. These things will all ultimately fail because the data is put there to be read and played, some one will figure out how to get at it and once the bits are off the disk it's pretty easy to replicate and distribute them.
    6. The only way the general public can protect their rights is to shun any of these new technologies. Unless they provide some compelling reason and benefit the to general public, they should not be successful, especailly if there are competing standards. The installed legacy base is huge and inertia is a very hard thing to overcome.
  • Good god, I have lost my faith in moderators.

  • I don't see any possible way that this will work, short of exploiting the copyright protection schemes in the newwe M$ operating systems (ME, 2000, XP), and even that is doubtful. At most, a minor rewrite to the ripper program will be required.

    If the audio tracks will play on a PC CD-ROM drive, then there is a way a ripper can save the tracks. There is just no way around that. And once the track is in MP3 format, there is no copy control.

    I see this as a possible attempt by the RIAA to exploit the DMCA ala the MPAA and DeCss. Tey may next be going to court to get CD rippers and MP3 encoders declared "circumvention devices" under the DMCA. And they know how to do it, just file their suit in so-called "judge" Kaplan's "court". (as an aside, perhaps Kaplan could be the Judge Wapner in a new show on the WB called "The Corporates Court").

    CD's that employ this kind of copy controls, which will NOT stop piracy, but are intended to prevent me from excercising my right to fair use, SHOULD BE BOYCOTTED! Make them fail in the marketplace. It would seem to me that this copyright control scheme would only really prevent copying on consumer level audio equipment (non PC's), where you can't get at the hardware and change the software.

  • by Levine (22596) <levine&goatse,cx> on Wednesday March 28, 2001 @05:08AM (#334769) Homepage
    When I read "Burn Proof CDs" I thought the article had something to do with CDRs that were somehow impossible to burn. That didn't make too much sense, believe it or not, so perhaps a better title would be:

    Coming Soon: Rip Proof CDs

    Unless you're a big fan of, you know, blank CDRs that can't be burned. Sounds like a RIAA concept to me, if there ever was one.
  • by markmoss (301064) on Wednesday March 28, 2001 @05:11AM (#334775)
    1) Write to your state Attorney General, consumer fraud protection. Computers are commonly used to listen to CD's, so selling CD's that are known to not play on them might be considered fraud, at least unless they are very clearly marked.

    2) Take the record store to small claims court. Get 99 friends to do the same. Watch them ship the damned things back and refuse to stock any more...
  • by Onan The Librarian (126666) on Wednesday March 28, 2001 @05:11AM (#334776)
    so don't buy it...learn to listen to better music instead of metallica and 95% of the other pap ladled out to you...don't be so fsck'ing lazy when it comes to listening to music...as mike watt once said, "there are too many liars singing songs these days"...of course the advice is useless when your ears can no longer tell when someone is lying, and mtv and the other culture-dispensers have made damned sure that most of you can't tell sonic shite from shinola...just my two cheerful drachmas, of course... :)
  • by Lonesmurf (88531) on Wednesday March 28, 2001 @05:11AM (#334777) Homepage
    Ah, but you aren't thinking far enough into the future, my friend. You see, the reason that this disc is Country is precisely because the record industries already know that all of us will go out, buy and attempt to break the protection scheme. So our best and brightest will quickly go utterly and irreparably insane listening to country music and will be unable to help us in our fight against the Evil that awaits in the immediate future.

    Fight the power.

    Rami
    --
  • Sie machten einen Grammatikfehler in Ihrem Kommentar.

    Bitte Refrain von solchen Fehlern zukünftig.

    Danke

  • by fuxoft (161836) on Wednesday March 28, 2001 @05:12AM (#334780) Homepage
    Copy-protected audio CD was already released over here (Czech Republic) several weeks ago. (It was a new album by Dan Barta, local artist.) Not that I listen to Dan Barta but I was intrigued when my friend told me that it cannot be ripped/copied. What I found out:

    First of all: Visible gaps could be seen on the CD! (probably gaps between tracks)

    The album had sticker saying "NOT COMPATIBLE WITH PCs" and this seems to be true. The CD is not recognized as audio CD at all and cannot be played in PC.

    Then I tried analyzing/grabbing the CD data using various applications such as CloneCD, CDRWin, Blind Read, NTI CD-Maker etc with various settings. All of this without any success. Not only did I get various contradictory and theoretically impossible error messages but several of the programs crashed spectacularly and/or produced scary noises through the CDROM drive! The best success I achieved was displaying some sort of Table of Contents which contained very strange numbers (negative data lengths, 99 sessions on the disk etc...)

    Then I tried all of this with 3 different drives (AOpen CDRW, AOpen DVD ROM and Creative DVD ROM) and the results varied wildly. The best success I has was capturing 650 MB file which contained 2 seconds of the first track and then zeroes.

    I tried playing the CD in two different CD players (Aiwa and Sony) and it worked without any problems. Track numbers and lenghts were ok, everything looked fine.

    So, it seems that these CDs really cannot be ripped/copied using standard CD ROMs. Of course:
    1) You can send the music from the CD player with digital output to PC soundcard with digital input and create perfect "deprotected" CD.
    2) If this copyprotection gains any notoriety, CD drive makers will immediately update their firmware to allow "dumbing down" the drive and "really RAW" grabbing of the audio data.

  • Copyright protected cd's do not allow you to replicate them in a cd burner nor do they allow you to rip the audio tracks "digitally" (although can still be done through analog)."

    Taco editorialized:
    Actually the article is well written, covering all the bases, although it neglects to say how we're all expected to bend over while our fair use of stuff we paid for is taken away from us.

    So now "fair use" for any piece of music you buy is meant to be defined by you're being able to make digital copies of it? I guess the RIAA is really fucking us with those analog LP's then, with their insidious built-in bumpy groove technology.

    Fair use of a music CD is to be able to play the thing whereever you like, and generally do whatever you like with it (such as making a copy for the car) as long as it's for your own use and not giving copies away to others who hav't paid for it.

    However, Fair use DOES not by any stretch of the imagination mean you should be guaranteed to be able to copy directly to CD rather than tape, or that you should be facilitated in copying it to MiniOggCD-2010 or whatever alternate formats may emerge. That is ridiculous.
  • by Tannin Kal (17633) on Wednesday March 28, 2001 @05:13AM (#334783)
    I'm just glad they finally made my mind for me. I used to hear songs on the radio, grab mp3's of the ones I liked, and grab the album's of the one's I liked the most. However, my only cd players are my computers at home and my laptop at work. Now I have no choice but to do all my music listening in mp3 format. Thanks guys, saves me a bunch of money!

    -Tannin Kal
  • Blech! While I didn't think of it at the time, obviously these could have been written simply to put the data in separate files and add a wav header.

    What I was getting at is that they weren't. See "I can play audio CDs perfectly; why is reading the CD into a file so difficult and prone to errors? It's just the same thing." in the cdparanoia faq [xiph.org].
    --

  • by omarius (52253) <omar@nOspam.allwrong.com> on Wednesday March 28, 2001 @05:17AM (#334789) Homepage Journal
    How simple is it to break? Record it in analog, people, and re-mp3 it! Maybe Superman and your dog will be able to tell the difference, but I'll bet you won't, once you set whatever software you're using to the right levels. Geez. I have no fear whatsoever of this crap. Copy protection was a pain in the ass for Apple ][ games, but then, you couldn't play them out of a speaker.

    -Omar

  • by mindstrm (20013)
    You've done this? An entire audio cd? with dd?

    Because for some reason, I don't think you can do that. You can't simply read a whole CD block-by-block. You can use DD to grab a single track perhaps..... but the whole thing?

  • "* The only way the general public can protect their rights is to shun any of these new technologies. Unless they provide some compelling reason and benefit the to general public, they should not be successful, especailly if there are competing standards. The installed legacy base is huge and inertia is a very hard thing to overcome.
    "

    With respect to audio technology, IS there a new technology that would be compelling enough to make everyone switch?

    IMO, that will be hard. CD's already have the best possible sound quality, which is mainly why they replaced casettes. Other than making CD's smaller and higher capacity (which is NOT an actual improvement of the audio) there doesn't seem to be any way to make the kind of leap as from casette to CD, or VHS to DVD.

    The only compelling new audio technology is MP3, and MP3 players (smaller, more convienient, and higher capacity, as in my argument above). Which the recording industry is trying their hardest to suppress.

  • A mate in the office yesterday bought a CD which looked kinda weird... on the back there were what looked like concentric gaps. It skipped like mad in our PCs, so he took it back. The replacement CD also didn't place in a PC, but played perfectly well in a cheap hifi.

    This is _so_ wrong it's unbelievable...
  • from the article:
    "If CDs were as hard to copy as DVDs or VHS tapes or even books, we would not be going through anything like what we're going through now with Napster or Gnutella."
    Yeah, it took a teenager a whole week to figure out how to copy a DVD. (I realize that it's quite hard to burn a DVD now, but 5 years ago CDs were equally hard to burn)
    I would imagine that it would only take slightly longer to break this method.

    What really needs to be done here is to give consumers access to digital music for a fair price. I don't see RIAA or any record company even trying to do that. If MP3s were 50 cents per copy, I think record companies would make a mint. I certainly would buy a ton of them.

    -_underSCORE
  • by dpilot (134227) on Wednesday March 28, 2001 @05:22AM (#334798) Homepage Journal
    Now you've hit the nail on the head. Obviously, "The Programmable Machine" must die. The first step is to key the BIOS and OS together, so it only boots the One True OS, Windows. Then come up with copy-protected and access-controlled media. Then how about Windows-only peripherals, network connections, etc. Once you've taken The Programmable Machine and made it fully Windows-bound, you've got a set of deep pockets available to sue, and Microsoft will make sure that machine won't be usable for illegal copying.

    The Programmable Machine can be dead and gone within our lifetime.
  • It was nice for them to mention /. in the article, but it would have been nicer if they had linked to /., or at least said something along the lines of what /. is.
  • If you go check out the Salon [salon.com] article, you'll find some more info on how this works.

    I actually think this is kind of funny. The proposed schemes mostly work by expoiting differences int the redbook(cd audio) and yellowbook(cd-rom) standards, making it impossible to play these CDs in most cd-rom drives.

    Well guess what you twits, I buy quite a few cds but I hardly ever use them in a stero style cd player. Basically what they're going to do is make it so I can't play them in my desktop, I can't play them in my laptop, I can't rip them and play them in my rio and they may not work in the high end player I've been thinking about buying. Even some car cd players may have problems.

    So I'm supposed to pay 20 bucks for a cd I can only play in my $200 bookshelf system that sounds terrible and my 5 year old discman (which I can't find). Oh goody, I'm gonna go buy lots of these things.

    idiots
  • Ack! Colour me a fool for not having read the article. I had naturally assumed that the CDs would still work in CD-ROM drives in audio mode, and all CDs that didn't work would be doomed to failure.

    Man, they're shooting themselves in the foot.
  • by dattaway (3088) on Wednesday March 28, 2001 @05:32AM (#334816) Homepage Journal
    they said that current burn proof technology uses special sectors on the CD that a CDROM drive can't read.

    If a cdrom drive can't read it, then those sectors are irrelevant. If some day these "hidden" sectors were to become important, one could access low level functions of the cdrom drive or hack the microcontroller to see what's in there. Sounds like a fun way to spend a lazy afternoon.
  • Oh right, like the Germans and Finns would put up with that... if nothing else I'll end up moving to Europe ;^)

  • Would smaller be an advantage to the average person? I found cassettes to be fiddly, because their size was too small, and memory sticks and compactFlash & other similar technologies are VERY fiddly. The size of the CD seems to me to be within the optimum range of acceptable sizes.
  • by clare-ents (153285) on Wednesday March 28, 2001 @05:33AM (#334820) Homepage
    "
    If the RIAA comes out with CD protection that sucks and removes value from music, then we won't buy it.
    "

    If artist X makes his music protected there is no way you can buy an unprotected copy of that music, you can only buy different music.

    I think the best thing to do is buy it, send it back for a replacement, send that back too. Make the broken-standard discs *cost* the RIAA a large amount of money in returns, demands for compensation etc. Write to the artist in question complaining that you can't buy his latest CD because the record company have made it incorrectly. Get elderly ladies to take copies back and let the sales assistants explain to them that it doesn't play in their cd player because the might send copies of it over the internet. We need to make the non-standard cd's *expensive* for the music industry.

    We also need to use the correct terminology.

    These are not copy protected cds. These are broken cds. These cds do not play because they do not adhere to the standard.
  • I admit it- I'm a music junkie, and through my CD purchases, have been supporting the RIAA. I'm a very good customer of theirs. I feel very ambivalent about Napster, and have never shared an MP3 with anyone.

    BUT- as soon as I unwrap a CD I rip and encode it as a high quality MP3. It goes back into the case, and from that point on I primarily listen only to the MP3, whether it be on my stereo, computer, laptop, or Rio (don't have a car player).

    I know I'm a geek through and through and that relatively few other people in this country exercise their "fair use" this way. I've been extremely scrupulous in upholding the rights of the copywright owners, I've fattened their wallets, and what am I going to get for it? They're going to try to f**k me over.

    I will be the first in line to download the "crack" when it comes, DMCA or not. They're turning me into a "criminal".
  • But distributing it in order to allow interoperability is explicitly allowed.
  • "
    Lets also assume cdparanoia (for an example of a beautiful piece of software) releases a patch to defeat the copy protection. Aren't they violating the DCMA, as referenced in the interview with Rep Boucher? What recourse does that leave?
    "

    If cdparanoia is not illegal then patching cdparanoia to read faulty discs is not illegal either.

    These discs are faulty. They are not copy protected, they are faulty, they have been delibrately manufactured incorrectly.
  • I want to be in that line of people getting this CD first, but only to help the reverse engineering. If (as another /. poster asserts) this CD won't play in a CDROM, then it seems (IANAL) that this would be legal reverse engineering for interoperability.

    So, my question is...What are the "best in class" linux CD audio tools that would be a good base for working on this (cdparanoia springs to mind)? What is the ISO designator for the format of CD audio?

    SuperID

  • by jaredcat (223478) on Wednesday March 28, 2001 @05:40AM (#334832)
    ...and thus we have to buy several copies for our car, our office, etc.

    According to the MSNBC article, these new CDs won't work in most car players (because they use CD-ROM anti-skip technology), and won't be playable in your office computer's CD-ROM drive either. I don't even -own- a CD player that these things would work with, and I'm sure that a lot of other people don't either. Who are they trying to fool? No one is buying multiple CDs that are for the most part unusable.

  • " What really needs to be done here is to give consumers access to digital music for a fair price. I don't see RIAA or any record company even trying to do that. If MP3s were 50 cents per copy, I think record companies would make a mint. I certainly would buy a ton of them. "

    They won't do it for the simple fact that their control over a music industry based on PHYSICAL media and distrobution is what is at stake. This control gives the RIAA record labels to exploit the artists, by not only taking the lion's share of the revenue (over 80%), but also in most cases, retaining all ownership of the songs!

    If there is no physical media or distrobution, the artist would only need to hire MARKETERS to promote them, as they would be able to provide their own media production and distrobution (a website). There would be no compelling reason to turn over their rights to a record label.

    A subscription based Napster like service would also give the artist the ability to MARKET and even SELL their music without even hiring marketers.

    This is what the RIAA fears worst of all, the fact that technology has advanced beyond their ability to control, and means either their eventual demise or at least a STEEP reduction in control over the music industry.

    So, they are attempting to use their current unassailable financial position to leverage laws (DMCA) that protect their business model, and use lawsuits to harass anyone who tries to build an alternative.

    But, like stone walls, which never ultimately keep out the invaders, this tactic will eventually fail. It must, unless the USA ceases to be free and capitalistic, but instead becomes Authoritarian and Corporate, although right now that is looking to be a possibility.

    Even IF that happens, the RIAA also loses, because Americans will no longer be a free people with the leisure to buy their products, we'll be too busy carrying guns and blowing up Corporate Government Authority installations.

    I think the RIAA's fear of Napster has more to to with their fear of artists using IT instead of THEM to get their songs out more than piracy.

    Remember, it's the record labels that today control the production, distrobution, marketing, and exposure of all new music in the USA. Even to the point of dictating to radio what gets played (ever wonder why radio plays the "single" off a new album instead of playing the other good songs, at least until they also become a "single"?)

    Any break in this vertcal monopoly the RIAA has in the recording industry will cause the loss of the others as well.

  • I listen to country and promise you I can handle the cost of a CD..

    You should not discriminate against music nor its audience because its not 1337. Try being more open minded.

    Open Source, Closed Minds

    So True. Jeremy

  • If the audio tracks will play on a PC CD-ROM drive...

    They won't, read the article.

  • "
    Fair use of a music CD is to be able to play the thing whereever you like, and generally do whatever you like with it (such as making a copy for the car) as long as it's for your own use and not giving copies away to others who hav't paid for it.
    "

    "
    However, Fair use DOES not by any stretch of the imagination mean you should be guaranteed to be able to copy directly to CD rather than tape
    "

    So what happens if you only have a CD player in the car?

    What happens if you have a personal mp3 player?

    What happens if you want to play it in a CDROM drive?

    What happens if you have a CD player that can't read the disc?

    The new format seems to prevent all of these.

    Surely fair use means I can copy it to match whatever form of playback device I choose?
  • " If the audio tracks will play on a PC CD-ROM drive..."

    I did, but I don't believe that's possible. All that would be needed is modified player software to play the disc. If the data's ON the disc, the CD-ROM drive can access it.

    In other words, this is just some lame scheme to break CD player software.

  • Better still, don't buy this CD becuase it's Country. Do you need another reason?
  • As the article states, this scheme will make most CD-ROM drives unable to play the discs IN AUDIO MODE.

    Then these CDs aren't CD-Audio anymore (Red Book), so they shouldn't be allowed to sell them as CD-Audio (with the label on it).
    My DVD-ROM is labeled "supports CD-Audio", so when it fails to play these CDs, they're faulty.

    Just my $.02
    Ralph

  • There is a general oversight in copy protection that I have never sees considered by these copy-protection-happy folks nor brought up by their antagonists.

    Copyright terms are limited. Is the copyright protection?

    Of course not, that's nearly impossible to do. If a copyright term today is, say, 100 years, will that copy protected CD be copyable in 2101? Same goes for SDMI, DVDs and all that other crap.

    After the term, will it then be legal to "circumvent" such copy protection?

    But wait, there's more! Copyright term extensions of been hostorically retroactive (for no legitimate reason I can see). So, is someone were to make a copy-protected CD that then becomes copyable after 100 years, what do the copyright holders do when the term has been retroactively extended to 200 years?

    If they can't properly protect something for the term of its copyright, they shouldn't protecte it at all -- its at the expense of society ultimately and it shouldn't be allowed.

  • If you're going to read it at Salon for the improved formatting, use the printer friendly [salon.com] version.

    Of course, as both MSNBC and Salon point out, the article was originally written at Inside.com [inside.com] (or use their printer friendly [inside.com] version).

  • The last time I checked, almost all CDs were "copyright protected". Remember, it's copy protection not copyright protection.

    Copyright protection comes from the law. Copy protection comes from technology.

    (It should really be called copy hindering. CP has been proven countless times to be impossible. "Here, I'll encrypt something and then give you the keys. That'll stop you from using the data!")
    --------
    Genius dies of the same blow that destroys liberty.

  • by ConceptJunkie (24823) on Wednesday March 28, 2001 @05:53AM (#334860) Homepage Journal
    Back in the day (mutters the grizzled, 35-year-old software veteran ;) ), most floppy disk copy protection schemes relied on formatting the sectors differently so that they couldn't be copied, only read. It was just a matter of time until Copy II PC, and its ilk, came along to allow legitimate users to back up expensive software off of annoying fragile media.

    How is it going to be different this time? The talk here is not about _if_ we can by pass the protection scheme, but how many days (counting on one hand) will it take. And I have no doubts it will turn out to be correct.

    What I have to ask our friends at the RIAA, if they could hear us over the crackling of burning hundred-dollar bills lighting cigars is, who are they trying to kid? Are they assuming that the majority of CD rippers will simply give up if they can't copy music off of CD's and only the hardcore fringe will attempt to break the copy protection? Will they somehow try to leverage the DCMA to make all CD ripping illegal? Are they stupid, naive, hopelessly optimistic or just plain evil? Well, I think I can answer my own question ("Yes.")

    Anyhow, just like the SDMI stuff (so far) and DiVX (capitalization?), this will probably just be a small blip on the radar of consumer consciousness and then slink back to the swampy hinterland of all failed, bad ideas.

  • If five slashdotters buy it to see how to undo this stupid effort, then Charlie Pride's sales will double overnight. I'm sure Charlie Pride was picked for a test case, instead of Shania Twain for good reasons. If this CD trashes and damages traditional CD players then low sales will make it easier to compensate or avoid recall, and compensation. IF however it works ok (I doubt) then it's good for Charlie's carrier and allows the recording industry to show that it actually doubled or tripled the sales of a venerated, but largely forgotten industry star.

    Charlie, I've got one on hold at Warehouse Music.
  • According to the article, many car CD players will refuse to play these CDs, as will all "multimedia PC" systems. So, let's assume I've got my big Altec Lansing subwoofer hooked up to my PC, and it's the only CD player I own (not really, but many of my friends in the army only have their PCs to play CDs on, to save space). Now, I can't play any new CDs on this machine, because I MIGHT copy them? Well, I can't even listen to them "wherever I like" so I'm not going to buy them either.

    If I put this CD in my new RioVolt MP3/CD player (the only CD player in my car), will it cease to function? Now, I've got a portable CD player (RioVolt) that can't play audio CDs of the new style, I've got a home audio system (MPC) that can't play the new CDs. And, this somehow does NOT infringe on fair use?

    I know plenty of college students and soldiers that don't buy stereos, because they have computers. These happen to be the ages that buy the majority of popular music as well. I imagine the RIAA is not so smart on this one.
  • by Lumpish Scholar (17107) on Wednesday March 28, 2001 @06:21AM (#334901) Homepage Journal
    Do not break the seal on this CD until you have read and agreed to this license. (We have placed this license underneath the seal, in order to protect our intellectual property.) If you do not agree to this license, please apply 1500 PSI to the entire package and kiss your fifteen bucks goodbye.

    The party of the first part, known hereafter as the Screwed, agrees to the following provisions as stipulated by the party of the second part, known hereafter as the Screwer:

    o The Screwed agree the that Screwer may employ any legal, technical, moral, or immoral means to protect the intellectual property of the creative artists who are so critical to the success of the industry. (By "creative artists," we refer not to the scribblers or performers, but the truly creative: the bookeepers and executives who serve the stockholders. You think that's not creative? You have no idea how long it took us to come up with just this license.)

    o The Screwed will chose one (1) device, approved by the Screwer, to play the product recorded on this medium. (It's called a "medium" because it's neither well done nor rare. Yes, it's an old joke. We said we were creative; we didn't say we were original.) Screwer reserves the right to un-approve a device after it has been chosen. If the Screwed does not chose a device, the Screwer reserves the right to chose a player for the Screwed.

    o The Screwed will chose one (1) person, approved by the Screwer, to listen to the product recorded on this medium. If any other person or persons listen to this product, Screwer will charge Screwed a performance fee to be determined after our next "business" trip to Las Vegas.

    o This product is not guaranteed against manufacturing defects or any other flaws. We don't promise that there's even a medium in the package, that if there is, that it has anything but zero bits on it, or that any so-called "music" corresponds in any way to the label on the outside of the package. If our copy protection schemes make it impossible for you to listen to the so-called "music" ... tough.

    o Screwed has the right to listen to the product as many times as he or she likes ... unless Screwed decides otherwise.

    o We control the horizontal. We control the vertical. We control the treble, and all your bass are belong to us, too.
  • by Hard_Code (49548) on Wednesday March 28, 2001 @06:30AM (#334923)
    Wow, you really think just talking to people is going to overcome the mass media pop culture brainwashing they are fed every single day. Good luck. I'm not going to hold my breath waiting for a "Fans of Britney Against RIAA" picket.
  • by UltraBot2K1 (320256) on Wednesday March 28, 2001 @06:33AM (#334932) Homepage Journal
    Try using CloneCD [www.elby.de] to burn the disc. It's designed to bypass copy protection in CD-ROM discs, and it may also work for these audio discs. It's the only thing I've found that can sucessfully copy The Sims without any problems.

    The evaluation version is limited to burning at 2x, but I find it hard to argue any moral dillema against pirating a full version of software that is designed solely for the purpose of piracy.

  • by GTRacer (234395) <gtracer308&yahoo,com> on Wednesday March 28, 2001 @06:44AM (#334944) Homepage Journal
    Uhhh...We've been over this before...

    Fair use states (IANAL) that if you own it, you can listen on whatever player you have.

    For some, like me, who listen at work, the answer is to rip my legally-purchased and rightfully owned CDs to MP3 and play MusicMatch all day at work. This leaves my originals safe at home where I don't have an MP3 player.

    There's also the matter of backup. By ripping your own stuff, you ensure that your $15.99 "license" is protected. When the RIAA says they'll replace any CD any time without questions asked, a la Craftsman, THEN backup becomes irrelevant.

    Not going to happen in our lifetimes, tho'

    GTRacer
    VKP Ashley Riot - An Army of One

  • by Squid (3420) on Wednesday March 28, 2001 @07:09AM (#334980) Homepage
    So now "fair use" for any piece of music you buy is meant to be defined by you're being able to make digital copies of it?

    Taco said that?

    I guess the RIAA is really fucking us with those analog LP's then, with their insidious built-in bumpy groove technology.

    Actually the analogy would be if the RIAA (assuming they still made much money on records) mixed a signal on a 44.1khz carrier into the record, so you and I can hear the record just fine with our analog ears, but any attempt to rip it at that rate would pick up garbage.

    However, Fair use DOES not by any stretch of the imagination mean you should be guaranteed to be able to copy directly to CD rather than tape, or that you should be facilitated in copying it to MiniOggCD-2010 or whatever alternate formats may emerge. That is ridiculous.

    Why not? Being unable to copy a playback-protected CD to some other format is a side effect; the core of the problem is that these CDs simply won't work in certain kinds of PLAYERS. The RIAA doesn't grasp a lot of things about their own damn industry, but one of them is the fact that sometimes you HAVE to make a digital copy in order to hear it (like, say, "copying" the digital music stream to your speakers). This is Macrovision all over again but worse - Macrovision doesn't stop the pros but can be defeated. This doesn't stop the pros (they'll copy it flaws and all like they do DVDs) but you and I can't defeat it to actually USE what we've purchased.

    Anyway what precedent does this set? They do this, some C64 hacker figures out a way to raw-read the CDs anyway, and people who legally own the CD now have to go online and download the MP3s just to listen to it (in the same way a lot of people who bought software legally ended up also obtaining the pirated version so they wouldn't have to mess with the dongle). Way to squelch the piracy there - everyone suddenly HAS to become a pirate just to listen to their stuff, and in the process they'll get so pissed they'll return the CD and keep the MP3s.

    So then what happens? More insidious intentionally-corrupted CDs such that the damn things are just a little bit harder to copy, but won't play back on 50% of consumer CD players? A cyclic game of tit-for-tat until finally they hit upon the ultimate solution - they'll buy new legislation that makes the "Compact Disc" emblem equivalent to a shrinkwrap nontransferrable one-copy-one-player software license. They still can't prevent piracy, but they'll make more money off the lawsuits than they ever did selling CDs.

    Fair use, ha. ANY use is gonna be with the RIAA's grudging permission.
  • by Croaker (10633) on Wednesday March 28, 2001 @07:18AM (#335000)
    If I told you, four years ago, that your "average" Mac or Windows user would be copying binary data off of a CD, encoding it into a new format, then then exchanging that data over the net freely, downloading it into personal devices, or burning it onto CD's that could be played in other devices, would you have bought it?

    While it's popular to flog the masses as being "iggnerent lusers," the truth is, if you're capable of making a process fairly straightforward, Joe average will actually be able to follow along. Joe Average wasn't supposed to use computers in the first place. Or be able to get on the internet. Or be a threat to the mighty music business. Guess what? It happened.

    The argument used that "this will be beyond the ability of average user" is bullshit. Just like "no one will ever find this security hole if they can't see the source code" and "open source software can't be worth anything, becuase it is free." It's what clueless executives murmur over and over, while clinging to their dreams of a new Lexus and a vacation home in the Bahamas.
  • by JCCyC (179760) on Wednesday March 28, 2001 @07:29AM (#335014) Journal
    I don't know how it is in the USA (probably varies state by state like most anything) but in Brazil consumers have a law-established unconditional right to return any kind of durable goods within 7 days of purchase, no matter what the warranty/policy says. To refuse is a violation of law. This law was passed a few years ago in order to curb rampant screwing of customers by stores and manufacturers.

    Does any state in the USA have anything like that (or some other country for that matter)? (For some reason every time I read /. the poverty, crime, excessive heat, lousy public services etc. around here slowly feel more and more bearable. We have a rather liberal immigration police by the way. Everybody's welcome -- except Jack Valenti and Hillary Rosen of course. ;-P)

  • by Bobo the Space Chimp (304349) on Wednesday March 28, 2001 @07:32AM (#335019) Homepage
    "Ehh, I remember those days," says Gus, the old prospector. "Back then, my little brother had a special floppy drive that allowed him to duplicate Atari 400 and 800 games. See, those official Apple floppies could read from some sectors, but couldn't write to them."

    Gus spit a chaw of tobbaccy at the fire, but it missed, and by an embarrassingly large margin, too. He noticed a scorpion and flipped it into the fire with his boot. "That allowed copy protection. Even worse, some companies manufactured floppies with a certain portion of the floppy damaged. Programs would try to write to that portion, and if they could change the value, the program knew it was a copy and not the original."

    Gus leaned back on his log and sighed. Ahh, those were the days. Suddenly, someone warped in next to him. "I'm a from a slashdot article from three weeks in the future. What's all this efficient sorting stuff?"

    "Well, let me tell you," started Gus. "Back in my day, we couldn't just load every name in the US into a RAM array and bubble sort it in a fraction of a second. We couldn't just load the complete works of Shakespeare into Word and control-F to find out just what a piece of work man is."

    Gus pinched another load of shred. "You analyze the search string, see? And create this jump-ahead table based on each character in it, see? You know, a Napster programming punk asked me about this just last week. Said his servers were crushed under the load of stopping certain search strings. What a great return to the Golden Age for a brief moment, if you ask me."

  • by tshak (173364) on Wednesday March 28, 2001 @07:39AM (#335031) Homepage
    Plus, a full digital copy is still possible. For example, my Harmon Kardon FL8300 CD Player has an optical out, and my pro sound card (used for my recording studio) has an optical in. Even though this is a "recording" process rather than a "copy" process, it's still a pure digital recording, thus, it's bit for bit, and will not loose quality.
  • by lpontiac (173839) on Wednesday March 28, 2001 @07:47AM (#335038)
    Lets also assume cdparanoia (for an example of a beautiful piece of software) releases a patch to defeat the copy protection. Aren't they violating the DCMA, as referenced in the interview with Rep Boucher? What recourse does that leave?

    Well, you'll probably get cdparanoia-like functionality legally with Windows XP on a Microsoft SecurePC (tm), kinda like you can get a licensed DVD player; of course, Windows won't let any program get at the data except for the internal MediaPlayerXP (tm), which in turn won't be able to send it anywhere but to your Microsoft SecurePCSpeaker (tm) in an encrypted format. Of course, you could probably break *that* encryption and intercept the audio in transit, but that puts you back at square one in terms of DMCA-compliance.

  • by clare-ents (153285) on Wednesday March 28, 2001 @07:50AM (#335043) Homepage
    There is a published standard for audio CDs. It's called the redbook standard.

    This CD does not meet the standard.

    Therefore it is broken.

    Could we force them to remove the CD label from the disc because it doesn't meet the standard?

  • 2) If this copyprotection gains any notoriety, CD drive makers will immediately update their firmware to allow "dumbing down" the drive and "really RAW" grabbing of the audio data.

    This could be a blessing in disguise. Allowing users (or programs) to allow truely raw data reading would break (or signifigantly weaken) every known CD copy protection scheme. I could finally make backup copies of all my game CDs so I won't damage the originals at LAN parties.

    This could be a good move back towards fair use rights.

  • by electricmonk (169355) on Wednesday March 28, 2001 @07:55AM (#335051) Homepage
    Even though I own albums (or, at least, I did at one time) that were released almost entirely from independant labels, I am absolutely apalled at the treatment that fair use seems to be getting from the music industry.

    Here's why:

    Usually, when I go to school each morning, I bring my collection of CDs with me. This numbers about 36 or 38 legit, purchased CDs, as well as 12 or 10 burned CDs .

    Yes, I realize that bringing something of that much value to school, even my private school, is a bad idea. Unfortunately, I found that out the hard way, when, about 5 weeks ago, they were stolen. Poof, gone without a trace. Now I don't even have the originals still with me, because they were all taken.

    Now what I'm going to have to do is to burn copies of all my CDs that I purchase in the future, so I can take the copies with me and still have the originals at home, so that they can be re-burned in case my CDs are stolen again. This is a perfectly acceptable example of fair use, since I (the purchaser) was the only one who used the albums and (as far as I know) fair use laws allow you, or at least USED to allow you, to keep extra copies for backup purposes.

    Time used to be when you wouldn't have to rebuy CDs or other items such as video games if they were stolen, you could just rely on your backup copy. Not anymore.

    Corporate greed has finally overridden any concern that the music industry might have once had for the consumer, because the average American consumer is either so dumb, or so lacking self control, that they go right on and buy from them anyway.

  • by inburito (89603) on Wednesday March 28, 2001 @07:59AM (#335053)
    I haven't written software like cdparanoia but I did toy around with the raw data reading capabilities while experimenting with custom cd-based backup. Basically kernel has a simple ioctl to read the RAW 2352 byte block of data from cd. This is done without applying any of the hardware data correction and without any regards to the format of data. Audio uses full 2352 blocks so technically you're reading just the audio data. For data cds these blocks appear as 2048 bytes and rest is used for error correction. CD-firmware most likely has a ton of hooks so that when you want to read the toc or do dae you don't have to reinvent the wheel but you are also going to be limited by the capabilities of the firmware. Yes there is an extremely low level interface but utilising it is going to depend on the capabilities of the drive in question. It might be unsupported. For instance, my cd-burner supports reading/writing the subchannels on a cd but my regular cd-rom drive can't read them..
  • by Moofie (22272) <lee@ringofs[ ]rn.com ['atu' in gap]> on Wednesday March 28, 2001 @08:03AM (#335056) Homepage
    Hmmm...how about "Fans Upholding Britney Against RIAA". It's got to be the best acronym ever. : )
  • by Golias (176380) on Wednesday March 28, 2001 @09:05AM (#335108)
    Needless to say, the vinyl sounded slightly, if only slightly better. I'm not an audiophile myself and barely have the ears to hear, much less describe the difference, but it was there.

    You hit the nail right on the head, for a whole lot of expense and trouble, you can get a tiny bit more sound quality on ultra-fragile vinyl records which become nearly worthless if they get a little scratch on them.

    For 99% of the world, the small-yet-perceptable advantage of good analog is simply not worth the trouble. Digital sound is not the holy grail, but it is really good, much better than the early CD players of the 80's (thanks to superior D/A conversion algorithms and better error correction). It's good enough that most of us really don't need to bother with more.

    However, that 1% of 31337 Hi-Fi freaks want that tiny bit of extra sonic fidelity, and will spend thousands of dollars (and/or endless hours at their workbench) chasing it. These days, most of them have a top-of-the-line digital system and a turntable built by naked virgins with a stylus made out of weapons-grade plutonium (or something more expensive)... and they love nothing more than to do side-by-side comparisons of Sheffield Lab's "The Moscow Sessions" recordings on both platforms when their friends are over, just so they can proove how much better analog can sound when it's done right, and pontificate about their 7-year quest for the perfect turntable arm, which ended in the basement of some mad-genious engineer who says he crafts them out of material salvaged from the Roswell alien ship.

    Their hobby may seem stange to us... but then they probably react the same way when they hear about somebody building a clustered array of 200 overclocked, custom-built PC's just to run SETI@home. To each his own.

  • by UnknownSoldier (67820) on Wednesday March 28, 2001 @09:05AM (#335109)
    > I used it to make a copy of my diablo 2 play disk so I could play at home on battle.net and also do the same at work.

    I frequently play a few games, and they all require the stupid cd in the drive. After getting tired of swapping cd's all the time, I found this page:

    Game Copy World - Diablo 2 [maxtarget.com]

    Which gave me a link to game CD ripping utils [go.to]

    Then finally to Daemon tools [daemon-tools.com]

    Use DiscDump to get an .iso of the 2nd disc (it's not copy protected) and just use Daemon Tools to "mount" your .iso in the virtual cd-rom! Change the registry drive setting for D2 and you're set! (I have drive R: cdrom, drive V: virtual, drive W: burner)

    Sure it takes 640 megs (good thing 30 gig drives are less then $200 ;-) but at least I never have to worry about my cd getting scratched.

    If I bought the game, wtf do I *need* the cd in the drive to play?!

    UT has a real nice compromise - you only need the cd-rom for patches: you can play BOTH single player and multi-player without the cd. I find Q3 and HalfLife to be annoying that you need the CD for single player.

    I wish certain idiots would wise up and realize ALL copy-protection schemes have been and will continue to be broken.
  • by electricmonk (169355) on Wednesday March 28, 2001 @09:27AM (#335122) Homepage
    Why should I have to pay insurance premiums on something that I shouldn't have to? As long as no one else is using something that I purchased, then it SHOULD be perfectly legal for me to do whatever I want with it, along the lines of backup copies, because, in the end, the record company isn't losing a sale, because I already bought it from them.
  • by Skapare (16644) on Wednesday March 28, 2001 @09:33AM (#335137) Homepage

    I read the article on both the MSNBC [msnbc.com] web site and the INSIDE.COM [inside.com] web site. The MSNBC version really sucks bad. The text appears to be there, but it was harder to read and very poorly layed out. Notice how it is formatted into a little narrow column on MSNBC while INSIDE.COM has it filling out the whole screen, even though they do have menus and ads along the sides. This does show the case that big corporations are really goofing up bad. And they are wondering why the net isn't turning huge profits for them?.

    Slashdot needs to start making a better choice about which sites they give primary links to and start encouraging better web sites, instead of brown nosing big corporations that can only make screwed up web sites.

  • by AdamHaun (43173) on Wednesday March 28, 2001 @09:46AM (#335147) Journal
    If you're unhappy with the RIAA's pricing scheme, then you have the option of not buying their CDs. As long as you continue piracy of your music, you are contributing to the problem(RIAA paranoia about piracy) rather than the solution(cheaper CDs). You have no more intrinsic right to the music you wish to acquire than you do to read my health records

  • by No Such Agency (136681) <abmackay&gmail,com> on Wednesday March 28, 2001 @10:11AM (#335171)
    Make sure you let the artist know that what their record company told them is a lie, in every case where one of these discs is released. This is my e-mail to Charley Pride's website:

    I just read a couple of stories on how Charley's new CD will be released in a "copy-protected" format unreadable by CD-ROM drives. Geez, do you guys even know what a mess you've attached yourselves to? I mean, this CD won't even be RedBook compliant - technically, it shouldn't even be advertised or sold as an "audio CD"! I just bought a new set of computer speakers that, in comparison, make my stereo sound like a cheap kitchen radio, and if any more of these "protected" CD's come out, I won't be able to play them in my CD-ROM. And with a 3% chance they won't even play on my stereo, I guess I (and, I'm sure, many others) just won't buy them at all. Good move, guys.
    I think it gets the point across. Now whether Charley checks his own e-mail or lets some record company flack do it instead is another story...

  • by JWhitlock (201845) <John-Whitlock@iee[ ]rg ['e.o' in gap]> on Wednesday March 28, 2001 @10:15AM (#335174)
    There is a published standard for audio CDs. It's called the redbook standard. This CD does not meet the standard. I'm not too sure about this statement. Read the second page [salon.com] of the Salon article [salon.com].

    It seems that there are two copy-protection scemes. One is to mess with the Table of Contents, so that CD-ROM burners get confused on track length, CD-time, etc, while simplistic CD readers ignore CD-ROM table of contents. The second way is to intentionally add small errors to the track. The CD reader skips over the errors, while the CD-ROM reader trys to re-read the area, attempting to solve the disparity between the data and the error-correcting data. Since the disparity is intentional, it never suceeds, and determines that the disk is corrupt.

    It seems it is taking advantages of ambiguities in the Red Book standard, to confuse CD-ROM readers expecting the CD-ROM (Yellow Book)standard. This means that reader based on the Yellow Book standard (some with skip-protection, all laptop and desktop readers, etc) will be unable to read the CDs, while straight Red Rook readers will be able to read them.

    The solution, it seems, is to have a CD-ROM driver that ignores error-correction, emulating a "dumb" CD reader.

  • by genericus (316911) on Wednesday March 28, 2001 @11:05AM (#335196)
    I think the best thing to do is buy it, send it back for a replacement, send that back too. Make the broken-standard discs *cost* the RIAA a large amount of money in returns, demands for compensation etc. Write to the artist in question complaining that you can't buy his latest CD because the record company have made it incorrectly. Get elderly ladies to take copies back and let the sales assistants explain to them that it doesn't play in their cd player because the might send copies of it over the internet. We need to make the non-standard cd's *expensive* for the music industry.

    The problem with this approach is that this is exactly one of the ways that the record companies screw the artists: They write off a certain percentage of units sold to "breakage" and do not credit the artist with the sale, the royalty percentage of that sale goes to the company and not to the artist (or more accurately: to the amount the artist owes the company for recording, promotion, distribution, packaging, and all the other nonsense the artist pays for but doesn't actually own). Breakage comes from the late, great vinyl days of course, and the figures were inflated even for vinyl. The "breakage" percentage did not diminish with the introduction of the more durable CD and has not diminished in the 20 years since...

    So, on the off chance that you folks really do give a damn about the artist and the flames you send back and forth are really directed at the major companies, this CD return idea is bad because it adds justification to the already ridiculous "breakage" percentage they charge.

    On a different but related note, did you know that the companies, despite nearly universal abandonment of vinyl and adoption of CD, still consider the CD to be "expirimental technology"? Yup, it's been twenty years, but artists still sacrifice a percentage of their royalties for the privilege of having their art appear in an "expirimental" form. I wonder how many more points will be shaved off the average royalty, should "anti-pirate" CD's be adopted by the whole industry... Vinyl is dead? Not to the record companies if they can make a buck.

  • by JoeShmoe (90109) <askjoeshmoe@hotmail.com> on Wednesday March 28, 2001 @11:19AM (#335200)
    Yes, buy copies of this CD. Buy many copies. Play with them a couple days, try to crack them, whatever.

    Then return them all to the retail store and demand a full refund. Site the fact that these CDs will not play on your CD player, your mother's CD player, your brother's CD player, etc. Don't settle for an exchange or store credit. Get angry and tell them you will never buy CDs from this store again. You ruined little Timmy birthday party when his new CD wouldn't play boo hoo hoo.

    In short, hit the record industry in its most important link...the music retailer. Customers don't buy opened CDs, re-shrinkwrapping is illegal and now there is no way for a store to tell if a CD is truly defective (warped) or just semi-defective (copy-protected) which means a lot more stock is going to get tied up in the return process.

    If enough stores get burned by these copy-protected CDs, then guess what? They probably will stop carrying them. Artists aren't going to like that. What will that do for sales? Or store owners will start bitching up the channel all the way to RIAA. RIAA can't piss off the music retailer because right now THAT IS THEIR ONLY SALES OUTLET.

    - JoeShmoe
  • by DeadSea (69598) on Wednesday March 28, 2001 @11:26AM (#335204) Homepage Journal
    ...much better than the early CD players of the 80's (thanks to superior D/A conversion algorithms and better error correction).

    CD players have gotten worse, not better. Most of today's CD players don't do error correction well.

    Write on a cd with dry erase marker. Old cd players are able to handle 4 or more lines from the center to the edge before they crap out. Today's players are lucky if they can handle one.

    Part of the reason for this is portable CD players. In an effort to make them use less power they have cut out any components they don't really need. Unfortunatly, error correction uses quite a bit of your battery life. Because of mass production, these are now used in both portables and component systems.

  • by Frank T. Lofaro Jr. (142215) on Wednesday March 28, 2001 @11:52AM (#335212) Homepage
    In your agrument there is no gov't fascism. Here is what is wrong.

    1. Nothing stops RIAA from hindering access to music that we paid for
    2. Admittedly, nothing stops us from boycotting
    3. Also, nothing stops us from working around the hinderance applied to our access and the blocking of our fair use rights. Oh, wait. the DMCA makes it ILLEGAL for us to work around the BUG that prevents OUR FAIR USE. If the access control (NOT "copy-protection") system really only stopped illegal uses that would be one thing. But it is flawed, and working around it to make a legal use is now illegal.

    THAT is gov't coercion. RIAA can hinder YOUR access, and your trying to get it back means the gov't will USE FORCE to punish you for doing so.

    USE OF FORCE by the gov't to allow the playing field to be tilted is NOT part of a free market economy.

  • by Pope Slackman (13727) on Wednesday March 28, 2001 @01:18PM (#335252) Homepage Journal
    Sounds like a good plan. You should also do the same with all of your cash, credit cards, driver's license, etc. Same logic applies, right?

    No, clueball, you're trying (as many do) to compare apples to oranges.
    Fair use (or whatever statute permits backups, I don't know, nor particularly care.) applies to copyrighted works (data), not media. The media is irrelevant, it's the data that's ON the media that I paid for.

    Or, if they are so valuable to you, maybe you should insure them in case they are lost.

    Making backups *IS* insurance - if my original media is lost, damaged, or stolen, backups ensure that I can continue to access the data that I paid for.
    Why should I pay a third party to protect my data
    when I can do it myself easily, legally, and cheaply?

    Besides, if I lose my wallet, I can call up my credit card company, gov't and such to get replacements of my cards for minimal cost, unlike music or data CDs.

    Your analogy (like SO many others posted to slash) just doesn't work.

    C-X C-S
  • by jafac (1449) on Wednesday March 28, 2001 @01:34PM (#335259) Homepage
    I don't think this exploits anti-skip; that's simply buffering. This exploits ecc. Computer CDROMS use ECC because they can't afford to drop a bit here and there in case it's data. Since it's music, I think they're intentionally telling ecc that the data has an error, and it's unrecoverable because the checksum is intentionally wrong.

    I don't know if ecc is enableable at the driver level, it may be a firmware thing. Anybody up for hacking the firmware of their CD ROM to disable ecc? That would probably do it - but then data CD's would be unreliable.
  • by Noer (85363) on Wednesday March 28, 2001 @01:44PM (#335263)
    Piracy (as opposed to theft; they are NOT exactly the same) hurts copyright owners not because they no longer have as many copies they can sell (that's how theft hurts the victim) but because they no longer sell as many copies because some people pirate rather than buying. This is why copy protection of software SOMETIMES works, especially protection that makes copying impossible but doesn't keep the software from working. But more importantly, most heavily protected software (like, say, Quark or Media100) is the way its users make a living, so they WILL accept limitations (such as needing a computer with certain free ports for a hardware dongle) to be able to use the software.

    On the other hand, nobody buying a CD is making a living from that CD (usually; I'm talking about consumers here). People who find that these new CDs don't work in their new $500 car player, or worse, their $2500 laptop, are NOT going to replace those devices. They're going to return the CD, and certainly not buy any more CDs with that copy protection. Thus, the goal of the copyright holders, namely, to sell more CDs by not having people pirate them, is not going to be accomplished. Instead, people are going to not buy CDs EVEN if they might have bought them without the copy protection. While some may now buy the CDs (if they work in their players) who might have pirated before, some other people are going to NOT buy the CD when they might have before. I, for example, often buy CDs and then rip them to mp3 so I can play them in my livingroom mp3 'jukebox' (headless computer) or my car mp3 player, not to give pirate copies to other people. However, if I could no longer do this form of fair use, I WOULD NOT buy the CDs.

    Thus, rather than selling more CDs, the industry will sell fewer CDs.

    This same thing will happen if the industry tries to push new secure formats like DataPlay. Some users will like the new players and thus buy the new format, but if the old format is still available, more people will stick with it. And if the old format is NOT available, many people will simply not buy the music.

    A hardware manufacturer selling, say, shovels, will probably make more money (with their thin margins) with 1000 people buying shovels and nobody stealing them, than with 10,000 people buying shovels and 10,000 more stealing shovels. On the other hand, a music company will make MORE money with 10,000 copies being sold and 10,000 copies being made of those (50% piracy) than they would with 1000 copies being sold and NO piracy.

    In other words, for a company that is selling something that's copyable, like music, the amount of money they make has NOTHING to do with piracy and EVERYTHING to do with how many copies they sell. Piracy only hurts them in so far as it is an alternative to purchasing. I am assuming that the number of actual physical CDs that get stolen via shoplifting is irrelevant here.

    So it is not in the industry's interest to ensure that nobody pirates their music, if that means fewer people buy it. Stopping piracy without gaining new buyers will not benefit the industry; stopping piracy while at the same time losing would-be customers because of incompatibilities will destroy the industry.

    Which I hope happens :)
  • by metis (181789) on Wednesday March 28, 2001 @04:14PM (#335294) Homepage
    All the smart arguments are ...well, smart. But in the end, it stands or falls on the judge's political disposition, which gives, I would say, 65% chances that such a patch would be dimmed illegal.
    <p>
    The bright side is that not all hackers pay taxes to Uncle Sam. And I suspect that German courts, for example, will be much less friendly to the RIAA.
    <p>
  • by inburito (89603) on Wednesday March 28, 2001 @05:07PM (#335302)
    rant mode on..

    Personally I think that you(including that AC) shouldn't really be talking at all..

    Let's go over some specifications..

    Lowest level of a unit in cd specifications is 588 bits. This is called a frame and it consists of audio, subchannel and error correction information. In actuality only 192 bits of data are used for these. Next level of coding is a block of 2352 bytes. This is the smallest amount of information that a regular cd-rom drive can extract. This applies to information after the error correction is performed. There are 98 of of 588 bit frames in a block(remember only 192 real bits/frame).

    Now there is no way in hell that anyone is going to mess with the error correction as it would render the cds useless! So you can leave your petty buzzwords like CIRC out of this discussion as they do not apply to the problem in question!

    Next.. There are 8 subchannels not 4 like you falsely claim. These are P,Q,R,S,T,U,V and W. You can pretty much do away with everything else but P and Q and still be fine. P is used for track index markers such as pre-gap and the actual start of music information. One noticeable effect of channel P in action is when a cd-changes tracks and you see -2 sec which counts to zero and then the music starts. Sometimes there are hidden strongs in the pregap of the first track(as this is never played) and you can listen to them by rewinding to before the first track. Cdrdao is a nice way to make these for your own cds. Q is used for position information which is what enables you to see how much of music is remaining on the cd etc..

    There are certain expectations for a standards conforming audio cd. One of them is that the information in subchannels matches that in the table of contents. I can imagine a cd-rom firmware going crazy if these do not match. However, in actuality this has nothing to do with the audio data. If you can address a raw block of 2352 you can always retrieve the audio data as is after circ-error correction, which, as we already established, is not going to be a factor in this discussion.

    Damn sure this is going to be slower than DAE which most likely is not being done by raw block reads but damn sure is also that if a cd-rom drive can retrieve a raw data block(mine can, I've programmed it to do it myself) it can also retrieve all of this so called copy protected audio. Now I'm not saying that a cd-rom drive is going to let you read raw blocks when toc says that there should be no data there so some firmware updates might be necessary for the drives..

    to ac: You are an idiot who should keep your fingers off the keyboard. This has nothing to do with skip protection but that it is unfortunately affected by it. Skip protection works fundamentally the same way as a cdrom drive when it is buffering the audio data. However when the timecoding is confused by manipulation of subcode channels and toc the simple firmware of these drives is confused too much and thus they do not function.

    rant mode off...

    This is not ment as a personal attack on anyone. I'm just generally pissed today and you two individuals just pushed it a little too far..

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