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Next Restricted CD Coming Soon 451

Posted by michael
from the reread-definition-of-customer-service dept.
jroysdon writes: "Music industry quietly unveiling copy-proof CDs - 'Gariano said the CD case would carry a copy protection sticker and an insert explaining the technology. Record stores will accept returns, even if the CD case is opened, if buyers are unhappy with it.' I say we specifically look for titles with this sticker, purchase them, give them a whirl in our PCs and see them not play, and return them. Vote with not just our money, but their overhead costs to handle all the returned merchandise and bad publicity when stores don't want CDs with those stickers." Read the article - there are some great quotes there.
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Next Restricted CD Coming Soon

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  • Not another one... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by quantax (12175) on Friday November 30, 2001 @06:58PM (#2638945) Homepage
    Yet another 'uncopyable' cd format. The way I see it, they're actually screwing themselves, because now people will crack & rip mp3s AND still be able to get their money back. Lets hope this one backfires on the RIAA real quick.
    • by dangit (539753) <dangit2.fastmail@fm> on Friday November 30, 2001 @07:04PM (#2638998)
      That's a good point. Before this new return policy, an unopend cd was considered to be unreturnable unless it was flawed or broken in half :-)
      Since we know that cd's with copy protection can be cracked, the RIAA is setting itself up for major losses. Does anyone (maybe people out there who work in record stores) know if 'restocking' fees might be charged on returns of copy-protected but opened cds?
    • by gray code (323372)
      The only problem being "what happens when this becomes the standard rather than the exception?"

      I wouldn't put it past the RIAA and their allies to just give a big ole "Fuck you!" to anyone who wants to listen to their CD's on a computer and for record stores to stop allowing exchanges.

      I'd say Sony/RCA/etc don't care that you don't own a dedicated CD player (non-computer). They'll say that "if you want to listen to CD, buy a damned CD player you pirating hippy!"
      • Not their style (Score:3, Insightful)

        This won't become the standard. Contrary to popular belief, the music industry does like people using portable players, computers, etc to listen to music. They just want it in a secure format. Once they brainwash everyone into dropping CD and adopting a new format, you'll be able to activate your disc online, make a certain number of copies to devices, etc., before they decide it's time to deactivate your music.

        Of course none of this restricts anyone's fair use rights, and consumers won't find this at all annoying. I'll be happy when their carefully thought out scheme is adopted by exactly zero people, like DIVX and SDMI..
    • If you've seen the movies and music that are hacked the "cheap way" overseas, you know that they're going to put up with a few DAC loops to get the music out. Copy protection takes a whole step downward once pushed through pipes like that (although its not impossible).

      I WILL buy CDs from artists I like, but only buy downloading/ripping the ones I like and mailing a personal check to the band (via member,fan club/agent) for how much I think its worth.

      Yes, I also pay for shareware. I can't code and sleep at night otherwise. Call me the fool, but I want the SOURCES of things I like to continue, even through the nutjob management decisions.

      Right now, bands make the most money from you directly when you organize your friends to hit the club and pay the cover and then leave with discs and t-shirts.

      mug
      +/-
      pickle me elmo
    • Disclaimer: This post is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to places, things, or people, living or dead, is purely coincidental and unintentional.

      Disclaimer: This post contains statements of opinion. Author not responsible for lost or stolen items.

      Yeah. I hope people do that. I hope this backfires. I hope the RIAA goes out of business. I hope the DMCA is repealed and federal anti-copyright, anti-copy-protection laws are passed tomorrow, in conjunction with laws providing rewards for anybody who uses strong encryption. Yeah. But it probably won't happen.

      OH WELL.

      This post Copyright 2001, rice_burners_suck. All rights reserved.

  • we're beta-testers (Score:5, Interesting)

    by klyX (116477) on Friday November 30, 2001 @06:58PM (#2638952)
    you know they put this on such a random, sure fire non-platinum cd for a reson. they want to see us break the shit so they can make it better ! Which I'm sure people will do.
    • by Computer! (412422) on Friday November 30, 2001 @07:15PM (#2639066) Homepage Journal
      Just crack the copy-protection (which many rippers already can do) by checking the "do not use CD error-correction" checkbox availible in some rippers/encoders. I can't remember whether it's to be checked or unchecked, you figure it out. Or, you could write a crack, and release it sans source. That way, it's protected by the DMCA. You can market it as a "sound quality enhancer" or some such. That way, the Industry must legally sit helplessly by as anyone with both brains and balls wrecks shop.
  • For 2 days... (Score:2, Informative)

    by Letter-D (469573)
    I laugh when I hear that something has copy protection. I give it a month before someone cracks it.
  • Hook it to a soundcard with optical in, problem solved.
    • yeah, that works great if you don't mind:

      * doing it in real time. Glad you paid extra for that 50X speed cdrom drive?
      * splitting the songs into separate files. Unless you explicitly do 1 song at time you'll be spending a good amount of time with SoundForge or a similiar editor.
      * automate file naming via an external program.

      The great thing about rippers is the automation. The one I'm writing myself puts the FreeDB/CDDB info into a local database along with track times from the CD and other metacrap that I deem important. All this automation is negated with what the record industry is trying to do.
      • doing it in real time. Glad you paid extra for that 50X speed cdrom drive?

        I can download an album from Napster faster than I can rip it. And it's easier. Many of the MPSs I have correspond to CDs in my Sony disc changer - but I downloaded them off of OpenNap servers.

        If it's harder to rip, people will just download the MPSs. Later, they will start to wonder why they are bothing to buy the CD, since it has basically been rendered useless.

        --
        Evan

    • by victim (30647) on Friday November 30, 2001 @08:29PM (#2639385)
      If you have a decent sound card (not the eMachine I am using) then the digital-analog-digital damage is going to be far less than the mp3 or ogg encoding will do.
      Just write yourself a little program to...
      • wait a second
      • start recording and start track X off the cd
      • when the track ends stop recording
      • trim the silence off the ends of the track
      • encode the mp3
      • repeat for all tracks
      Ok, you will be ripping real time, but big deal. Let it go overnight. You will also need to type in your own track info until someone writes a new freedb-like service that uses a fuzzy audio signature instead of the digital signatures.

      No special hardware or loopback cables are required. (well, maybe one cable if your machine doesn't let you route CD audio to the DAC input) Just a different ripper than you are used to.
    • by Devil's Avocado (73913) on Friday November 30, 2001 @08:59PM (#2639510)
      "Hook it to a soundcard with optical in, problem solved."

      How does this solve the problem of multinational corporations aggressively moving to quash fair use in all of its guises? Oh, I see. You just want to rip CDs.

      Yeah, this solution will work great until they stop putting unrestricted digital outputs on consumer electronics equipment. Once the laws are on the corporations' sides and the consumers have rolled over for copy prevention technology the picture won't look so rosy. People who dismiss news like this with statements like, "who cares? I can get around this with technique X," are playing right into the copy-prevention advocates' hands. They're just trying to get the *idea* of copy prevention accepted by the public. Strengthening the prevention schemes is just a matter of time and money. If you don't boycott copy-restricted CDs, or better yet register your displeasure with the place you buy CDs in addition, you're letting the "content management" assholes write the rules.

      If you roll over now do you really think that in 20 years you'll have an optical in/out (or whatever we'll be transferring A/V data over in 20 years) that doesn't have "content management" hardware built in?

      -DA
  • by djcdplaya (220461) on Friday November 30, 2001 @07:01PM (#2638978) Homepage
    While the poster's plan to return these cds will show an increase in sales, the massive amount of returns will hit them where it actually hurts. People that don't have computers (or burn cds) will buy roughly 80%-90% of these cds, the 10% of returns will drive stores insane and they will "prefer" not to stock them even if the album sells well.

    While a record company doesnt care, a store has a vested interest in not having 1 of every 9 or 10 of an album returned with an angry customer. The stores want to keep the customer happy and these cds piss them off. Do the math.
  • by Lumpy (12016) on Friday November 30, 2001 @07:01PM (#2638982) Homepage
    Remember you are dealing with people who cant handle jobs that require thought.

    They wont allow you to return the cd because it's open. because they were told not to.

    you need to open it, return it for another, open that and continue for 3-4 of the stock and then get a manager, explain how you have tried several and none work, take your open disc and have the manager try to play it on a dvd player or a pc.

    The manager will probably clear and return the whole stock of the offending item to keep his annoyance down.
    • Most stores will take almost anything back if you raise your voice enough. Just make enough noise to start disturbing the other customers, and they will usually bend over backward to make you happy.

      • by Chris Johnson (580) on Friday November 30, 2001 @08:07PM (#2639298) Homepage Journal
        Spooky...

        I'm in the middle of reading a Robert Heinlein book, the 'Expanded Universe' collection. In it are his reports on visiting the Cold War USSR as a tourist.

        Your advice is apparently EXACTLY what you had to do to not be blatantly lied to and jerked around as a tourist to the Cold War USSR (i.e. around 1960). Having read his articles ("'Pravda' means 'Truth'" and "Inside Intourist"), I can also expand on your advice in a useful manner:

        Feign losing your temper, but do not actually do so. Don't lose control, remain in control at all times, but behave as if you are losing your temper. Don't allow yourself to be moved away from the front desk/cash register, you must block other customers until you are satisfied and get what you want. If you allow yourself to be moved so you're not in the way, you lose: you're off the game board and can expect to be lied to at length in some nice little office but you won't get what you wanted because you're no longer causing a problem, just an inconvenience.

        Also, try to remember that the first line of defense against you are likely poorer than you are- they're helpless functionaries, cash register operators with no influence whatsoever, and they don't personally deserve your anger, they are just part of a system designed to rip you off. This is another good reason to feign anger rather than let yourself really be angry- it's not right to take out real anger on these people, they have no power at all and will probably have a horrible day as a result of your feigning outrage and anger. Unfortunately you have to go through them to get to a higher level where you might possibly get close to what you want, or what you legitimately paid for.

        Now... having relayed this good advice from Mr. Heinlein, I have one question.

        How the hell is it that we, in the USA, are reduced to using techniques Heinlein was driven to using in the freaking Soviet Union under Leninist Communism, just to avoid being ripped off and cheated?

        He was convinced the USA would collapse before 2000. I'm not so sure he was wrong... and I'm damned glad he didn't live to see this.

        • How the hell is it that we, in the USA, are reduced to using techniques Heinlein was driven to using in the freaking Soviet Union under Leninist Communism, just to avoid being ripped off and cheated?

          You seem to be forgetting that it has been this way for a Very Long Time (tm). Long before Heinlein. Long before businesses existed. Long before humans were walking the earth. This is reptilian brain stuff.
        • How the hell is it that we, in the USA, are reduced to using techniques Heinlein was driven to using in the freaking Soviet Union under Leninist Communism, just to avoid being ripped off and cheated?

          Simple. To quote the same article:

          All travel in the USSR is controlled at every point by Intourist; you must buy from it all travel, all automobile and guide service, all hotel rooms, all meals -- or if you buy a meal not from Intourist you simply waste a meal already paid for.

          First, some important background: Everybody may want to rip you off and cheat you, if they get the chance. This is true under Leninist Communism, American Capitalism, or Stone Age Tribalism. What is supposed to make capitalism relatively immune is the idea that, if you don't like the service that one company is giving you, you can take your business to a competitor; unlike a Communist country where competition was supposedly a sign of inefficiency (why design two different brands of something when people can all use the same one?) or weakness (what's wrong with the State hotels, that you think there should be others?). Choosing competition works: there are countless businesses (McDonalds, Microsoft, Northwest, for example) that have received hundreds of dollars of my money in the past, but that will never see another dime due to various fatal failures of product or service. I don't care if such a company continues to fail its customers, because I have chosen to stop being one of them.

          So now, to answer your question, how are we reduced to psychological warfare to avoid being cheated? Because something is different in that "competition" equation, that makes people (including you, apparantly) decide that it is more worthwhile to kick and scream than to go to a competitor.

          I suspect there are many such factors. Some suggestions:

          People feel more "entitled" now than ever before. Tens of millions have illegally copied music, and decided they liked it. The majority of the country is expecting to be recipients of government wealth transfers when they retire. Government has finally become mostly successful at protecting individual rights, and so we want to make the list of our "rights" as big as possible. The "right" to buy someone else's music on your terms seems to be on the list of most people here. Otherwise, why complain? The CDs are apparantly going to be labeled, so you don't have to buy them.

          There are no competitors here. In the narrow view, every piece of music is an individual work that cannot easily be substituted. I'm a U2 fan, which among other things means I give Island Records Corporation money. If I decide that Island Records Corp. is a bastion of evil, I can't exactly the the next U2 CD from another label, and the Backstreet Boys just isn't going to cut it as a substitute. Whoever holds your favorite bands' contracts has a degree of power over you that doesn't exist in a commodity industry.

          There are no competitors here. In the broader view, the record companies have a nice oligopoly with significant control over the radio stations and the record stores, and the radio stations and record stores have significant control over what music gets public dollars (and so over what bands continue). A cartel of about a half dozen record companies makes the rules, and it's not easy for others to play.

          It's sad, too, because it would be so easy to give artists another distribution channel. Imagine, say, "musichotornot.com", where you got to download a 60 second clip from a musician's track and vote on it, or just see the top voted songs alongside links to their websites? It would be nice to see some way that bands with real talent could become popular without signing their souls away first. mp3.com is a good start, but it's hard to say what they're doing wrong.

          He was convinced the USA would collapse before 2000.

          The only thing along those lines I recall was the prediction that, between his own health and the threat of nuclear war, he would not make it to see 2000 himself. He was right, unfortunately. He was right for the first reason, fortunately.
    • If you have a credit card, insist on speaking to the manager. Insist on a full credit reversal or you will deny the charge on your credit card.

      Then, if they balk, report them to BBB, your state attorney general (misleading advertising), and the FTC.

      -
  • Blame me (Score:3, Funny)

    by JMZero (449047) on Friday November 30, 2001 @07:05PM (#2639006) Homepage
    I'd just like everyone here to know that I'm to blame for all this.

    I copy files like crazy on Kazaa. I burn them on CD's. I seldom buy music anymore, because I can get it free.

    A big sorry to all those of you who will be able to listen to less and less music on your computers/in your car. A big sorry to all those who use Kazaa for only legitimate purposes (hi Dan!)
    • Re:Blame me (Score:2, Interesting)

      by JMZero (449047)
      I find it entertaining that my post here was marked as flamebait.

      What I'm hoping for is certainly not flame. I agree that these copy protection methods are wrong.

      But we can't put all the blame on the RIAA. Some of the blame has to go to those who copy files illegally, like myself.

      PS, I've got karma to burn - I think this is worth saying.
  • No. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by big_groo (237634)
    I say we specifically look for titles with this sticker, purchase them, give them a whirl in our PCs and see them not play, and return them. Vote with not just our money, but their overhead costs to handle all the returned merchandise and bad publicity when stores don't want CDs with those stickers."

    I think that we should simply _not_ buy these CDs. That alone will speak louder than purchasing said CD and then returning it. Check the label (man are they stupid for marking these things), if it has the "new" copy protection, move on. They'll get the hint after a week or two of no sales.

    We don't want to hurt the local retailer, or even the big chain. That is one sure-fired way to get the increased costs passed on to the consumer.
    • I think that we should simply _not_ buy these CDs. That alone will speak louder than purchasing said CD and then returning it.

      Not really. Receiving and handling a return will cost record companies and music stores more than not buying one will. Restocking basically either doubles (or some other multiplier) production cost, or they can't restock at all and just trash the old CDs. Losing a bunch of products is a lot harsher than having a bunch of products.
  • by Essron (231281) on Friday November 30, 2001 @07:06PM (#2639018)
    There was an article on this in yesterday's Wall Street Journal, Dead Tree Version. They mention "slashdot.com" in the article actually.

    Anyway, they say that the new CD's won't play on Macintosh, but are designed for Windoze. It's More evidence that WMP and WinXP are designed to bring DRM restrictions to the desktop, and most individuals either don't know or don't care how bad this is.
  • by CaptainSuperBoy (17170) on Friday November 30, 2001 @07:07PM (#2639021) Homepage Journal
    From the article:

    Midbar Tech's Noam Zur called copy-protection critics a fringe group that probably are pirates themselves. "Mainly those people have a large number of compilations on their PCs," Zur said.

    Oh really Noam? At least you're not making any broad assumptions there. Say, did you know that music piracy actually STEALS billions of dollars from the industry each year?

    Maybe he should call the EFF and hear what they have to say about it? After all they criticize copy protection.. therefore they must be a fringe group that supports piracy. I bet they have lots of "compilations" on their PCs, which we can safely assume are illegal (who would want to put songs on their computer if they already own the CD?)

    What amuses me is how useless they'll find this to be. It only takes one person who can get a clean digital transfer, to populate file sharing networks with a song. They can't seriously think they'll prevent 100% of the copying. Of course they'll fight any attempts at interoperability (they call it piracy) with the DMCA.
    • Oh really Noam?


      Ok, that's it. I'm never naming my kid Noam. I don't need a know-nothing arrogant asshole for a son.
  • As long as you can hear the music, there is no way they can actually copy protect it. You can simply connect the line out of a CD-Player to the line in of your sound card and then record the resulting song on a computer. Any watermarks in the song though will still exist, but as long as you have software that ignores those watermarks it should still continue to play.

    I guess in the future they could also design all sound cards and recording devices to detect watermarks. Then you would be stuck looking for technology that predates these restrictions. I'm sure the music industry has a long term goal like this.
  • Why bother ? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) on Friday November 30, 2001 @07:10PM (#2639039)
    The RIAA should just sell CDs with large padlocks on them, that would be a 100% efficient copy protection scheme.

    Seriously though, I fail to understand the whole concept of copy protected CD : if I were to buy one of these CD at the price they're sold and I couldn't MP3 it directly with cdparanoia, I'd just play it on my standalone CD deck, digitize the audio and MP3 the captured data. In fact, I'd do that just because the RIAA doesn't want me to. The only thing I would lose is a little quality (not much, my deck is a good one), a little time to split the audio block into its original tracks, and no time at all renaming the tracks to what's written on the CD cover (which I always do/have to do anyway). The most time-consuming task of course would be to split the tracks at the right position, but I'm sure a small C program can help me do that in less than 5 minutes. Then after I'm done, say after 10 minutes of manual work, and 1 hour MP3ing everything and burning the files onto a CD, I store my original CD in a corner and enjoy the convenience of my MP3s anyway : it's a one-off job, and it really is worth doing, so at the end of the day, the RIAA's brain-dead schemes will just end up annoying the crap out of everybody and not prevent any copying at all.

    • good point (Score:4, Funny)

      by poemofatic (322501) on Friday November 30, 2001 @07:15PM (#2639072)
      and when you do, be sure to share the mp3 on gnutella, for those who don't have such a good deck.

    • Re:Why bother ? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by CaptainSuperBoy (17170) on Friday November 30, 2001 @07:16PM (#2639074) Homepage Journal
      Even easier, if you have a digital output on your CD player you can just hook it up to a digital input on a soundcard. No loss of quality at all..

      The RIAA is counting on the fact that most consumers won't go through this trouble. They are right, of course. However SOMEONE will go to all the trouble to rip the music, put it on P2P, and within 24 hours the whole world is "pirating" your "intellectual property". Don't they learn anything from the software industry? You CAN'T copy protect software for open spec hardware such as the PC. Period.
      • "Even easier, if you have a digital output on your CD player you can just hook it up to a digital input on a soundcard. No loss of quality at all."

        I was under the impression that there is a "copy bit" of some kind in the digital stream that prevents direct digital copying, am I mistaken ? do soundcards with digital inputs ignore it ?

    • Then after I'm done, say after 10 minutes of manual work, and 1 hour MP3ing everything and burning the files onto a CD, I store my original CD in a corner and enjoy the convenience of my MP3s anyway


      Actually, after you're done you return the CD to the store and get your money back since stores will accept returns of open "copy-protected" CDs.

  • by thefogger (455551) on Friday November 30, 2001 @07:11PM (#2639049)
    Before, the one person who ripped the cd and put it on the file sharing networks had to pay for the cd. Now, with this new ruling, he'll open the case, rip the cd with his stereo+optical out+sblive and RETURN THE CD TO THE STORE. Wow. That's cool, prestige in the ripper community at zero cost and risk. That takes all the fun away.
  • Call me a Cynic... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Orne (144925)
    Ok, so they're trying this "protection" out on the music tracks for the movie "Fast and the Furious".

    So, now that its hit SlashDot, I expect hundreds (to thousands?) of curious geeks may travel out to their local music store, and buy a CD of a pretty awful movie that they (the readers) most likely would not have purchased under normal circumstances.

    So, you're all going to head out in the name of science, and dump $20 on a CD, and plug it into your computer/DVD player. 80% of you will probably be using older drives/hardware (I still own a 2x IDE drive) that wont listen when this CD sends the copy-controls crap, and most likely you'll be able to read it like a normal CD. Or, wait a week for software upgrade, and you will. In any case, sooner or later you'll be able to rip it like normal, and the stores sure as hell won't be giving refunds.

    Well, you're now stuck with a CD, and Universal just got a nice surge of capital to work on the development of "NeverCopyCD v2".

    Show your anger by not buying it! Better yet, don't buy anything put out by Universal this Christmas, that'll shock them a lot more...
  • by BurritoWarrior (90481) on Friday November 30, 2001 @07:14PM (#2639065)
    This will *never8 stop the true pirates...the ones that make thousands of CD's and have people selling them on street corners in big cities. It only hurts "casual copying", which is a small % of the overall problem. Same as Microsoft's activation policy...since when did the average consumer become the enemy?

    Hey music industry: crack down on the counterfeit rings, that is where you are losing billions of dollars.
  • It seems to me (Score:3, Interesting)

    by trilucid (515316) <pparadis@havensystems.net> on Friday November 30, 2001 @07:16PM (#2639077) Homepage Journal

    that this continuous bullshit actually ends up hurting the already-ailing economy (here in the States). Sure, they're trying out their lovely "technology" on less-than-outrageously-popular CDs, but that doesn't help retail outlets any...

    A lot of folks here are talking about sticking it to them where it hurts, namely by buying the CSs and then returning the after they're opened. This *will* hurt retail outlets who stock the discs. Unfortunately, we don't really have any other true recourse in the matter, so I have to support this course of action.

    Yes, it's true that after a few thousand returned CDs, the retail guys and gals will probably get fed up and refuse to stock such "protected" CDs. The RIAA will eventually have to stop playing these stupid, asshole games with their customer base if they want to see their precious money continue to flow. How long it will take to get this through their thick heads is anybody's guess.

    In the end, IT DOES NOT MATTER WHAT "PROTECTION" THEY ATTEMPT TO USE. If I can play the damned thing, I can use hi-fi equipment to dupe it. From there, I can do anything I want with the information. I can keep it for my personal, private fair-use play, or I can post it to every file-swapping network in existence. Will I personally post music ripped in this manner? Probably not (although the temptation is growing, yes indeedy). I'm CERTAIN that many, many other people will post the ripped tracks, however.

    The folks behind this insanity are just plain stupid. They've been slow to embrace the concept of selling their music properly over the net, and choose instead to spend their money on dead-end paths such as paying attorneys to harass people. I laugh my ass off at them every time one of these stories breaks.

    RIAA and pals, have fun hurting the economy while you can. You're only hurting yourselves in the end.

    Web hosting by geeks, for geeks. Starting at $4 USD per month. [trilucid.com]
    If you're gonna email, use the public key!
  • This "copy protection" is silly. It won't be long before somebody cracks it... even then, there is still nothing stopping me from putting one of these CDs into a regular CD player, piping the audio into my line input jack, and encoding from that.

    In fact, I prefer to encode all my CDs because I can mix/equalize them easier on my PC making them sound much better than unequalized CD audio. I do that because my PC is primary entertainment device... I made an investment in a nice sound system for my PC, and I'm sure that I'm not the only one.

    This whole "copy protection" concept is really silly, and I believe it violates my right to fair use of the products I will purchase. I will continue to encode my CDs, thats all there is to it.

  • by sabinm (447146) on Friday November 30, 2001 @07:24PM (#2639134) Homepage Journal
    In a related article, a new copyright protection form is in place. The Music industry is now distributing music in an old IBM mainframe. In order to listen to music, a certified IBM mechanic will come and set up one sound file in machine code to play on your personal mainframe.

    "We need to do this in order to change the way people listen to music. Their behaviors." Mr Noam complained. "Those who can't fit a IBM in their boxes will have to come up to corporate headcquarters to listen to music in our RIAA muzak devices, or rent space at a cafe and listen to the Jukebox"
    When asked if people would take to the idea of a IBM technician with a plummer's crack coming into their homes to play only one song, Mr. Noam stated, " We have a picture of a guy who looks pretty happy with his IBM MonoSound system. He's happy! Doesn't he look happy to you?"

    http://www.columbia.edu/acis/history/collage.htm l
  • by Wintermancer (134128) on Friday November 30, 2001 @07:24PM (#2639135)
    I swear, the moment these things cross the border, I'll be on my MLA's ass like a fat kid on Smarties.

    Honestly, every time I puchase a CD-R, I am paying a levy that gets redistributed to the record companies for the priviledge of being able to record music at home. The moment that I can no longer do so, it's -- repeat after me -- "taxation without compensation".

    Otherwise: buy-return-complain-rinse-wash-repeat

    I'm sure it will be economically unsound to distribute CDs in a format that the consumer does not want. Namely, ones that prevent fair-usage rights...the one's that I'm already being taxed on.

    • Otherwise: buy-return-complain-rinse-wash-repeat

      If you ever break out of the repeat loop, I sure hope you revised the algorithm to:

      Wash, then rinse, repeat.
    • I swear, the moment these things cross the border, I'll be on my MLA's ass like a fat kid on Smarties.

      Or a thin kid (like me!) on Smarties. I swear, the Canadian version of Smarties are one of your country's finest exports. Our shitty U.S. product of the same name is the lowest form of trash in comparison.
  • Fair use issues aside, the immaturity displayed by the abundance of copyrighted music on Napster, KaZaA et al. has signalled copyright holders that they need some sort of control in order to prevent copyright infringement on the gargantuan scale of today's P2P networks. While I'm still not totally enamored of this technology (since it doesn't allow for even one generation of copies for backup, WMA/MP3 players, etc.), they are at least heading in the right direction. Notice that this time, they are clearly labelling the copy-protected CDs, and encouraging returns from unsatisfied customers.

    While total copy prevention is bad for us consumers, no protection at all is bad for the producers. Instead of the childish stimulus-response behaviour against all forms of copy-protection, we need to work with the content producers in order to develop a scheme that helps both consumers (by encouraging fair-use) and producers (by preventing large-scale robbery of copyrighted works). They are willing to please the consumers (remember, they have to in order to keeping getting our dollars), so instead of rejecting it, make constructive criticisms. This is the only way we are going to be able to full realize the benefits of digital information.

    • by kindbud (90044) on Friday November 30, 2001 @08:55PM (#2639499) Homepage
      Fair use issues aside...

      The copyright fascists always start here.

      They are willing to please the consumers ...

      You really don't seem to understand. Customer service is a cost, not an asset. It is a drag on profit growth, not a virtue. By becoming a monopoly - or close to it - you can avoid most of the costs of customer service, because no matter how badly they are treated the customers have no where else to go. That is what all the legal aggressiveness towards the P2P services is all about. The recording industry is reaping record profits. Their financial statements filed every quarter with the SEC are the proof. No one is getting hurt but the customers and the artists, but the artists were being hurt all along, before the Internet. These are the facts. Any attempt to deal with this subject while avoiding the facts is futile, and probably dishonest too.

      This is the only way ...

      There are always other ways. This is another lie often repeated, but repetition creates boredom, not truth.
      • I agree completely. One point needs adding, though...
        "By becoming a monopoly - or close to it -..."

        Remember that the only way to become a true monopoly (in the economic, not "legal" sense) is to acquire government protection from competitors. Here, this takes the form of the DMCA, and at a more fundamental level, copyright law.

        And though we must certainly lay blame at the feet of the RIAA etc for seeking such protection, we must identify government as ultimately at fault. If the RIAA, MPAA, etc didn't seek out passage of the DMCA, yes, it would not exist. On the other hand, if the government did not have the /authority/ to pass laws such as the DMCA, then it could not /possibly/ exist.
    • Fair use issues aside

      Wow. What a statement. I can rewrite that for you:

      "The law of the land aside..."

      Read up on copyright law. Fair Use cannot just be discarded like that, on a whim, just because it doesn't suit your argument.

      I'm all for Intellectual Property protection, but removing fair use is the ONE thing that you cannot do without screwing people over. And for me, fair use means being able to get at the raw digital data so that I can store it on my PC, my Nomad Jukebox, or my XBOX.

      Simon
  • Slightly offtopic, but did anyone else have problems ripping this CD? When I used cdparanoia, it really screwed with the reiserfs partition I was ripping the wavs to. I've never had a problem with any other cd. Luckily, I use a 1 gig scratch partition for stuff like this, so I didn't have to go through the hassle of restoring the entire drive.
  • by WillSeattle (239206) on Friday November 30, 2001 @07:30PM (#2639170) Homepage
    First, use a credit card. Keep the receipt and the packaging.

    Second, take it home. Do not play it on a standard CD player. Play it on your home PC, your MP3/CD player, something likely to not work "flawlessly".

    Third, since it failed to work there - take it back to the store. Insist on a full credit card reversal of charges, including sales tax. If they balk, deny the charges via Visa or Mastercard. Point out that you will do this. Ask to see the manager at the first sign of hesitation. Do not accept an in-store credit or partial refund.

    Fourth, file a complaint with your State Attorney General for misleading business practices. Use the info from the insert slip that you copied down when you bought it. Each of these must be investigated as attempted consumer fraud. Which they are. You can't sell shoddy or imperfect goods as if they were standard goods, and unless the ADVERTISEMENT pointed that out in large letters, they have committed an implicit fraud on you the innocent buyer.

    Fifth, file with the FTC under the same claim.

    Sixth, sue them in small claims court for time and trouble, travel expense (36 cents per mile to and from), postage, and any other expenses.

    Seventh, send an email to the execs of the record company who did this.

    Eighth, send a postcard to the artist who had their music polluted. Point out you will never buy their music again, you are so offended.

    Ninth, have a merry christmas!

    -
  • I have no problem whatsoever with these 'restricted CD' things as long as they are clearly labeled as such, so I know they aren't a normal CD. No problem whatsoever.
  • I'm afraid that given the music and motion picture industry's paranoia regarding piracy, some type of copy protection will become standard. I've seen quotes in recent press stories that the industry expects to loose 5% of it's customer's because of this. The person quote was perfectly happy with that amount.

    The reason of course is they believe they are losing much more money to piracy!. While we in the US have some fair use rights, the copyright owners don't have any obligation to make it easy or even possible for consumer to exercise these rights. And with the DMCA they can keep most people from being able to get around copy protections. This means that only the technical elite will be able to enjoy fair use rights in the near future.

    If you have concerns about this I suggest that you do 3 things.

    1) Write your Congressman and Senator. Yes you hear this all the time. But the be assured that the Music Industry is doing that. That is what the RIAA is... A Lobbying group for the Music Industry.

    2) Support the EFF. They are on the front lines of trying to fight this type of limiting of our rights.

    3) Support the ACLU. The ACLU are also on the front lines in a wide range of issues.

    One more note of clarification, the RIAA is an association of the largest music publishers. While they claim 100's of member, there are really only 5 publishers that matter. I believe these are

    Universal
    Bertelsmann/BMG
    Sony
    EMI
    Aol/Time Warner

    Most of the other labels you hear about are subsidiaries of these companies or very small.
    • Do all of the things that uppity_frodo suggested, but also please:

      VOTE!!!

      Your representative has only two reasons to give a fat damn about your concerns: (1) he will lose campaign contributions because of them, or (2) he will lose votes because of them. Forget about #1 -- the RIAA has the clear capability to outspend concerned Slashdotters. But as pointed out nicely above, the Slashdotters have the RIAA overwhelmingly outvoted.

      Wouldn't it be cool if the representatives who supported the DMCA, etc. all got hundreds of thousands of letters that said, not just "you really suck for supporting this bad law," but in addition, "and I vote in every single election, and I will vote for your opponent in the next one if you do not withdraw your support and fight against this law." And then we all actually voted instead of just running our ascii mouths? And not just for the guy/gal who promises the biggest tax cut, but for the one who promises intellectual property reform? And then there would be some chance of actually getting the DMCA repealed or sensibly amended in the legislature, instead of throwing pebbles at it in one court after another.

      Don't get me wrong, litigation is fine and so are all the suggestions above. I merely submit that if the extremely large population that plays CDs on computers, makes mix CDs, file shares etc. continues to be perceived as a population that can't be bothered with voting, the other tactics will have a less potent effect.

  • I know this is an over simplification, but, as long as there is a signal carrying music to a speaker there is a signal to copy... so the only true copy protection is one that prevents the music from being heard at all which of course... negates the need itself.
    • long as there is a signal carrying music to a speaker there is a signal to copy..

      Not when they send the signal down the line encrypted. The speaker has an onboard processor that decrypts the stream. The RIAA has been kicking around this idea for quite some time. It would be hard for them to implement, since it would involve eventually replacing every speaker in existance, but the big music consortiums are starting to realize how outdated they are and they are starting to panic. I think they will try something like this eventually (maybe not until they see their deaths looming large). If they do manage to implement encrypted speaker feeds, you could still put a mike in front of the speaker and capture the audio but it would be a much more severe loss of quality.

      • eh?? (Score:2, Insightful)

        by _avs_007 (459738)
        What are you talking about? No matter what fancy tech is in the speaker, you need an analog (+) and (-) to drive the electromagnet...

        And even if there was a new-fangled electromagnet that took encrypted input, there is still going to be analog sound coming out of the speaker itself. Get a REALLY good mic, and set up the speaker in a REALLY good acoustical room, and make your copy.

        So to ammend the previous statement:

        If I can see it or hear it, so can my "recording" device.
      • Not when they send the signal down the line encrypted. The speaker has an onboard processor that decrypts the stream.

        At which point, we arrange to interrupt the signal further down the line, after the decode. Seriously, unless the system somehow convinces the speaker hardware itself to do the decoding, or we get used to listening to raw encrypted sound, there'll always be SOME point down the line that the unencrypted signal can be retrieved before it hits the speakers themselves...

        Perhaps the RIAA is looking to come up with watermarking magnets?
  • "The majority of people who buy CDs aren't these highly technical people," Black said. "If you want to get MP3s, you'd probably just download them somewhere else."

    This guy obviously has no pre-teen or teenage children. Everyone I know at work who has kids that age talk about their kids downloading MP3's. We're not talking about rocket scientist kids only here. Everyone.

    Beyond that, I'll echo the sentiments of the person who got the last quote in the article; I have 1500 CDs, and while I don't buy a lot these days, it's because music has moved on beyond my tastes for the most part, and because I have a house to support now, not because I'm downloading the same volume of music I used to get on CD.

  • Absu - Tara (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Innominandum (453982) on Friday November 30, 2001 @08:20PM (#2639341)
    Because I don't listen to Top 40 music I thought I would be immune to these copy-protected CD's. But it seems smaller or specialized labels are adopting this technology as well - not just Sony, EMI, or whatever. I bought Absu "Tara" at HMV, which is on a "small" label from France, Osmose Productions.

    I brought it home and put it in my CD-ROM and it started making a lot of weird sounds, like when you put in a damaged CD. The CD-ROM wouldn't read it but it worked fine in my Discman. I have my entire CD collection on my computer and use it as a giant jukebox. It's an awesome album but I don't want to screw around with CD's.

    I did not expect this from a non-corporate label. If record labels put politics and money before music, then can take their CD's and shove them. There's plently of other wicked music out there.
  • by t_allardyce (48447) on Friday November 30, 2001 @08:24PM (#2639359) Journal
    The RIAA has said that it is planning to roll-out a new copy-protection system for CDs. The system should be introduced within a few months, but, unlike previous attempts, the association has claimed that this system will remain uncrack-able. The new system will involve new technology pioneered by Microsoft called "CD-Blank". At the pressing plant, the CD master images are put through a process known as "Blanking" where all the digital sample values are set to '0'. This results in a disk containing data as such:

    '000000000000000000000000000000000000' etc.

    The process ensures that the disks will remain _completely_ unreadable by PC-CDROM drives. inserting a "CD-Blank" disk in Microsoft Windows for example will cause the message "The disk is not formatted" to appear. However some independent testers have claimed that inserting it into some Windows machines will crash them. At a press conference, a spokesman for the RIAA was asked by a journalist why the CDs would not play on normal CD players. The journalist then went on to claim that the CDs were in fact _blank_ and filled entirely with 0's. When presented with this information, the spokesman went on to explain how this technology could also be used in DVDs, CD-ROMS, and other digital media. meanwhile, the journalist was escorted out of the conference by security

    Several crack-taking recording industry figures are said to be interested in the technology
    • The Slashdot staff has said that it is planning to roll-out a new moderation system for /. The system should be introduced within a few months, but, unlike previous attempts, the staff has claimed that this system will remain idiotproof.

      The new system will involve new technology pioneered by VA Linux called "Cluestick". At the comment page, the moderator is beaten severely for modding up comments such as the parent of this one as "Insightful"
  • by base2op (226729)
    At least they are labeling the CDs as copy protected. Also, it's good to see that the stores will accept returns on opened ones.

    I'm just pointing out that it could be worse. They're only fuckin' you over your fair use.
  • BMG records already had an embarassing setback [guardian.co.uk] with this type of scheme in the UK. Customer returns forced them into withdrawing the copy inhibited version and re-releasing a "standard" CD. They're a business, and cannot sell something which people don't want to buy. Returns cost, in real money as well as bad publicity.


    It is your civic duty to protect your rights by buying and returning these CDs. The attempt to force copy inhibited products on us can be defeated simply by making digital rights infringement technologies too expensive to introduce.

  • 4 Days Tops (Score:2, Informative)

    by thumbtack (445103)
    I expect that it will take people no longer than four days tops. (probably much shorter) Point your browsers at CloneCd [clonecd.net] for the latest news on the workarounds. They also list a program called Cloney that detects copy protection , but its only availble in German. It checks for all the various CD Protection schemes. Now if I could only read the instructons.
  • If they take it back opened, you can copy it to your PC via analog, convert it to MP3, share it with all your friends, and return it for a full refund. What a brilliant move on the part of the music industry.
  • A Convienent Excuse (Score:3, Interesting)

    by StormyMonday (163372) on Friday November 30, 2001 @09:08PM (#2639552) Homepage
    "Piracy" is a convienient excuse for the record companies when their latest crap album doesn't sell. "Ooh. Piracy".

    Watch. When their crap music still doesn't sell when it's copy protected, "Ooh. Evil Hackers broke our copy protection."

    Exactly the same thing happened with copy protected floppies for games. Game doesn't sell? Blame it on "pirates".

    The real "pirates" run CD factories in East Asia or Central America and make CDs indistinguishable from the originals, 10,000 at a time. "Copy protection" won't even slow those guys down.

    Last time I priced CDs in quantity, they were $0.35 each. Perhaps if the record companies charged a fair price for the disks?
    • by Sludge (1234)
      Last time I priced CDs in quantity, they were $0.35 each. Perhaps if the record companies charged a fair price for the disks?

      Attaining high production quality of a CD with something on it is much more time consuming and expensive than doing the same to the contents of a blank CD. The only way this argument could stand is if you entertain the idea that intellectual property is monetarily worthless even with regards to the assumption that people were paid to produce the contents of the CD.

      This sort of snide remark is starting to really annoy me, and I consider myself progressive on the subject of intellectual property and freedoms.

      • by tjgrant (108530)

        While it may not be completely true. There is something to the statement. The last time the music industry really jumped the price on their music was when the CD format was introduced. The problem with the price jump was that the cost of material went down by 1/2 or 2/3, and did not justify the $4 to $5 price hike.

    • by Dr. Awktagon (233360) on Friday November 30, 2001 @10:27PM (#2639785) Homepage

      Piracy Ruins Vanilla Ice's Career

      Artist blames MP3 sharing services for slow sales

      Popular recording artist Vanilla Ice released a statement today blaming MP3 piracy for slow sales on his latest rap album, Ize Back in Da Hood. The new album has only sold 57 copies since being released in July, and despite a $40million advertising campaign.

      "I can't understand it," says Ice. "Other artists like Britney Spears and N'Sync are selling millions of records, and living in the lap of luxury. But nobody wants to buy my record. I know it's a good record, so it must be the MP3 pirates."

      Ice, whose latest album includes the hit single "White People Smell Funny", is planning a lawsuit against anyone with a computer science degree. "What a bunch of losers. Everybody knows people who program computers are just sitting around planning what to steal or hack into next. I have to send a message to those guys, buy my new album or else!"

  • I say we specifically look for titles with this sticker, purchase them, give them a whirl in our PCs and see them not play, and return them. Vote with not just our money, but their overhead costs to handle all the returned merchandise and bad publicity when stores don't want CDs with those stickers.

    Vote with your money, yes, but deliberately buying and returning a product you're not interested in to begin with reeks of ballot stuffing to me.

  • The record industry is hell bent on alienating their customer base by treating every single one of them, without exception, as criminals

    saddling consumers with all sorts of stupid shit-broken protection mechanisms

    slandering and libeling customers and consumer's advocacy groups and basically anyone who dares question the supreme truth of the RIAA

    Releasing vacuous drivel like "backstreet boys", "britney spears", "n'sync"... I get horrible flashbacks of "Menudo", "George Michael" etc...

    And then they have the gall to whine "record sales are down". Gee I wonder why, you stupid fuckwits...

    • Sorry -- your points are just wrong wrong wrong... Oh, to have a mod point or two.

      saddling consumers with all sorts of stupid shit-broken protection mechanisms

      Nope, thats not why record sales are down... How many copy protected CDs have been released? One, two? I can't think, but it is a very small number. Even if nobody bought them that wouldn't dent sales.

      slandering and libeling customers and consumer's advocacy groups and basically anyone who dares question the supreme truth of the RIAA

      The record industry is hell bent on alienating their customer base by treating every single one of them, without exception, as criminals

      Just because it gets a lot of play in the geek circles doesn't mean the general public knows about it. I have see virtually no high profile coverage of this in the conventional media. If people don't know about this it can't hurt music sales.

      Releasing vacuous drivel like "backstreet boys", "britney spears", "n'sync"

      Record sales aren't down because of this. Just because record companies release crap doesn't make me stop buying the music I like.

      I don't know why music sales are down, and personally I don't care. If music comes out that I like, I will buy it. If I can't exercise my fair use rights on it, I will take it back.

  • ...Midbar Tech, an Israeli firm ... has signed deals with three of the five major recording labels and has had discussions with the other two.

    Midbar Tech's Noam Zur called copy-protection critics a fringe group that probably are pirates themselves.

    Good morning students. For your second lesson in blatant self-serving lies, replace "copy-protection critics" with "Isrealis", and "pirates" with "terrorists".

  • Blood from a stone. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Crag (18776) on Friday November 30, 2001 @10:30PM (#2639797)
    As of this writing there are 21 posts at threshold 3, and none of them look at what I consider to be the bigest flaw in this conflict: The 'music industry' seems to think the 'pirates' have disposable income which they are witholding from the industry out of greed.

    In other words, the industry seems to think they will get more money if they crack down on so-calleed piracy. However, even if they get perfect control of the data (impossible, I know), they won't get any more money out of consumers. If we had more money we'd be spending it. If I can't get the music I want within my budget, I will simply buy less music. It's true that there are unscrupulous people charging for pirated data, but eliminating that won't improve the industries' position significantly because the people buying those pirated disks probably won't buy official disks ever.

    I admit this is a broad over-generalization, but it should be obvious that the effort invested in anti-piracy is squandered. Cut back on the legal staff if you want to keep more money, Mr. Industry!
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Shitty, irrelevant music (like mine) is the reason CD sales are down.

    Oh, and I have a very, very tiny penis.

    Sincerely,
    Fred Durst
    • by Anonymous Coward
      If the music industry supported and rewarded quality music instead of bland, uninspiring, whiny emo-tripe (like mine), perhaps sales would increase.

      And also, I might not be dangerously addicted to prescription stool-softeners.

      Later,

      Rob Thomas of Matchbox 20
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Fred, don't blame yourself. The greasy turds (you call them "songs") that your band shits out are not nearly as pungent as the computer generated, gene-spliced jack-assery that me and my "band" lip sync to.

      Oh, and thanks for the slippery buttlove. Even though your penis is tiny, you touch me like no other man can.

      Love,

      Justin "N-Sync" Timberlake
  • I don't understand the attitude about the copy protection. Half the people here seem to think that in a transaction, it's the right of the buyer to dictate terms. It not - the buyer and seller need to agree to terms. If you don't like what they're selling, then don't buy it. Buy something else, or don't buy at all, but respect their right to try to sell something, even if you don't think it's a good value.

    I know people here are going to bitch about how it's a monopoly and the free market doesn't apply. That's crap. If you think this, you need to get down to your local independent record store and buy some titles from some independent bands before both of them disappear forever. It'll only be a monopoly if you allow it to be.

    I have a friend who pirates stuff, both software and music, and I have debated with him many times why he shouldn't. His excuse it always that the stuff costs too much. So I always ask him, what if he goes into a 7-Eleven to buy a candy bar and in his opinion, it costs too much. So is he going to shoplift it? And he never gets it... "that's different" he says.
  • An e-mail to Noam (Score:2, Interesting)

    by tjgrant (108530)

    Noam's e-mail address is noam@midbartech.com. I encourage you to write him and let him know you are not a pirate. If you do write him, please be polite.

    I sent him the following e-mail...

    I read the following quotation and find it quite offensive:

    "Midbar Tech's Noam Zur called copy-protection critics a fringe group that probably are pirates themselves."

    So I am writing to you to give you a chance to clarify it.

    CD copy protection is an attempt to restrict fair-use by consumers. It means that the buying public pays the same, but gets less (I lose my right of fair-use). So, as you can see, I'm a copy-protection critic.

    I've been in the IT industry for 15 years. I have functioned as the CTO of two technology startups. I have a wife, three small children, two hamsters, pay my taxes on time, go to church on Sunday, and try not to do anything illegal (except ride my motorcycle a bit too fast). So, as you can see I'm not in a fringe group.

    I buy all my music. I have several hundred CDs. I am in the process of ripping every CD I own, just so I can have the luxury of having them all available at the click of a mouse. In my entire collection I have exactly zero pirated MP3s. So, as you can see, I'm not a pirate.

    Most of the people I know who believe the same things I do are very similar. So what exactly did you mean in the quotation above?

  • Dummies (Score:5, Interesting)

    by VivianC (206472) <internet_update&yahoo,com> on Saturday December 01, 2001 @12:56AM (#2640184) Homepage Journal
    Let's face it, the RIAA has no clue about how to stop P2P copying. The reality is that if a very small group of dedicated fans want to make copies and can figure out how to do it, P2P technology will make it available to the world.

    This fact was proven by one of my favorite (ex)bands: Smashing Pumpkins. Their last album was released on VINYL and only 25 copies were pressed. MP3's were on Napster within 24 hours and good quality MP3's took two weeks. Is there anyone who can't get a copy now?

    The RIAA should spend their money trying to find a way to get us to buy rather than keep us from copying.
  • by JPelzer (202626) on Saturday December 01, 2001 @02:58AM (#2640422)
    I'm not a musician, but currently CD sales pay my salary. I work for a large music company, one with many subsidiary record labels and a huge catalog, and I'm right in the middle of the copy-protection war... But it's going on inside the company.

    There are some in my company that would agree with those idiotic quotes, about all people being pirates, MP3's are stealing, etc. But most people understand that the old enforced-scarcity model is no longer sustainable, and that a new model must be sought. While I think the investment in anti-rip CD's is a waste, it is essentially the left hand of the industry... The right hand is doing something completely different, and it's cooking up something good.

    For instance, my personal mp3 collection is about 300 albums. Great. But in the very near future, I'll have streaming access to tens of thousands of albums... For a monthly fee. But I think I can deal with that. I pay $9.95 a month for my Tivo, $40 for cable... It's a cost I can bear, especially if I don't need to shell out for physical CD's anymore. I don't really need the CD's, as once they're ripped, they go into storage anyway. (And if it bothers you that you wouldn't have offline access, you'll be able to download files to wherever, and burn CD's)

    I'm thinking this post is getting a bit off-topic, so I'll come back. The point I'm trying to make is that these anti-rip CD's are not the direction the labels really want to go. It's admittedly a sidetrack. Better things are coming, and there are people on the inside that have some idea of what the heck fair-use is, and whose checkbook pays their salaries. And we're listening.

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