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Artist Suggesting Ways Around Copy Protection 548

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the silly-rabbit-artists-dont-own-their-work dept.
fanboyslayer writes "Switchfoot's new album Nothing Is Sound shipped from Sony with copy protection software on the CD, much to the dismay of thousands of iPod-wielding fans. The band posted a response on their official forum apologizing for the protection and detailing ways to circumvent the protection and rip their songs to PC. Switchfoot linked to open-source program CDex's download page with instructions on disabling the autorunning protection and ripping the files to MP3. Many of Switchfoot's fans have been upset by the copy protection measures, and it's nice to know the artists seem to care about the issue."
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Artist Suggesting Ways Around Copy Protection

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  • Nice comment (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 19, 2005 @04:11AM (#13594223)
    It's nice to see bands standing up for their public against the wishes of their labels. I can imagine this posting will cause some heated discussions within Sony!

    For those too lazy to RTFA their advice is "press shift when loading the CD", and "if that's too late, burn the music back to CD and rip it again".

    • Re:Nice comment (Score:4, Informative)

      by Rosyna (80334) on Monday September 19, 2005 @04:21AM (#13594262) Homepage
      I prefer this comment:

      A) If you're a mac user, or you have access to a mac, or you purchased the dual disc, you should have no problems... simply import the songs the same way as you always do.
      • Re:Nice comment (Score:5, Insightful)

        by nmb3000 (741169) <nmb3000@that-google-mail-site.com> on Monday September 19, 2005 @04:40AM (#13594330) Homepage Journal
        I prefer this comment:

        A) If you're a mac user, or you have access to a mac, or you purchased the dual disc, you should have no problems... simply import the songs the same way as you always do.

        Not trying to Mac-bash, but having only about 3% of the consumer market share does have it's advantages.

        If the Apple and Windows userbases suddenly became equal, you'd see copy protection for both platforms. Why spend an equal amount of money for copy protection that's only going to affect 3% of your consumers vs 95%?

        That said, the whole DMCA side of this is plain stupid. Microsoft designed Windows (this really *is* a feature :) so that you could bypass pesky autorun software by holding the SHIFT key (or just turning off on a per-drive basis). It's not a secret [microsoft.com]. Maybe Sony should sue Microsoft for not giving them a good way to prohibit users from exercising their fair use rights. That's a Slashdot article I want too see; Microsoft getting sued (yay!) but by Sony because they want strict media access control (boo!).
        • Re:Nice comment (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 19, 2005 @05:25AM (#13594448)
          Microsoft designed Windows (this really *is* a feature :) so that you could bypass pesky autorun software by holding the SHIFT key (or just turning off on a per-drive basis)

          What's the odds that in Vista, the Autorun feature will be "improved" so that it's more like, "to disable Autorun, hold down SHIFT, unless it's a copy-protected disc in which case it WILL auto-run regardless of any key-presses or registry changes you make"?
          /me paranoid first thing on a Monday morning
          • by ArsenneLupin (766289) on Monday September 19, 2005 @05:33AM (#13594469)
            "to disable Autorun, hold down SHIFT, unless it's a copy-protected disc in which case it WILL auto-run regardless of any key-presses or registry changes you make"?

            That would be great! Finally we can again make bluescreen disks which won't be defeated with a trivial press on the shift key, hehe...

            • MSFT should just get a patent on the [SHIFT] key as a DRM system.
              Then they can charge a levy on all Music labels.
              Why not? I mean, if you Double-Click the CD Icon, you are already using patented innovative MSFT technology.
              Personally, I can't wait till MSFT patents the ToasterTM.
              I can see it now... (cue dream sequence)

              New MSFT Toaster Vista (Corporate Office Edition) Features innovative 5 slice design, built-in Popup Blocking! and anti-toast Phishing feature! (workaround available via the undocum

          • Re:Nice comment (Score:4, Informative)

            by lowrydr310 (830514) on Monday September 19, 2005 @07:46AM (#13594802)
            Time to switch to linux!!!

            There are a lot of rumors and reports about terrible copy protection in Vista, whether it's this or allowing only 'approved' monitors and the simplest solution is to switch to Linux. Unfortunately I still need Windows, and there's no way my wife would ever consider Linux at the moment so if copy protection gets too bad the best solution is to have a separate Linux box and do the rip/burn there. I can say for certain that I have no need to upgrade to Vista now, but when I do buy a new PC I'm sure it'll be on there.

            My current setup would be a decent linux box, good enough for web browsing, listening to music, and ripping CDs. Then all I would need to do is set up a shared drive on the windows machine that I could access across my home network. Am I right to assume that Linux can read NTFS but not write?

            • Re:Nice comment (Score:3, Informative)

              by arevos (659374)
              Then all I would need to do is set up a shared drive on the windows machine that I could access across my home network. Am I right to assume that Linux can read NTFS but not write?

              Yes, that's correct. Though you can read and write to an NTFS drive across a Windows network using Linux.
        • Re:Nice comment (Score:5, Informative)

          by Technician (215283) on Monday September 19, 2005 @05:59AM (#13594542)
          Maybe Sony should sue Microsoft for not giving them a good way to prohibit users from exercising their fair use rights. That's a Slashdot article I want too see; Microsoft getting sued (yay!) but by Sony because they want strict media access control (boo!).


          You are thinking inside the box. The simple fact is MS doesn't own the Phillips Compact Disk standard. MS is trying to sell a format that they do own. Seen any secure WMA files lately? They simply haven't gotten the labels to bite yet because too many players in cars and such still won't play the format.

          Does anybody know if the CD contains the Compact Disk logo? So far I have avoided the copy protected disks simply by not buying any CD without the Compact Disk logo as registered by Phillips. I wouldn't want any DMCA liability that the band advocates by defeating a protection mechanism.
          • by Pollardito (781263) on Monday September 19, 2005 @06:43AM (#13594664)
            Maybe Sony should sue Microsoft for not giving them a good way to prohibit users from exercising their fair use rights.
            they could followup with a lawsuit against the keyboard manufacturers for including not one but two shift keys
            • they could followup with a lawsuit against the keyboard manufacturers for including not one but two shift keys

              With the stupidity levels of judges as they are today, I can actually see it working.

              "Your honor, there is no question that a shift key is necessary to allow the user to quickly and easily capitalize the odd letter, but was the motivation behind the second shift button?...

          • by Tink2000 (524407) on Monday September 19, 2005 @07:23AM (#13594755) Homepage Journal
            Finding that little CD logo is becoming (actually, has become) nearly impossible to do anymore. Out of the last 50 cds I've picked up (read as: not bought) at local shops, nothing released in the last year has had it.

            However, they have all had that cute little FBI logo on them.
            • Re:Nice comment (Score:3, Interesting)

              by lowrydr310 (830514)
              I think most new CDs (at least the ones I've seen) have a little disclaimer that says something about them not being compliant with some standard and that there's no guarantee they'll play on all CD players. I haven't had any problems playing anything yet, but I'd be a little upset if I bought a CD that wouldn't play. I don't know of any store that would accept a return on an opened CD, unless it was physically damaged in which case they'd issue a replacement of the exact title.
            • Re:Nice comment (Score:3, Insightful)

              by Technician (215283)
              Finding that little CD logo is becoming (actually, has become) nearly impossible to do anymore.


              And if shiny round pieces of plastic that didn't have the logo didn't sell, DRM on fake CD's would be already dead. Sadly there is enough demand for DRM CD's to keep making them.

              nothing released in the last year has had it.


              I've noticed. My purchases have reflected this. My last few CD's were purchased from Goodwill.

              I Rip, Mix, and Burn my CD's. I also honor the DMCA. I don't buy DRM CD's.

              I spend my entertainm
        • Re:Nice comment (Score:5, Insightful)

          by skingers6894 (816110) on Monday September 19, 2005 @07:41AM (#13594793)
          That's not a Mac-Bash at all. It's a succinct description of one reason why it's great to be a Mac owner.

          When the Mac Market share hits, say 25%, I'll re-evaluate my platform choice.

        • Re:Nice comment (Score:5, Interesting)

          by MyDixieWrecked (548719) on Monday September 19, 2005 @10:06AM (#13595493) Homepage Journal
          If the Apple and Windows userbases suddenly became equal, you'd see copy protection for both platforms. Why spend an equal amount of money for copy protection that's only going to affect 3% of your consumers vs 95%?

          same idea as spyware.

          i've got a question, though (being as I don't use windows and I've had the opportunity to rip several protected CDs for other people)...

          One of the main problems with windows, in terms of reasons for lack of stability and the like, is that there is so much crap being installed on a regular basis (spyware, adware, and not to mention actual real software), what's to stop all this crap from conflicting and bringing down the system?

          at my job, they just locked down all of the windows computers. Software cannot be installed without an administrator password. hell, you can't even look at the built-in calendar without loggin in as an admin (doubleclick the time in the taskbar).

          how are office peons supposed to listen to music, now?

          this also brings up another issue. Earlier on slashdot, there was an article about the 6 stupidest ideas for security. the author proposed a whitelist for executing software on a machine, rather than a blacklist. Having audio CDs require installation of software just to listen to music completely shatters his idea of keeping a clean system. Suddenly, you go from knowing exactly what you need to run (excel, word, minesweeper, adobe reader, etc) to saying "sonydrmdaemon32.exe? columnbiaprotect_win32.exe... wtf is that crap?"

          I can see it now. in 2 years when nearly every audioCD comes with their own flavour of software DRM, the next wave of security exploits are going to involve that software.

          the future looks pretty dark.
          • There's nothing to stop the harm as long as you run non-free software. The reason spyware, adware, and such can work is that nobody but the proprietor can inspect, share, and modify the program. This means that nobody else can distribute an improved version without the annoying or malicious parts of the program.

            So, even if one runs a free software operating system and runs non-free software on top of that, one is not safe from the harm of malicious software. The solution is to run a free software OS an

          • Re:Nice comment (Score:3, Interesting)

            by skyshock21 (764958)
            CDs are a thing of the past anyway. After buying my HD MP3 player, I'm DONE carrying around CDs. So why don't artists just start selling their stuff directly to the fans via their websites? Or better yet, offer it for free. Recorded music is just an advertisement for an artist's live show anyway. They don't make jack shit off CDs.

            See sig. My band does it. Why don't others?
          • A limited user windows XP account is not a full lockdown. There are many programs you can install without being logged in as administrator. Nearly all programs that are obtained in zip format, where you unzip and run them, work. Even regular programs will install, you just need to install to somewhere you have rw access to (My Documents/Programs is a good place). Unfortunately, some programs require changing system files or the registry, and they will not run. Some install programs also explicitedly re
    • "burn the music back to CD and rip it again".

      The article suggests in option (c) copying the secure WMA files to the PC and then burning these WMA files to a standard CD, and then use iTunes to rip the songs.

      What's the quality going to be like after all this format conversion?
    • by Morgaine (4316) on Monday September 19, 2005 @06:46AM (#13594668)
      It's nice to see bands standing up for their public against the wishes of their labels.

      Yeah, while still taking Sony's money and saying that it is "impossible" to change the system, and therefore supporting its continuation.

      Let's be honest here. They don't WANT to change the system, because they like Sony's cash too much.

      If they were genuine about being pro-fan, there is a hell of a lot that they could do about the situation.

      For a start they could tell Sony to sod off with the copy protection, or they'll go with another publisher. If Sony threatens them with litigation on the basis of the contract signed, then get together with other artists in the same situation and run a class action on the basis of such contracts being in restraint of trade.

      Sony (and other labels) are just distributors and promotors in this day and age when you can have a billion-track studio at home for peanuts, and hire in your mastering experts for a session. Yet, the labels want to own it all, for eternity. Bollocks.

      It's time that bands did something about it, or be branded money-grabbing hypocrits. The power to bring down the system is in their hands. Currently the majority just have no interest in using that power and getting rid of the old machine.
      • The problem though isn't with the production side of things, it's with the distribution and promotion side. As long as radio stations (clear channel and MTV) only play major label artists if you want to be able to make a living as a musician you have to sign up with a label.
      • by F_Scentura (250214) on Monday September 19, 2005 @10:40AM (#13595758)
        "If they were genuine about being pro-fan, there is a hell of a lot that they could do about the situation."

        They're also pro-feeding and clothing themselves. There's not a "hell of a lot" that they can do in the notoriously fickle recording industry.
      • by ConceptJunkie (24823) on Monday September 19, 2005 @12:10PM (#13596531) Homepage Journal
        It's time that bands did something about it, or be branded money-grabbing hypocrits. The power to bring down the system is in their hands. Currently the majority just have no interest in using that power and getting rid of the old machine.

        That's all well and good. Would you risk your livelihood to stand up for a cause against a company to which you will almost certainly lose?

        Most people can't afford to put their lives on hold and lose years' worth (if not more) of income to take a moral stand.

        That might be sad, that might be selling out, but that's life. Most people can't afford to fight a crusade, and no sane person wants to be a martyr for a cause he probably can't win.

      • by KrackHouse (628313) on Monday September 19, 2005 @03:17PM (#13597890) Homepage
        I went to high school with those guys, they're really not greedy people. Sony is giving them a bad name though with the copy protection and the payola thing involving switchfoot.

        In fact, the fact that they are nice and trusting is probably what allowed Sony to sneak this under their radar.
    • Wonder how long..... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by cbiltcliffe (186293)
      Wonder how long it will be till the RIAA starts suing their artists under the DMCA for "providing tools to break copyright protection". They already sue their customers, so why not?

      Guess that'll shoot to hell their insistence that "it's all for the artists!", though, huh?
  • Wow (Score:5, Interesting)

    by rm999 (775449) on Monday September 19, 2005 @04:11AM (#13594224)
    Wow, I wonder how Sony will respond to this. After all, bands usually have to give away all their freedom (and their souls) to the record companies when they sign.

    Respect to Switchfoot. Oh, and down with the record companies, who don't give a damn about the artists or their music.
  • NOBODY WANTS IT (Score:5, Insightful)

    by frinkacheese (790787) * on Monday September 19, 2005 @04:12AM (#13594227) Journal
    So..

    Artists dont want it.
    Consumers dont want it. ...

    When will they learn? It's such a pain in the ass to get any media, especially DVDs with diff region codes that I am literally FORCED to warez movies to play on my mac. If I buy the DVD, I can not play it (I am in the UK - I want to buy a Region 1 DVD...)

    • Re:NOBODY WANTS IT (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Willeh (768540) *
      That doesn't matter as long as the people who call the shots want it, ie. the record companies themselves. The rest is by and large, inconsequential. They control the band via stranglehold-contracts, and the consumers buy the product like the sheep they are.
    • Re:NOBODY WANTS IT (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Jugalator (259273) on Monday September 19, 2005 @04:23AM (#13594273) Journal
      Artists dont want it.

      You're extrapolating a bit. In this case:

      Artist dont want it.

      I'm sure we have thousands of artists out there that puts record company deals before their fans abilities to use iPods. I wouldn't even be surprised if it's more the rule than the exception.
      • Re:NOBODY WANTS IT (Score:5, Insightful)

        by dave1212 (652688) on Monday September 19, 2005 @05:16AM (#13594427) Homepage
        I'm sure we have thousands of artists out there that puts record company deals before their fans abilities to use iPods.

        Very true, and those 'artists' that feel that way will end up without any fans.

        Bands who care only about money won't last.

        Bands who care about their fans? They'll last forever.
      • Re:NOBODY WANTS IT (Score:3, Interesting)

        by laffer1 (701823)
        Yes, an example would be the Rolling Stones. I think its obvious from their history in court. All they care about is money and not the fans. I think i'll go listen to bitter sweet symphony.
      • Re:NOBODY WANTS IT (Score:3, Insightful)

        by yotto (590067)
        I'm sure we have thousands of artists out there that puts record company deals before their fans abilities to use iPods. I wouldn't even be surprised if it's more the rule than the exception.

        I would argue that those people are not artists so much as businesspeople. Not saying that's bad, we need businesspeople to keep the economy running.
    • Re:NOBODY WANTS IT (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Lisandro (799651)
      Sadly, it doesn't mean a thing. As long as people continue to buy copy-protected CDs, region-encoded DVDs and other DRMed media, they will continue using it.

          It's as simple as that; if they feel it might be benefitial to their buisness and consumers put up with it, it will be there. That it might annoy consumers who have deal with that shit with media they bought legally is of little consequence.
      • Re:NOBODY WANTS IT (Score:3, Insightful)

        by TheRaven64 (641858)
        Take them back to the shop. They were sold and advertised as audio CDs, but do not work as audio CDs. The record company may well refuse to take them back - if so this is ideal, since it means the shop will be more wary about stocking crippled CDs in future.
  • Good to see... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by SecureTheNet (915798) on Monday September 19, 2005 @04:12AM (#13594229) Homepage
    that bands at least care about their listeners. Maybe artists can pressure their labels into getting rid of this crap? Now that they've posted instructions on getting around the copy protection, is Sony going to sue them using the DMCA??
  • RIAA Lawsuit Factor (Score:5, Interesting)

    by digital-madman (860873) on Monday September 19, 2005 @04:14AM (#13594235)
    Okay folks.. My first thought was: "How cool! At least not all artist's (I'm looking at you metallica) are all about money and not the art". But here's another thought. Most artists only make around $2 profit (I've read that somewhere, sorry I can't source it) per album. The rest of the 15 bucks go to production, marketing, studios, and guess who? The RIAA! So this could be the first case where the RIAA sues AN ARTIST! With all the P2P music trading lawsuits... I think the RIAA has the grounds here. The Artist could be called pirates for detailing how to bypass the DRM. Plus the OSS software is now at risk of a RIAA lawsuit. I'm no lawyer so I may be off base here but I do think the next Slashdot headline will be "RIAA Sues Switchfoot". -Digital Madman
  • by jcr (53032) <jcr@nOspAm.mac.com> on Monday September 19, 2005 @04:14AM (#13594236) Journal
    But, once I read TFA, I looked them on the iTMS. Not really my thing, but I hope that they get a lot of sales from this exposure.

    -jcr

  • by inflex (123318) on Monday September 19, 2005 @04:16AM (#13594241) Homepage Journal
    It is heartbreaking to see our blood, sweat, and tears over the past 2 years blurred by the confusion and frustration surrounding this new technology. It is also unfortunate when bands such as ourselves, Foo Fighters, Coldplay, etc... (just a few of the new releases with copy protection) are the target of this criticism, when there is no possible way to avoid this new industry policy.

    [Bolding mine]

    Not sure about there being "no possible way" - perhaps when it comes time to renew their contract with Sony they'll consider going to alternative solutions. Worse comes to worse, perhaps they won't ever be able to escape Sony but they'll serve as a warning for others.

    If the large corps keep on with this process it'll typically generate a new band of recording studios who don't and thus are seen as somewhat more friendly (though the cycle will probably still go on).
  • DMCA (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 19, 2005 @04:16AM (#13594242)

    This is a band from the USA. Unless I'm mistaken, since the record company is usually the copyright holder of the recordings, this is actually a case of a band infringing the DMCA by telling people how to access their own music. Seems like a perfect example of how screwed up the DMCA is. I can only hope that they get sued for it, perhaps then people will realise the extent to which both copyright and the music industry is screwed up.

    • Re:DMCA (Score:5, Insightful)

      by dr_d_19 (206418) on Monday September 19, 2005 @04:41AM (#13594334)
      This is NOT "a perfect example of how screwed up the DMCA is". This is a perfect example of the original copyright holder (Switchfoot) SELLING the copyright of his/hers/their music to another party (Sony). There. You get the money, and you LOSE the control. Simple as that.

      DMCA only involvement in this story is the fact that the band gave instructions on how to circumvent the copy protection. But the discussion about DMCA belongs in another thread.
      • Re:DMCA (Score:5, Informative)

        by Boiling_point_ (443831) on Monday September 19, 2005 @06:22AM (#13594609) Homepage

        ...You get the money, and you LOSE the control. Simple as that.

        (bold emphasis mine) Except we all know that's not actually the truth. Sony still gets the money, and the copyright. Cue the href to the now-five-years-old Courtney Love [salon.com] article for more information.

        Sadly, unless you're Fugazi, you're not likely to be heard by many people unless you sell out. Something about the world just not being a fair place or some such...

    • Re:DMCA (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Tezkah (771144) on Monday September 19, 2005 @04:46AM (#13594344)
      Sony will have to sue their own employees, since when I voiced my frustrations after buying a CD with copy protection (The Coral - Invisible Invasion), I couldn't put it on my iPod. After giving them my email they sent me this:

      [Windows]

      If you have a PC place the CD into your computer and allow the Sony BMG audio player on the CD to automatically start. If the player software does not automatically start, open your Windows Explorer. Locate and select the drive letter for your CD drive. On the disc you will find either a file named LaunchCD.exe or Autorun.exe. Double-click this file to manually start the player.

      TIP: If your CD does not contain either the LaunchCD.exe or
                      Autorun.exe files, it may not be compatible with this iPod
                      solution. Please reply to this letter for more information.

      Once the Sony BMG player application has been launched and the End User License Agreement has been accepted, you can click the Copy Songs button on the top menu.

      Follow the instructions to copy the secure Windows Media Files (WMA) to your PC. Make a note of where you are copying the songs to, you will need to get to these secure Windows Media Files in the next steps.

      Once the WMA files are on your PC you can open and listen to the songs with Windows Media Player 9.0 or higher (or another fully compatible player that can playback secure WMA files, such as MusicMatch, RealPlayer, and Winamp). You can then burn the songs to a standard Audio CD. Please note that in order to burn the files, you will need to upgrade to, or already have, Windows Media Player 9 or 10.

      Once the standard Audio CD has been created, place this copied CD back into your computer and open iTunes. iTunes can now rip the songs as you would any normal audio CD.

      Please note an easier and more acceptable solution requires cooperation from Apple, who we have already reached out to in hopes of addressing this issue. To help speed this effort, we ask that you use the following link to contact Apple and ask them to provide a solution that would easily allow you to move content from protected CDs into iTunes or onto your iPod rather than having to go through the additional steps above:

            http://www.apple.com/feedback/ipod.html [apple.com]

      Thank you for the opportunity to be of assistance.

      The Sony BMG Online Support Team
      CCKM


      Notice how they try to blame Apple because they only allow customers to rip to crippled (and crappy, IMO) WMA. I eventually just downloaded Exact Audio Copy [google.ca] and it ripped it just fine. Still frustrating.
  • sigh. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 19, 2005 @04:16AM (#13594243)
    How long do you think it'll take for Sony to delete the post? My guess... they'll say "even if you bought the cd, simply trying to extract the songs onto your pc means you're going to send the songs to all your friends" and shut it down within a couple days. I don't understand this logic at all. Apparently (since the RIAA goes after p2p), they don't seem to care about the commercial pirating of music. I wonder what will happen when every music cd has copy protection on it, yet p2p and everything else (insert bittorrent jokes) thrive. The only thing this copy protection does is piss off people who legitimately bought the cd... it does absolutely NOTHING to stop piracy. sigh
  • Evil? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by KingOfGod (884633) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <adardl>> on Monday September 19, 2005 @04:18AM (#13594249) Homepage Journal
    So, let me get this straight.
    The record labels ARE the bad guys, and the band themselves probably didnt have a say when their record label decided that the CD should have copy protection, right?
    The artists did realize that by putting copyright-protection on their CD, the piracy of their CD would increase, and not decrease - like the record company propagates - because everyone wants to listen to their music not just on their CD player, but also on their mp3 player, car stereo, and whatnot, right?

    I really salute these guys for doing that they did, by putting out these instructions. It doesnt even matter to me that this smells a bit like a PR stunt - The thing that matters is that maybe more artists will follow this example, and soon "UNPROTECTED AUDIO-CD" will be a treat, just like "Limited Edition" is today.
  • by rolfwind (528248) on Monday September 19, 2005 @04:18AM (#13594251)
    Has always been that your fans pay with extra inconvenience and the pirates-that-be will get around it with ease.

    Companies should learn that all it takes is one copy cracked for it to be out there.

    But then I see the upcoming standard for Blu-ray, etcetera - and I suppose making the paying customers pay is the point. I mean, it's wonderful for the bottom line when you can sell the same person a movie on VHS, and then on region hobbled DVD, and then entice them with a HD version on Blu-ray. And the incentive is even greater for Joe Consumer once they can't back up their stuff or transfer it to other formats.

    I'm glad for corporate thinking - because of this whereas I used to buy 25 CDs a year from mainstream RIAA companies, I buy 1-2 now. I don't download music but I simply don't care anymore. My money has moved onto other interests......
  • Nice try, but (Score:3, Insightful)

    by inkfox (580440) on Monday September 19, 2005 @04:19AM (#13594253) Homepage
    If they really cared, they wouldn't be signed to a shit-ass major label in the first place. They can't have their street cred indie underground image and swing for the major league cocksuckers at the same time.
    • Re:Nice try, but (Score:4, Interesting)

      by bnitsua (72438) on Monday September 19, 2005 @04:49AM (#13594355)
      they're a "christian" band, not indie. which, for some reason, only adds humor to the situation for me...
      • Cool, so if they get struck by lightning we know God is pro-DRM.
      • Re:Nice try, but (Score:3, Interesting)

        by ElBeano (570883)
        I know Christian bashing is popular on Slashdot, but it merely displays ignorance of the diversity of those who call themselves "Christian". For example, the first Christians were model citizens but refused to recognize the "godhood" of the emperor. You may disagree with them (Switchfoot), loathe them, but they are doing what they believe is right. If you take care to analyze the situation, you WILL respect them... and avoid the snide comments. I take every claim to be "Christian" with a grain of salt. I e
  • Respect (Score:5, Informative)

    by Spy Handler (822350) on Monday September 19, 2005 @04:20AM (#13594258) Homepage Journal
    This fellow seems quite intelligent and able to express himself in writing. I wonder if he wrote that or if his publicist did it for him. I've had this idea that rockers are spaced-out potheads. Well at any rate, he has my respect.

    "Hello friends,

    my heart is heavy with this whole copy-protection thing. Many PC users have posted problems that they have had importing the new songs (regular disc only, not the dual disc) into programs such as Itunes. Let me first say that as a musician AND as a music fan, I agree with the frustration that has been expressed. We were horrified when we first heard about the new copy-protection policy that is being implemented by most major labels, including Sony (ours), and immediately looked into all of our options for removing this from our new album. Unfortunately, this is the new policy for all new major releases from these record companies. It is heartbreaking to see our blood, sweat, and tears over the past 2 years blurred by the confusion and frustration surrounding this new technology. It is also unfortunate when bands such as ourselves, Foo Fighters, Coldplay, etc... (just a few of the new releases with copy protection) are the target of this criticism, when there is no possible way to avoid this new industry policy.

    For mac users these songs should import seamlessly. We are told that itunes is coming out with a new version for PC users in early November that will be compatible with all of these new CD's but in the meantime it's frustrating for all of us. That said, there are a number of solutions (as is always the case with these types of things) for importing the CD into your itunes and ipod. We have compiled some of the easier ways below. I feel like as a band and as listeners, we've all been through a lot together over the past ten years, and we refuse to allow corporate policy to taint the family we've developed together. We deeply regret that there exists the need for any of our listeners to spend more than 30 seconds importing our music, but we're asking as friends and partners in this journey together to spend the extra 10 minutes that it takes to import these songs, which we think you'll agree to be our finest collection of songs yet. As a band, we've always been known for having the best fans in the world and I know that will continue for years to come. A month from now, I hope to be singing these songs together at a show, and the extra time spent importing the music will perhaps be forgotten, or at least forgiven. Thank you for your understanding and the continued kindness that you have always shown for five dreamers from San Diego, we love you guys,

    -tim foreman
    "
    • Re:Respect (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Karyyk (910994) on Monday September 19, 2005 @04:33AM (#13594305) Homepage
      As a long-time fan of Switchfoot (when they were a 3-piece band and doing some rather creative, but still cheesy videos for the Christian music scene), I'm fairly sure he did. The Foremans (Tim and his brother Jon) are a few cuts above the average rockers out there, and a bit deeper as well. They're also one of those bands who will stick around a venue for a while afterwards getting to know their fans, and to this point, have yet to let stardom cloud their eyes about what's really important, the fans. They'll stick by their guns on this one.
  • by NiteRiderXP (750309) on Monday September 19, 2005 @04:35AM (#13594317)
    It's funny cause the copy protection seems to only effect Windows. If you have Linux, Mac, or any other OS it won't hinder anything. Kind of shows how dumb the music industry is. I am sure it wouldn't be hard to find the service/dll causing the problem and remove it. Somebody should develop Copy Protection Definitions and a program to remove them automatically, kind of like virusscan.
    Nite Rider
    • by Dr_Barnowl (709838) on Monday September 19, 2005 @05:30AM (#13594460)
      They're not dumb. They're getting exactly what they want, which is to restrict the fair use rights of the consumer in the pursuit of greater profits ; if they can prevent the average Joe manipulating the music through his computer, they can sell more ringtones (bigger than the singles market now), digital music (especially for your DRM enabled player), and so forth. The argument that it's to prevent piracy is pretty transparent, precisely because of the demographic the technology is targetting. Which is over 90% of the installed user base for the consumer OS market.

      The vast majority of their clientele will have Windows, with the CD-ROM Autorun feature switched on. The fact that the technology does nothing to prevent copying by the tech-savvy demographic indicates that they know that there is nothing they can do to prevent "cracking" of their protection schemes. They would love a universally uncrackable scheme, but they know that such a thing is not achievable. So they have settled for a scheme that nets them more money from a demographic that they can push around, and pointed the finger of blame at "those dirty smelly hacker pirates".

  • Wondering... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Karyyk (910994) on Monday September 19, 2005 @04:40AM (#13594332) Homepage
    I wonder how many of the Sony bashers here have paid-for Sony products lying all over their abode? Just thinking out loud. Before this becomes a "Switchfoot sold-out" bashing thread, some of us might want to consider that we've done the same thing. Kudos to Switchfoot, Tim Foreman in particular. I'm sure they're aware that this will bring the Sony hounds on top of them, and they did it anyway. Oh, and if it's that easy to bypass the, ahem, "copy protection," Sony should get back to the corporate drawing board...
  • CDs? (Score:5, Informative)

    by NewStarRising (580196) <NSR@maddwarf.coBOHR.uk minus physicist> on Monday September 19, 2005 @04:50AM (#13594359) Homepage
    I was under the impression that the CD ISO Standard does not include copy-protection.
    Any small-silver-disk that includes copy-protection could not be labelled as a 'CD', and must have the fact that it has copy-protection notified to the customer.
    Has this changed, or does this type of protection not break the CD Standard?
    • Re:CDs? (Score:4, Informative)

      by Zocalo (252965) on Monday September 19, 2005 @06:41AM (#13594662) Homepage
      That would be the so called "Red Book" specification which defines the audio CD format and certainly does not include copy protection in the spec. Most copy protection schemes out there involve deliberately breaking the Red Book specification by tampering with the data to prevent the audio being copied to PCs etc. Since adherance to the specifications is explicitly required to qualify for the "Compact Disc" logo on the box and disc, this is why you don't see that logo on music CDs as much as you used to. As an aside, simply auto-running an application from a data track, whether to try and "add value" by providing some multimedia content or make a lame attempt at DRM, is within the bounds of the relevant format ("Yellow Book", IIRC).

      All of which, given the title, is going to make it somwehat ironic if Texas' upcoming CD entitled "Red Book" [amazon.co.uk] includes any form of copy protection...

  • by BenjyD (316700) on Monday September 19, 2005 @04:58AM (#13594385)
    Something like 90% of my music listening is on my iPod: if I can't rip your music to my iPod in one easy step, I'm not going to buy your album. It's as simple as that.

    I'm sure that is true for a large number of people these days, most of whom are 18-35 with a reasonable disposable income: ie. exactly the kind of people that buy large numbers of CDs. It's amazing how companies can be so incredibly short sighted.
  • by jopet (538074) on Monday September 19, 2005 @05:13AM (#13594421) Journal
    As long as there is a market for selling copy protected CDs, companies will do that. If people are dumb enough to let companies impose all those restrictions on them and still buy the crap, complain to the idiots who do that. This is not much different to why you do not get a decent tasting apple in any supermarket: people will buy the nice looking, crappy tasting ones and that is why the do not sell anything else.
  • by Eivind (15695) <eivindorama@gmail.com> on Monday September 19, 2005 @05:21AM (#13594435) Homepage
    Most of what he writes makes sense and is true, but he is a little bit overeager to put the blame on someone else:

    It is also unfortunate when bands such as ourselves, Foo Fighters, Coldplay, etc... (just a few of the new releases with copy protection) are the target of this criticism, when there is no possible way to avoid this new industry policy.

    This is bull. The artists are the original copyrigth-holder for their work. They choose to license it for publication by some record-company, or not. They are free to set whatever demands they want for this publication. (with the risk that if their demands are too stiff, the record-company will say: "no deal")

    Especially famous, well-selling artists have considerable leverage. If say Madonna (more realistically, her manager or whomever representing her) walks into a record-company and say she'd like to publish her new record with them, but one of the conditions is that it be released in standard CD-format, that the company would refuse to negotiate a contract.

    Artists do have a way of influencing record-companies. It may not be easy, and it may be that not all artists have a lot of negotiation-leverage all the time. But to claim, as he does here, that they have "no possible way" to influence things, is bullshit.

    • If say Madonna (more realistically, her manager or whomever representing her) walks into a record-company and say she'd like to publish her new record with them, but one of the conditions is that it be released in standard CD-format, that the company would refuse to negotiate a contract.

      If you're already a superstar at the contract negotiation phase, sure. If you're a new artist looking for exposure and you sign a four album deal and hit it huge after album #1, you're in trouble for three more.

    • by Tom (822) on Monday September 19, 2005 @06:55AM (#13594689) Homepage Journal
      Especially famous, well-selling artists have considerable leverage.

      Not all. Most of them are under long-term contracts. Remember Prince? He didn't even own his own stage name.
  • by Jekler (626699) on Monday September 19, 2005 @05:27AM (#13594451)
    If artists really cared about fans, freedom, etc. they wouldn't ink deals with the devil in the first place. Signing on with a big label isn't the only way to succeed in this world. I don't think they posted instructions like this against the label's wishes. Anything that happens within a label is the result of a marketing pow-wow. Some guy in a suit told them to post the instructions to further their rebel image and make them seem even more cool so they'll sell more albums.

    Wealth, fame, and integrity; pick two.
  • by SageLikeFool (547462) on Monday September 19, 2005 @05:27AM (#13594452)
    The following is a list of CD's that I haven't bought in the last few years because (at least here in Canada) they are copy protected CD's.

    Chemical Brothers: The Singles Double CD
    Chemical Brothers: Push the Button
    Fatboy Slim: Palookaville
    K-OS: Joyfull Rebellion
    Massive Attack: 100th Window
    Massive Attack: Danny the Dog Soundtrack
    A Perfect Circle: Emotive
    A Perfect Circle: Thirteen Steps
    Radiohead: Hail to the Theif
    Royksopp: The Understanding

    That is just off the top of my head. There may be more. I know I could probably circumvent the protection with a sharpie, but I prefer to not pay for something that is essentially a broken CD.

    The irony of it is at 15-20 $CDN a disc, the record companies have not only helped me choose to not give them a few hundred bucks but also managed to give me more reason to "pirate" that music all with one idiotic move.

    So what is it they are really trying to protect here? My wallet?

  • It's a (Score:3, Insightful)

    by complex17 (783342) on Monday September 19, 2005 @05:40AM (#13594490)
    stupid idea anyway. The people buying the CDs are the people doing the RIGHT THING; I would say that only a small minority of those who buy/rip a CD will then bother to upload the songs to others via P2P. More importantly, these 'pirates' are going to get the songs off the CD somehow, regardless of copy protection: all copy protection is doing is putting a mild speed-bump in the way of small-time 'pirates' and pissing off the vast majority of people who are doing the right thing.
  • by TractorBarry (788340) on Monday September 19, 2005 @05:42AM (#13594495) Homepage
    Good grief are people STILL allowing autorun on Windows boxes ? Have they learnt nothing from the last ten years ?

    Every single time that anything is allowed to automatically run on Windows (opening email attachments, Word document macros) it's been a source of viruses and other crap. It's a fatally flawed idea.

    So just turn the bloody thing off (Google to find how for your version of Windows) If the CD contains drivers, etc. etc. then the worst you'll have to do is open the disc in Explorer and double click on something yourself. No big deal.

    Then again you could just hold down the shift key when you insert a CD.

    Bah.
  • Publicity? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by gallondr00nk (868673) on Monday September 19, 2005 @05:47AM (#13594511)
    Has anyone considered that this announcment could be made with the full cooperation of Sony? The label wins by having "underground" artists who supposedly don't buy into the corporate ethos - angst and pseudo anti-corporatism generates a lot of sales. Anyone worth their salt would find a way to circumvent copy protection this easy anyway, so the label doesn't really lose out.

      The artist gains from having that warm fuzzy feeling of "speaking out", and generating sales of course. They also have a shared voice with their fans, without lifting a finger.

    I'm not saying they don't care, i'm just saying this could easily be a publicity stunt. It's on /., so it has worked to some extent.

  • The thing is.... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by CastrTroy (595695) on Monday September 19, 2005 @08:42AM (#13595014) Homepage
    The thing is, I've bought a couple CD's with copy protection. Effectiveness of this copy protection is essentially NIL. If you either have CD Autorun disabled, or are using Linux, then you don't even know it's there. Disabling CD autorun is good anyway, why would it want my computer to automatically execute any CD I place in the drive? Basically, all you really need is for 1 person to figure out how to copy the music off the CD, and put it on some P2P network. Then, let the internet do the rest. I wonder if the people paying to put this crap on the CDs are actually aware of how bad it is a stopping piracy, and how good it is at pissing off normal everyday users who just want to copy the music to their mp3 player.
  • by wbren (682133) on Monday September 19, 2005 @11:26AM (#13596150) Homepage
    You or me? Because no matter how much money Sony has paid Switchfoot for its work, they won't have enough to fend off the RIAA lawyers when they get sued for copyright infringement.

    The best analogy I can come up with is this: A Microsoft exployee working on Windows XP discovers that Windows Genuine Advantage is about to be implemented and posts instructions on how to circumvent it. Microsoft is feeding him and his family, Sony is feeding Switchfoot and its members' families. The Microsoft employee and Switchfoot both gave up rights when they signed their respective contracts.

    As stupid and unjust as it may seem, Switchfoot has set themselves up for a major lawsuit.

    Or.... Maybe it's just a conspiracy.

    1. The RIAA told Switchfoot to post the story so they would get sued.
    2. The RIAA sues Switchfoot to "prove" bypassing DRM is illegal.
    3. Switchfoot's lawyers intentionally do a horrible job presenting their case in exchange for an RIAA pay off, and the RIAA wins.
    4. Precendent now says that bypassing the DRM on these discs is illegal.
    5. People are scared to post instructions on bypassing any form of DRM.
    6. Profit!

Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurence of the improbable. - H. L. Mencken

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