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Curse of the Copy-Protected CDs

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An Australian radio station can’t play any of the CD’s recently sent to them by EMI:

    Music companies which use copy protection may be denying the artists under contract to them legitimate play time on radio stations, if the happenings at one outfit are any indication.

    This radio station, which recently received its regular bag of freebies from EMI, finds that it is unable to play any of the CDs it received – the copy protection on the discs gets in the way.

    EMI started issuing the copy-protected CDs in November last year. Many people have complained about them.

    ….The station in question has no standalone CD players, just desktop PCs (all running Windows 2000) and a couple of old Denon CD Cart players.

    “The CD tries to install some files to allow the PC to play the CD but my boss won’t authorise the installation of these files because he has no technical info on the software,” wrote the gentleman who let us know about this.

    “And if we can’t transfer the CD tracks to our digital playout system the CD ain’t going to get any airplay at all!” [The Age]

This may seem fairly esoteric, but I assure the loss of radio play is not a minor issue to the artist or the label promotions staff, and this particular incident reinforces the negative impact of copy-protection in general. People don’t want the freaking hassles of trying to figure this stuff out: the product is diminished when it can’t be easily played on any kind of player. It pisses the hell out of me that I can’t play burned CD’s – of music I have created! – on my DVD player, which is where we have the big booms receiver and 6-speaker set-up. I have to play it on a smaller system elsewhere with no sub-woofer. Pissants.

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About Eric Olsen

  • http://www.sanfordmay.com san

    “It pisses the hell out of me that I can’t play burned CD’s – of music I have created! – on my DVD player…”

    That’s more likely a standards-compliance issue than a copy-protection issue. Some audio players — CD, DVD and game consoles — have trouble with CD-Rs because they either weren’t designed to support them (lots of older players) or the spec was not properly implemented. Some first-generation DVD players won’t even play many of today’s commercially released DVDs.