Ready Aim Fire Ouch

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Copy-protected CDs may be headed to US in bulk:

    In a research note published Friday, J.P. Morgan analyst Sterling Auty said that Arista Records, a subsidiary of BMG Music, appeared to be moving to market with CD copy-protection technology produced by SunnComm Technologies.

    “We expect volume shipments of protected CDs to ship commercially in the U.S. as early as the May-June time frame using the SunnComm solution,” Auty wrote. “This will be the first major step in the growth of the CD audio protection market.”

    Record labels have been experimenting with compact disc copy-protection technology for close to two years now, but other early indications that mass-market release was close have proven premature. Labels in Europe and Asia have begun releasing scattered tests, but U.S. trials have remained largely limited to advance and promotional CDs.

    A spokesman for BMG Music said his company’s corporate policy, which would affect Arista, has not changed in any way. “We are conducting trials only, and we have not announced any plans to go to market with copy-protected CDs,” BMG spokesman Nathaniel Brown said.

    ….previous versions of the antipiracy technologies from SunnComm, Macrovision and others have proven flawed. CDs protected with the technology have been unable to play in some CD players or computers, potentially even damaging some machines. Hackers have been able to break through much of the protection technologies using techniques as simple as drawing on the CD with a felt-tipped pen. [CNET]

Consumer-friendly? Hardly – this will further alienate and just plain piss off consumers who have a TOTALLY LEGITIMATE RIGHT TO MAKE BACK-UP COPIES OF THEIR CDs. This may further force the issue of modifying the DMCA, which prohibits circumventing copy-protection technology – a wretched absurdity and anti-consumer embarrassment.

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About Eric Olsen

Career media professional and serial entrepreneur Eric Olsen flung himself into the paranormal world in 2012, creating the America's Most Haunted brand and co-authoring the award-winning America's Most Haunted book, published by Berkley/Penguin in Sept, 2014. Olsen is co-host of the nationally syndicated broadcast and Internet radio talk show After Hours AM; his entertaining and informative America's Most Haunted website and social media outlets are must-reads: Twitter@amhaunted,, Pinterest America's Most Haunted. Olsen is also guitarist/singer for popular and wildly eclectic Cleveland cover band The Props.
  • i’m with you Theory. i got home from that Leo Kottke show last night and put on some nice Guy Van Duser fingerstyle guitar….on lp. sounds nice.

    as far as copy protection goes…it’s so damned funny. can’t wait until all of the protected cds go out and somebody either cracks the protection…or better yet just uses a danged microphone to record the thing straight into mp3. heh…

  • Tom

    You know, I have been a big supporter of artists getting their fair share. I buy music and I encourage people I know to buy music instead of download it. But if this is the kind of treatment the industry wants to give to us, then fine – I will join the ranks of those who won’t pay for CDs. This “copy protection” prevents me from listening to music in the only two environments – my car and my computer. I don’t even own a home stereo on which to play these CDs.

    The worst part about this is that the only people the industry will be punishing is people like me – those who BUY CDs instead of download them. They still have not accomplished the task of punishing the people who are “stealing” the music, only those who choose to support their favorite artists. It makes me sick. For 15 years I have spent uncountable thousands of dollars on music. That will come to an end if this plan comes to fruition.

    (I’d also like to see how if the record companies attempt to slap the “Compact Disc” logo on these copy-protected CDs. According to Phillips, who developed CD media, a true compact disc is playable in all units branded with the logo as well. If they won’t play in every type of unit, they are not Compact Discs and therefore cannot be labeled as such.)

  • The Theory

    this is why we need to go back to vinyl. Yup, that’s right. Break out the good ol’ record players.


  • Perry Perdis

    This is pathetic. As a Metallica fan i say Lars should stop whining and talk to his accountant then shut his yap. My CD buying habits have changed since this whole thing started. From a consumer/fan point of view (as we all are) music is not something to be hoarded and held hostage.
    Copy protection? What a joke. If these people think that copy protection will stop sharing they need to go to their therapists and work on their control issues some more. At the peak of my CD buying i was spending a minimum of $500 a year.
    Ever since this copy protection trash started i’ve spent less than $100 in 2 years. The only ones that will be suffering in the long run will be the musicians. If copy protection is launched the way the DMCA wants to they will find themselves launched out of existence shortly afterwards.

  • well,well,well….can’t wait to see their explanation for the drop in cd sales that will occur after they release this mess on the u.s. market!