Euro consumer group sues record labels over copy protection:
- A European consumer watchdog body is suing the world’s largest music companies for selling copy-protected compact discs that won’t play on car stereos and computers, the Belgium-based organization said on Monday.
The group, known in Dutch as Test-Aankoop and in French as Test-Achats, said it has received more than 200 complaints from consumers who objected to a technology that prevents consumers from making a back-up version on a blank disc and limits playback on certain devices.
Industry observers believe Test-Aankoop’s suit is the biggest European legal challenge yet to the music industry’s controversial campaign to release copy-protected discs, to minimize the impact that digital piracy is having on sales.
….The group said it wants the labels to end the practice of issuing protected discs and to reimburse customers.
“We are trying to establish legal precedent in this matter. Then we expect other consumer organizations will follow,” said Mechels Ivo, a spokesman for the group.
Since introducing copy-protection technology two years ago — typically by embedding a layer of data on the rings of a compact disc that prevents playback on all but a home stereo or portable hi-fi device — the music industry has been hit with torrents of criticism from individual consumers.
The question of whether consumers are entitled to make back-up copies of music they buy has also become a heated legal debate.
….Test-Aankoop said it had contacted industry trade group the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) in the autumn about the consumer concerns.
The IFPI on Monday called the suit baseless. “European law is clear that record companies and other copyright holders have the right to protect their works through technical means,” the trade group said in a statement. [Reuters]
They are making an intentionally faulty product – there is no way around it.