John Borland writes in CNET:
- “From our perspective, CD copy protection is unfortunately not as good as we’d all like it to be,” said Christa Haussler, vice president of new technology at music label BMG Entertainment.
Though the labels are slowing their drive for the technological locks, their desire for them has not diminished. Earlier this week, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) reported that CD shipments dropped 7 percent during the first half of 2002 compared with the previous year. The organization blamed the drop on music downloading and CD copying.
….in the United States, the largest consumer market in the world, the silence on the issue is increasingly conspicuous. Universal Music, whose executives led the industry last year by saying they would copy-protect a significant proportion of their discs by this summer, has had only three relatively small releases.
Universal declines to discuss its strategy in detail, other than to provide a stock statement noting it is still investigating the technology.
“The integration of copy-protection technology into some of our CDs is a first step in measuring its effectiveness in a quickly evolving marketplace,” the company’s statement says. “We have not finalized our plans for 2002, nor have we made a commitment to put copy protection on all of our CD releases.”
Others, such as BMG, are more blunt. Labels are leery of the consumer backlash that met even the first whispers of copy protection. Headlines since have not been friendly; reports have focused on cases where copy-protected CDs couldn’t be played in PCs, in DVD players and PlayStation game machines and on suggestions they might even damage Apple Computer products.
….Record companies would like to have perfect playability along with perfect protection. That’s impossible, says Noam Zur, vice president of sales and marketing for Midbar. However, an acceptable compromise between playability and protection has been reached, he says.
“The number of complaints we get is negligible,” Zur said. “I think the products are mature.”
Macrovision, the U.S. company that is expanding from protecting videotapes and DVDs into music copy protection, says that consumers have to be given benefits along with the copy-blocking. Like its rivals, it is creating ways to put digital music files on CDs in a format that can be transferred to computers or MP3 players, along with video files, Web links or other add-ons.