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.