Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Foo Fighters - In Your Honor - Copy Protection

So I picked up the latest Foo Fighters release In Your Honor yesterday at the local Tower. I opened the cd and then looked at the front to realize that this cd has copy protection to prevent unauthorized duplication. Basically it requires you use Windows Media Player to transfer files to your portable player. Only problem is that the ipod, the player with upwards of 75% of the portable market, is not supported by Windows Media. As a matter of fact, if you are a mac user, there is no Windows Media player that supports DRM.

Turns out that you can use this cd on your Macintosh no problem. If you're a Windows user, not so easy - you have to copy the cd to Windows Media Player, burn an audio cd, then import that audio cd to itunes. Nice.

The reason I even mention all of this is so that I can ask this question: who is RCA to tell me how I can listen to my music? I did not steal this cd - I paid my $12.99 for it but yet I'm being treated as a thief. So there are ways around the copy protection, I shouldn't have any obstacles in order to listen.

I did get an email from the creator of the copy protection, Sunncomm, that gave me directions on how to install the music to itunes, and then asked me to ask Apple to support their efforts. Question - who's the fly on who's ass here? Shouldn't Sunncomm have to adjust for 75% of the portable market, not the other way around.

The music industry is so out of touch with reality. For every obstacle, there are a dozen ways around it. Instead of putting up barriers, why not work with consumers and make things easier for them in a way that allows them to profit? Nah - that's a language they don't understand. My suggestion, don't buy this cd - that they understand. If you must have it, get it off of limewire. Maybe then they'll understand.


Merujo said...

The Washington Post just ran a very interesting article yesterday about how the new anti-burning/ anti-copying/ anti-piracy software is going to kill the tradition of the "mix cd". Grrr.

Michael Amor Righi said...

To make things worse, RCA/Sony BMG's DRM software is basically impossible to remove from a Windows computer.

In fact, it would appear that the only way to totally remove their software once it’s been installed is to format your hard drive. I shared my experience with this problem here: Use Sony DRM, Format Your Hard Drive

Anonymous said...

I have a Hoodoo Gurus CD that also has copy protection. To circumvent this, you can copy the CD using Exact Audio Copy, which will skip the bad data areas and eventually give you a clean CD. No need to go to Windows Media and then back!

Of course, the copy protections might be slightly different but in general the way it's most prevalent is to include "scratches" in the data stream that an audio CD player processes as part of its error processing circuitry. PC CD players of course see this data and give you hiccups. You should be able to play the CD in winamp and hear the fake glitches.