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New Scientist: SafeDisc can cause damage to speakers

By Signal 11 in MLP
Wed Aug 01, 2001 at 10:37:58 PM EST
Tags: Science (all tags)

New Scientist reports that the new anti-piracy feature on audio CDs (which TheRegister reported today had been cracked), has the potential to damage loudspeakers by introducing square waves into the amplified signal. Although the article does not mention it, many people copy their (legitimately purchased) audio CDs for use in their automobiles, to protect against theft. This raises further questions as to how much damage the industry is willing to cause to consumers to protect their 'property'.


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New Scientist: SafeDisc can cause damage to speakers | 40 comments (39 topical, 1 editorial, 0 hidden)
Implications (4.83 / 6) (#1)
by Signal 11 on Wed Aug 01, 2001 at 05:16:35 PM EST

The implication in the above statement is that some people spend upwards of a thousand dollars on hi-fi audio systems for their cars, and are engaged in fair use of their audio - they could easily destroy thousands of dollars worth of audio equipment for making a legal copy of their music.

Society needs therapy. It's having
trouble accepting itself.
Well, okay but... (2.37 / 8) (#5)
by elenchos on Wed Aug 01, 2001 at 06:06:49 PM EST

I'm trying real hard to feel sorry for the noble audiophiles of the world who bravely spend a grand on their car audio, but then try to save a couple bucks by taping their CDs. They shouldn't have to worry about theft: if they have a car stereo that froopy they invariably have a car alarm too. I know this: the damn things go off constantly whenever they park. Or is it the hardship of carrying the CD from the house to the car and back? I feel your pain. People with two cars must toil like Sisyphus. But whatever, it sounds reasonable and all. It's just that I can't seem to work up a whole lot of sympathy for this horrible injustice.

The corporate media monopolies treat their customers like crap. They abuse them in every way they can think of, yet the customers go on buying their products, but in their bitterness defy the corporation's attempts to copy protect the product. It's really a disfunctional relationship, you know? Why don't they quit buying all that crap from them? Mabye if they did that first I would be more willing to take this "cause" seriously.

Why should anyone care that much about yuppie toys and pop culture entertainment? Is the world really such a paradise that this is the kind of malfeasance that we should get worked up over?

"Who's making personal remarks now?" the Hatter asked triumphantly.
--Alice in Wonderland
[ Parent ]

Not what you think (5.00 / 4) (#6)
by onyxruby on Wed Aug 01, 2001 at 06:22:20 PM EST

It's not a simple matter of trying to save a couple of bucks taping CD's. When you install a heavy duty or high end audio system (easily get's into several thousand dollars) you make your car a natural target for theives. As a result of this, it's more likely to be broken into. Now you can get a special rider that will cover your stereo equipment (assuming it is secured), but there isn't an insurance company that I know of that will cover the cost of replacing CD's. They can't be bolted down, are too hard to account for, are too expensive (typical arrangement of a 48 disc case X $15 dollars = $720), and are completely untraceable if sold in a pawn shop.

You also want to have protection from heat. The inside of a car can easily get hot enought to warp a CD and cause the silk screening of a cd to be permanently removed. Either one of which can potentially destroy a CD. As for alarms that go off constantly, this a side affect of an alarm that has been installed by an incompetent technician. A good alarm won't go off in a stiff breeze. People who spend several grand on a car stereo are also typically people who have a fair amount of music in the house. I wouldn't even want to think about having to buy to set's of disc's for the house and car, the cost would be prohibitive.

The moon is covered with the results of astronomical odds.
[ Parent ]

Oh the humanity! (1.40 / 5) (#8)
by elenchos on Wed Aug 01, 2001 at 06:30:49 PM EST

Just kidding. My give-a-shit muscles still haven't so much as twitched. Got anything else?

"Who's making personal remarks now?" the Hatter asked triumphantly.
--Alice in Wonderland
[ Parent ]

What about the poor ? (4.00 / 2) (#7)
by tomte on Wed Aug 01, 2001 at 06:26:34 PM EST

Than imagine the honest CD-buyer with a low budget who makes a perfectly legal copy to not destroy accidentaly the valued original and blows his $200 stereo, leaving her/him without the opportunity to hear any kind of music at home for month to come.
These things happen, yes, you donīt have to own a computer with a cd-r, a friend with one is enough.
the point is, that itīs not plain injustice, its a crime if someone knowingly destroys your property, whatever it is, and doing it while denying you your damn rights makes it even worse...
Funny. There's a brightness dial on the monitor, but the users don't get any smarter.
[ Parent ]
Impossible. (1.25 / 8) (#9)
by elenchos on Wed Aug 01, 2001 at 06:42:02 PM EST

A guy with only a mere $200 stereo is clearly a loser and therefore would have no friends.

Sure, he could maybe be freinds with someone who doesn't care about such materialistc tokens of status, but then people like that also care about more important things than the freedom to make lots of copies of your corporate pop music.

I agree that it's a crime and Sony and the rest of them treat their customers like so much do-do. I just don't care because, well, what do you expect? These are the same people who gave you Lenny Kravitz and Britney Spears. So yes, this is on my list of Terrible Injustices in the World. It's just that it is somewhere around number five thousand on the list, right after the thing with the six-pack of hot dogs and the eight-pack of hot dog buns.

"Who's making personal remarks now?" the Hatter asked triumphantly.
--Alice in Wonderland
[ Parent ]

[OT] - Stupid manufacturers (5.00 / 4) (#10)
by stuartf on Wed Aug 01, 2001 at 06:59:12 PM EST

It's just that it is somewhere around number five thousand on the list, right after the thing with the six-pack of hot dogs and the eight-pack of hot dog buns.

In New Zealand, a well known brand of washing up liquid sells their product in two sizes - 600 ml & 900 ml. What size do you think the refill containers are?
That's right - 1L. That means until you've used up the last 100ml (minimum) left in the bottom of the refill, you have to balance it carefully under the sink...

[ Parent ]

cheap car, expensive stereo? (4.00 / 2) (#11)
by mikael_j on Wed Aug 01, 2001 at 08:12:04 PM EST

I know a lot of (young) people who have cars that cost them less than $500 who have car stereos worth just as much as the rest of their cars, now these individuals can't afford a $100 car alarm and they probably wouldn't want their record collection stolen since insurance doesn't cover CDs stolen from cars.
These people are prime examples of people who make copies of their CDs just for their cars (I've copied several CDs for a friend since he can't afford a computer (I pointed that out just so that you wouldn't say that since they can obviously afford a computer, the can probably afford a new record collection)).

/Mikael Jacobson
We give a bad name to the internet in general. - Rusty
[ Parent ]
This is getting redundant. (1.66 / 6) (#12)
by elenchos on Wed Aug 01, 2001 at 08:29:23 PM EST

If like an average USian teenager, you operate on the premise that having a bitchin car stereo and corporate pop music to listen to is a fundamental neccessitiy of life, then the economics you describe (for the THIRD time) are pretty reasonable. It does make sense to tape your CDs, since it is onerous to expect anyone, especially the poor, by God, to carry compact disks back and forth from house to car. And yes, it is terrible that these swine would damage your equipment with their copy protection.

The question is, why should anyone else give a fuck? You're hooked on Eminem and Randy Travis music. They serve up that swill and you choose to buy it to the tune of fifteen bucks a CD, and now they've found a new way to screw you twice. I'm sorry. It sucks. They really are bastards.

I see people who steadfastly claim that selfishness is a virture and who proudly declare their total unwillingness to do jack squat for anyone else, and instead present the most specious arguments that the miserable masses of the world are miserable because of their own defects and foolishness. And now I'll be damned if the same white male punk-ass whiners (Signal 11) haven't turned around and tried to beg sympathy for their silly, childish cause.

Yes, you want your entertainment, and by God you deserve it, you really, really do. Just don't expect me to bother to try to help you get it. Help yourselves.

That's all I've been saying.

"Who's making personal remarks now?" the Hatter asked triumphantly.
--Alice in Wonderland
[ Parent ]

Hmmm... That's an interesting point of view. (4.33 / 3) (#13)
by Aphexian on Wed Aug 01, 2001 at 08:51:39 PM EST

I've just read the above story and comments, and I don't think anyone expected YOU "to bother to try" and do a god-damned thing.

Except maybe feel bad...And you said you were trying real hard to do that, so I'll let that slide.

Now onto the issue at hand...
I have two cars, very expensive stereo systems in each, and a very expensive system in my house. Do I think that makes me a yuppie? I could care less. I don't think that's the point, and your detraction from the point has served its purpose well. Now let's just cut that crap okay?

As far as me not being able to copy a cd I legally bought and keep one copy in the cd jukebox in the front room and the other in my car without destroying my speakers - Yep, that bites. No matter how you slice it and dice it.
As a consumer, I expect a product to function in the manner it was intended.

That means laundry detergent shouldn't kill my washing machine, and cd's shouldn't destroy my speakers.
Now (and I hear the engines revv'ing) if I use such a detergent in a manner inconsistent with its labeling will it damage my washer? Possibly - that's my dumb yuppie fault.

These cd's are not advertised in a manner which allows me to differentiate them from cd's that I was previously (legally in my estimation) copying.

[ Parent ]
Why do you want me to know this? (1.00 / 5) (#15)
by elenchos on Wed Aug 01, 2001 at 09:19:37 PM EST

If you don't care what I think, why are you telling me about your cars and your stereo systems? What is the point of that? That is your idea of "cutting the crap?"

Do you want me to raise the priority of this issue from 5,000 to 4,999? I guess it is in some ways more important to me than the mismatched numbers of hot dogs and hot dog buns. So be it. After the other 4,998 more important things in the world have been addressed, I will give this one my full attention. Is that all you want?

Or what? I mean, we've all agreed from the beginning that this is a raw deal, and that the ones you buy your stuff from are really screwing you royally. I agree with all that; I simply ask why I should care. Some people seem unhappy that I would ask why, and so I explained why I don't care. Now you seem unhappy with me still, and I don't know what you want from me. Take it up with the ones selling you your CDs. Wait a couple months for them to merge again and you'll only have one corporation to deal with instead of the current five. But whatever you all decide to do, I don't see any reason for you to be offended that I don't care about this horrible crime against your right to copy CDs. If it doesn't bother you that I'm shedding no tears over this, then what is the point of this conversation?

"Who's making personal remarks now?" the Hatter asked triumphantly.
--Alice in Wonderland
[ Parent ]

Very enlightening. (4.66 / 3) (#16)
by Aphexian on Wed Aug 01, 2001 at 09:29:51 PM EST

  • Me: "I've just read the above story and comments, and I don't think anyone asked YOU to do a god-damned thing"

  • You: "and I don't know what you want from me"

    You could try reading closer.

  • You: "Take it up with the ones selling you your CDs."

    I would picture this as a forum for us to discuss that. Not listen to you drag on for 1/2 a page about how much you truly don't care. You obviously care enough to hit Post.

[ Parent ]
Oh *this*! I love this! (1.00 / 5) (#17)
by elenchos on Wed Aug 01, 2001 at 10:00:34 PM EST

The thing I don't care about is that they are blowing up car stereos as a form of copy protection. But posting comments on K5 about it? I care about it a lot. That is simply good sport and I get a lot of pleasure out of this. I care about doing this to a very great extent, much more than just enough to hit "post."

On the surface, it sounds like nothing. The music fans discover this dirty trick, and get in a tizzy. I interject that I don't think anyone else has any reason to care. Now you would expect they would just ignore me, because they care and they have each other right? But no!

It pisses them off that I don't care. Why? I shouldn't speculate, but I will in just a second here. The fun comes in watching them get pissed off. They rant, they equivocate, they squirm, and they bluster. They even threaten (on my really good days), and if all else fails, they inarticulately mod me down. It takes a certain kind of person to bite like that, and that certain kind of person is someone I really enjoy bothering. And they do it to themselves!

Here's where I speculate as to why: We have here a guy who's self-esteem is teetering precariously atop a pile of stuff: mostly consumer goods, a few financial instruments, and a pinch of "status" at the workplace. This is what this guy thinks he is made of, this pile of stuff, and he needs very much for other people to admire all of it. He doesn't have much else than these goods, and he is naturally very protective. And someone like me comes along and totally disrespects it.

Not only am I not impressed with the stuff, I don't care about the welfare of the stuff. When one of the corporations that sells the stuff insidiously catches our materialist friend in a double-bind, holding his car stereo (a penis substitute, if you really want to know what I think) hostage against his CDs, well to the mind of our consumer-goods addict, they have him by the balls! And it is sooooo unfair!

Then we have a massive element of jealously, because here all those AIDS victims and hungry children and various huddled masses have been getting all this aid and sympathy from the world, in response to the injustice perpetrated against them, and finally, a chance for our materialist friend (whom no one ever feels sorry for) to get some sympathy too. Look! I'm a victim too! I'm just like those African babies that Nestle gave that deadly un-nourishing formula to! They are profiting by selling me a defective, even dangerous product! Help!

And no sympathy comes. Ooooh! That is so unfair!

You're right, OK? It is unfair. You are getting screwed. And still, I don't have the time so cry one tear for you. But oh, yes, indeed, I do have the time to mock your deluded hubris, and your self-pity. I think it is fun to bring into relief this childish fishing for compassion, this need for approval and motherly attention. I like to demonstrate what a bankrupt moral philosophy is behind it all, and what a weak and needy kind of person runs around crying for mommy to be on their side, yet like a little brat will not give up a thing for the less fortunate.

That is my game. It's fun and I don't think I'll ever run out of targets. Any more questions?

"Who's making personal remarks now?" the Hatter asked triumphantly.
--Alice in Wonderland
[ Parent ]

Congratuations (3.20 / 5) (#20)
by cameldrv on Thu Aug 02, 2001 at 04:41:16 AM EST

You have substituted one prepackaged worldview for another. Instead of spending your money on Britney Spears CDs, you spend it on Adbusters magazine. You and a million other unique snowflakes.

[ Parent ]
if only (3.33 / 3) (#25)
by samth on Thu Aug 02, 2001 at 11:18:23 AM EST

If everyone who bought Britney got Adbusters instead, the world would be a much happier place.

Given a choice between Libertarianism and ravenous martian spores, I ask you, do I look good in this Bernaise sauce? -- eLuddite
[ Parent ]
For you maybe (4.00 / 3) (#26)
by cameldrv on Thu Aug 02, 2001 at 11:44:23 AM EST

While the stuff in that magazine does have a certain appeal when one first sees it, and certainly most people put too high a value on material goods, most of the articles are paragons of poor logic, inflated claims, and scare tactics. Furthermore, Adbusters tells you to to express your individuality by going to anti-WTO rallies with 100,000 other people, and buying best-seller books. After receiving the umpteenth email from those guys telling me to buy Culture Jam, or the corporate america flag at only 24.95 for a limted time, all I could do is shake my head.

Ultimately, no one can be completely objective qua their culture. Perhaps reading Adbusters takes you a step closer than People, but not nearly as closely as living in a foreign country, going off into the woods, or any number of other things. Finding truth is an iterative process. Just because you're up the ladder a rung or two from the average joe doesn't give you the right to sit there and feel smug. There is always someone who is ten rungs above you.

[ Parent ]

uhh (3.50 / 2) (#31)
by samth on Thu Aug 02, 2001 at 02:08:36 PM EST

Your claim seems to be that while Adbusters is good, other things are better, so we should all do nothing. That could only be characterized as dumb.

Given a choice between Libertarianism and ravenous martian spores, I ask you, do I look good in this Bernaise sauce? -- eLuddite
[ Parent ]
You are sort of right. (4.00 / 2) (#33)
by elenchos on Thu Aug 02, 2001 at 03:10:57 PM EST

If I were after Truth, then this stereotyping will not get me anywhere. But the question was put to me regarding what my purpose was in these postings. I was trying to explain why I enjoy this so much.

You would think with a stereotype that commonplace, that flat and lifeless, that no one could take it seriously. Obviously there just can't be any human alive who is that much of a cartoon character. But (and here is another main fountain of my entertainment) is seems like just about every time you set out one of these straw men, some clown will rush to the front an shout "Me! Me! I'll be that stereotype!" And they proceed to do everything they can to embody to the last detail the "yuppie consumer" or the "angry white male" or whatever it is this time. It's like they can't resist. Why is that?

Because of a little grain of truth in there somewhere? And that little truth possibly can point us to Truth? Could be. I don't actually know. I just get a kick out of it, that's all.

Your other thing is something about those who reject corporate mass culture become conformists themselves with things like, in your example, Adbusters magazine. My criticism of the materialistic consumer life is that it is hollow, that your identity and self-esteem are horribly fragile because they depend on an ever-changing standard of what you must own to be with it, and because it depends so much on the approval of others. This is not the same as criticizing a large group who have a lot in common. If they are authentic people, exploring the potential of their lives in an honest and free way, who cares if they happen to be a lot alike? Even if they are nothing but imitators, and don't think for themselves at all, if what they are imitating has real value (something a stereo or a car does not have) then I have no problem with it. If people were to mindlessly conform to a model of genuine human kindness and decency, rather than gluttony and selfishness, I'd not complain a bit.

And then even that reply accepts the fallacy that if you turn from one extreme you must therefore end up in the opposite one. This is also the basis for the silly claim that if I find complaints about CDs to be a trivial issue compared with the real suffering in the world, I must therefore sell my computer and everything else and give it to the poor or something. We call this the fallacy of the excluded middle.

So, still, I don't see the problem. Is it not a fact that boobytrapped CDs are a relativly minor injustice? That's all I'm saying. If someone wants to take that and make an ass of himself bragging about his two cars and whining about his taxes, apropos of nothing, am I so wrong in enjoying it?

Hey! Read this. That is all.
[ Parent ]

At first (3.00 / 3) (#21)
by Aphexian on Thu Aug 02, 2001 at 07:05:45 AM EST

I really thought you had got me. Pinned me right down as the hubris infected yuppie piece of scum that I am.

Then I got to this part...
"Then we have a massive element of jealously, because here all those AIDS victims and hungry children and various huddled masses have been getting all this aid and sympathy from the world, in response to the injustice perpetrated against them"

And realized, in our own ways, we are the same! See I don't care about these silly-assed causes you dedicate YOUR fingers to. I say fingers because, well god knows you really should have sold your computer a long time ago to help out just one of the causes you so innocently stand for. Or innocently stand by and watch, just like ME!

:-) Oh joy.
I guess secondly we're the same because we both like to hit post. Of course, my pride rides upon my ability to do it, so at least I don't have to feel guilty enough to rail against others like me. Maybe that's the only place you and I are different.

[ Parent ]
Oops (4.00 / 3) (#22)
by Aphexian on Thu Aug 02, 2001 at 07:15:54 AM EST

My fault, should've done my homework. It appears as though tax money pays for your computer usage. Well, how about we put the anecdote on hold until classes are out?

[ Parent ]
I actually think there is a difference. (2.00 / 2) (#27)
by elenchos on Thu Aug 02, 2001 at 12:21:52 PM EST

Damage to your stereo is absolutely unjust, as we all agree, but somehow in the broader scale of human suffereing, it seems different than hundreds of other causes that beg our attention continually.

What are the differences? Well, there is no actual human health or life involved. CDs and stereos are just easy entertainment, after all. And there is the question of whether you need any help or not. Shouldn't the CD buying public be able to handle this for themselves? Do you need anyone to intervene on your behalf? If nothing else you could just not buy the CDs and no harm would be done. It's a little like your favorite brand of snack food has decided to put only half as much in each package for the same price. Yes, a pity, but not much of a pity, all things considered.

So is there a problem? Go fight your crusade against screwed up CDs. You don't want or need anything from me, and you don't care what I think. It's all good.

That other business about feeling guilty and you being overtaxed and me somehow being involoved in that has me utterly confused. Was there an important point anywhere in that?

"Who's making personal remarks now?" the Hatter asked triumphantly.
--Alice in Wonderland
[ Parent ]

la princesa law now invoked! (4.00 / 3) (#34)
by maynard on Thu Aug 02, 2001 at 04:06:49 PM EST

Remember that submission you voted against this morning "Why Postmodernism and Online Communication Suck?"???

As per my comment regarding that submission, I now invoke a new K5 corollary to Godwin's law, la princesa's law, and hereby kill this thread. That submission may have died an unjust death (IMO), but in martyrdom we learn the truth of la princesa's enterprise. Here we have a perfect example of arguments over nothing (less nothing even than Seinfeld). You're quite good at the game of arguing over nothing, elenchos. But, unfortunately, it's sophistry just the same. You haven't presented a coherent position -- instead you've self righteously attacked yet another K5 member and alienated a whole slew of others. And for what? Do you think this thread promotes your position against fair use provisions in copyright law?

Your complaints of unfair ratings ring hallow. IMO you deserve these comment ratings. It's not bias against you personally, it's really because of your obnoxious posts. I stand by the 1's I've been giving you today, and previously. I suggest you come back here and reread this thread again in a month or so for a more objective opinion of the contentless crud you've been posting to K5.


ps -- Betcha two bits you reply...

Read The Proxies, a short crime thriller.
[ Parent ]

I don't care what you invoke. (1.00 / 2) (#35)
by elenchos on Thu Aug 02, 2001 at 04:33:16 PM EST

Why should I care about you invoking some "law?" You are seriously deluded. You and your clique can make up whatever grade-school rules you want. It would certainly fit with the crappy way you like to rate comments. Does it bother you that your fuckhead moderation hasn't made me change what I say, or when I choose to post? Do you think this will stop me?

I don't give a fuck about Godwin's Law, either, in case you haven't noticed, you fucking Nazi. If there is anyone who cares to reply to me, and they don't bore me, I'll have something to say back. Your worthless opinions and base prejudices, your meaningless ratings and certainly your pathetic little rules you make up will not change that at all. If this is all a ploy to get me to read whatever crap you posted on that boring story, forget it. Before I follow that link I want some evidence that it isn't just as dull as everything else you write.

If what I post is of such little value, why do you sit there and read it? Why don't you go read all the fine useful and valuable content that others are posting instead of following me around? You must be getting something you want out of this. It's too bad I can't charge money for keeping you entertained. You actually pay attention to how I vote on dead stories? Man. Go outside for a while, get some air and some sun, OK? You really need it.

Hey! Read this. That is all.
[ Parent ]

Good thing too! (none / 0) (#39)
by AndyL on Sat Aug 04, 2001 at 05:05:28 AM EST

Good thing they've got that car alarm! Now no one will steal thier stuff!

[ Parent ]
Not SafeDisc (4.66 / 12) (#2)
by apocryphile on Wed Aug 01, 2001 at 05:32:39 PM EST

The NewScientist article refers to the 'Cactus Data Shield' which is intended as a competitor for SafeDisc.

Of course, SafeDisc still sucks, this just sucks more.

patent (4.20 / 5) (#3)
by UFOHoaxer on Wed Aug 01, 2001 at 05:50:01 PM EST

Here is the patent referenced in the article. One interesting tidbit:


Measures currently known or proposed in the art for preventing the unauthorized duplication of compact discs are generally limited to marking compact discs in order to identify a counterfeit copy and trace it back to its point of origin. The primary disadvantage of such measures is that they provide no technical deterrent to duplicating compact discs.

The disclosures of all publications mentioned in this specification and of the publications cited therein are hereby incorporated by reference.


The present invention seeks to provide novel methods and apparatus for recording audio data onto a compact disc so as to discourage unauthorized duplication thereof which overcomes the known disadvantage of the prior art as discussed above.
I'm sure others would be interested in the rest.

This is Rediculous (4.00 / 6) (#4)
by impto on Wed Aug 01, 2001 at 05:50:18 PM EST

They know that it can cause damage to a consumer's system.

They don't tell consumers what CD's have this copy protection.

So what happens when Joe Schoe who doesn't have an internet connection and has no idea this is going on and uses his phillips disc to disc copier to copy discs to keep from scratching his originals (can anyone say fair use) and ends up blowing his USD$2000 speakers because of this he of something Sony and Midbar already knew about.

Can he sue?

Not to mention the fact that they are throwing random crap into a perfectly good CD.

I just don't get it....

"AOL's actions are unprecedented and completely anti-consumer," said Microsoft spokesman Vivek Varma. "AOL is paying [computer makers] to eliminate consumer choice, forcing people to select the most expensive service in the industry."

Laughable (2.50 / 4) (#23)
by retinaburn on Thu Aug 02, 2001 at 08:16:47 AM EST

Can he sue?

Of course you cannot sue. Legally you are breaking the law whether you agree with said law or or not.

If I bought a box of cake mix and in the process of making it added rat poison and then fed said cake mix to my family can they sue the cake manufacturer. Nope. You are using the product outside of the intent.

What if I bought some shmancy fancy speaker wire for my kick-ass car stereo but then had to strip off the coating to fit it through nooks and crannies in my car. A while later my car bursts into flames caused by the now faulty wiring...guess what no case.

Note: No case doesn't mean you will lose though, god bless lawyers.

I think that we are a young species that often fucks with things we don't know how to unfuck. -- Tycho

[ Parent ]
Complex case... (4.00 / 2) (#24)
by simon farnz on Thu Aug 02, 2001 at 09:06:16 AM EST

Don't forget that acts can be declared legal (if not expressly forbidden in advance) on the grounds that they have been tolerated in the past, and they stay within the spirit of the law. CD copying for personal use could conceivably (sic) fall in this category, provided restrictions like only one copy in use at a time were imposed.

Also, the system ignores the issue of older CD players. Up until very recently, I used an old CD player that would play any information as audio, whether marked as such or not; I could certainly sue the record company if they damaged my speakers when I played a protected CD on that player.
If guns are outlawed, only outlaws have guns
[ Parent ]

Fair Use (3.50 / 2) (#32)
by impto on Thu Aug 02, 2001 at 02:58:41 PM EST

Putting Rat Poison in my cake mix is just not good sense.

Trying to make a fair use copy of my CD's so that my investment (the original disc) is protected does make good sense and has been allowed in the past. Examples of VHS recordings and Software can be noted although I cannot give exact links.

My point, which I guess I did not exactly hit upon, is that when he does sue (and hopefully he will) are we going to see some federal judge deciding what is and is not fair use in the digital era. This could be a way to attack the wait for it.....wait for it.....DMCA.

Just a thought...perhaps not a very good one.

"AOL's actions are unprecedented and completely anti-consumer," said Microsoft spokesman Vivek Varma. "AOL is paying [computer makers] to eliminate consumer choice, forcing people to select the most expensive service in the industry."

[ Parent ]

I do copy my CDs for my car (4.28 / 7) (#18)
by xrayspx on Wed Aug 01, 2001 at 10:46:46 PM EST

Because CDs are expensive. If you put a booklet of CDs in your car, they will get destroyed, eventually. From excessive heat, scratches, beach sand, rottweiler paws/teeth, etc. It is much safer to have all the originals sitting at home in a nice safe jewel case on a small rack in an unpopular corner of the room.

I also have a car CD player that plays MP3. So what if I want to rip all my CDs and put them in separate directories so I don't have to shuffle through a booklet of discs and go off the road dying in a blaze of glory? I deserve to have my speakers destroyed for me? Eek., I think that sounds a bit harsh.

"I see one maggot, it all gets thrown away" -- My Wife
Economics of Copy Protection (5.00 / 4) (#19)
by Logan on Thu Aug 02, 2001 at 12:33:52 AM EST

The RIAA itself claims1:
A typical music fan who buys a CD might use that CD at home, take that CD in the car, make a tape of that CD, - or using it as part of a compilation, play that CD with friends and for friends, and keep that CD for many years. That's probably why most consumers, when asked, describe CDs as a good value.
This basically implies that the RIAA is aware that most of what makes a CD valuable is the ability to produce high quality copies of it. When you play the CD, you expect to get a high quality copy of the audio and send it to your speakers. When you copy it to disk or another CD, you also expect to get a high quality. So even though many people complain about the price of CDs, $18 or so isn't too incredibly unreasonable.

So why are they proposing these crude copy protection schemes? There seems to be no evidence pointing to piracy as causing revenue loss (in fact, there seems to be evidence of the opposite). I don't understand why anybody would desire to take such a drastic, heavy-handed step just to attempt to curb piracy. People pay premium prices for CDs, instead of buying cheaper tapes, precisely because of the ease of obtaining a high quality copy from a CD. These copy protection schemes completely destroy this ease of copying, and thus destroys the qualities that make a CD so valuable in the first place. There is no way that implementing such a scheme on a wide scale could result in anything other than massive revenue loss. They need to wake up to the bottom line and see that enforcing their dubious principles (such as "piracy is immoral") is less profitable than being reasonable with the customer.

The record industry is attempting to justify high prices on one hand by praising the high value of CDs, while on the other hand attempting to destroy this value. If the record industry expects me to not make high quality copies of the CDs I buy, then I expect to pay only $5-$10 for a new CD. Anything more is not worth it. I have plenty of old-yet-pristine music to listen to.


1Source: http://www.riaa.com/MD-US-7.cfm

You have _got_ to be kidding... (4.00 / 1) (#36)
by taruntius on Thu Aug 02, 2001 at 06:03:48 PM EST

People pay premium prices for CDs, instead of buying cheaper tapes, precisely because of the ease of obtaining a high quality copy from a CD.

That's insane. Or at least, I don't buy CDs because of the ease of high-quality copying. I dumped my tape collection and converted it to CD (at, I'm sure I don't need to tell you, considerable cost) because I was sick and f***ing tired of playing Russian Roulette every time I wanted to play a tape. Tapes are, I'll admit, easily portable and housed inside a pretty darned durable casing, but the media itself was way too fragile.

After one too many times of having my favorite tape eaten, it was just too much so I switched to CDs. Despite the fact that CDs are slightly bulkier than tapes (since CDs pretty much have to be transported in their jewel cases, where as an unprotected cassette tape can be tossed in your purse or pocket without much worry) I have yet to have a CD eaten in a CD player, nor have I ever heard of anyone having that happen.

Bottom line is that copyability had absolutely nothing to do with why I started (and continue to) buy CDs. CDs are just plain more durable inside of the playback device than tapes are. It's certainly convenient that CDs have all this nice digital data on them that works so well in computers, but that's really just an incidental, implementation detail that has little bearing on my own reasons for preferring CDs.

--Believing I had supernatural powers I slammed into a brick wall.
[ Parent ]
You Are Mistaken (4.00 / 2) (#37)
by Logan on Thu Aug 02, 2001 at 07:10:46 PM EST

The degradability of cassette tapes is an example of low quality copying. When you play a cassette tape, you're "copying" it to an output device. When you play a CD, you're "copying" it to an output device. In my post, I meant to include this concept as well as that of making backup copies. I'm sorry if this was not clear.

Besides, you can always copy a tape to CD. :P


[ Parent ]

Damage Hearing, as well. Lawsuits. (4.00 / 3) (#28)
by 2400n81 on Thu Aug 02, 2001 at 12:40:00 PM EST

What can damage the speakers of audio equipment by using amplified signals can also potentially damage the eardrums of the people listening to it.

One good high-level lawsuit and a punitive damages fine later ("May it please the court that no amount of money can return Little Timmy's hearing"), let's see how the tone changes.

Hearing damage unlikely (4.66 / 3) (#29)
by simon farnz on Thu Aug 02, 2001 at 12:56:34 PM EST

The square wave causes the speaker to tear as the highest frequencies, although low powered, cause the stresses on the cone to exceed the strength of the material. Unless the volume is high enough to cause damage to hearing anyway, your eardrums are unlikely to tear, as the frequencies that cause tearing are attentuated very strongly in air.
If guns are outlawed, only outlaws have guns
[ Parent ]
What about headsets? (4.00 / 1) (#38)
by AndyL on Sat Aug 04, 2001 at 04:58:00 AM EST

Specificaly those tiny little inside-the-ear ones that Sony makes that sound so good. (Compared to other headsets of similer portability.) I'm not even completly sure how they work. Do they touch the ear-drum or something? -Andy

[ Parent ]
Heading outside my realm of understanding... (none / 0) (#40)
by simon farnz on Mon Aug 06, 2001 at 06:39:47 AM EST

... however, I believe that those earphones sound good because they channel the sound appropriately; I believe that their cones also attenuate the extreme HF very strongly, and so again you would need significant volume to damage your ears. You might have a claim for increasing the damage done to your hearing, but IANAL.

Anyone here able to correct me?
If guns are outlawed, only outlaws have guns
[ Parent ]

It can be cracked (4.50 / 2) (#30)
by isdnip on Thu Aug 02, 2001 at 02:02:19 PM EST

The patent shows how it works. Normally, disk copiers ignore the P channel, but players don't. Well, update the copying software! The People just have to keep their CD device drivers one step ahead of the copy protectors. Since this is done within fair use, it should not be prosecuted as DMCA violation, though of course somebody might try. So don't post the new drivers from a USA server.

New Scientist: SafeDisc can cause damage to speakers | 40 comments (39 topical, 1 editorial, 0 hidden)
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