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[P]
Copy-controlled CDs: Is the end in sight?

By uazu in Technology
Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 02:46:46 AM EST
Tags: Music (all tags)
Music

Copy-controlled CDs have become the bane of many music-lovers' lives, especially in continental Europe. They deny fair use and cause playback problems on a wide range of common devices. A class action lawsuit has temporarily held back the flood in the US, and an active campaign in the UK has had some effect there, but still record companies continue to push forward with their plans for universal use of these formats. However, there is a weak point in their plans -- the losing battle that the copy-controlled format designers face trying to keep their discs one step ahead of computer CD-ROM drives.

Jim Peters of the UK Campaign for Digital Rights assesses the situation.


The introduction of 'copy control'

From the very first time that I heard about the notion of "copy controlled CDs" (or "copy-protected CDs" as they were known at that time), it was clear that this was a bad idea. The basis of the technique is the observation that computer CD-ROM drives are generally cleverer than simple CD players and are more likely to notice errors on the disc. By putting intentionally bad or misleading data onto a disc, it was found that it was possible to confuse most computers but still have the majority of normal CD players play the disc apparently without problem.

Notice that I say 'most' and 'majority' -- with such an approximate measure as adding intentional errors to confuse a certain proportion of drives, a 100% clear-cut separation could never be achieved even in principle. Indeed, from the very start there were reports of playback problems on car CD players and high-end domestic players, and many of the supposedly-blocked computer drives could access the audio without difficulty.

Yet despite this failure to achieve a useful result, the copy-control companies continued to promote their product as a viable solution to the record industry's perceived problems. The difficulties caused to normal CD players and the poor coverage of computer drives were claimed as merely teething troubles, and the consumer was asked to be patient whilst they 'perfected' their technique.

It was clear to technically-minded people, though, that this was a technique that could never be perfected, due to its very nature. Soon after the first UK-released discs hit the headlines, Philips commented on the development. They described the products as "silver discs with music on" rather than genuine CDs, and predicted that the life of these variant CD-like formats would be no longer than a year. However, since the patents on the CD format had expired, it seems that Philips no longer had any direct control over the format, and they were also unwilling to take any legal action to protect 'CD' as a trademark. Instead they stated that they felt that this was an issue that should be decided in the marketplace.

Now, nearly two years on, these variant CD-like formats are still very much with us, and the marketplace has still not decided. Despite the severe problems caused by these discs, and the many campaigns against them that have sprung up all over the world, the constant pressure from the record companies and the indifference of many non-technical people has resulted in a stale-mate.

The arms race between drives and copy-control formats

However, over those two years, computer CD-ROM drive development continued to move forwards. Many newer drives were designed and tested with copy-controlled discs in mind. Where there were playback problems with copy-controlled discs, the CD-ROM drive designers fixed them, working around the intentional corruption added to the disc by the copy-control companies. It is obvious that a drive that plays more CDs correctly would be more attractive to the consumer. Not only that, but many CD-ROM drive mechanisms are also used in car CD players, DVD players and high-end audio systems where playback of the latest copy-control discs was a requirement, not merely an advantage.

This has left the copy-control designers in something of a quandary. The ground has moved under their feet, and their formats have become even less effective than they were to begin with. In a sense, computer CD-ROM drives have become closer to normal CD players. To maintain the illusion of effectiveness, the copy-control designers have had to consider ever more devious technical tricks and to use ever more aggressive modifications to the CD format in order to continue to cause problems for computer drives.

We are now starting to see the side-effects of this. More and more users are reporting problems playing these copy-controlled discs on normal CD players. Pops and clicks in the sound are commonly reported, as well as more subtle artifacts. Discs skip at predictable places in predictable songs; sometimes a CD player will simply stop dead part-way through a track.

Copy-control formats go too far

Recent reports of problems with some computer drives and DVD players have been even more severe. The aggressive modifications made to the disc format have now gone beyond causing mere confusion, to actually causing damage to some drives. A number of people have reported noticeable changes in their drive's behaviour immediately after attempting to play a copy-controlled disc. There have been cases where normal CDs play erratically or fail to play, and where drives take much longer than usual to recognise newly inserted CDs. In some cases the drive has had to be replaced, at significant expense.

Shocking as these individual cases are, they are even more telling when put into a wider picture: "Copy control" as a technique is reaching the end of its life. If copy-control format designers have found it necessary to use techniques on their discs so aggressive that damage is caused to a proportion of drives, then they have already lost the battle. It is only a matter of time before the technology becomes completely unworkable.

Is the end in sight, then?

As Philips predicted, though, the market is the place where the final decision will be made. How much abuse of their equipment will consumers put up with before starting to file claims for damages? How many restrictions on their fair use will they accept before starting to completely boycott "copy-controlled" products? How degraded can a disc be made and still be worth paying full price for?

Whilst a few incensed campaigners can have some effect, to really finish with this problem for good, everyday CD buyers will have to let the record industry know that they will no longer tolerate copy-controlled CDs. The record industry must clearly understand that this is losing them money. Retailers must understand that their customers require clear product information before future purchases will be made. Only then do we have a chance, I believe, of finally seeing the end of these corrupt disc formats.

Jim Peters

Links:

UK Campaign for Digital Rights CD pages
A report on the damage caused by recent discs
The online retailer campaign
FatChucks, the home of the US campaign and a class action lawsuit
A list of other international campaigns and supporting links

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Poll
How strongly do you feel about the copy-controlled CD problem?
o I no longer purchase any CDs at all -- as a protest. 35%
o I avoid copy-controlled discs, and if I purchase one accidentally I return it. 50%
o I avoid copy-controlled discs, but if I get one by mistake I keep it. 8%
o I don't care about copy-controlled discs, so long as they work on my current equipment. 4%

Votes: 191
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o UK Campaign for Digital Rights CD pages
o A report on the damage caused by recent discs
o The online retailer campaign
o FatChucks, the home of the US campaign and a class action lawsuit
o A list of other international campaigns and supporting links
o Also by uazu


Display: Sort:
Copy-controlled CDs: Is the end in sight? | 243 comments (229 topical, 14 editorial, 0 hidden)
Trademarks (5.00 / 7) (#1)
by Bad Harmony on Thu Jul 10, 2003 at 06:30:49 PM EST

Philips should enforce their trademarks. That would prevent the use of the CD Audio logo by anyone who violates the standard.

54º40' or Fight!

Well... (4.00 / 1) (#17)
by MalcolmCleaton on Thu Jul 10, 2003 at 07:41:36 PM EST

...this would certainly suit you.

How would it help Phillips?

Thanks,
Malcolm.

[ Parent ]

Licensing (4.00 / 1) (#23)
by Bad Harmony on Thu Jul 10, 2003 at 08:46:52 PM EST

They can license the trademarks for a fee, making it a profitable business.

54º40' or Fight!
[ Parent ]

Re: Trademarks (4.00 / 1) (#32)
by swr on Thu Jul 10, 2003 at 10:38:07 PM EST

That argument sounds familiar... (google)... Yep:

Philips moves to put 'poison' label on protected audio CDs



[ Parent ]
Mostly unnecessarily (4.00 / 1) (#37)
by Belligerent Dove on Thu Jul 10, 2003 at 11:19:49 PM EST

Anti-piracy music associations in Europe already urge their members to use the new anti-piracy logo. In my neck of the wood, almost (as in, I have yet to encounter one that doesnt) every copy-protected CD sold displays that graphic instead of the Philips Audio CD logo.

A quick Google search got me this news.com article, which is a bit old, but nevertheless contains the logo found on copy-protected CDs.

[ Parent ]

A problem (5.00 / 1) (#168)
by epepke on Sat Jul 12, 2003 at 12:45:15 AM EST

The original article wasn't quite right. Philips threatened to pull the plug on early copy prevention schemes by denying the trademark. These early schemes clearly violated the Blue Book standard. However, the recording industry settled on another scheme, placing a bogus data track, ignored by most CD players, on the disc. This technically is in compliance with the Blue Book, so there isn't much that Philips can do about this.


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
Research and supporting evidence (4.00 / 6) (#2)
by Tex Bigballs on Thu Jul 10, 2003 at 06:32:40 PM EST

who needs it? Just add a couple links to the bottom and let K5 sort out the rest.

You want evidence? (none / 0) (#6)
by The Writer on Thu Jul 10, 2003 at 06:41:55 PM EST

You have living evidence standing right here. Your point?

[ Parent ]

My point is that it's not a very good article. (4.14 / 7) (#7)
by Tex Bigballs on Thu Jul 10, 2003 at 06:46:38 PM EST

I actually read the thing. Did you? Did you vote it up because you wanted to talk about the subject, or on the merits of the article.

In my opinion, it was a pretty hollow recap of things that pretty much anyone who's even casually interested in the subject already knows.

The only part of the article that piqued my interest was the thing about the new cds damaging cd-players. Unfortunately, the author could not be bothered to cite even one piece of evidence regarding that, though.

Add the fact that the links from the article  go to the same web page (presumably the author's, as someone else said) and all-in-all I think it wasn't a very good article.

[ Parent ]

I did (5.00 / 2) (#9)
by The Writer on Thu Jul 10, 2003 at 06:53:39 PM EST

But I admit it, I just skimmed so I could post my rant. So sue me. :-P

[ Parent ]

The evidence is documented in the linked-to report (5.00 / 4) (#10)
by uazu on Thu Jul 10, 2003 at 07:04:17 PM EST

Rather than repeat everything that I have already written in a report on the campaign site, I gave a top-level overview here and included the link at the bottom. The evidence is documented in that report. You can also check out the Mike Oldfield site linked at the bottom of that report, and even some of the Mike Oldfield fan sites for more evidence.

Unfortunately if I get too technical, lots of people turn off, but by not delving deeply enough I have disappointed reviewers like yourself.

I should add that you probably wouldn't have heard so much about this if it wasn't for our campaign. Chuck took up the same issue in the States a little later, and really ran with it (lawsuit/etc) -- all credit to him for his dedication to this. Basically it has been the two of us keeping this issue active in English-speaking countries over the last two years, and now I would very much like to finish the job.

[ Parent ]

...and the etiquette has reason (5.00 / 2) (#15)
by Laiquendi on Thu Jul 10, 2003 at 07:23:19 PM EST

Unfortunately if I get too technical, lots of people turn off, but by not delving deeply enough I have disappointed reviewers like yourself.

Poor communication is the unavoidable result when you don't make an effort to understand your audience before speaking. If you'd bothered to check out the site before posting it would have been quite evident that you could put in all the technical details you wanted.

[ Parent ]

Okay, okay (5.00 / 2) (#29)
by uazu on Thu Jul 10, 2003 at 10:15:06 PM EST

I have put in all the technical detail that I wanted to -- this is supposed to be an overview of the direction I believe things are heading, not a technical description.

Anyway, I realise now I should have put it through the edit queue and accepted more comments. If it doesn't get voted through, I will resubmit it that way. I'd been working on the article for a few days, and I was prompted to post it today because of a story on the BBC about the IFPI president starting to put pressure on the electronics manufacturers because of their lack of support for CD 'copy-protection' measures -- i.e. he wants them to make CD drives that can't copy CDs.

Anyway, next time I will do it the K5 way, all the way through. -- Jim

[ Parent ]

I agree (4.20 / 5) (#42)
by Simowen on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 12:04:40 AM EST

The article was interesting but slightly unbelievable. I don't believe it is possible to damage the hardware of a CD drive with software. I would like to see evidence on how such destruction is possible.

[ Parent ]
one way that I know of... (4.75 / 4) (#54)
by sesh on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 02:38:22 AM EST

When they were first being bandied around, one copy protection scheme (the one used on the Celine Dion CD) caused computers to reboot. This can be an inherently destructive process, causing corruption to the file system.

I recall that Macs had an issue that caused them to reboot during the boot up process when the presence of the CD in the drive - and because you have to be logged in to eject the CD, the machine became pretty much unusable for a large portion of the public (you could apparently get around it by booting out to a text prompt or some such thing.)

[ Parent ]

How to destroy a CD drive (5.00 / 4) (#79)
by uazu on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 09:12:41 AM EST

One of the means explained to me by a CD drive firmware engineer is telling the laser head to seek to a position beyond the edge of the disc. This can cause the disc head to overshoot and crash into the end of its run. Other methods include confusing the drive to the extent that it gets stuck repeating a cycle of seeks/etc and burns out the mechanism. Basically, causing any pattern of behaviour that is outside of a drive's design limits (i.e. outside of the normal pattern of load that a drive is expected to handle) could cause it to wear out prematurely or die.

There are also problems like the Mac Celine Dion situation in the UK where something in the invalid data added to the disc caused some kind of a firmware bug to be exposed. Feeding intentionally out-of-spec data to a device really is asking for trouble. Who knows which devices will become terminally confused, or mis-interpret the invalid data as instructions to do something suicidal.

If you think that your CD drive should protect itself from bad data on the disc, then it is worth looking at the paranoid approach that a drive would have to go through to protect itself -- e.g. if the TOC says the disc has 16 tracks, should the drive believe this information? There has to be some trust between the drive and the media, and currently that trust is being broken by 'copy controlled' disc formats.

Sony (Celine Dion) stopped using key2audio eventually -- as an electronics company I guess they had more understanding of what was really going on than most of the other record companies who are still pushing ahead with this nonsense.

[ Parent ]

Macs (none / 0) (#137)
by mcgrew on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 07:39:25 PM EST

Wish I had the link, but on some macs it will lock up and you have to psychically take the thing apart to get the CD out.

Do a google search, I've got 64 megs of ram and 14 tabs open and I want to finish reading abnd go listen to some live bluegrass.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

My first copy-protected CD (4.50 / 2) (#4)
by igny ignoble on Thu Jul 10, 2003 at 06:38:19 PM EST

I just bought my first copy-protected CD (the new Radiohead album) a couple weeks ago.  I didn't have any trouble playing it in any of my computers or players.  I haven't tried ripping the tracks, since I downloaded the album a few weeks before it was released anyway.

I don't think that's protected (none / 0) (#12)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Thu Jul 10, 2003 at 07:11:46 PM EST

I don't think the new Radiohead disc is protected. It's not listed on Fat Chuck's list, and I ripped it fine on my laptop. Also, Radiohead hasn't really spoken out against P2P. What makes you think the CD is crippled?

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]
Radiohead CD is reported corrupt in 7 countries (none / 0) (#14)
by uazu on Thu Jul 10, 2003 at 07:17:45 PM EST

According to our reports (see here), the Radiohead CD is certainly corrupted, using Cactus-200. However, we have not had any reports from the States on this one, so maybe it is clean where you are. -- Jim

[ Parent ]

Really (none / 0) (#16)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Thu Jul 10, 2003 at 07:34:24 PM EST

Well that is odd. I can't say for sure that it's not protected here in the US, but the absence of a player app or a warning makes me think it is. I always thought Radiohead didn't care about p2p. If I'd known they were crippling CDs I wouldn't have bought it.

Personally I don't see the point of protecting it in only a few countries. If you're not an MP3-quality fanatic, Kazaa is easier than ripping even an unprotected CD. I mean, the album was leaked months before the official release!

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]

Agreed (5.00 / 2) (#20)
by uazu on Thu Jul 10, 2003 at 07:56:26 PM EST

If there is no player app in copies bought in the States, I agree, it is probably not corrupted there.

Making corrupt releases in one country but not others is actually very common. In particular they have been more cautious in the UK, whereas in Germany, almost everything is corrupt (the larger German campaigns started very late, and there is a different culture there, and very different laws). Often CDs in the Netherlands are clean when they are corrupt in Germany (with some Germans willing to travel to the Netherlands to buy clean discs).

Sometimes a CD is released by different labels in different countries which accounts for some of the differences in policy.

This difference from one country to another is one of the reasons why I believe the record companies are trying to stop online retailers showing whether CDs are corrupted or not on their sites. They don't want German people ordering clean discs from the UK or the States, for example.

[ Parent ]

It's not Radiohead (5.00 / 4) (#59)
by aonifer on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 05:03:44 AM EST

I always thought Radiohead didn't care about p2p. If I'd known they were crippling CDs I wouldn't have bought it.

It's not Radiohead deciding to corrupt the CDs.  It's the record label.  I'm not sure if Radiohead has the clout to tell them to stop it.

[ Parent ]

Sub-licensing (none / 0) (#119)
by xL on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 05:48:46 PM EST

Usually, when records get sold internationally, the rights are transferred in part to a distribution label that targets the local market. This is completely outside their realm of control.

[ Parent ]
Portugal (none / 0) (#64)
by Rui on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 06:05:41 AM EST

Is definitely corrupet.

EMI forbids me from buying the remaining album in my RadioHead collection.

I'm flabbergasted. I'm disgusted.

EMI: how come selling less discs can help your business?

[ Parent ]

What the hell? (5.00 / 1) (#69)
by cameldrv on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 07:42:21 AM EST

What is the point of this? Unless every single copy of the CD is protected, someone is going to rip it and put it on kazaa. This is radiohead, after all, so it will be widely spread, and the only effect of the copy protection will be to irritate people who buy the damn thing.

[ Parent ]
Yup, mine's corrupted too (5.00 / 1) (#66)
by Gully Foyle on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 06:19:21 AM EST

It wouldn't play on my CD drive. The only way to play it at work was to rip it. Stoopid record companies.

If you weren't picked on in school you were doing something wrong - kableh
[ Parent ]

Protected in Belgium (none / 0) (#112)
by uXs on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 04:18:06 PM EST

It's protected in Belgium too. So I didn't buy it and let EMI know.

It sucks because I really wanted that CD. But it's not a CD so no dice from me.

--
What our ancestors would really be thinking, if they were alive today, is: "Why is it so dark in here?" -- (Terry Pratchett, Pyramids)
[ Parent ]

I've been bitten by this (4.80 / 21) (#5)
by The Writer on Thu Jul 10, 2003 at 06:40:52 PM EST

Twice.

That may sound like a little, but considering that I do not buy CD's very often, and that I only own about 20-25 CD's at most (and this over 3 years), this is a high percentage. Plus, they left an indelible mark of frustration in me after what my experience with them.

The first one was new release of an old CD with some lame sound effects slapped on. Pah, I hate that. I so hate that. That is just milking the dried cash cow with no value added. I mean, for goodness' sakes, this is a classical CD, not some funky feedback-laden electronica. It doesn't need weird reverbial special effects. Anyway, I didn't realize what was wrong at first: I thought it was a problem with my CDROM drive. (I do not own a CD player; I play all CDs with my CDROM drive.) Or perhaps the CD was physically damaged, or something like that. But soon, it became clear that it's the CD itself which has been crippled. The "unauthorized copying prohibited" label on the cover proves it.

Now, I do not condone piracy; but when they cripple something I paid for just so they can stop me from legitimate playback, I totally flipped. Before I could stop myself, I had defaced the CD so bad (in an attempt to make it readable by my drive) that it could not possibly be returned. Big mistake #1. Big mistake #2: I didn't know what I was doing, except some wild conjectures I found on the Net. Result: the CD is probably both crippled and physically damaged beyond repair now.

It only added salt to the wound when later, I found an older release of the SAME RECORDING in a 2nd hand CD store, which is not crippled.

2nd experience: this was actually from a 2nd hand store. Sighhhh... this one was so bad, it caused the ide-scsi driver to malfunction. My stubborn persistance got the better of me, and I tried a little too hard, ending up with the kernel locking up and freezing completely. (I still have no idea what is it on the CD that can cause this. Somebody better be writing better error handling in the CDROM drivers, dangit.) The most infuriating thing about this CD was that it was only the LAST TRACK which had this problem. I mean, that's like the waiter taking your plate away just when you got to the best part of the steak. I just couldn't let it go. Big mistake: I ended up physically scratching the CD so that all hope of reading the last track was gone.

So now I have two coasters sitting on my rack. I wish I could fling it at whoever thought up this great idea of copy-protecting CD's by crippling the media. Like, NO THANKS I don't want you to shoot bullet holes in the engine before I put it into my car.

The most infuriating thing is, although this time I could return the CD to the store, it's useless; I'd only be perpetrating the evil. They are a 2nd-hand store, it's not their fault. It's not like they have a say in the CD industry anyway; the big shots who dreamt up this whole idiotic idea of crippling CDs probably think 2nd hand stores are evil, anyway.

Seventy-two thousand kilometric tons of equine intestinal ejecta be spewed upon the effing mental retards who sell this trash. May they decay by flesh-eating ailments and be consumed by radioactive maggots while still alive. I did not work my head off and spend my hard-earned cash only to get NOTHING in return. Thank you so very much. NOT. Four million truckloads of bovine compost.

Ending rant (5.00 / 1) (#39)
by Simowen on Thu Jul 10, 2003 at 11:52:08 PM EST

That was a rant worth remembering. Pushed you from a 4 to 5. Lovely, simply lovely.

[ Parent ]
don't buy (4.20 / 5) (#13)
by semaphore on Thu Jul 10, 2003 at 07:12:52 PM EST

salestaff tell me that here in europe, something like 90% of all new pressings are protected. i heard this and did a quick sample of the 20 crappest top selling cds but found less than 50% actually displayed copy controlled labels. the way i look at it, in this age of excess, anything that reduces choice, (like say a copy controlled label), makes life just that bit simpler. stuff 'em, don't buy it, get something else, or go without. if the odd good artist goes broke, well good luck to them in getting a real job.

apparently not all cd covers indicate that the cd is copy controlled. so nowadays i make a point of checking with the salestaff that the cds can be returned if they are copy controlled. i havn't needed to return anything yet.


-
"you want enlightenment? stare into the sun."


This isn't rocket science. (4.85 / 21) (#19)
by Run4YourLives on Thu Jul 10, 2003 at 07:50:33 PM EST

Damnit, I'm sick of everyone whining about copy protection et al. on CD's. You're all starting to piss me off.

Here's my story:

Always a music lover, after highschool, I found that I would usually buy about two to four new CD's a month. When I was in the Army, even though my disposable income dropped, I would make it a mission every couple of weeks to go to the used CD stores and pick up about $50 worth.

Along came Napster, and now having left the Army for IT, and having more disposable income than before, I was buying a new cd every week. The more I played with Napster, the more good music I found, the more CD's I purchased.

When the RIAA went after Napster, I wrote them a terse letter explaining that I would not be purchasing any more cd's if they were successful. They were, and here's the kicker I haven't bought a cd since.

Now, I make my own with Kazaa or whatever. I don't even walk into music stores anymore. I don't give a damn if they or anyone else thinks I'm a theif.

I don't bitch about the RIAA anymore. I just make sure none of my money goes anywhere near their businesses. I include artists that support them as well. Fuck with me once, but never again.

I suggest you all shut up and do the same. It's really the only thing we can do. Continuing to give record labels money and bitching about it sends them one message: You're pissed, but you'll buy anyways.


It's slightly Japanese, but without all of that fanatical devotion to the workplace. - CheeseburgerBrown

I still buy CDs (3.20 / 5) (#21)
by etherdeath on Thu Jul 10, 2003 at 08:39:52 PM EST

but only directly from artists through their website or show.  And usually they're small, so it's not just a shopping cart for the label, and they get most of the money.  If the label gets a little, I don't mind.

[ Parent ]
Small labels are good (4.75 / 4) (#31)
by LilDebbie on Thu Jul 10, 2003 at 10:28:42 PM EST

You should support small labels, as they support the cool artists and not just the profitable ones. I'm all for small labels, it's the big fuckers in the RIAA which piss me off and probably most people in general.

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

[ Parent ]
Some Small Labels Are Bad (5.00 / 2) (#57)
by freestylefiend on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 04:05:03 AM EST

I'm all for small labels, it's the big fuckers in the RIAA which piss me off and probably most people in general.

The BPI claims to represent the creators of 90% of recorded music in Britain. They don't only have major labels as members. I tried to find the members list for the RIAA, but http://www.riaa.com/about/default.asp was broken.

You should support small labels,

Some (not me) would say that no label should be supported, but that they should take what they can get on the free market. I would say that I would be unhappy to support any for-profit organisation. If we are going to support the music field like a charity, then our support should promote creativity. I don't think that record labels do this in a cost efficient way (if at all).

as they support the cool artists and not just the profitable ones.

The major labels go to great lengths to point out that they "support" many unprofitable artists. (They claim that this is charitable on their part, but I think that they sign artists that turn out to be unprofitable because they don't know who will be profitable).

I don't think that it is right to dislike the major labels for only having profitable artists (as it is not true) or for not having any good artists. I think that the major labels do have some good artists, but I still disapprove of them because their "support" for artists is mostly very poor and because, while they accuse us (fans, music purchasers and independent artists) of being the downfall of creativity, they flood us with rubbish.

[ Parent ]

Coward (4.37 / 8) (#28)
by Fredrick Doulton on Thu Jul 10, 2003 at 10:10:12 PM EST

"I suggest you all shut up and do the same. It's really the only thing we can do. Continuing to give record labels money and bitching about it sends them one message: You're pissed, but you'll buy anyways."

Wow, if only the forefathers of our country's revolution had the same foresight to sit down and keep their mouths shut as you do, my friend. We would all be speaking British right now. ;)

Bush/Cheney 2004! - "Because we've still got more people to kill"
[ Parent ]

No, instead they took action (3.00 / 3) (#43)
by Kasreyn on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 12:06:39 AM EST

For instance, by dumping tea into Boston Harbor and signing an inflammatory Declaration of Independence.

Action AND words.


-Kasreyn


"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
[ Parent ]
Maybe we should have a Boston CD party (nt) (4.50 / 8) (#55)
by puppet10 on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 02:39:53 AM EST



[ Parent ]
I talking with my wallet. (3.00 / 1) (#101)
by Run4YourLives on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 12:12:58 PM EST

A business, any business is concerned with one thing - the bottom line.

Affecting those numbers forces the business to alter it's model or die. That's what I'm doing.

Of course, it will alter it's model to suit its own best interests, so you don't return to your business to them until they find a model that is aggreeable to you.

Wow, if only the forefathers of our country's revolution had the same foresight to sit down and keep their mouths shut as you do

Thankfully, they probably were bright enough to realize that in this case, doing "nothing" is doing a great deal, unlike yourself, unfortunatley.


It's slightly Japanese, but without all of that fanatical devotion to the workplace. - CheeseburgerBrown
[ Parent ]

Unfortunately (4.00 / 1) (#154)
by Fredrick Doulton on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 10:07:57 PM EST

'Thankfully, they probably were bright enough to realize that in this case, doing "nothing" is doing a great deal, unlike yourself, unfortunatley.'

Fortunately, there are people who are smart enough to get out there and raise awareness. Your silent protest is a lesson in futility. For every spineless coward who silently protests with their money, there are 1000+ who will gladly cough up the dough. If you think you're affecting their bottom line, you're not only a coward, you're a gullible fool. If anything, by sitting there like a complacent little poodle, you're complicit in whatever crimes the recording industry is perpetuating against humanity. Sure, you think you're making some grand statement with your money, but for all of the clueless consumers who will buy anything, the message you're trying to (silently) convey is about as meaningful as a fart in the wind. So in the end, your money means nothing, because there is more than enough out there to make up for it.
I guess in your case being silent isn't so bad. At least we don't have to hear about how you're accomplishing nothing(Kind of like the FSF in a way). Well, the FSF crack was unfair. They at least attempt to raise awareness and bring others into the fold. They make themselves heard.

What is that saying about evil flourishing when good men do nothing?

Bush/Cheney 2004! - "Because we've still got more people to kill"
[ Parent ]

Not quite... (5.00 / 1) (#156)
by Sanction on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 10:30:42 PM EST

In the US, it forces a business to invest more heavily in congresscritters. Why compete when you can legislate?

Wow, This is the most amazing loaf of bread I've ever owned!
[ Parent ]
Act AND Bitch (nt) (4.00 / 1) (#40)
by Urthpaw on Thu Jul 10, 2003 at 11:52:19 PM EST



[ Parent ]
but that could work against you (4.33 / 3) (#56)
by sesh on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 02:59:14 AM EST

If you simply stop purchasing music without protest, the RIAA would then declare that piracy was further eating away the distributers potential profits, further fuelling the push for ridiculous legislation enforcing the RIAA and MPAAs agendas (ie, DMCA et al).

They've already pursued this tactic - although they still hit record profits, they believe that their projected profit should increase annually following the same trend as previous years (ie - sales increases are plateauing). Another problem problem is, of course, that no accounting is made for factors other than piracy in determining the cause... (eg, releasing less interesting/diverse music, harsher economic conditions, etc).

[ Parent ]

the "music is crap now" argument (5.00 / 5) (#58)
by Psycho Dave on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 04:56:53 AM EST

I hear this argument everytime I step into a slashdot/RIAA bashfest: That music sales are lower because record labels only release music by vapid teen-pop stars, bling-bling rappers, and annoying frat-boy punk bands.

Face it, that's the way it always was. Record labels always push the stuff that's safe and sure to move one-hundred thousand units. But they also hedge their bets. Popular music tastes change so rapidly that yesterday's teen-pop idol is today's joke. The bling-bling rappers lose their bling and the frat boy punk band finally get outed as being closet jocks, in which case you move your advertising dollars towards the smaller, more creative acts on your label that despite a lack of money have developed a modest following. That smaller group becomes the one tomorrow that is guaranteed to move one hundred thousand units and the cycle continues et al.

The point being, there's tons of great music out there. If you can't find it, it means you're watching too much MTV and letting them convince you that there's nothing out there except Justin Timberlake and Fiddy Cent. Go to local shows, try indie bands, read magazines and find stuff that intrigues you. You get out of it what you put in.

That said, FUCK THE RIAA. They wanna make some money? Drop the price of CD's to about 6 or 7 dollars, do the iMusic thing of selling singles for a buck a piece and full album downloads for about five, reduce overhead by getting rid of independent marketers that perpetuate the system of payola, and get rid of the record company executive's private Learjet and then your companies will start making some money.

[ Parent ]

RIAA Radar (4.83 / 6) (#76)
by jwest on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 09:01:40 AM EST

Use RIAA Radar and only buy CDs from labels who do not belong to RIAA.

RIAA Radar has a bookmarklet that works really nicely when you're shopping on Amazaon.com.



[ Parent ]
Not so good (5.00 / 1) (#88)
by freestylefiend on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 10:37:19 AM EST

for those of us who are also boycotting Amazon.

[ Parent ]
I have acquired more new CDs... (4.00 / 1) (#136)
by mcgrew on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 07:32:31 PM EST

in th elast 2 months than in the last 2 years. Not qa single one is an RIAA sanctioned CD, and many were absolutely free- handed to me by band members at local bars, who said "here, dude, burn a million copies and give 'em away".

These guys work for their money, just like me. I support then by buying their $3-$10 CDs, paying cover charge at their venues, and drinking (making it worth the proprieter's while to hire them).

Don't boycott CDs- just boycott RIAA CDs.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

Hello (3.33 / 6) (#25)
by rmwise on Thu Jul 10, 2003 at 08:56:12 PM EST

Lots of good music is put out by record labels if you look beyond pop music. Stuff like Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass, for example. If you live near a record store, a decent one that isn't chained owned, chances are it's got a lot more variety. For example, here in Richmond, we have a good record store called Plan 9 Music. They've got stuff you can't find on the Internet.

---
SAVE RUSSIAN JEWS COLLECT VALUABLE PRIZES!


Yeah? (5.00 / 1) (#95)
by ghjm on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 11:11:47 AM EST

How would I ever know about it?

If I walk into a record store, there are many many many CDs that could maybe contain something I would enjoy. I'll never know, because I'm not putting down $20 just to find out. Unless I happen to find a record store employee who shares my tastes (which never happens), or they happen to be playing something I like when I walk in (which never happens), I'm SOL.

The big chain record stores all tried to come up with an answer to this by creating "listening stations" where you could listen to whatever, and decide what you like. But they didn't like the fact that some people will come in and listen all day, and they mostly only made the Top 40 stuff available at the listening stations anyway.

So, you say Herb Alpert is "good." What does that mean to me? How can I find out if *I* like Herb Alpert?

-Graham

[ Parent ]

Well (5.00 / 1) (#145)
by rmwise on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 08:49:19 PM EST

This one lets you listen to it before you buy it. I don't know about your stores.

---
SAVE RUSSIAN JEWS COLLECT VALUABLE PRIZES!


[ Parent ]
How is that too far? It doesn't harm honest folk. (1.33 / 30) (#33)
by elenchos on Thu Jul 10, 2003 at 10:44:24 PM EST

You really have to chuckle when you hear music pirates complain about damage to their valuable equipment. It makes you wonder why they go and spend thousands on audio gear when they are too cheap to spend a couple bucks on legitimate CDs to play in it. Maybe they can afford all that high-end glitzy stuff because they haven't bought a new CD in years. Well, they bought a lot of new CDs, but they were all blank.

Or maybe they stole their DVD player the same way they steal music. Either way, why on Earth should I feel sorry for a pirate? If they didn't want to get burned, they would have just stuck with legit CDs from a decent retailer (and I don't mean some shady "independent" record company like Sub-Pop or Death Row).

Nine hundred ninety nine out of a thousand Americans have no idea what you are complaining about. No idea. They buy CDs, they play them, and they are happy. For all the attention you p2p pirates draw on yourselves you'd think some vast group was being persecuted. I bet there are ten persecuted necrophiliacs and ten thousand persecuted homosexuals for every "persecuted" music pirate, just to put the problem into perspective.

So anyway, if your CD player is broken, buy a new one and don't put any more of your ripped-off music into it, and stop crying for my sympathy.

Adequacy.org

Er, yep. (3.00 / 7) (#36)
by dasunt on Thu Jul 10, 2003 at 11:19:42 PM EST

Q: How can I rip an protected "audio CD" and make a mp3 CD for my car that 1) has a much longer play time and 2) can be easily replaced if damaged/stolen?

A: You can't. But that's okay, just remember, CD copywrite protection only hurts pirates.



[ Parent ]
Who cares? (1.84 / 13) (#41)
by elenchos on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 12:02:07 AM EST

Who ever promised you that you had a right to do make your own pirated versions so they would play longer? If the artist wanted you to have that kind of version available, they would make it and sell it. See, it's theirs to sell in any way they please, not yours for the taking. If you want something to call your own, either learn to create your own music or put down some money (note: requires job).

And why would any normal person even want to make their own CDs anyway? It's weird, you know that? It's like cobbling a PC together from parts you bought at some creepy overclocker's store or whatever they do, and then putting some bootleg Lunix operating system on it.

As far as the "damaged and stolen" problem, why not just shoplift two CDs from Wal-Mart instead of just one? If stealing doesn't bother your conscience, why not steal a spare? It's no different than making a copy and requires no special equipment.

This is a good time to point out that respectable car thieves and burgulars are much nicer to have around than music pirates. They might steal, but at least they don't bitch, bitch, bitch all the time about their "rights".

Adequacy.org
[ Parent ]

If I get this right... (3.50 / 4) (#63)
by NeXTer on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 06:04:41 AM EST

You mean that all forms of duplication techniques should be outlawed and any violation should make you eligible for capital punishment?

In your world view, "fair use" obviously has no place. So you mean to tell me that you buy three or four copies of every CD to have one for home, one for the car and one spare in case one of the others become too scratched? Never make any photo copies but instead buy a new copy of whatever it is you need to send to somone?

I believe outright piracy is bad, but if someone tells me I cannot use a product I buy in a way that would make it more useful to me personally, I tend to disagree with them.

Okay, so you might argue that I haven't in fact bought a product, but instead merely a license to listen to the audio as provided on that particular medium on approved equipment for the lifetime of the medium. Hogwash, I say to that.

If that was the case, then I suggest the record labels—who incidentally measure the level of piracy by simply measuring the number of blank CDs sold worldwide; every blank CD sold is only used to make pirate copies of music discs. Which would incidentally mean that software piracy doesn't exist since there are no blank discs left they can use, but I digress—print that on a contract and make me read and sign that each time I buy—or should that be lease?—their content.

There are reasons copyright isn't forever. There are also reasons for the fair use clause.

There's another side to this as well. Since net profit means nothing whatsoever to the record industry since they only measure success by how many percent their sales increase, it should be in their interest to make their products more attractive to more people.

Then again, your argument seems to be that people with below-average income shouldn't be allowed to buy music media since they can't afford decent hi-fi systems, so I guess you mean that the people who can afford to buy those systems should accelerate their music purchases over time to ensure the music industry profit margins can increase.



[ Parent ]
Copyright term extensions (3.50 / 2) (#94)
by pin0cchio on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 10:53:05 AM EST

I agree with most of your argument that there exist good reasons to recognize fair use, but there was this one little problem:

There are reasons copyright isn't forever.

Copyright isn't forever? Then what happened in 1978 and 1998? Two roughly 20-year copyright term extensions spaced by roughly 20 years smells suspiciously like "perpetual copyright on the installment plan," as Prof. Lessig put it.


lj65
[ Parent ]
Capital Punishment? I never said that. (3.66 / 3) (#109)
by elenchos on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 04:10:10 PM EST

But it is an interesting idea. Do you have a newsletter?

And when did "fair use" turn into some kind of welfare entitlement? Make your copies as best you can, but who said the artist was required to provide you with the format of your choice to make copying convenient enough for you? And after they have made it convenient enough for you, do they then have to make it convenient enough for the next guy? And the one after that?

How is it relevant how the record companies measure piracy? If their metric is flawed, is that a reason to force artists to distribute their work in X format and no other? No. It is their work, and they may choose to sell it or not, and may sell it on any kind of CD format they choose, or on 8 track tape or wax cylinder or anything else they dream up.

You, as a prospective purchaser, may either buy it or not. If you dislike the format offered, you can go buy something else, the same as when you dislike the content.

Regarding my purchase of backups, I've never had the need. I was responding to a pirate who, like most pirates, claims to have had no end of problems with the media and constantly needs to resort to their backups to replace the CDs they somehow wear out. Why this particular group has such a compelling need for backups, I'll never know. I was merely suggesting that if the law means nothing to you, then why burn your own "backups"? Why not cut out the middle step and just steal them directly? Or perhaps when your first CD "wears out", go steal another one. It's exactly the same as copying, because you are illegally violating the license agreement you voluntarily accepted.

For the ten-thousandth time: if you don't like the EULA, then say no! Don't agree to it, and take your business elsewhere.

Just no bitching. No bitching!

Adequacy.org
[ Parent ]

I find it interesting... (3.00 / 2) (#115)
by EndobioticChaos on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 04:58:26 PM EST

... how totally self-centered your arguments are. Apparently you haven't had any problems yet with copy protection, so you really don't give a heck about all the other honest customers that have.

And when did "fair use" turn into some kind of welfare entitlement? Make your copies as best you can, but who said the artist was required to provide you with the format of your choice to make copying convenient enough for you? And after they have made it convenient enough for you, do they then have to make it convenient enough for the next guy? And the one after that?
Of course it's not some "welfare entitlement." But making it convenient for others to build off your own work is what civilization is all about. Obviously making a backup copy of music doesn't really fall under this, but many other things covered in fair use do.

How is it relevant how the record companies measure piracy? If their metric is flawed, is that a reason to force artists to distribute their work in X format and no other? No. It is their work, and they may choose to sell it or not, and may sell it on any kind of CD format they choose, or on 8 track tape or wax cylinder or anything else they dream up.
Why is it relevant? Easy answer. It's very relevant because it's a lie. A lie they use to justify their under-handed means of making another buck to add to their billions they already have and still don't need. This could be expounded on in great detail, but it's hardly beneficial to anyone. Also you obviously don't have kids or very many friends or you'd see the definite need for backup copies. It only takes one kid or friend and about 10 seconds for a disc to be rendered unusable. That's no problem at all if the disc is a copy, and your original is safe in your locked file cabinet. Throw away the broken one and spin off another in ten minutes for about 5 cents. On the other hand, if that was your original copy of Die Another Day that your friend dropped on the floor and accidently rolled your chair over, you're out another $20 and another trip to the local "Chump's Audio-Visual Rip-Off".

For the ten-thousandth time: if you don't like the EULA, then say no! Don't agree to it, and take your business elsewhere.
Now you're really going in over your head. First off, I have never yet seen a music disc of any variety that actually came with an EULA. And if you're talking about software your argument is just as pointless. The EULA is located inside the sealed box, and as soon as you open the box to read the EULA you can no longer get a refund for the product. Whether you agree to the EULA or not, you're stuck. That's the kind of BS that would fly only in the technology industry. Imagine crap like that in housing construction. "We write the contract, and you don't get to see it before you sign it. If you sign and don't like it, that's just tough." Makes a lot of sense, doesn't it?

Just no bitching. No bitching!
Of course you'd never bitch. Oh no, not you!! What the heck have your posts been if not bitching??!
-EC
[ Parent ]

I am the second most selfless person on K5. (2.00 / 4) (#121)
by elenchos on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 06:28:04 PM EST

I give many, many hecks about honest consumers who have been harmed by copy protection. Who would they be then? Tell me about the actual people who have suffered from all this oppression.

Making it convenient is a requirement? Since when? Isn't it inconveninet that you have to buy a CD burner, and then try to dig up decent burning software (unless you are wise enough to choose Windows XP) and then sit and wait while your CD burns? They should give you a CD burner with every purchase. No, that's too inconveninet. They should burn your backups for you. And deliver them to your door, FedEx. What a disaster. How about we continue to let artists distribute or not distribute their work in any format they choose? Then consumers can either buty it or not. It's so simple.

"This could be expounded on in great detail, but it's hardly beneficial to anyone." Translation: I don't have any facts to back up my claim that it is the artist's job to make sure you can replace the CD that your 3 year old gnawed on. Shouldn't it be La-Z-Boy's job to replace my recliner when my dog pees on it? And why doesn't Ford make a car that I can easily make a "backup copy" of in case it is stolen?

I'm sorry. That has nothing to do with "civilization". It's welfare. You want artists to let pirates steal their work so that a few careless people don't have to buy replacements for their property when they let it get damaged or stolen. Couldn't you just buy some insurance?

Can't find your EULA? I wonder why. Micro-soft has it right on the money: "If you purchased your software from a store, through a mail order catalog, or even from an individual, and a EULA did not accompany the product, you may have purchased illegal software." See, I have never had trouble finding my license, beacuse I buy legitimate products. Yet some how these pirates are always complaining that they didn't get one, they can't find it, they never got to read it. Why? Because pirated CDs don't have a license! Get thee to Wal-Mart and make a legal purchase.

Adequacy.org
[ Parent ]

Convenience vs. Obstruction (4.00 / 1) (#135)
by NeXTer on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 07:24:02 PM EST

Making it as convenient as possible isn't the issue here. What is the issue is how the record industry is fighting on the wrong battlefield.

The real problem for the industry isn't J R Hacker making copies of his music, movies or software in the basement and sharing with all and sundry. The real problem is the organized pirate rings who burn or even press millions of copies and selling them on the black and grey markets.

These organized pirates have no problems whatsoever acquiring unprotected versions of the items they're duplicating, and those versions are often the ones finding their way onto the file sharing networks.

The mistake that the industries are making is that they're trying to protect the media rather than the content. Even the DRM—Digital Restrictions Management— systems as currently implemented attack the problem in the wrong way.

Of course, it is currently almost impossible to implement an idiot proof system whereby a license can be bound to a person rather than a specific device.

The ideal situation for everyone involved would probably be to have a system whereby all content you license was usable from any system you're currently using. If you can also transfer, sell and lend that license to whoever you chose, I believe everyone would love it… Except for one thing—who should be the central authority managing the licenses?



[ Parent ]
I get it. You want to help the music industry. (1.00 / 1) (#149)
by elenchos on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 09:29:10 PM EST

They will be thrilled to hear from you, and will welcome all ideas that will help protect their business.

I would hope they continue with their current methods. Lacking any evidence that ordinary consumers have been harmed, why create some Big Brother agency to tell artists what they may and may not do with their creations? If they want wax cylinders, let them use wax cylinders. If they want some new kind of CD, let them try it. If some consumer somewhere had his equipment damaged, one would think he could easily recover payment for the losses caused from the maker. Any cases that you know of?

I hear the pirates whine and shout endlessly, making me think they must be in great pain. Good. But anyone else being harmed? Who?

Adequacy.org
[ Parent ]

Almost, but not quite (4.00 / 1) (#150)
by NeXTer on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 09:45:08 PM EST

I don't really care who distributes the content, as long as I can listen to the music I like rather than what some suit decides is what I want to hear.

Sure, the solution I outlined does indeed smell of Big Brother. But can you think of a a better way that protects the rights of both the copyright holders and the licensees of the material?

I think the problem is the usual one where on the one hand you have what could become a universal standard that would make life simpler for everyone involved, yet on the other hand provides an enourmous amount of power to whichever body creates the personal keys for the content.

This isn't a question which holds a single simple answer. Everyone values their privacy differently, and everyone balances it differently against convenience. From a technological perspective it's a lot better than whatever is out there already, but from a social perspective it's not so clear cut.



[ Parent ]
You don't read so well do you? (5.00 / 1) (#162)
by EndobioticChaos on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 11:34:37 PM EST

I never said my software came without an EULA. I said I've never seen a music disc with an EULA. Microshit doesn't make music, in case you didn't realize that. Of course software has EULAs. My point (another thing you obviously missed) was that they don't give you the chance to read it before you pay. I'm trying to figure out if you're really that stupid, or if you're just trying to be an asshole. Either way, I don't really care for it.
-EC
[ Parent ]
How do I read the EULA? (none / 0) (#243)
by pin0cchio on Sat Jul 19, 2003 at 11:52:23 AM EST

I don't have any facts to back up my claim that it is the artist's job to make sure you can replace the CD that your 3 year old gnawed on.

Other than that it's extra effort for the artist to make sure that the listener can't do so?

Can't find your EULA? [...] Get thee to Wal-Mart and make a legal purchase.

I was just at Wal-Mart yesterday. None of the software packages had their EULAs readable without breaking the seal of the box.


lj65
[ Parent ]
*Sniff* (3.40 / 5) (#98)
by dasunt on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 11:50:39 AM EST

Child: Mommy, what's that weird smell?

Mommy: Its a troll.



[ Parent ]
Got it backwards (4.00 / 5) (#46)
by ZorbaTHut on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 12:50:21 AM EST

I believe the point the article makes is that the "copy-protected" original CDs damage equipment that is incapable of copying them. Ironically, a "solution" to this is, in fact, to make an illegal copy.

End result, the person trying to play it legally gets burned, while the person making illegal copies doesn't even notice.

I realize you're just trolling, but could you at least not get the facts exactly backwards? We have many good trolls here who take correct facts and run with them - you, however, are not one of them.

[ Parent ]

Well make up your mind. (1.58 / 12) (#48)
by elenchos on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 01:24:51 AM EST

Generally the "troll" accusation is used to dismiss opinions that make you uncomfortable, whereas flat contraditction is used when you think you must be right but you don't have an actual argument to link together. So which is it?

For the record, I am well-known for hating both trolls and pirates equally. Both are evil becuase they betray their benefactors, a sin that deserves punishment by enternity in the Ninth Circle of Hell, and Dante backs me up on this one hundred percent. While trolls abuse the hospitality of those who provide them a space share ideas, pirates abuse the fair offer of recorded music in exchange for giving artists a decent living.

Pirates and trolls are also irritants, in the same way as skate-boarders. Pirates are a stench in the nostrils of society in that they harp endlessly about their rights, and like a hapless pedestrian being harried by dangerous skate-boarders around every corner, thoughtful people must forever fend of the bleating and threats from pirates who can only ask for more, more, more.

After they are given CDs that are easy to copy, they'll be demanding to be given the means to copy them as well: a free CD burner to anyone who cries loud enough. Sure, take one, poor baby. Want my ears too, to let you listen to it?

Adequacy.org
[ Parent ]

Definitely got it backwards (4.50 / 4) (#60)
by uazu on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 05:10:56 AM EST

All I can say is that I hope it is your nice new 6-month old DVD player that blows up next time you put a nice new top-40 CD in it to play.

It is the legit retailer that you should be more worried about -- independents have been the last to adopt these 'copy-controlled' formats. Many Americans don't know about the problem because they simply haven't seen it as bad as people in Europe ... but just wait -- SunnComm have signed a 3 year deal with BMG. You'll have plenty of time to learn all about the problems with these discs.

I should be offended that you describe the people who send reports to our campaign as 'pirates'. Very nearly all of them are normal people trying to use CDs in honest ways. Why would a die-hard 'pirate' care, anyway? They probably have the equipment to hack around anything.

[ Parent ]

Do you actually know any of these people? (4.00 / 1) (#125)
by elenchos on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 06:49:41 PM EST

Any? I keep hearing about all these destroyed DVD players, but no one seems to actually know anyone who had it happen to them. Can you cite any real cases?

Adequacy.org
[ Parent ]

Real cases, see the linked-to report (5.00 / 2) (#172)
by uazu on Sat Jul 12, 2003 at 06:52:52 AM EST

The cases came in from two directions. There were some people who sent reports in to our UKCDR 'bad-CD' campaign page. Some of the other reports came through a guy who runs a Mike Oldfield discography site. He has a page on the issue here. It seems that "Tubular Bells 2003" was causing a lot of problems for people, and there was talk on the forums. He put up a page on the issue, and I believe he had people contact him through that. Since then similar reports have turned up in German forums.

So, you ask if I know any of these people? The answer is yes -- I have communicated with a number of them and checked out their stories. See also the report that I linked to from the article.

[ Parent ]

I call horsepucky. (none / 0) (#184)
by elenchos on Sat Jul 12, 2003 at 07:11:59 PM EST

Sorry, pal.

I know astro turf when I see it. Those unattributed blocks of text mean no more than any other irresponsible claims you find all over the Internet. How come there's no names? No dates? No references to any kind of real news organization, no matter now minor. You could at least link to the Register.

See, you have your article: an unbelievable claim, posted on some minor web site, with no reason at all to believe it isn't total fabrication, except for some links. And what are the links pointing to? Some other minor web site with again, no names, no attribution. You could say anything and link it to some other page saying the same thing. It adds up to zero.

This is why the New York Times scandal over a lying reporter is such a big deal. Anybody can say anything, but to make it convincing you have to put something on the line: your name, your reputation. You have to make it possible for others to check your facts for themselves, and make it possible to come back to you for an explanation when you are wrong.

As it is, you could be anybody. The "reports" you link to could have come from anybody. And the lot of you could disappear this minute and none of us would ever know who you were or where you went. You are in no position to take responsibility for your dubious claims.

Not even one name. Nada. You really expect me to believe you? Why would I?

Adequacy.org
[ Parent ]

You used to be funny (4.00 / 3) (#81)
by Fon2d2 on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 10:08:09 AM EST

I mean you had some really excellent posts up their on Adequacy while it still existed.  But it just ruins the whole experience when you get the argument backwards.  It makes you sound like an ass... like you're not even trying anymore.  And that sir is just simply dissappointing.

[ Parent ]
Oh, please (2.40 / 5) (#97)
by ceallach on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 11:50:12 AM EST

What a troll

--
More smoke! The mirrors aren't working!!!
[ Parent ]

I want you to do something for me. (3.33 / 3) (#108)
by So many idiots So little time on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 04:07:34 PM EST

Look up at the title bar of your browser. Tell me what it says up there.

Does it say Adequacy anywhere up there? No? Do you know why that is?

It's because Adequacy is Fucking DEAD!

So please take your pathetic little attempts to troll people here and FUCK OFF.

idiot.

-----
Off wit' yer head!
[ Parent ]

Off topic. But how else can I reply? (1.00 / 1) (#114)
by elenchos on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 04:55:14 PM EST

I realize how disruptive it is to a constructive discussion to drag in unrelated issues, but then your post is completely off topic and my only choices are to either ignore it or to follow your digression.

In reply to your accusation of trolling, you must realize that no one has been more harmed by trolling than me. No one hates trolls more than I, and I am invariably the first to respond to any trolling activity with maximum vigor and efficiency. Any other point of view on the subject is nothing less than aid to the trolls themselves and they no doubt appreciate your efforts.

In my roles as a Public Intellectual, in general, and as one of the leaders of the serious discussion here at Kuro5hin, in particular, I do not need to assure you nor anyone else that my efforts are utterly sincere. My record as an absolute handmaiden to Truth is unblemished, and no one has ever even tried to challenge that fact. What, pray tell, have I to apologize for?

Finally, I would ask you politely to cease posting profanity. Many of us are offended, and it says more about you than it does about me when you abuse our sensibilities with disgusting words. Think about how you will feel years from now when you look back on your posts and cringe with shame at your childish and vandalous language. I think you will thank me for having set you straight.

Adequacy.org
[ Parent ]

Tee hee hee! (none / 0) (#130)
by So many idiots So little time on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 07:03:49 PM EST

That was nice. Quite funny.

In reply to your accusation of trolling, you must realize that no one has been more harmed by trolling than me. No one hates trolls more than I, and I am invariably the first to respond to any trolling activity with maximum vigor and efficiency.

Hee hee hee!

In my roles as a Public Intellectual

*Snort* *snicker*

I can't say that I visited adequacy more than a half-dozen times, but if this is the best you can do then I'm pretty dissapointed. It's funny how a reputation can grow so big. Or maybe you just sucked this bad on adequacy too, I have no idea.

Maybe you can tell me something, though. I'm genuinely curious what you get out of posting these pseudo-self-righteous trolls. It's bloody obvious what you're doing. The only people who resopnd are people like me, who enjoy telling you to fuck off; people too dumb/lazy to comprehend your post who post equally inane replies; people gullible enough to really believe you are serious and try to correct you. Is it just the attention? Do you get a thrill when somebody takes your posts at face value? What is it?

Yeah, I'm probably feeding you too, I know... It's just that, deep down, part of me really believes that I can make a difference. That if I try really hard, you will change your trolling ways...

-----
Off wit' yer head!
[ Parent ]

You are just repeating yourself. (none / 0) (#139)
by elenchos on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 08:01:12 PM EST

Yer a troll, yer a troll, I don't like Adequacy, I don't like Adequacy. Whatever.

While you are attempting to distract me from constructive activity I have engaged three different interesting individuals on the TOPIC of this discussion, and have made a worthwhile contribution to the sum total of our knowledge though this fascinating conversation. This is why I and several others have worked so hard to make Kuro5hin a success, and in spite of your efforts we are gaining all sorts of useful w

So now, what is your complaint again? May I help you?

Adequacy.org
[ Parent ]

Actually, I asked a question. Didn't you notice? (none / 0) (#146)
by So many idiots So little time on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 08:50:43 PM EST

we are gaining all sorts of useful w

What's w?

And are you going to answer my question, or what?

-----
Off wit' yer head!
[ Parent ]

Ah! A silly person. (none / 0) (#147)
by elenchos on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 09:19:53 PM EST

The reason I work so hard to serve the people of Kuro5hin is because of the valuable discussion. I make an irreplaceable contribution, and with a some obvious exceptions, the people reciprocate. You can see this for yourself, so I am at a loss for why you act as if I have not answered you.

I do wish to take this opportunity to commend you for not saying any of the dirty words that have appeared in previous posts. I'm willing to forget all about those lapses if you are.

Adequacy.org
[ Parent ]

You must be good friends with Keith Harper... (5.00 / 1) (#111)
by EndobioticChaos on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 04:15:44 PM EST

...as well as being high on some pretty good shit. The ONLY people these so-called "antipiracy" methods harm are the honest customers. Really the only kind of "piracy" these "antipiracy" methods protect against is legal copying (fair-use) and accidental copying. Anyone serious about making illegal copies can find thousands of ways to do it. And don't believe the RIAA and all the big lables don't know this. Of course they do. But you see, they really don't care about piracy at all. What they really care about is money. They can't take money from the "pirates" so they'll make the honest customers pay for it. Isn't that sweet?
-EC
[ Parent ]
Well, so what? (2.00 / 1) (#113)
by elenchos on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 04:40:17 PM EST

They want to make money. Fine. The artists who sign with the big labels want to make money. Fine with me. Some people think they should take upon themselves the task of rescuing the poor enslaved artists from the clutches of the big, bad labels, but not me. The made a decision to sign with the label, and I respect that decision. So should you.

I don't know any honest consumers who have been harmed. I don't know anyone whose CD player was damaged by a CD, nor anyone who has had these absurd problems with their CDs wearing out or constantly getting stolen, and needed to have a cache of "backups" (wink wink). I do know pirates who have these complaints, and I know exactly why they are really complaining. I would imagine this rash of CD thefts happens to pirates who invite other pirates into their homes and find their CDs missing when they leave, along with the silver and the towels. Not surprising.

But maybe you know some "honest" consumers who have been hurt. Who? Tell me about all the CD players you've seen damaged, and ordinary folks who have lost one CD after another to theft and wear and tear, and were left high and dry because the artist didn't sell it to them in the exact format they needed to make a "backup" copy. That would be enlightening.

Adequacy.org
[ Parent ]

As I've said before here... (5.00 / 1) (#155)
by Sanction on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 10:23:52 PM EST

It's simple:
chance of protection stopping piracy-0
chance of protection stopping legitimate listener-greater than 0

Easy.

Wow, This is the most amazing loaf of bread I've ever owned!
[ Parent ]

Chance of giving elenchos a real example: (2.00 / 1) (#160)
by elenchos on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 11:09:24 PM EST

0

Adequacy.org
[ Parent ]

OK (3.00 / 1) (#164)
by Sanction on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 11:47:32 PM EST

My Mac

Wow, This is the most amazing loaf of bread I've ever owned!
[ Parent ]
And? (4.00 / 1) (#174)
by elenchos on Sat Jul 12, 2003 at 12:47:43 PM EST

What happeded to your mac?

Adequacy.org
[ Parent ]

Failure to read. (5.00 / 1) (#177)
by Sanction on Sat Jul 12, 2003 at 04:10:11 PM EST

It failed to read the CD, and required a hard reboot to get the CD to eject. This shows that it failed on at least one machine. pirates stopped-0 users stopped-1 Sufficient to prove my point.

Wow, This is the most amazing loaf of bread I've ever owned!
[ Parent ]
Curses! You're right! (1.00 / 3) (#180)
by elenchos on Sat Jul 12, 2003 at 04:33:01 PM EST

I shall contact the Department of Homeland Security immediately to report this heinous crime!

Or not. Have you contacted the Macintosh Corporation about this problem? Perhaps they have a patch you can download, or you can send in your CD-ROM for repairs. It seems rather odd that a computer's operating system would require reboot just because one IO device had difficulty reading media. You know in Windows XP you would simply restart the services for that device, because of the multi-tasking features invented by Micro-Soft. I'm sure they would be willing to license the technology to Macintosh. You might want to clean the CD, too. There are a range of excellent CD cleaning kits on the market, you know.

Sorry if I'm not impressed. This started with the wild claim that innocent consumers were having their hardware damaged by poison CDs, and after a dozen posts begging for any evidence of this phantom damage, the best you can do is tell me that once your CD ROM hung. Given the failure of the OS to handle that gracefully, I'm not even inclined to blame the CD. Did you try the CD in any other devices?

Adequacy.org
[ Parent ]

It did nothing to the OS. (4.00 / 1) (#181)
by Sanction on Sat Jul 12, 2003 at 04:36:28 PM EST

The OS was not affected, the CD wouldn't eject.  This is a hardware problem.  I'm not sure I believe that anyone is having hardware damaged, but it is possible.  My point is that this represents an inconvenience to consumers, with no possible benefit for anyone, so why bother crippling the media?

Wow, This is the most amazing loaf of bread I've ever owned!
[ Parent ]
The benefit is to protect the property of artists. (1.00 / 1) (#182)
by elenchos on Sat Jul 12, 2003 at 05:26:27 PM EST

That is what they gain, and even if this method doesn't work, it is a worthwhile effort, especially when you consider how hard it is to show any negative side effects. The example of one CD player that couldn't read it just doesn't amount to much. Especially since it could just as easily failed to read a dirty CD and locked up. That's a problem with your equipment, not a reason to go after the big bad record companies.

Putting their music on wax cylinders would be pretty inconvenient too, but if that's what they want to do, it's their right. If they gave you some kind of guarantee that that CD would work on your Macintosh Apple, then you should be able to get your money back. They'll probably give you your money back anyway, just because they actually are that nice, in spite of they tales we see posted.

So I remain utterly unconvinced that any of these new types of CDs have damaged any equipment, and am extremely skeptical that even your example of a trivial inconvenience can be blamed on the CD. Did you try the CD in any other players?

Adequacy.org
[ Parent ]

Arrgh. (none / 0) (#186)
by Sanction on Sat Jul 12, 2003 at 07:50:31 PM EST

It doesn't matter if it played on another player (it did), what matters is this:

potential consumer benefit-0
potential consumer problems-greater than 0

It will do nothing at all to stop piracy.  If there is no effect on piracy, but inconvenience to even .1% of consumers, it is a net loss for the listener.

Wow, This is the most amazing loaf of bread I've ever owned!
[ Parent ]

Oh all right then. (none / 0) (#193)
by elenchos on Sat Jul 12, 2003 at 08:28:44 PM EST

It's a net loss to the listener. A loss of some amount so tiny that we are unable to measure it by any known means, but theoretically, there is some potential loss of something. This is due to the claim of some anonymous dude on the Internet who put a CD in the player one time he and then had to reboot. The trauma was indescribable.

Let me give you another hypothetical situation: your vendors tell you that they are raising the prices of the supplies you need to make your product. You realize that you cannot turn a profit if you don't pass the increase on to your customers. The result: they pay more for the same product.

Analysis:
potential consumer benefit-0
potential consumer problems-greater than 0

EEK! Alert the media! The humanity!

You had to make a business decision in order to continue operating, and the consumer got nothing as a result except they now pay more. Guess what? It happens all the time.

If you have to raise your prices due to the losses from shoplifting, your customers suffer, and gain nothing. But what can you do? I blame the shoplifters.

So artists are forced, because of pirates, to take action. Reports (unverified, unattributed, lacking any supporting evidence) appear on a couple small web sites that a tiny number of individuals had some ill-defined problem. One even had to reboot, and spent the rest of the week in tears over it.

Who to blame? How about the pirates?

Should the artists do nothing? What if you never raised prices on your product? What if you let shoplifters rob you blind and never do anything to balance the cost? Well, of course you go out of business. And then where does that leave the poor hapless consumer?

In fact, isn't it starting to become obvious that the continued viability of making a living at music is a benefit to the consumer greater than zero?

So there. Re-do your math.

Adequacy.org
[ Parent ]

Still easy. (none / 0) (#194)
by Sanction on Sat Jul 12, 2003 at 08:59:57 PM EST

In your irrelevant little hypothetical, the consumer gains by continued access to your product.  In the case of copy protected media, it has no chance of reducing piracy in the least, so it helps neither side in any measurable way.  They can engrave their music on stone tablets if they want, but it doesn't stop it from being a stupid move.

Wow, This is the most amazing loaf of bread I've ever owned!
[ Parent ]
I see how this works. (none / 0) (#198)
by elenchos on Sat Jul 12, 2003 at 09:37:00 PM EST

You are absolutely confident that copy protecting CDs is hopeless, without the slightest infinitesimal chance of working. But you are just falling all over yourself to give as much credibility as you can to these highly dubious suggestions of "harm" to consumers. As long as you can theorize that this amounts to anything, anything at all greater than zero, that is enough to rest your whole argument on.

But the benefits of copy protection? Oh, then all of a sudden you become a skeptic. Well, if you want to see the world through that lens, go right ahead. I think we knew what your conclusion was going to be before any facts were considered anyway.

Adequacy.org
[ Parent ]

Absolutely. (none / 0) (#200)
by Sanction on Sat Jul 12, 2003 at 09:57:07 PM EST

There are proven, documented cases of certain players not working.  That makes damage to consumers absolutely, proveably greater than 0.  There is not a single, solitary case of copy protection stopping a CD from going straight to Kazaa.  In the copy protection world, the success of your mechanism is measured by how many minutes it delayed the release by.

Wow, This is the most amazing loaf of bread I've ever owned!
[ Parent ]
That's what I keep asking for! (none / 0) (#203)
by elenchos on Sat Jul 12, 2003 at 11:10:28 PM EST

Where is this documentation? And I don't mean those unattributed, nameless stories posted on some unknown guy's web site. I've seen better-documented urban legends in my spam box.

Adequacy.org
[ Parent ]

Three main places. (none / 0) (#216)
by Sanction on Sun Jul 13, 2003 at 12:13:20 PM EST

Failures in computer CD drives are addresses by manufacturers bulletins.
A number of these failures have been reported in major media outlets (though with the history of the Times, that may or may not be convincing.
A number of failures in computer, portable, and car CD players are the basis of lawsuits against the record companies in Brazil and somewhere else (I'll get around to finding it eventually, somewhere in Europe I think).  That would mean proof of the failures, and the devices, would be entered into evidence.

Wow, This is the most amazing loaf of bread I've ever owned!
[ Parent ]
Must be censored. (none / 0) (#218)
by elenchos on Sun Jul 13, 2003 at 12:43:16 PM EST

I sure can't find any credible reports. Maybe it's due to a conspiracy of the media conglomerates to suppress the truth. Perhaps anyone who comes forward is silenced; they could do this with mind-altering drugs. Yes! The same technology that is used to put bits on a CD that break the hardware is used to erase the memories of anyone who speaks out.

Could be. But I think we have a classic urban myth here. Anyway, I'd love to read one of these verified reports if you ever dig one up.

The other thing I can't find is an explanation of how, even in theory, a CD can damage a CD player simply by having a poor quality recording burned onto it. Have you run across anything explaining that?

Adequacy.org
[ Parent ]

Then you aren't looking. (none / 0) (#220)
by Sanction on Sun Jul 13, 2003 at 01:28:41 PM EST

As I said:
1. Manufacturers reports.
Apple Knowledgebase article #106882
2. Media Reports
http://news.com.com/2100-1023-912695.html
3. Lawsuits
http://www1.folha.uol.com.br/folha/ilustrada/ult90u34467.shtml

If you want more, do your own research.

How could it break a drive completely (which I didn't even know was a part of this discussion), it depends on how the scheme works and the age of the drive.  It is possible, though I am not sure how likely, that the drive could get locked into a violent seek pattern that could cause either misalignment of the head, or maybe shorten the life of the drive (mechanical parts are only built with certain stresses in mind).  There have been a few reports, with decent follow up, but none independently investigated of this type of "I smelled smoke and my drive died" failure, but the lock up errors are fully documented.

Wow, This is the most amazing loaf of bread I've ever owned!
[ Parent ]

There's an interesting article... (none / 0) (#224)
by elenchos on Sun Jul 13, 2003 at 05:08:06 PM EST

You can find it by selecting the link Copy-controlled CDs: Is the end in sight?. It includes this amazing claim:

Recent reports of problems with some computer drives and DVD players have been even more severe. The aggressive modifications made to the disc format have now gone beyond causing mere confusion, to actually causing damage to some drives. A number of people have reported noticeable changes in their drive's behavior immediately after attempting to play a copy-controlled disc. There have been cases where normal CDs play erratically or fail to play, and where drives take much longer than usual to recognise newly inserted CDs. In some cases the drive has had to be replaced, at significant expense.

That's how that issue found it's way into the discussion.

What you have provided now are links to descriptions of what happens when you take a disc labeled "Will not play on PC/Mac" and place it into a Mac CD drive anyway. It's unfortunate that the Mac can't handle a read failure without rebooting, but what is the big deal? It boils down to a medium that looks like a CD, but is not, and it comes with a label saying it's not. Yes, yes, almost a year and a half ago, in February of 2002 a lawsuit was settled because a disk didn't have a label. But they do now. Sounds like a resolution to me.

I assure you, I'm looking and looking. You used the plural -- Manufacturers reports, Media Reports, Lawsuits -- to describe your sources. Do you mean there are more than one of these? I can't find them. Are they more reports of disks marked "Will not play on PC/Mac" that won't play on a PC/Mac, or credible reports of drives that were actually damaged?

Just to recap your argument, are you saying the inconvenience to consumers who ignore a label saying "Will not play on PC/Mac" is greater than 0 and have to reboot as a result is significant enough that artists should not attempt to copy protect their CDs this way? If it really won't play in a PC or Mac, even some of the time, then it has succeeded in it's goal of protecting the artists to some degree -- a degree greater than 0.

Sounds worthwhile to me, especially since no permanent damage has been done to anyone, and the "inconvenience" to a person who ignores an obvious warning is nothing more than having to reboot.

Adequacy.org
[ Parent ]

What does it solve. (none / 0) (#225)
by Sanction on Sun Jul 13, 2003 at 05:20:32 PM EST

All it did is stop someone from listening to the purchased CD, and most likely go download it from Kazaa after returning the "CD" as defective.  The pattern I see is that it won't play on computers, won't play in a lot of other peoples car/personal CD players, therefore has inconvenienced consumers.  For it to help reduce piracy, it has to ensure that no one can ever make a digital copy.  If one person in the world makes a copy and puts it on a P2P network, the entire attempt at copy protection has failed.  I still contend that there are a decent number of players, and many computers that now can't be used to play music.  As for protecting the artists, all these albums still made it onto Kazaa and such just as quickly as always, and so didn't protect them one bit.  The consumer is inconvenienced, the artist has gained nothing.  Doesn't sound like a smart move to me.

Wow, This is the most amazing loaf of bread I've ever owned!
[ Parent ]
Heh. (none / 0) (#226)
by elenchos on Sun Jul 13, 2003 at 05:40:06 PM EST

Ever try to find a file on Kazaa that only one person has made available? It's a hit or miss proposition at best.

If you have stopped one person from making a copy, that's one win. Perfection isn't necessary because p2p isn't perfect, and anyway you have to roll new technology out and use it to make it better. This version might only stop a few people, but it's a basis to improve from, and eventually it could reach the point where enough users are unable to make copies that it begins to reduce the losses due to piracy. The potential gain is at least as real as the potential "inconvenience".

Adequacy.org
[ Parent ]

Close, but no cigar. (none / 0) (#227)
by Sanction on Sun Jul 13, 2003 at 07:04:04 PM EST

First, the potential loss is real, the potential gain is only theoretical.  It is hard to find the file the first time, but then two people are sharing it, then 4, etc...until your copy protection was rendered useless.  Judging by the opinions of nearly all respected security researchers, and a 20 year track record of every copy protection method tried being broken, usually within a week or less, I don't see the possiblity of a copy protection scheme emerging that actually makes a difference as being within the realm of probability.

Wow, This is the most amazing loaf of bread I've ever owned!
[ Parent ]
The only real loss is false expectation. (none / 0) (#228)
by elenchos on Sun Jul 13, 2003 at 07:32:14 PM EST

You simply have consumers who make the understandable mistake of assuming that anything that looks like a CD is a CD. With warning labels and a little time people can figure out that there are optical disks that don't work on all CD players

There is one form of copy protection that has been effective for centuries: never publishing. Then you only have to worry about bootlegs from live performance, which can be stopped with a reasonable effort. But then you kill the recording industry in the bargain, and the potential loss to everyone from that is vast. An attempt to avoid that disaster makes trivial inconvenience a perfectly acceptable price to pay. I find it ironic that you have unbounded faith in the potential of piracy technology to overcome anything, but no faith in the potential of copy protection technology to eventually succeed, especially since perfection isn't necessary. There only needs to be a margin of difference between either the quality of the original and the quality of a copy, or the cost and effort to make a copy versus the cost of the original, or both. Cassette tapes are a perfect example.

So anything that increases that margin of difference is a step forward.

Adequacy.org
[ Parent ]

Nope. (none / 0) (#229)
by Sanction on Sun Jul 13, 2003 at 08:10:55 PM EST

First, yes I have far more faith in those breaking protection.  Copy protection has been attempted on almost every type of media for the past 20 or 30 years, and it has been broken _every single time_, no exceptions, it has not succeeded _once_.  Is it possible they will?  Of course, anything is possible, I just see no basis in theory, history, or practice to believe it to be probable.

Making it so users cannot listen on any computer and on some other CD players is more than minor inconvenience.  In this age, the computer is often one of the primary players someone uses.

For success it does have to work with a near 100% rate.  Piracy is not from copied CD's, but from downloaded mp3's.  If only a couple of people break the protection and get the songs onto the P2P networks, they spread and multiply, and the copy protection has been rendered worthless.

A margin of difference in the quality between original and copy makes little to no difference.  People don't trade wave files or iso's (perfect reproduction), they trade mp3's (imperfect reproduction).  Most of the supposed differences in quality are simply not noticable enough by normal people with normal equipment to make any difference.  A margin of difference in the difficulty of copying also has no effect, since the copies are made by a dedicated few who already happily put forth any work necessary to make a copy.  For them, it is the glory of another "victory", the challenge of beating the system.  Once the copy is on P2P, the difficulty for the "pirates" they are worried about is the same as it always was.

Their efforts only harm the normal consumer, and are little more than a 10 minute speedbump for those that copy works into electronic format and release them into the wild.  The consumer loses the freedom to play CD's in a lot of their equipment, and the record companies delay the release of songs onto Kazaa by a day or so in even the most optimistic estimates.  Hardly a win.

I can either stay in and be annoying or go out and be stupid. The choice is yours.
[ Parent ]

Amazon should be concerned about this (4.90 / 10) (#34)
by epepke on Thu Jul 10, 2003 at 11:08:14 PM EST

Most of my recent CD's, I've bought from Amazon. Now, I expect to be able to buy a CD and transfer the songs to my iPod so that I can listen to them without lugging around all that breakable plastic. However, I'm reluctant to buy a CD nowadays unless there is a local person I can take it back to if it fails to play in my Mac.


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


i buy my CDs from Amazon too... (3.00 / 1) (#44)
by Xcyther on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 12:14:33 AM EST

But i use Marketplace more than actual Amazon. Buying used CDs makes me feel better about not supporting the RIAA directly (yes, i know - indirectly i still am). So, if i end up with a copy-protected CD, im not as distraught as i would be if i paid full-price for one since i only paid a couple bucks.

_________________________________________
"Insydious" -- It's not as bad as you think

[ Parent ]
Well, you tell me (4.09 / 11) (#47)
by Kasreyn on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 01:01:19 AM EST

As Philips predicted, though, the market is the place where the final decision will be made. How much abuse of their equipment will consumers put up with before starting to file claims for damages? How many restrictions on their fair use will they accept before starting to completely boycott "copy-controlled" products? How degraded can a disc be made and still be worth paying full price for?

You tell me. You know those bottles of bottled water people buy in the store, for usually $1.50? Did you know it costs the manufacturer less than a penny to make each of those bottles? That cost includes water and bottle. So, what do you think? If people who buy bottled water - which isn't even advertised that heavily - will put up with giving the company that produces it a profit ratio of 15,000 to one, then at what particular level of being fucked in the ass by the RIAA will they say "enough"?

Of course, bottled water is not perfectly analogous to CD's. I just use it as an example to prove that your average person seems to have no ability to decide for himself, using critical thinking, whether a product has value, and if so, what it is. Instead, he is told, and he obeys.


-Kasreyn


"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
The thing with bottled water... (4.00 / 2) (#74)
by Karmakaze on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 08:56:50 AM EST

The thing with bottled water is that it is not about the amount of markup.  It is the amount the consumer is willing to pay not to have to drink tapwater, or for the convenience of refrigeration when they are traveling.  In places where the tapwater is not especially potable, the choice is not between a $1.50 bottle of water and a $0.10 bottle of water.  It's a choice between a $1.50 bottle of water, and something that tastes nasty.  The perceived worth is $1.50  (although, for $1.50, I'm expecting at least a half-gallon - and normally I buy the 1.5 litre bottle at $0.59).

Part of the issue with CDs is not just that they are marked up, but that they are priced above the perceived value as well.
--
Karmakaze
[ Parent ]

What's unique about that? (5.00 / 2) (#83)
by roystgnr on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 10:26:33 AM EST

Part of the issue with CDs is not just that they are marked up, but that they are priced above the perceived value as well.

Everything I don't buy is priced above it's perceived value to me; if it wasn't I would buy it.

[ Parent ]

The other thing about bottled water (none / 0) (#202)
by epepke on Sat Jul 12, 2003 at 11:07:39 PM EST

People think it's really strange that someone would pay a buck and a half for bottled water. For some reason, however, they don't think it strange to pay a buck and a half for bottled water with a couple of cents worth of syrup and carbon dioxide in it.


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
Flavored water (none / 0) (#217)
by b1t r0t on Sun Jul 13, 2003 at 12:29:02 PM EST

I think it's just as strange to pay a buck and half for a bottle/can of flavored carbonated water, since I usually pay 25 cents or less per 12oz can, and I get a reasonably consistent dosage of caffiene as well. Only hotels and other captive markets like convention centers can get away with $1.50 per can pricing.

I think it's even stranger to pay a dollar or more for a cupful of said flavored water at a fast food joint, and the cup contains at least 50% frozen unflavored water (aka 'ice')!

-- Indymedia: the fanfiction.net of journalism.
[ Parent ]

Not exactly correct (5.00 / 4) (#99)
by spring on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 11:53:28 AM EST

It may cost the manufacturer a penny to put a bottle of water together, but you're not paying your $1.50 to the manufacturer.  You are paying it to the retailer, and the retailer has to cover costs like transportation and storage for the bottle, not to mention the salaries of the legions of bored teenagers who load, unload, stock, count, and vend you that bottle.


[ Parent ]
Big deal (1.45 / 31) (#49)
by Keith Harper on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 01:38:38 AM EST

Basically, what you're saying is that the efforts of record companies to protect their rights are impacting upon the ability of people to play their CDs on cheap CD players and Macintosh. To that I say, so what? The CD format is all but obsolete, now that SACD and DVD-Audio discs are generally available. What's more, serious music lovers generally have decent, modern CD players anyway. The only people affected by this are paupers and cheapskates who insist on playing their favourite CDs on twenty dollar boomboxes they bought five years ago. Let them upgrade, I say. As for the iMac users, what kind of person seriously listens to music on a computer anyway? Get a stereo, you nerds.

Serious music lovers are the worst affected (5.00 / 7) (#61)
by uazu on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 05:34:25 AM EST

Actually, it is often the people will more unusual equipment feeling a lot of the pain. DVD players (e.g. home-cinema people), high-end 'audiophile' CD players, and car CD players have especially suffered. The British Federation of Audio (representing lots of small audiophile player manufacturers) felt the need to publish a report on the problem.

If you care about the quality of the audio, you are going to be more bothered about subtle artifacts in the sound. As for only affecting Mac users, forget it. Unless you are happy to put up with extra-lo-fi 36kbps compressed audio from the typical built-in player, roughly 50% of PC users are also affected.

In addition, whichever way you look at it, the disc has been degraded. Even if your CD player manages to patch up the sound, there are likely to be much more issues as the disc gets older, and risks of incompatibility with any future equipment you buy.

[ Parent ]

You are exaggerating the problem (1.37 / 8) (#67)
by Keith Harper on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 07:18:31 AM EST

Which is hardly surprising, since the preferred rhetorical style of anti-copyright activism is hysterical paranoid doom-saying.

Things simply aren't as dire as you suggest for high-end audio. A handful of players have been affected, regrettably. The people who buy these sorts of players can usually afford to replace them, and do so every few years anyway. I've yet to meet an audiophile who didn't greet an excuse to upgrade as anything other than a gift from a benevolent God. That goes double for the married kind, naturally.

Generally, though, high-end CD players have not been affected. That the BFA released a report does not imply that the problem has reached epidemic proportions. It only takes a few narky High Street hi-fi dealers to start a stink. I'm certainly not worried about my gear. If I have managed to pick up any of these unmarked copy-protected disks, I haven't noticed any defects.

Besides that, we'll all be upgrading to DVD-Audio in a few years anyway. Within a decade, CDs will have gone the way of 8-tracks and vinyl.

On the subject of CD-ROM drives, as I said, the kinds of people who use their computers to play music are not much better then the people who buy fifty dollar CD players and wonder why they can't distinguish a cello from a pipe organ. Sound quality is clearly not an issue for that sort of person.

Finally, has it ever occurred to you that the result of the failure of these efforts to alleviate the damage caused to the industry by piracy might not be pleasant for consumers? The record industry isn't exactly going to roll over and die. They still have a hefty war chest, and a long way to go before they run out of options. What we're seeing now is the thin end of the wedge.

The fact is, piracy's impact is undisputed within the industry. Niche labels are already feeling the pinch severely. In the last two years, an unprecedented number of minor labels have shut down or are on the verge of doing so. Piracy is causing a loss of diversity in music, so I'm very much in support of anti-piracy measures.

[ Parent ]

anti piracy measures (4.25 / 4) (#68)
by djguvnor on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 07:34:52 AM EST

I'm very much in support of anti piracy measures too. The problem here is that this kind of copy protection has little or no chance of working. The record industry will be in a constant battle with the pirates who will simply keep replacing their old technology with new stuff to counter the anti copying technology and as someone else has commented if the disks must produce audio sound then you will always be able to simply link up the line out of your cd player to the line in of your computer and record.

The fight against computer viruses looks certain to continue and so does this. There can be no winner without a huge change.

As for getting people to upgrade. Why should people have to upgrade all the time just to play CDs? Then people will stop buying CDs and the downward trend in sales will surely continue. I personally don't have a video player so I don't buy videos. Simple. If my CD player won't play CDs I won't buy them.

The music industry has to look at tackling the piracy problem from a completely different angle. I may be proved wrong but I can't see copy protecting CDs as the solution. SInce it is not the solution and instead it is just inconveniencing a few people why bother?

visit: ukbassline.co.uk for new music by unsigned artists.
[ Parent ]
Copy protection can work (1.50 / 6) (#71)
by Keith Harper on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 08:06:20 AM EST

The belief that it is impossible is really just an article of faith among pirates. There are currently a few copy protection schemes which appear to be fairly strong. In a year or two, we'll know.

In any case, we certainly aren't going to see a technology arms race between pirates and the industry. It's a hardware problem, and it would need a hardware solution. Nobody is going to make a copy-protection defeating CD-ROM drive. If nothing else, the DMCA will see to that.

[ Parent ]

of course they are... (4.00 / 2) (#72)
by djguvnor on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 08:09:36 AM EST

Mobile phones are packed full of security measures and ok so maybe reselling them is more of a pain in the arse these days but you can still buy 'hot' phones. I don't know how they do it and I'm sure it's illegal but that hasn't stopped it!

visit: ukbassline.co.uk for new music by unsigned artists.
[ Parent ]
You are confusing encryption with corruption (4.60 / 5) (#73)
by uazu on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 08:37:03 AM EST

It seems clear to me that you are completely out of touch with the technical realities of these 'copy-controlled' disc formats. This isn't a true DRM/encryption/etc solution. It is more 'control through confusion'.

It is 100% clear that unbreakable CD 'copy control' (through causing confusion) is impossible. Playing a disc means reading it, and extracting the audio from the disc also means reading it. Those two processes are near identical. If it can be played, it can be extracted. In fact with modern players, playback is extraction -- the drive is 'ripping' the audio in order to play the music to you, and this includes high-end standalone players, not just computers.

This is completely different to some kind of system like SACD which is based on encryption/etc. If you are going to claim that SACD is unbreakable/really-strong/etc with DMCA to protect it, and so on, I might be more inclined to agree that you may have a point. However, claiming the same for the CD format shows a complete lack of technical understanding of the issues involved.

[ Parent ]

You are trying to prove a negative (1.75 / 4) (#75)
by Keith Harper on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 08:57:24 AM EST

The simple truth is that the only thing that is required for copy protection to work is that it makes copying impossible on all existing CD-ROM drives. Existing schemes are approaching this level of protection, if indeed they are not already there. Naturally, any manufacturer who attempts to make a CD-ROM which circumvents the protection will find themselves subject to legal action under the DMCA, with whose provisions I am sure you are well acquainted.

[ Parent ]
Your statements approach a 100% absense of truth (4.50 / 4) (#80)
by uazu on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 09:42:42 AM EST

I have many hundreds of reports that say that you are wrong, and I can probably find 1000s more to back me up if necessary. Current 'copy control' formats are in no way effective. Very roughly speaking, I would say that 30%-50% of drives can handle the corruption and permit audio to be extracted. This is enough to make 'copy control' pointless, but not enough to avoid causing constant problems for honest computer-owning consumers attempting to play their CDs or make other fair use of them.

Whether the DMCA applies to CD 'copy control' is highly questionable. There is no 'technical protection measure' in place here. If a computer CD-ROM drive is a circumvention device, then so is a normal CD player. Both are circumventing the 'measures' in order to access the data. Neither has been authorized to access the data because there is no privileged operation that requires authorization. I would say that the DMCA does not apply at all (although, as ever: "I am not a lawyer").

[ Parent ]

At this point you're wasting my time (1.40 / 5) (#82)
by Keith Harper on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 10:09:56 AM EST

And making dubious sense. If copy control is "in no way effective", then how can it be that 50%-70% of drives are unable to read the discs? That sounds like fifty to seventy percent effectiveness to me. In reality, the newer schemes are known to be more effective than those currently in common use. Of course, we can argue about this point until kuro5hin goes out of business for all the good it will do us. I'd really rather let events contradict you in their own good time.

As for the DMCA, this is precisely the sort of situation it was intended to cover, and the reason why the language was made non-specific in terms of which protection devices were covered. The wording of the DMCA clearly encompasses cases like this.

[ Parent ]

"Saying it don't make it so" (5.00 / 4) (#87)
by uazu on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 10:36:47 AM EST

I may be wasting your time, but I am certainly not wasting mine, because you are giving me a good opportunity to clarify some of the issues surrounding the 'copy control' CD problem.

50%-70% effective means totally ineffective if you have say 3-4 drives on hand. Your average innocent consumer doesn't have this, but anyone who makes their living out of copying music will certainly have access to plenty of hardware.

A non-professional determined to make a copy is not going to stopped by this either. After all, if someone went to the trouble of scanning the whole of the latest Harry Potter book to put it online, how is 'copy control' ever going to be effective against people this dedicated? 'Copy control' hits fair use and honest customers, but doesn't stop any of the activity the record companies really want to stop, so IMHO it is pointless.

Yes, I agree that some of the very recent formats are more effective at blocking access by CD-ROM drives, but they also cause many more problems on other devices, which was one of the points I was trying to make in the article.

I think it is necessary to agree to disagree about the DMCA and the future of 'copy control' formats. As you suggest, time will tell.

[ Parent ]

I don't think this is about professional pirates (4.00 / 1) (#117)
by xL on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 05:26:43 PM EST

The Hungarian CD Copying Mafia is a known factor. Easy enough todeal with: A couple of arrests now and then, after bribing your politicians to bribe their politicians to make it possible. The majors know how to deal with that. I have this feeling their problem is with the fact that their target audience (henceforward to be called the dumb consumer) are now participating at large themselves.

This is an exploded version of the home taping scare of lore. Before the portable cassette, surely there already were professional 'thieves' investing dough to cut counterfeit records. The labels only got scared when the dumb consumer could copy his records for the other dumb consumer, potentially cutting their revenues in half.

If they can keep 70% of those dumb consumers from sharing their shit with eachother, surely the impact on revenues would be significant?

[ Parent ]

It doesn't work that way (5.00 / 1) (#120)
by EndobioticChaos on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 06:18:06 PM EST

You have to remember that "70% success rate" figure is not a count of how many "dumb consumers" can't "share their shit" with someone else; rather it only means that up to 70% of the models of computer CD drives can't use the CDs. That doesn't even tell you how many of the total number of drives out there can bypass the protection. It also doesn't tell you how many consumers buy another drive that can bypass the protection when they find their first one can't. And it's also disregarding the fact that it only takes one or two people with broadband to make one copy widely distributed on Kazaa. And if at least 30% of CD drives out there are capable of bypassing the protection, you can bet it won't take long for the music to get everywhere via p2p.
-EC
[ Parent ]
Is Kazaa the factor? (4.00 / 1) (#170)
by xL on Sat Jul 12, 2003 at 04:08:05 AM EST

Admittedly I'm a bit out of touch with the world here. Is Kazaa so mainstream that "everybody" is using it? The very small sample population of "average computer users" I can draw from has 0 kazaa users among it. They get their MP3s from average computer user friends, usually on burned CD-ROMs. In my perception, the Kazaa market is more among the semi-computer-savvy teenagers.

My perspective may be completely wrong, I wonder if there has ever been some real research about the demographics on Kazaa and other P2P apps.

[ Parent ]

Missed this one (3.00 / 1) (#171)
by Keith Harper on Sat Jul 12, 2003 at 04:56:23 AM EST

'Copy control' hits fair use

Exactly which fair use rights are affected by copy control? List as many as you feel is appropriate.

[ Parent ]

Let's see. (5.00 / 1) (#179)
by Sanction on Sat Jul 12, 2003 at 04:23:55 PM EST

Right to make media backups
Right to format shifting

Both are stopped by copy control.  Thanks for playing.

Wow, This is the most amazing loaf of bread I've ever owned!
[ Parent ]

Those aren't rights (none / 0) (#183)
by Keith Harper on Sat Jul 12, 2003 at 07:01:28 PM EST

They don't appear in the copyright act or in case law, except in Canada. Under the AHRA you have the right to make private copies, but that only applies to copying devices with a serial copy management system.

[ Parent ]
Not quite. (none / 0) (#188)
by Sanction on Sat Jul 12, 2003 at 07:57:00 PM EST

Fair use is primarily decided case by case, there is no mention at all in copyright law.  Format shifting is likely covered (this is the commonly held opinion of copyright lawyers) under the 1984 decision vs Betamax and the 1999 Diamond vs RIAA case.  I am unable to find any group that thinks backups do not fall under fair use as well.  Considering that judges seem to support similar ideas, and that pretty much every other first world country supports these two, I think it likely they will be upheld in the US as well.  We will, however, have to wait for the USSC to sort it out in the end, especially with the pathetic lack of consumer protections in the US.

Wow, This is the most amazing loaf of bread I've ever owned!
[ Parent ]
Yes. Quite. (none / 0) (#189)
by Keith Harper on Sat Jul 12, 2003 at 08:07:03 PM EST

Since the AHRA clearly determines the circumstances under which private copying may take place in the US, it is unlikely that a court would successfully find in favour of private copying that does not comply with the provisions of the AHRA.

Furthermore, judges don't support this view of fair use in any other country that I know of. I defy you to find a single case in any Western country in which a judge has supported the right of individuals to make digital-to-digital copies without some other concession to the music industry (i.e. royalties paid on copying equipment). I know for a fact that British fair use is even more restricted than U.S. laws, and Australia doesn't even permit copying music for purposes of parody. Some European countries may be more permissive, but this seems unlikely. They tend to adopt stricter copyright views, based on artist's rights rather than public benefits.

At this point, the only right you have to make backup copies applies solely to computer software.

[ Parent ]

Nope, they aren't linked. (none / 0) (#199)
by Sanction on Sat Jul 12, 2003 at 09:55:23 PM EST

The AHRA does not restrict fair use, since fair use is not a set of listed rights but a defense to accusations of infringement.  Some have been listed, others found through case law, but it is still up to a judge.  Recent rulings have supported format shifting, and I have a very hard time imagining a judge disallowing backup copies (real ones, your store in your house, not the ones people "give to their friend for safekeeping" :) in the US.  A backup copy is clearly noncommercial, and has no effect on the market or value of the copyrighted work, so it should fit fair use under the Copyright Act sec 107.

Since time shifting is allowed, and recording a TV show for private use is allowed, it is not a big stretch at all to allow shifting between formats, as long as it remains for private use, and all additional copies are destroyed if the original is sold.  Also, if you read the 1999 decision in RIAA vs Diamond Multimedia, it seriously reinforces the belief that all format shifting is legal.  The AHRA has also been found to not be applicable to some digital formats, the mp3.com case sheds considerable doubt on whether the AHRA will apply to mp3's at all.

Off the top of my head, the UK fair use laws are fairly similar to those in the US, and France explicitly allows copies of reproductions as long as they are for individual use (not public performance/display).  European fair use laws are much more permissive in many areas, that is why a lot of companies move their reverse engineering work to Europe from the US.

Wow, This is the most amazing loaf of bread I've ever owned!
[ Parent ]

Private copying isn't covered under fair use (none / 0) (#204)
by Keith Harper on Sun Jul 13, 2003 at 12:45:00 AM EST

Your private copying rights in the US are well known and specified by the AHRA. In other countries, (and if you have access to lexis-nexis, you can confirm this for yourself), private copying is permitted only when the artist receives remuneration, usually in the form of levies on media. Hard drive manufacturers pay no such levy, therefore mp3 ripping is definitely illegal.

Off the top of your head, you're dead wrong about UK fair use laws. They are nowhere near the level of permissiveness of US laws. In fact, no other nation has fair use laws as permissive as the US. I suggest you re-acquaint yourself with them, since you seem to think they somehow entitle the copying of entire works, which is plainly untrue, since the size of the portoin of the work being copied is a key factor in fair use decisions.

As for the RIAA vs Diamond decision, you  should probably read the thing before you misinterpret it. RIAA lost because the court did not see the Rio as a piracy device. The reasoning behind this was that the the Rio copies only from hard drives, not from originals. This has absolutely nothing to do with format shifting. Essentially, all that the decision means is that, since hard drives are not considered a digital music format (basically because they do not exclusively or primarily store music), devices which copy from them fall outside the ambit of the AHRA. Furthermore, since it was impossible to copy music from the Rio, it was deemed to be very much in the spirit of the AHRA prohibition of serial copying anyway. This has no bearing on whether or not transferring copyright music to or from hard drives constitutes an infringement. In any case, the Rio case makes clear that copying from a digital music storage device (such as CDs and CD players) is not exempt from the AHRA, at least, not according to the same line of reasoning used by Diamond.

As for the Betamax case, that was decided in favour of Sony on the grounds that the devices had substantial non-infringing uses. While this case provides the initial grounding for the concept of time-shifting, format-shifting did not enter into the decision. In fact, the term "Format shifting" is found in no federal court cases. Since the only people who use it seem to be anti-copyright activists, it appears to be yet another made-up word made up intended  to conjure up an illusion of validity for their lost cause, through an unreasonably broad interpretation of earlier decisions. For an example of how effective that sort of word bandying has been, I refer you to Jessica Litman's attempts to use the claim of "space-shifting" to defend Napster, in which Litman was more or less laughed out of court.

[ Parent ]

well (none / 0) (#208)
by heng on Sun Jul 13, 2003 at 05:17:37 AM EST

perhaps the RIAA should sue every single person that uses any copyrighted content. Even books rely on format shifting to read them - from ink-on-paper, to encoded electromagnetic radiation, to electrical pulses in the optic nerve. Digital devices are even more blatant, most using a buffer as an intermediary between the original format and the decoder stage.

The point is that the process of perceiving that content (which is required by copyright holders to make money) necessarily requires format shifting.

[ Parent ]
Maybe if they were insane... (none / 0) (#211)
by Keith Harper on Sun Jul 13, 2003 at 05:55:44 AM EST

Save it for philosophy 101. Nobody regards photons or eyes as a format for anything. Besides which, copyright law expressly permits copying when it is a necessary step in legitimate use. That's why nobody can sue web caches, for instance.

[ Parent ]
ha! (none / 0) (#223)
by heng on Sun Jul 13, 2003 at 02:09:26 PM EST

copyright law expressly permits copying when it is a necessary step in legitimate use.
Actually, British copyright law doesn't.

[ Parent ]
Not quite. (none / 0) (#219)
by Sanction on Sun Jul 13, 2003 at 01:05:05 PM EST

No court cases cover either of these directly.  All anyone can have is an educated guess about how they will be viewed.  The archival copy is already explicitly allowed in software, and meets most of the possible restrictions for fair use.  It has a consumer necessity, is non commercial, and does not harm the value of the copyright owners material in any way.  The consensus among the sources I have read is that if anyone tried to take someone to court over simple backup copies (as I said, not a "I gave backup copies to my friend for safekeeping", judges are not stupid), it would be upheld as fair use.  There is also the fact that the AHRA already explicitly allows the making of backup copies to tape, CD, or DAT.  All this seems to further support the idea that backup copies are legit.

Format shifting is, of course, not mentioned in any court documents.  That would be because it has not been tested in the courts.  In Betamax, the court even stated that it fit a societal good to allow people to record from TV to VCR (which meets the definition of format shifting I am familiar with, I am still unsure how it is a propaganda term to you) because they were otherwise restricted to viewing only one show at once.  Given the history of similar issues to the current format shifting debate, there are many similar arguments that the court has upheld, and none that the court has shut down.  Since a fair use case is only decided when it hits a judge, we'll never know until then, but all indications seem to point at format shifting being another acceptable application of fair use.

My recollection of UK law may be a bit dim.  I recall the CCA specifying that electronic copies of works must be transferred with the work, and that full copywrite protections and the same rights as the original rest with a further copy if the original is unusuable.  These can be overridden by specific licensing terms, so it is more restrictive than the US.

As far as these issues go, in the end, there is no law or precedent that directly covers either one, so the only certainty is that neither of us knows how the courts will rule.  Given the legislation being brought before Congress this year, as well as the way the court has decided on previous cases, I think it likely the court will rule in the publics favor.  This is not a minority view that can be written off to "the pirates" or somesuch, it is also the opinion of a number of members of Congress and a goodly number of IP lawyers and teachers.  Obviously, there are those that disagree, but I have a feeling the issue will be settled soon, either by legislation or litigation.  At least it won't be a boring year.

Wow, This is the most amazing loaf of bread I've ever owned!
[ Parent ]

The law is not your bitch (none / 0) (#231)
by Keith Harper on Sun Jul 13, 2003 at 08:50:59 PM EST

Read the law instead of assuming you know what it's all about. Please. The AHRA permits making digital copies only when the hardware involved includes some kind of serial copy management system. Software backups are not covered under fair use law either, that right is granted separately.

I no longer have the time to drag out every piece of case law you cite erroneously. You do not understand the cases you cite, but that doesn't seem to be preventing you from assuming that they say what you want them to. You are clearly only interested in proving to yourself that what you want to believe happens to be true. If I were you, I'd read some sources other than internet piracy activism sites and charlatan demagogue lawyers who can't win cases.

[ Parent ]

I understand perfectly. (none / 0) (#232)
by Sanction on Sun Jul 13, 2003 at 11:05:51 PM EST

_I am not claiming these are case law._  I made that point repeatedly in my post.  The AHRA is not the end all law concerning this.  Fair use is not a law, it is a legal defense.  It does not matter what the AHRA says if a judge rules that the person charged is doing things permitted under fair use.  All the referenced cases tend to do is show that judges seem more inclined these days to allow actions very similar to format shifting under the fair use defense, and so it is quite possible they will allow format shifting as well.

Also, the applicability of the AHRA to these issues is not certain.  Read the ruling in the Napster case for example.  In the opinion (giving a summary of the AHRA and the results of the 9th circuit decision) states "9C held that the Rio player is not a digital audio recording device subject to the AHRA's restrictions, and that computers and computer hard drives are not digital audio recording devices."  This seems to be a broader reading of that case than you claim can be made.

I clearly stated in my post numerous times that I cannot know what is true.  I also stated that the courts do not give any indication of supporting your reading of probable results either.  I will repeat my last post: none of the previous cases impact directly on these issues, and it doesn't matter.  What they do show is a set of rulings that seem to support a fairly broad reading of consumer fair use rights, and a fairly narrow application of the AHRA.  If the AHRA was really that relevant to this choice, you would think at least one of these cases would have decided it was applicable to the questions.  I have no beliefs I am trying to support, I am just trying to show that the certainty of your position is not as solid as you seem to think it is, and that in the almost complete absence of relevant case law, we'll just have to wait for a ruling to find out.

I can either stay in and be annoying or go out and be stupid. The choice is yours.
[ Parent ]

Are you stupid, or just trolling? (4.50 / 4) (#90)
by BrentN on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 10:39:20 AM EST

Its "in no way effective" because I can rip the nice audio stream. It isn't fast, but boy does it work. And if you munge the audio data, then it sounds like shit.

You are arguing for the buggy whip manufacturers, as they try to pass laws requiring that all horseless carriages be equipped with buggy whips. I'm not sure if that makes you shortsighted or just pathetic. In any case, you've wasted all of our time with your bleatings, so I guess its only fair that someone waste a little of yours.

[ Parent ]

50% to 70% is not enough (4.50 / 2) (#91)
by pin0cchio on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 10:41:28 AM EST

That sounds like fifty to seventy percent effectiveness to me.

Fifty to 70 percent effectiveness is nowhere near enough. The labels need at least 99 percent to discourage potential casual pirates from just buying the unaffected drives.


lj65
[ Parent ]
How long do you think that will take? nt (none / 0) (#143)
by Keith Harper on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 08:24:10 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Forever... (none / 0) (#153)
by Sanction on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 10:07:10 PM EST

Remember, Hong Kong is not under US jurisdiction (yet...), and they aren't hindered by the DMCA.  When someone wants something, someone else will provide it.  With the advent of P2P, only one person has to crack the protection before it is mirrored all over the net, rendering it useless.

The summarized problem of copy protection is:
probability of stopping piracy-0
probablilty of interfering with legitimate listening-greater than 0

All it achieves is annoyance of the customer with no benefit to anyone.

Wow, This is the most amazing loaf of bread I've ever owned!
[ Parent ]

Hong Kong is under the Berne Convention (none / 0) (#158)
by Keith Harper on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 10:43:44 PM EST

Which obliges them to include provisions in their copyright laws analogous to the DMCA. Furthermore, TRIPs requires them to enforce those provisions or face penalties.

[ Parent ]
Nominally... (none / 0) (#159)
by Sanction on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 10:55:25 PM EST

By the time enforcement comes around, a copy is in the wild, and the copy protection measure was still 100% useless.

Wow, This is the most amazing loaf of bread I've ever owned!
[ Parent ]
Here's what you aren't getting (none / 0) (#161)
by Keith Harper on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 11:10:19 PM EST

CD copy protection isn't a software problem. It's a hardware problem. Hardware can't be distributed electronically.

[ Parent ]
Only until the first copy is made. (none / 0) (#163)
by Sanction on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 11:46:51 PM EST

Once a single copy is made, how will anyone stop people from playing it? There will always be someone who can make hardware that will read it.

Wow, This is the most amazing loaf of bread I've ever owned!
[ Parent ]
Assuming a copy can be made... (none / 0) (#165)
by Keith Harper on Sat Jul 12, 2003 at 12:10:59 AM EST

...distribution of illegal copies can be prosecuted, obviously. Record companies don't expect to stamp out copying completely. They have enough perspective to understand that some piracy is inevitable. The aim is merely to return piracy to its pre-internet levels, by limiting the ability of ordinary people to make and distribute copies, and by pursuing dedicated pirates and p2p networks in the courts.

[ Parent ]
A safe assumption. (none / 0) (#166)
by Sanction on Sat Jul 12, 2003 at 12:41:26 AM EST

Once the genie is out of the bottle and a copy is made (outside of the US, not prosecutable), it will fly through the P2P networks.  Once it is out there, it can't be retracted, and can be downloaded by anyone.  All their litigation is producing is better and better P2P, less traceable, and fully anonymous.  Soon there will be no way to legislate, and no way to prosecute.

The only strengths of the record companies came from payola to the radio stations to control what is heard, and control of the distribution networks to control (to a degree) what is promoted and sold.  People are now realizing, with the advent of the iTunes service, how useless they really are.

Wow, This is the most amazing loaf of bread I've ever owned!
[ Parent ]

We've entered a strange fantasy world (none / 0) (#169)
by Keith Harper on Sat Jul 12, 2003 at 01:34:37 AM EST

Once the genie is out of the bottle and a copy is made (outside of the US, not prosecutable), it will fly through the P2P networks.  Once it is out there, it can't be retracted, and can be downloaded by anyone.  All their litigation is producing is better and better P2P, less traceable, and fully anonymous.  Soon there will be no way to legislate, and no way to prosecute.

These are all unsupported articles of faith for pirates. It's not possible to produce a completely anonymous p2p network that can cope with anything but the lightest of user loads.

The only strengths of the record companies came from payola to the radio stations to control what is heard, and control of the distribution networks to control (to a degree) what is promoted and sold.  People are now realizing, with the advent of the iTunes service, how useless they really are.

No doubt you've survived the record industry's payola mind control tricks by wearing the ever-popular tin foil helmet. As though record companies only want to profit from certain kinds of music! Or, for that matter, are unwilling to sign deals with artists who have become popular on their own. Those of us more firmly tied to reality understand that the strength of record companies has always been their ability to find, develop and promote the sorts of music people want to buy. The idea that the popularity of major label music stems from a strangle-hold on radio playlists is quite clearly contradicted by the overwhelming success of rap music over the last two decades, despite the up-hill battle rappers have fought in getting any airplay at all.

But hey, keep wearing that ol' metal hat. You wouldn't want to catch any of those mind control radio rays and start liking sony music stars like rage against the machine or something.

[ Parent ]

Hmm, lets see. (none / 0) (#176)
by Sanction on Sat Jul 12, 2003 at 04:08:52 PM EST

Wow, what a great bunch of irrelevant answers. First, let's see who is dealing in articles of faith. I belive that I am correct since there is not ONE historical example of a successful copy protection mechanism. It seems to be an article of faith with you that the impossible will happen. Anonymous P2P has made great leaps in a couple of years. It is encrypted P2P that may have scaling problems. If you think these problems will last for more than another year or so, you really have no concept of the state of the art. Where do you get all this rediculous "mind control" rant from? If their strength wasn't from the control of playlists, why was it such an uphill battle for people to get noticed? If they didn't have such control, the massive number of people who loved rap would have led it to popularity far sooner, with much less resistance from both the labels and radio. The fact that only one trend has succeeded in spite of the labels further illustrates their control. So, please show me the non-industry music being played on Clear Channel radio and other such conglomerates? Payola is not a theory, it is a fact of the industry, proven through lawsuits. I suggest you look outside of your comfortable RIAA employee world and actually talk to a DJ or two, you might find out that the world looks a bit different without the blinders on.

Wow, This is the most amazing loaf of bread I've ever owned!
[ Parent ]
Why doesn't it default to text.... (none / 0) (#178)
by Sanction on Sat Jul 12, 2003 at 04:10:49 PM EST

Sorry for the lack of paragraphs, forgot to set it to text.

Wow, This is the most amazing loaf of bread I've ever owned!
[ Parent ]
it's in the user settings (nt) (none / 0) (#209)
by djotto on Sun Jul 13, 2003 at 05:22:55 AM EST



[ Parent ]
Sure, peewee, sure (1.00 / 1) (#187)
by Keith Harper on Sat Jul 12, 2003 at 07:53:07 PM EST

Wow, what a great bunch of irrelevant answers. First, let's see who is dealing in articles of faith. I belive that I am correct since there is not ONE historical example of a successful copy protection mechanism. It seems to be an article of faith with you that the impossible will happen.

Translation: hasn't happened in the past, couldn't possibly happen in the future. Perfectly logical.

Anonymous P2P has made great leaps in a couple of years.

If you send and receive files directly, it's still traceable by IP. If you are transferring files indirectly, then the traffic levels will be crippling. Besides that, the indexing of music files has been found illegal in US courts. Since all non-centralised p2p services shift the job of indexing to selected participants, those participants are likely to be exposed to liability. Finally, there's no way you can connect to a public service without revealing your IP to other people who are connected.

Where do you get all this rediculous "mind control" rant from? If their strength wasn't from the control of playlists, why was it such an uphill battle for people to get noticed? If they didn't have such control, the massive number of people who loved rap would have led it to popularity far sooner, with much less resistance from both the labels and radio. The fact that only one trend has succeeded in spite of the labels further illustrates their control.

The "industry" doesn't force people to listen to their top 40 radio stations. Has it ever occurred to you that the reason people tune in to those stations is because the music that's playing happens to be what they want to listen to? Or do you believe that the RIAA has some method of preventing people from shifting their dial away from pop music radio?

The reason your beloved indie bands get nowhere isn't some conspiracy to keep them out of the limelight. It's because they have limited appeal. Which is one of the reasons you like them, isn't it?

The lowest common denominator sells consistently for the simple reason that it appeals to more people. That's why it's the lowest common denominator. You might not like this situation, but you'll never beat it. The record industry doesn't dictate public taste, they just understand it. Anyway, are you really having that much trouble finding music you like down at the alternative record store? It's really kind of an adolescent attitude to expect your favourite music to defeat all other music and become wildly successful. Do you honestly think it would sound better if it reached number one? Or do you see the chart success of your favourite bands as some kind of personal validation?

Finally, you have a short memory for music history. The last three decades have been peppered with break outs from underground styles. Punk rock in the late seventies and alt rock in the early nineties spring instantly to mind. The current garage rock revival has gotten a lot of attention as well. Besides, did you know that the highest selling album in Britain in 1993 was a classical record? Amazing. And without commercial airplay, too!

In any case, when you clowns start talking about the alleged ability of the record industry to force people to listen to bad music against their will, and the magic future powers of anonymous p2p which defy e'en the limitations of the internet itself, the conversation has officially run out of steam. Keep stealin' them records, kiddo. That's definitely the best way to support independent artists.

[ Parent ]

Tough finding anything I said in here... (none / 0) (#201)
by Sanction on Sat Jul 12, 2003 at 10:41:37 PM EST

Please redirect any reply to the second post I made, this is getting a bit narrow on the right side of the screen.

I'm having a tough time digging through your brain dump to find the tiny fragments that respond to anything I actually said.

"Wow, what a great bunch of irrelevant answers. First, let's see who is dealing in articles of faith. I belive that I am correct since there is not ONE historical example of a successful copy protection mechanism. It seems to be an article of faith with you that the impossible will happen.

Translation: hasn't happened in the past, couldn't possibly happen in the future. Perfectly logical."

and

"In any case, when you clowns start talking about the alleged ability of the record industry to force people to listen to bad music against their will, and the magic future powers of anonymous p2p which defy e'en the limitations of the internet itself, the conversation has officially run out of steam. Keep stealin' them records, kiddo. That's definitely the best way to support independent artists."

Let's start with the technology bit.  We have here two conflicting opinions.  You: copy protection will eventually mature and stop infringement, Me: copyers and P2P networks will render copy protection pointless.

Evidence that copy protection will work: none at all.
Evidence that copy protection will fail: the fact that not one single copy protection mechanism has ever succeeded so far without being broken, and the nearly universal holding of those in the computer security field that the kind of protection they want is impossible without controlling absolutely every component between the factory and the users eardrum.
Evidence that P2P will fail: a dumb "magic future powers" line from you and an unsupported statement about bandwidth usage
Evidence that P2P will succeed: the continuting evolution of a number of competing networks, the continuing improvement in speed, the continuting advances in security and anonymous transactions

You see, the P2P and protection breaking communities have an unbroken track record of success, and the copy protection community has an unbroken track record of failure.  I never said it is impossible they will succeed, just very, very unlikely.

Next comes your screed about forced listening and record stealing, neither of which I even alluded to.  They cannot force anything.  If they could, the rare instances you list would not be so memorable.  The popularity of music often does lie in the lowest common denominator, but a lot of this is self fulfilling.  Music becomes popular because it is liked, but people only like what they hear.  Since 70% of radio stations play only what they are paid to play, and a very large chunk of the remainder are either all talk or play very small niche music, the majority of exposure to mainstream music is only exposure to what the record companies pay to have heard.  The airplay makes it popular more than the quality.  If most other mainstream bands were given the same paid airplay, they would also achieve a similar level of success.  There is no force, but not much real choice either.

As to accusing me of "piracy" and all the indie band comments, wrong again.  I actually rarely listen to music at all.  I do in fact own a CD by Rage Against the Machine though, good guess.  I purchase 1 or 2 CD's per year, usually soundtracks.  I have downloaded only one song total, the theme song for "Tour of Duty" which I couldn't find a decent recording of elsewhere (it was originally a Stones song, but all their recordings of it sounded really lousy).

Maybe you could address my real points now, instead of all the strawmen you set up, and the pathetically inaccurate generalizations you made.

Wow, This is the most amazing loaf of bread I've ever owned!
[ Parent ]

Re: (none / 0) (#207)
by djotto on Sun Jul 13, 2003 at 05:16:18 AM EST

there is not ONE historical example of a successful copy protection mechanism

X-Box, ZMud, PGP, Windows Media, Real, etc. etc.

Yes, many of these can be bypassed at a lower level (mod-chip an X-Box, analogue-hole a Real stream, rubber-hose the PGP passphrase out of the recipient). That doesn't change the fact that they are successful at what they're intended to do, though. Nobody's cracked them.

In fact, you appear to be saying that copy protection can't work, but encrypted P2P is inevitable? Odd... you realise they're the same thing, don't you?



[ Parent ]
But those aren't. (none / 0) (#230)
by Sanction on Sun Jul 13, 2003 at 08:21:53 PM EST

Not at all.  Most of these aren't copy protection, and they certainly haven't succeeded.  The only comperable part of PGP is the built in reader that doesn't allow copy and paste, but you can easily screen scrape to OCR.  The analogue hole makes it impossible to ever successfully copy protect music, and the mod-chip argument does as well.  Breaking doesn't require letting each person have an easy way to personally access it, it just requires that a small number of people successfully break it, copy the data to another format, and make that copy widely and easily avaliable.  They may use the analogue hole, or modded hardware, or a software crack, or a magic marker.  After they do, it is now an mp3, avaliable from an ever expanding number of people on your P2P network of choice.

I have been given to understand that the goal of copy protection is to stop the widespread distribution of unlicensed copies.  None of these methods have succeeded at that goal.

I can either stay in and be annoying or go out and be stupid. The choice is yours.
[ Parent ]

Definitions (none / 0) (#235)
by djotto on Mon Jul 14, 2003 at 07:02:48 AM EST

We're spiralling rapidly towards arguing definitions here, which really doesn't get us anywhere.

However...

Claiming that those copy-protection schemes are unsuccessful because they don't close the analogue hole is about as sensible as claiming they're unsuccessful because they don't cure cancer. They weren't designed to do either - I know that, you know that, the people who designed them know that.

Most of these aren't copy protection, and they certainly haven't succeeded

The fact that PGP has existed for several years without apparently being cracked suggests that public/private key pairs are a solid approach to copy protection. The same approach is used successfully in the X-Box, and would probably be used in any encrypted P2P tool.

The analogue hole makes it impossible to ever successfully copy protect music

True. But that's got nothing to do with what you originally said. ("there is not ONE historical example of a successful copy protection mechanism"). These schemes are only intended to stop you stripping the protection from a file and doing what you want with it. Nothing more. They achieve that.

I have been given to understand that the goal of copy protection is to stop the widespread distribution of unlicensed copies. None of these methods have succeeded at that goal.

Again, try finding a crack for ZMud. AFAIK, one hasn't existed in several years. That alone gives the lie to your original "not ONE historical example" statement, which was the only thing I took issue with.



[ Parent ]
Definitions...the fun. (none / 0) (#237)
by Sanction on Mon Jul 14, 2003 at 02:03:18 PM EST

I see where we're off.  I was thinking in terms of it achieving the goal of copy protection, which is to stop a copy being made of the protected content.  I believe you are correct, some schemes have succeeded in that their algorighms have not yet been broken.  My point in this thread was just that for all the effort, and all the consumer annoyance, they have never ever succeeded in putting a dent in "piracy".  And I must say, it is amazing that you posted to this thread this far down, not many people brave the two word wide column ;)

I can either stay in and be annoying or go out and be stupid. The choice is yours.
[ Parent ]
Can't argue with that (nt) (none / 0) (#238)
by djotto on Mon Jul 14, 2003 at 02:49:38 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Sorry, caught me in the wrong mood. (5.00 / 1) (#185)
by Sanction on Sat Jul 12, 2003 at 07:48:52 PM EST

Let's try this again without trying to handle kids in the background.

"These are all unsupported articles of faith for pirates."

The unsupported article of faith is that copy protection can work.  I can go through the history of the industry and related ones, and show you hundreds of attempts at copy protection.  The common thread?  Every single one, without exception, was broken, most within a week or so.  It takes a major act of faith to believe that something which must be translated from digital to analog cannot be broken somewhere along the way.  Until I see a single copy protection mechanism work, it is rational belief, not faith.

"It's not possible to produce a completely anonymous p2p network that can cope with anything but the lightest of user loads."

Hmm, who is promoting things to articles of faith?  P2P has been steadily growing more scalable, even with anonymous transfers.  Encryption and authentication are the expensive operations.  The development of more efficient algorithms simply depends on analysis of the current problems and incremental improvements.  They, unlike the copy protection researchers, have been producing better methods each year.

"No doubt you've survived the record industry's payola mind control tricks by wearing the ever-popular tin foil helmet."

First, I fail to see the need for petty insults.  That the industry determines which albums receive radio play on the vast majority stations by cash payment is proven, verifiable fact, not a conspiracy theory.  Radio stations rarely if ever play an album because it has become popular, instead, radio play is what causes albums to become popular.  This is a major issue with the industry, and has even been covered by major news networks.

The fact that rappers have, even with massive popularity, faced an uphill battle to receive airplay is due to that control.  Once a number of rappers signed major label contracts, how difficult was it for them to get airplay?

The music industry has steadily offered less and less value to the consumer.  Apple's iTunes is a big problem for their current model because of this.  They are now worrying that people just buy one or two tracks, and don't have to pay anymore for the 12 low quality filler tracks that many albums are filled with.

Music sales will continue to go down until they offer value for the money.  People are tight with spending right now, and are a bit more careful what they buy.  For the same price as a 1 hour music CD, often with a lot of filler I will never listen to, I have better options.  I can buy a movie on DVD, often now with 1 or 2 extra disks of content, offering hours of content, and still have enough left over to buy a hot dog on the way out.  While the movie industry has added content and reduced prices, the record industry has offered less content and has raised prices.  This is not a recepie for success.  Instead they have pushed broken media and filed lawsuits against people and P2P networks.  Popularity matters, consider that more people use P2P networks than voted for our president.

My other major concern is the side effects.  As a consequence of their attempts at legal and copy protection, the consumer is the one that will be penalized.  We will be stuck buying new hardware each time the current "copy protection" is broken.  Given the history that almost every protection scheme is broken within a few days at most, this could be an expensive arms race indeed.  I am also worried that they will purchase more and more restrictive legislation, which will often have unforseen consequences on other areas and rights.

I hope this clarifies my position better than my previous post, the joys of children who want lunch ;)

Oh, and I notice our discussion is getting narrower and narrower, we might want to move to a new toplevel post...

Wow, This is the most amazing loaf of bread I've ever owned!
[ Parent ]

You are inventing evidence (none / 0) (#205)
by Keith Harper on Sun Jul 13, 2003 at 02:24:04 AM EST

Ok, I took my impression of you as a petulant indie rock teenager a little too far there. Apologies. You do seem like you get all your opinions about the music industry from the letters section in whatever local music rag they give away for free wherever you are.

The lowest common denominator isn't determined by the record industry. It's a result of the fact that teenage girls will always want to listen to pretty women and hunky men sing about eternal love, and teenage boys will always want to listen to music about anger and bitterness and teenage girls, and people in general prefer to listen to music that is very easy to understand, which is to say, the same stuff they heard yesterday, changed slightly to keep them from getting bored. It's a formula that record companies understand very well, and it's why people will always listen to pop music in preference to jazz, classical, alternative, world, folk or anything else. Playing Yo La Tengo every other hour on chart radio isn't going to catapult them to international fame. People like what they like.

The only people that major record companies compete with for radio airplay on top 40 stations is other major labels. Very few people outside the major labels are interested in making lowest common denominator music. Meanwhile, radio stations aren't going to start playing other kinds of music, because they would lose listeners. It must have occurred to you that the reason there are so many top 40 stations is that those are the stations that make the most money, simply because they are what people are willing to listen to. Why do you think those stations would exist if there wasn't such a sizeable demand for them? It isn't manipulation by the record companies, it's just human nature. Market forces have determined that people like to listen to pap.

Once a number of rappers signed major label contracts, how difficult was it for them to get airplay?

Several of the most successful rappers have never signed major label contracts. Until a few years ago, very few of the big names in rap were ever given much airplay outside of the occasional rap music station.

Music sales will continue to go down until they offer value for the money.

You still don't understand the concept of checking your economic opinions against actual figures. Consumer spending in the US is not, repeat not down. In entertainment, spending has risen several percent since the dot com crash. This is mostly a result of interest rate cuts, and is unlikely to continue unless the economy improves. Regardless of why people continue to spend, it is simply an absolute lie to claim that people are being tight with their money.

As for the quality of their output, you would have to determine this with reference to the level of adulation given to pop stars by teenage girls, which looks basically unaffected to me. The fact that you don't like Britney doesn't justify the claim that quality has somehow dropped in the pop industry. The only people complaining about a drop in quality that I've ever seen are people who don't like pop music anyway.

I suspect that you don't understand the nature of anonymous p2p networks. Try and follow this: If I send or receive a file directly to/from you, we both reveal our IP addresses to each other. This is sufficient to puncture anonymity, since courts have shown themselves to be more than willing to issue orders to ISPs to divulge IP records. The alternative is that we pass the files through intermediaries. The result of this is that the traffic load of the network is increased with every intermediary added, since every transfer involves more than just the sender and the receiver. Such a network would rely on the presence of extremely high bandwidth users to be able to operate at all. Those users would become obvious targets for litigation.

So, you can't send or receive files anonymously. Encryption won't help, since you still have to reveal an IP address at some stage, and all the RIAA needs to do is search for their property and commence downloads to find IPs.

[ Parent ]

Re (none / 0) (#206)
by djotto on Sun Jul 13, 2003 at 04:59:09 AM EST

We're way down the bottom of the thread here, so nobody's going to see this. However, I just wanted to say you're a little off-base about radio stations.

If you look at a listener curve for a station, you'll see a peak around the drive-to-work hour, followed by a slow decline through the day.

Stations are all about minimising that slow decline... their concern isn't with the individual listener, but with workplace listeners, because a group is far less likely to flip the dial than an individual.

So, the station's emphasis isn't on playing music people want to hear, because what one person loves another will hate. Rather, they play music that isn't irritating enough for a group to get together and change the channel. Important distinction. It's not reasonable to say that radio stations reflect popular taste - rather, they play things that nobody will find too offensive. Wallpaper.

(BTW, you're off on your intermediaries-cause-slowdowns remark. Check out Bittorrent, that relies in intermediaries to increase bandwidth. It would be a small step to use intermediaries to also obfuscate, so nobody is sure where the file was originally shared from. There's also the volume argument - you can't prosecute all 60 million US P2Pers. The odds of you personally getting prosecuted are about the same as the odds of winning the lottery).

[ Parent ]

Yeah, only the compulsives are still with us (none / 0) (#210)
by Keith Harper on Sun Jul 13, 2003 at 05:36:43 AM EST

On the subject of radio stations, I was under the impression that the biggest segment of the market apart from top 40 music was easy listening/greatest hits. Since those stations aren't driving Neil Diamond back to the top of the hit parade, try as they might, you have to assume chart success is based on something other than raw airplay anyway.

Bittorrent doesn't seem to solve the problem. It just caches all downloaded files at each client. This isn't much different from how KaZaA works. In any case, all this is doing is changing the person you download from. This might take some of the heat away from the big pirates (people who regularly upload tens of gigabytes of data), they'll still be detectable since they'll still be generating most of the traffic. It's unlikely that their complete inventory will get cached in enough places to conceal their presence.  (It hasn't happened with KaZaA.) Bittorrent is not really providing anything that isn't already in common use.

The volume argument is a bit naive as well. Even if they start targetting the smaller pirates, the RIAA only has to sue enough people to scare away the less dedicated users, who are probably quite numerous, if not the majority. The fewer users there are on the network, the less useful it becomes, and the problem would very likely shrink down to manageable proportions fairly rapidly. Realistically, though, they only need to target people who offer huge libraries of files, since p2p really works mostly by regular users freeloading off the bigger pirates. With those sources of material gone, people will probably lose interest.

[ Parent ]

Heh. (none / 0) (#212)
by djotto on Sun Jul 13, 2003 at 06:58:38 AM EST

It's a weakness (or strength?) of web discussion boards that they make it hard to run month-long threads a la Usenet. Ok, let's see...

Since those stations aren't driving Neil Diamond back to the top of the hit parade, try as they might, you have to assume chart success is based on something other than raw airplay anyway.

I always understood that single sales were strictly a teenage-girl thing, and have been falling since the 80s in any case. (It's claimed that's why one of the two UK singles charts now includes airplay in it's calculations.)

Adults simply don't buy singles; they don't see it as value-for-money. So the demographic that listens to easy-listening radio doesn't overlap much with the single-buying demographic. No surprise that The Eagles don't get many top 10 singles, then.

However, the album charts... well, in the recent past older music has been doing pretty well there. Mostly because of fans replacing vinyl copies of albums with CDs, or more casual listeners buying best-of compilations. I guess that's mostly over now, bar marketing 24-bit re-masters to the die-hard fans... which may be another reason why CD sales are falling. (There doesn't have to be a single cause - there can be a whole range of factors conspiring.)

Bittorrent is not really providing anything that isn't already in common use.

Thought experiment, bear with me. A file is cached on machines A and B. You want that file. A hands you a block of random data, B hands you another block. When XOR'd together, the blocks become the original file. A isn't sharing, in any way, the original file. Just random noise. Neither is B. Can either be prosecuted? (I suspect yes - laws leave enough wiggle room for judges to close such loopholes. But I think there are enough stupid tricks like that to keep the lawyers chasing new P2P networks for years to come. For example, what happens when A is in Brazil and B is in Texas?)

Even if they start targetting the smaller pirates, the RIAA only has to sue enough people to scare away the less dedicated users, who are probably quite numerous, if not the majority.

Possibly. From a purely personal point of view (not trying to argue a position, just talking for myself), I don't much care about P2P. By it's very nature it's another vehicle for pop; it's a lot easier to find Robbie Williams on Kazaa than (random example) Fourteen Ice Bears. This is why I find people who claim it's all about independant artists yet still support P2P slightly suspicious.

Also, P2P is based on searching for a particular string, which means you can only download stuff you already know about - the system makes exploration hard. In that sense, it's worse than radio. My own particular kinks (at the moment) are twee and alt.country. I know no-one I can share recommendations with, and UK radio doesn't cater to me, so I search online. The systems that attract me are more broadcast-like, but where I can still make decisions within that stream.

emusic.com's all you can eat service is pretty neat, too - again, it allows me to experiment and download stuff just because it might be interesting. If I had to pay Apple's $1 a song, I'd only grab things I knew I liked. (In fact, I just wouldn't use it because I don't trust Apple not to break the file format. But anyway.)

Back on the soap-box... I believe that laws should represent the will of the people - they're a kind of collective morality. If 60 million people in the US are using P2P networks, then perhaps the law should be changed, not the people. The record industry doesn't have any moral right to profit from a particular business model - we have a better way to distribute music now, so lets use it. Personally, I'm more than happy for the march of technology to simply destroy the whole system, just to find out what will replace it.



[ Parent ]
Morality vs democracy (none / 0) (#213)
by Keith Harper on Sun Jul 13, 2003 at 07:15:44 AM EST

I believe that laws should represent the will of the people - they're a kind of collective morality.

Would you be making that argument if you were gay one hundred years ago? Or a black person in the South? If laws are based on morality, they can't really be based solely on the will of the people. Sometimes the people are nuts.

If 60 million people in the US are using P2P networks, then perhaps the law should be changed, not the people. The record industry doesn't have any moral right to profit from a particular business model - we have a better way to distribute music now, so lets use it.

Some would argue that artists do have a right to own the sweat of their brow, and to profit from it as well, even if that profit comes from selling publication rights. I'd support an electronic distribution method gladly provided the copyright owner's rights were respected.

Personally, I'm more than happy for the march of technology to simply destroy the whole system, just to find out what will replace it.

Chaos and terrorism, no doubt.

[ Parent ]

Last one (none / 0) (#214)
by djotto on Sun Jul 13, 2003 at 07:41:13 AM EST

We're running way offtopic here. I don't particularly want the last word... you're welcome to reply, but I doubt I will again unless I see something really easy to take a pop at. For what it's worth, you've made some good points over the past couple of days, and some really dumb ones too. I think that, like most of us, you started with a point of view then looked for the evidence to support it rather than the other way around.

Would you be making that argument if you were gay one hundred years ago? Or a black person in the South? If laws are based on morality, they can't really be based solely on the will of the people. Sometimes the people are nuts.

I like to think I'd be campaigning against discrimination. However, I recognise that people are products of their environment, and if I'd grown up in that situation I may not feel the same way about such things. Morality really is relative.

Some would argue that artists do have a right to own the sweat of their brow, and to profit from it as well, even if that profit comes from selling publication rights. I'd support an electronic distribution method gladly provided the copyright owner's rights were respected.

For myself, I believe copyright is an artificial construct not some great law of the universe, has only existed for a couple of hundred years and we did ok before it, and that the concept of owning an idea is perverse. I doubt we can see eye to eye here. I suggest we simply agree to differ.

Chaos and terrorism, no doubt.

Equating piracy with terrorism... that's one of the really dumb ones. Consider what benefit the record industry offers me, personally. Why shouldn't I want to throw it away and start again?



[ Parent ]
Dude, I was joking about the terrorism (none / 0) (#215)
by Keith Harper on Sun Jul 13, 2003 at 09:05:42 AM EST

yeesh. Seriously, you're alright.

[ Parent ]
It could be 99.9% (none / 0) (#105)
by Rui on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 02:23:34 PM EST

... and it still wouldn't be effective.

Look... you're saying you want to prevent (you because at this moment I'm convinced you must work for 'them') those so called "pirates"...

Those pirates, should they learn they have one way that falls in those 0.1% will continue their activity like jolly good fellas.

Me, who wanted to hear Massive Attack's 100th Window, RadioHead's Hail to the Thief (and probably I won't be able to hear Björk's next album), am totally forbidden to hear those albuns because they won't play in any of my equipment.

At least be honest with us and stop selling them as CD's. They are not CD's. A CD will play on a computer. Those are corrupted things. If you just put them on stores in an area labbled with: Copy Controlled Audio Discs Sold Here then we can start making some statistics on who sells more.

[ Parent ]
Irony (none / 0) (#118)
by xL on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 05:29:00 PM EST

The Hail to the Thief album was prominently circulating on Usenet months before its official release. Go figure.

[ Parent ]
You're wasting your own time (none / 0) (#134)
by mcgrew on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 07:23:23 PM EST

And at $160/hr, shouldn't your suit wearing ass better get back to you call "work"?

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

Fundamentally not true (5.00 / 3) (#86)
by ghjm on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 10:33:41 AM EST

You have to differentiate between lossy and lossless copying. While I don't agree that any current CD copy control formats actually prevent any kind of copying, it is absolutely not the case that any copy control format can prevent lossy copying.

Note that MP3 is inherently a lossy format, so it should be obvious that the vast majority of consumers are perfectly happy with copies of their music at much lower than CD quality.

The reason you can't prevent lossy copying is that CD players have, and must continue to have, headphone jacks. CD player devices have no way of knowing what is plugged in to the headphone jack, and fundamentally cannot distinguish between a set of headphones and a computer sound card. This method of copying, applied correctly, can result in MP3s that are nearly as good as digitally-ripped MP3s. Certainly it can result in output that is perfectly satisfactory to the majority of consumers.

Also note that any specialized skills required to perform this operation - minimal though they may be - do not have to be present in the majority of the population. So long as there are people willing and able to do this, most people can rely on copying the copies rather than copying the originals. The DMCA can (perhaps) be used to shut down easily accessible search engines, but there is no way to stop peron-to-person copying. The Internet is not a necessary component of large-scale music copying, as any Grateful Dead fan can tell you.

So, if you truly want play-only devices that can't make copies, you have to maintain absolute control of the hardware, up to and including the speakers (e.g. some sort of encrypted SPDIF). Oh, and you have to make microphones illegal. At this point there are social implications far wider than anything to do with music. If, like me, you want to continue to live in a vibrantly inventive and productive society, you will have to hope and pray that the entertainment cartels self-destruct long before we actually get this far.

-Graham

[ Parent ]

Show thyself devilspawn! (4.50 / 2) (#104)
by Rui on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 02:18:29 PM EST

The simple truth is that the only thing that is required for copy protection to work is that it makes copying impossible on all existing CD-ROM drives

Lies. Playing on an hifi I can copy it to a tape device (oops... that device might just happen to be a computer!)

Existing schemes are approaching this level of protection, if indeed they are not already there.

Lies. If it is so fundamentally different, then it wouldn't even play on an hifi. To play the content you rip the audio at 1x speed and pass the bytes to a DAC (or something more or less like that).

Naturally, any manufacturer who attempts to make a CD-ROM which circumvents the protection will find themselves subject to legal action under the DMCA, with whose provisions I am sure you are well acquainted.

Lies. I am totally unabriged by the DMCA, thank you (and there's still some time to stop EUCD).

Good bye, you're the weakest link.

[ Parent ]
Sound is analog. (5.00 / 1) (#133)
by mcgrew on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 07:20:29 PM EST

I make CDs from old LPs that sound better than the remastered CDs, since they try to "clean up" the analog artifacts when remastering and lose fidelity at the same time. I wish I could get a copy of my long lost Zepplin "Presence" LP, since the damned factory CD sounds like shit. It lacks presence. A home sampled CD from a clean LP on a good turntable won't be analog quality, but it will be vastly superior to the factory CD.

As long as there are "aux" jacks there will be MP3s on the internet, and damned good ones, too. Yes, there will be some degradation from analog copies, but the slight degradation never stopped anybody from recording their LPs to cassette to play in their car. It won't stop anybody from making CDs for the car, either.

And the home sampled CDs won't be copy protected, you RIAA lawyer scum.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

Nobody wants to prevent analog copying nt (none / 0) (#142)
by Keith Harper on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 08:22:12 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Bullshit. /nt (none / 0) (#192)
by mcgrew on Sat Jul 12, 2003 at 08:28:18 PM EST


"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

Jackass (none / 0) (#196)
by Keith Harper on Sat Jul 12, 2003 at 09:09:33 PM EST

Analog copying for non-profit uses  is specifically exempt under the AHRA.

[ Parent ]
Not what you said. (none / 0) (#222)
by mcgrew on Sun Jul 13, 2003 at 01:51:41 PM EST

Yes, it is legal. The AHRA should cover digital copying as well, it hasn't been tested in court.

But you said nobody wanted it stopped. In fact, the labels have wanted it stopped ever since tape recorders were cheap enough for normal people to afford.

Why do you think that just about every LP made after 1960 says "unauthorized copying is a violation of applicable laws?" Of course, that statement itself is disingenuous. You could as easily say "jumping rope is a violation of applicable laws" if you wanted to stop people from jumping rope. Lawyer weazel words.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

And yet (4.33 / 3) (#78)
by djotto on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 09:10:03 AM EST

Copy-protection defeating DVD drives and VCRs are available on every high-street.

Funny, that.

[ Parent ]

Your arguments are full of holes, troll. (4.00 / 2) (#84)
by BrentN on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 10:28:14 AM EST

Besides that, we'll all be upgrading to DVD-Audio in a few years anyway. Within a decade, CDs will have gone the way of 8-tracks and vinyl.

Not bloody likely. DVD itself is long in tooth. As we start seeing more multilayered materials in use in digital storage, and continued improvement in digital encoding, the capacities of small hard drives will make DVD-Audio seem lame in comparison. Because of the incredible consumer inertia, it will take a medium that provides incredible cost and convenience advantages over CDs to win the spot as the next big thing.

Now, you tell me. How many DVD-Audio players are there in the consumer market? How many hard drive or solid state players are there?

Finally, has it ever occurred to you that the result of the failure of these efforts to alleviate the damage caused to the industry by piracy might not be pleasant for consumers? The record industry isn't exactly going to roll over and die. They still have a hefty war chest, and a long way to go before they run out of options. What we're seeing now is the thin end of the wedge.

You're the sort of moron who negotiates with terrorists, aren't you? Hi, Neville! Want to give up the Sudetenland again?

We should kowtow to the RIAA's absurd behavior because if we don't, they'll act even more absurdly? What the hell kind of logic is that?

The fact is, piracy's impact is undisputed within the industry. Niche labels are already feeling the pinch severely. In the last two years, an unprecedented number of minor labels have shut down or are on the verge of doing so. Piracy is causing a loss of diversity in music, so I'm very much in support of anti-piracy measures.

Bullshit. It most certainly is disputed. Small labels are failing because they are being stupid. The small labels who are taking advantage of the technology are doing well.

But in the final analysis, -all- the labels, small or large, are doomed. The technology is making it so that artists don't need the labels to handle distribution anymore. And good riddance. Eliminating the middleman is good for both the artists and the consumers.



[ Parent ]
If there's no high-speed Internet access...? (3.50 / 2) (#89)
by pin0cchio on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 10:38:12 AM EST

The technology is making it so that artists don't need the labels to handle distribution anymore.

What technology are you thinking of that handles distribution to people who do not have high-speed Internet access for one reason or another?

Besides, labels perform other functions, such as clearing the rights to the songs themselves.


lj65
[ Parent ]
Good points (4.00 / 1) (#92)
by BrentN on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 10:48:00 AM EST

Bandwidth is getting cheaper, and while there will certainly be people who don't have the "fat pipes," it is certainly not outside the realm of realistic speculation to envision kiosks that are essentially the iTunes Music Store - select 15 tracks, insert 10 quid, and get your freshly burned CD. Bonus points to the kiosk manufacturers that use the ink-jet printable CD's and do cover art and track names.

The labels do handle a lot of the legal hocus-pocus. However, they don't need to handle enough of it to justify taking 95% of the CD's cover value. Certainly, bands can contract with groups of specialized attorneys to handle this for them. I mean, isn't that what a label is? One stop shopping for marketeers and lawyers for the music industry? Why not pick and choose? Pick a good lawyer (who works for -you-, not you working for them), and find a marketing firm that you like.  Makes more sense to me...

[ Parent ]

DVD-Audio discs (none / 0) (#144)
by Keith Harper on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 08:42:08 PM EST

DVD-Audio can be played on most existing DVD players, so as DVD achieves penetration, record companies will most likely start phasing out CDs in favour of the new format. After that, it's just a matter of momentum. Current players won't support the higher fidelity modes, but that's irrelevant as long as people can play the discs, and can be encouraged to buy them in preference to CDs.

And I should stress that I'm very much on the side of the record industry. I'm just offering some advice to people who are under the misapprehension that the industry is going to lose the copyright battle.

[ Parent ]

Funny how that works (2.50 / 2) (#107)
by EndobioticChaos on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 03:37:14 PM EST

The fact is, piracy's impact is undisputed within the industry. Niche labels are already feeling the pinch severely. In the last two years, an unprecedented number of minor labels have shut down or are on the verge of doing so. Piracy is causing a loss of diversity in music, so I'm very much in support of anti-piracy measures. Maybe if you'd get your head out of your posterior long enough to catch your breath you could post some sense. All your statements I've read so far have been such utter BS it's not even funny. Like this one for example. If that's really true, how come all I can find on Kazaa is popular top 40 cr*p? The minor stuff and stuff old enough that no one cares about it being copied any more just can't be found there.
-EC
[ Parent ]
What drives format migration? (5.00 / 1) (#110)
by lazlo nibble on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 04:10:37 PM EST

Besides that, we'll all be upgrading to DVD-Audio in a few years anyway. Within a decade, CDs will have gone the way of 8-tracks and vinyl.

Extremely unlikely. Every time a popular format for recorded music has been supplanted by another, the driving force has been increased convenience and/or durability (think 78 -> LP -> CD, 8-Track -> compact cassette -> CD, CD -> MP3). DVD-Audio doesn't improve on CDs in those respects. And I wouldn't suggest betting that ordinary folks will be inspired to upgrade by additional audio channels or higher quality sound, given that they currently seem quite satisfied to listen to two-channel music using the pack-in stereo headphones that come with their $29 Coby portable CD players.

There will always be hi-fi nuts, but they've never driven mass-market innovations.

[ Parent ]
roll over and die (5.00 / 1) (#131)
by mcgrew on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 07:08:13 PM EST

Casual copying and ripping will not kill the industry- in fact, it increases sales.

The danger to the established industry is that it is now relatively inexpensive to produce a top noch CD. I talked to an indie band the other day who was complaining about the cost of their self-produced CD. $1,800.00 for the studio, $5k for professionally burning and packaging 5,000 CDs. Their problem was selling all 5k CDs at ten bucks a pop; they were giving a copy of their first CD away with the purchase of one of the second, trying to raise the money for CD #3.

One of these bands will make it big without the established industry sharks, and when that happens the established industry will be dead.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

You're a bit naive (none / 0) (#141)
by Keith Harper on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 08:17:38 PM EST

Bands have been making it big without the industry for decades. Remember Nirvana? The industry seems to have survived. In any case, sales figures have made it perfectly clear that piracy doesn't increase sales.

[ Parent ]
Which figures would those be? (none / 0) (#152)
by Sanction on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 10:00:01 PM EST

The only clear conclusion I can draw from them is that people reduce entertainment spending in a recession, and that if you produce less albums you get less sales. The industry merely sees the opportunity to whine and buy their way closer to their universal wet dream of pay-per-listen.

Wow, This is the most amazing loaf of bread I've ever owned!
[ Parent ]
That's a self-serving conclusion (none / 0) (#157)
by Keith Harper on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 10:38:21 PM EST

The truth is, spending on music has never been seriously affected by economic recessions in the past, and it isn't the cause of the current 10% drop in sales. Consumer spending on the whole did not drop at all for most of the last two years. In fact, it rose in most categories, including entertainment. The statistics simply don't support your view. The decrease in CD sales was not caused a decline in the economy.

[ Parent ]
It has to do with the content (none / 0) (#175)
by Sikpup on Sat Jul 12, 2003 at 02:44:30 PM EST

My collection is some 3000+ cds.  I haven't purchased a new one in 3 years.  Not because of financial issues, not because of free downloads, but because I don't like the current flavor of music.

The recording industry is going to push whatever the flavor-of-the-month is, and is not going to go back to older styles.  You aren't going to see a return of 70's disco, 80's hair metal, or whatever.

People who grew up in those eras will continue to listen to what they like, and when that style fades, some will move on, and some will just stay with what they like.

For example, I really don't care for the infusion of hip-hop into hard rock/metal that seems to be so popular now, so I don't go out and buy new albums.  I already have most of the old stuff I want, so I don't need to go out and buy anymore.  That takes a couple grand of the industries bottom line all by myself.

Maybe I'll find something via Kazaa one of these days, mostly I take a quick listen and delete.

[ Parent ]

So what? (5.00 / 2) (#197)
by Keith Harper on Sat Jul 12, 2003 at 09:15:24 PM EST

Most adults dislike mainstream pop and rock. The thing is, once you age out of the primary music market, and develop actual taste (or just stop buying records because "these new bands all suck"), your opinions no longer have anything to do with what drives the market. If you want to make the case that the drop in record sales is a result of poor quality, you have to demonstrate that the current mainstream isn't satisfying teenagers. Your tastes have no bearing on that question.

[ Parent ]
Nirvana (none / 0) (#191)
by mcgrew on Sat Jul 12, 2003 at 08:26:55 PM EST

was not an indie band, shill. Try again. Please, your comedy is very entertaining.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

Really? (none / 0) (#195)
by Keith Harper on Sat Jul 12, 2003 at 09:05:57 PM EST

Weren't they on Sub-Pop when they broke? Well, weren't they? Doesn't that make them an indie success?

[ Parent ]
No. /nt (none / 0) (#221)
by mcgrew on Sun Jul 13, 2003 at 01:47:42 PM EST


"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

Wrong assumption (none / 0) (#240)
by CENGEL3 on Tue Jul 15, 2003 at 05:03:38 PM EST

Bands tend to make most of thier money from live performances rather then from album sales.

For the less established bands I think they are pretty much happy if they can break even on albums as long as they get good exposure (which leads to good bookings).

For the record company it really didn't matter if a few indie artists made it big on thier own... it didn't make that big of a dent in thier bottom line.

What mattered is that the thousands of local garrage bands out there didn't have a product that could compete with thiers. You could go listen to you local garage band play live...but if you wanted to buy a CD you had to buy an RIAA product. The two venues didn't compete with each other.

What's killing RIAA profits now isn't casual piracy so much (although that does have some effect) it's that all those local garage bands can now produce products that effectively compete with the RIAA....and lets face it, most of the pop bands that the labels promote don't make better muisic then your average garage band.

With the advent of the internet and digital muisic files, the kid next door now has a method of distribution that can compete with the major labels. That's what the RIAA is terrified of... it doesn't really matter to them whether that kid is distributing legal or illegal (pirated) content.... what matters is that he can distribute at all. It breaks the one stranglehold they've always had.... NOT QUALITY but control over mass distribution.

I really don't have any problem with copy-protected CD's, per say. As long as they are properly labeled as being copy-protected (which is a consumer rights issue) I don't have a problem with them. Of course, I generaly won't buy them...for pretty much the same reason I won't buy DVD's that don't let me skip advertisements or previews. I figure if I buy the product I should pretty much be able to do anything I want to it...including using it as a frisbee... as long as I don't illegaly resell or redistribute it. That's pretty much the principle upon which U.S. copyright law has always been based.

However copy-protected CD's are just 1 small part of an overall strategy of the RIAA and MPAA. Looked at in isolation they don't seem that bad... when looked at in combination with things like the DMCA, the Hollings Bill and indefinate extension of copyrights it's easy to see that it's all part of one big scheme to retain a monopoly over the methods of distribution and to rob consumers of the traditional property rights they enjoy (like skipping over ads) over content
that they have legaly purchased.

[ Parent ]

Yeah right. (4.00 / 2) (#65)
by Rui on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 06:14:24 AM EST

And serious music lovers will stop doing their work to go home and listen to music right?

My laptop doesn't play corrupt discs (while I'm at work, that's the only place I can listen).

I don't have enough hearing skills to distinguish much from music played in a stereo or my computer with good speakers. So I will not waste my money on a brilliant stereo (but I accept your donation of one such).

Right now, disc corruption is forbiding me to listen to music.

You took the other pill.

[ Parent ]

You don't need golden ears (1.40 / 5) (#70)
by Keith Harper on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 07:48:08 AM EST

to distinguish computer sound from hi-fi sound. The difference is unmistakeable. Computer audio is dull, lacks bass, and what bass it has lacks clarity. Besides that, it tends to pick up audible interference from other components within the system. Plus, computers with fans raise your floor db level. Beyond ten or fifteen grand you do start to hit a law of diminishing returns with hi-fi sound, but up to that point, you'd have to be tone deaf not to notice the improvement you get from better equipment.

I don't usually listen to music when I work. I'm not the kind of person who needs background noise to fill every single second of his life, and I don't enjoy good music if I can't pay attention to it. Occasionally, when I have to do the sort of repetitive work that is done best without concentration, I'm just as happy to listen to a radio station as anything else. If that solution doesn't satisfy you, then I suggest you invest in a mini-system for the office.

[ Parent ]

Hi-Fi and Computers (4.00 / 1) (#96)
by freestylefiend on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 11:18:47 AM EST

Computer audio is dull, lacks bass, and what bass it has lacks clarity.

...

If that solution doesn't satisfy you, then I suggest you invest in a mini-system for the office.

A mini-system isn't hi-fi, but a decent computer might be. With a good sound card, amp and speakers, a computer could sound very nice indeed (far better than CD, with a good recording). If you have had trouble with sound quality on a particular computer, then perhaps it was the sound format (e.g. low bitrate mp3) or low end components that caused the problems.

Besides that, it tends to pick up audible interference from other components within the system. Plus, computers with fans raise your floor db level.

People who notice this can buy/build a computer to avoid these problems.

[ Parent ]

Not really (none / 0) (#140)
by Keith Harper on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 08:09:38 PM EST

Now that external sound devices and digital output are available, the interference problem isn't such a big deal. You'll still get a better DAC in a well-priced CD player than you'll get on any but the most expensive sound card, which makes a difference if you aren't just passing the signal off to an external DAC digitally. My feeling is, once you've spent the cash on a decent stereo amp and speakers, you've basically bought most of a Hi-Fi anyway. You may as well shell out for a decent CD player as well. That way you can leave the PC in the office where it belongs, rather than bringing it into the living room to listen to music on it. Those fans always raise the dB floor.

[ Parent ]
Audiophools... (5.00 / 1) (#151)
by Sanction on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 09:56:36 PM EST

Yeah, but by the time I get what an audiophile will consider a "decent" stereo, I could also have purchased a new PC, laptop, speakers, and a vacation, all of which will provide much more entertainment over time.

Wow, This is the most amazing loaf of bread I've ever owned!
[ Parent ]
Lacks bass? (5.00 / 1) (#102)
by Rui on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 01:35:31 PM EST

Get a better sound card and better speakers. Use a sub-woofer too. Those two tweeters you use for gaming are not representative of what you'd use on a MultiMedia HUB.

Radio sucks, they almost always play the same RIAA playlist songs over and over. Don't bullshit me man. I like to hear music, not Britney Spears or the idiocy of pretending the only REM song is Shiny Happy People. Plus, getting a mini system for the office is a fine way of proving your point. A computer has better quality than a mini-system, and I wouldn't want to enfuriate my colleagues.

[ Parent ]

Also- (none / 0) (#128)
by mcgrew on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 07:01:48 PM EST

A normal CD is higher quality than an FM broadcast. FM is limited by bandwidth, although not nearly to the extent of a high quality MP3.

FM suffers from lack of both dynamic range and frequency response. In the US it is limited by law.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

This is bullshit (4.00 / 1) (#116)
by cabalamat on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 05:18:07 PM EST

You don't need golden ears to distinguish computer sound from hi-fi sound. The difference is unmistakeable. Computer audio is dull, lacks bass, and what bass it has lacks clarity.

You are talking crap. Computer-based CD sound output quality varies widely: a cheap sound card and speakers are never going to sound wonderful, but more expensive equipment can sound very good indeed. The situation is exactly the same as with non-computer CD playing equipment.

This is obvious to anyone; so why do you post such garbage?

[ Parent ]

Sorry, I misunderstood you (none / 0) (#127)
by mcgrew on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 07:00:41 PM EST

You aren't an elitist snob, you've only been brainwashed.

Or are trolling. The problem with normal CD as opposed to analog (say, a 30ips reel to reel or a fine German turntable with a well produced LP) is aliasing and frequency response. The aliasing only shows at the top end, and the only missing frequencies are also at the top end.

There is no difference whatever in the bass tones. However, a 15k tone has only 3 samples at a 44k sample rate. With three samples there is no way to discern between a sine, a square, or a sawtooth wave.

Please pardon the crack about arson. And please stop trying to sound like you know what the fuck you're talking about.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

You're way off the point (none / 0) (#138)
by Keith Harper on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 07:54:38 PM EST

Nobody is talking about CD vs analog. We're talking about the sound reproduction capabilities of computers vs hi-fi. But it's nice to be condescended to by someone whose understanding of digital signal processing can probably be expressed in half a paragraph.

[ Parent ]
Wrong answer, son. (none / 0) (#190)
by mcgrew on Sat Jul 12, 2003 at 08:24:43 PM EST

You have shown not only ignorance but self-serving obfuscation. Thank you for playing, come again, shill.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

You can't put a DVD Audio player here (4.50 / 4) (#85)
by pin0cchio on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 10:33:15 AM EST

The CD format is all but obsolete, now that SACD and DVD-Audio discs are generally available.

Does SACD or DVD Audio player software come with the entry-level PC? Are there handheld SACD or DVD Audio players sold? For under $100? What about car stereos that support SACD or DVD Audio?


lj65
[ Parent ]
IHNBT (5.00 / 2) (#126)
by mcgrew on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 06:52:13 PM EST

Unless you have an exceptionally good speakers and trained ears and a completely noise free room, you will not hear the difference.

SACD et al is of no use on any stereo costing less than two grand.

Fucking rich bastard, somebody ought to burn your house down.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

Nerds and Jive Turkeys (none / 0) (#241)
by Victoria Zuckerman on Wed Jul 16, 2003 at 09:07:10 AM EST

Someone actually using 'nerds' as an insult without a trace of irony? In a place as obsessive-compulsive as Kuro5hin? Amazing...

At any rate, if this jive turkey actually does work for the recording industry, then he and his comments indicative of their future prospects. Its all well and good if you only like music when you're sitting around in the leather barcalounger, sipping a lovely single-malt (Macallan's, I would hope, or Laphroig if you're a frisky cracker), while listening to Mahler on the neuro-quadraphonic Hi-Fi in your neato bachelor pad, but what about those of us who like music loaded on the hard drive at work? An ipod for those frequent and interminable business trips to the armpits of Singapore, the lower ring of hell to which I'm consigned after a life of happy sodomy?

I spend, on average, around 3600 per year on CD's, and have since my mid 20's, and then use the discs only once: to load the music into iTunes. This may be fucking nerdy to Mr. Recording Industry Lawyer Demon, but this is how I want to listen to the music I've legitimately purchased and I'll take my money elsewhere if they attempt to lock away the bands I like.

They have the right to do whatever they need to do to protect their rights. And if their protections stomps on my toes and then call me a bitch because I was stupid enough to give them the cash money, then I'll take my addictions to some new pusher.

Considering the success of the fucking nerdy Mac-only Apple Store and how Apple-fans seem to be really foolish with their money and obsessions, you'd think we'd get better treatment from the RIAA. But, I suppose they don't give a fuck about their good customers.

[ Parent ]

Missing poll option? (4.66 / 3) (#50)
by NFW on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 01:43:39 AM EST

* I put copy-controlled discs into my vintage-1991 Sony CD player with SPDIF digital output, route that into my SPDIF-capable sound card, record one big .wav file of the whole CD, and chop it into songs using Audacity.

(To be honest, I don't haven any copy-controlled CDs with which to test this idea. Has anyone tried it?)


--
Got birds?


Raise Awareness With Artists (4.94 / 18) (#52)
by Belligerent Dove on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 01:53:04 AM EST

Every time the topic of copy-protected CDs comes up, someone always comes up with the suggestion of raising awareness about the problems with retailers. I believe this idea is based on three incorrect premises.

First of all, copy-protected CDs are already marked with an anti-piracy logo where there used to be a Compact Disc Digital Audio logo. The logo was designed by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), and is voluntarily used by record labels already in Europe. The IFPI's CEO said that “the new, optional logo will be of practical help to record companies and retailers in informing consumers that a CD carries some form of copy control,” quotes a writer from News.com. TV advertisements in which local musicians speak out against piracy and promote the logo, suggest that the music industry wants consumers to associate supporting artists with buying copy-protected albums. This makes sense from a strategic point of view because if you're going through the trouble to buy your music legally, you're probably doing so only because you want to support the authors.

Unfortunately, despite the indicator already being in place, employees at music retailers give me a surprised gaze each time I tell them that I want to return a copy-protected disc. They also tell me that they rarely get complaints about the discs I bought (which implies some anti-copying measures are more “sensitive” than others). Overall they seem not so much by the copy-protected discs per se, but are annoyed by my peculiar firm stance against those round discs pretending to be CDDAs. Thus the first false premise is that consumer information will lead to enough complaints, rather than lost sales (which are always blamed on piracy), against the retailers to make them realise how copy-protected CDs are a problem for them.

Secondly, it is not obvious to me that if there were a noticeable amount of people complaining about copy-protected CDs, that this would lead to lost sales for retailers. When one returns an undesired CD to the store, it typically exchanged for a gift-certificate worth the price of the bad CD, forcing you to buy a different album. Worse then that, as the prices of CDs tend to vary, one sometimes has to buy either a more expensive CD, or one extra CD. Hence complaints about copy-controlled CDs result in more — not less — sales in the eye of the salesman. Also, neither the record labels, nor the music stores will care if you restrict yourself to red book compliant discs. On the other hand, as overall reduces in sales are blamed on piracy beforehand, and because one can obviously state only once that they will stop buying CDs because of broken anti-piracy measures, boycotting their sales won't raise awareness with the retailer either. There just aren't enough people stubborn enough to make such activism work.

Thirdly, the argument is based on the wishful assumption that complaints to employees at music shops will find their way up to music labels. When you buy your albums at a small independent store, your complaint will be most unwelcome because there the business owner presumably doesn't even have a channel to communicate with the record labels. In large retailers your message doesn't stand a chance to travel the corporate hierarchy from the unschooled employee, through the shop owners, to the upper management, and via them to the record labels or the artists.

A better audience to complain to are the artists. I'll give you an anecdote to go by.

It was one year ago when I accidentally bought myself a copy-protected CD by Zornik — which is Belgian rock band so you've might not have heard of them. This CD played fine in my home music set so I didn't notice the problem at first. It was only a few weeks later when I wanted to rip the music when I discovered the problem. I figured that it would be to late to return the album so what I did was to email the band.

In this email, I explained that I couldn't play the CD on my computer because I used neither Windows, nor MacOS, which were the only operating systems the software on the CD supported. I told them that I explicitly chose not to pirate because I wanted to support the band, and that I felt cheated on to be told that I couldn't play their album because they saw a potential pirate in me. Further I explained them that because I wanted to listen to their music both at home and at my student house, I necessarily needed to rip their music to my computer. I then went on to list some other advantages for me, as a consumer, to storing albums as Ogg Vorbis (i.e. composing custom playlists and being able to use a superior computer interface — in retrospect, a usability critique of the built-in software, would have been a nice addition).

It was about one week later, when I had already forgotten about the rant I had sent out, when I received an email back. This wasn't a reply from any of the band members, but it came from an EMI Music manager well known to Google. The reply was polite, well-written, and obviously addressing my personal complaint. Two things stood out: the sender of this email was very troubled by the large scale at which music was pirated, and he offered to send me an analogue copy of the CD, on CD-R, by mail.

Being pleasantly surprised by the response I'd gotten, I emailed back. In this last email I explained what was in my opinion the futility of stopping Internet piracy via hacks such as the ones they employed. (I won't bore you with the specific arguments I made because they must be obvious to K5ers.) I also plead for alternative measures against piracy, such as providing a centralised site selling MP3 audio and perhaps lowering prices. I also explained that in the future, I would never again buy copy-protected CDs and that if necessarily, I would even restrict myself to buying only unprotected music from the past decennia. I then emailed this back to the EMI manager, and again to the band.

So, what I want to advice everyone to do is to complain to artists directly. Explain them why copy-protected CDs don't suit your needs; explain them that you feel necessarily forced to buy other artists' music instead of theirs (irrelevant to record labels, but important to the individual bands); and explain them that you really do want to support them if possible. Perhaps be bold and tell them that you'll search for the MP3s yourself if they're willing to take a cheque.

I do plan to repeat this process when there's a copy-controlled CD that I'd like. Since I try to buy mostly music from local bands, I'm optimistic about at least giving the artists something to think about.

analogue copy of the CD, on CD-R (3.50 / 2) (#124)
by mcgrew on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 06:48:54 PM EST

Er, sorry, but CDs cannot hold analog data. All CDs are composed of nothing but ones and zeros. Before you can put analog data on any kind of CD medium you must digitize (sample) it.

All 45s, 78s, LPs, 8 tracks, and most cassettes are analog. Sadly, LPs and cassettes made since about 1978 are "analog" recordings form digital masters, which have all the disadvantages of both analog AND digital and the advantages of neither.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

The copying, not the CD, is what's analog (5.00 / 3) (#129)
by Belligerent Dove on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 07:03:30 PM EST

I imagine he played the CD on his stereo set and recorded the audio via the stereo's audio-out to his computer's audio-in. The result would be digital data, but in the process of copying some information would have been lost.

[ Parent ]
Another poll option (4.00 / 1) (#62)
by jgbustos on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 05:50:09 AM EST

I rip copy-controlled disks using Easy CD-DA Extractor from Poikosoft, extracting 192 Kbits/s mp3 files. Then I burn my CD's.

When you finally get good speakers (none / 0) (#123)
by mcgrew on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 06:41:04 PM EST

you will wish you had ripped to uncompressed wav and converted the wav to 192kbps MP3.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

Who cares (2.20 / 5) (#77)
by Cackmobile on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 09:03:18 AM EST

This mainly affects the average moron who actually goes out and buys any of that top 40 cr*p. The rest of us can find a work around but usually thta isn't needed as we listen to non-core stuff which they don't bother protecting. Just my thoughts!!

First they came (4.83 / 6) (#100)
by Arcadio on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 11:56:53 AM EST

First they came for the average moron who actually goes out and buys any of that top 40 cr*p
and I did not speak out
because I was not an average moron who actually goes out and buys any of that top 40 cr*p.

Then they came for the average moron who actually goes out and buys any of that country music cr*p
and I did not speak out
because I was not an average moron who actually goes out and buys any of that country music cr*p.

Then they came for us who listen to non-core stuff
and there was no one left
to speak out for us.

[ Parent ]
Good point (none / 0) (#236)
by Cackmobile on Mon Jul 14, 2003 at 08:03:58 AM EST

True

[ Parent ]
Not just top 40 crap (3.00 / 1) (#103)
by JyZude on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 02:11:44 PM EST

Aphex Twin's "26 Mixes for Ca$h" is copy-controlled in Canada. At least, last I checked. And that's a Warp Records release, which is hardly mainstream.

Same with Radiohead's "Hail to the Thief" and Massive Attack's "30th Window". Those two ARE pop, certainly, but they're a bit more substantial than Britney Spears.

As for these CDs not affecting legal purchasers, I own the Radiohead one, and it doesn't work in any CD  playing device in my room. I tested with my computer's DVD/CD-RW, a DVD player, and an old Sony CD player from the mid-90's. None work. It also fails on my DVD/CD combo drive and CD-RW drive on my other PC, and it has weird clicks on my computer at work.

Basically, it's a piece of shit and I paid for it. The people who download it off Kazaa have none of my problems.

Seems to me, it's making the Kazaa top-40 proliferation worse.

-----
k5 is not the new Adequacy k thnx bye


[ Parent ]
Re: Not just top 40 crap (none / 0) (#106)
by inquisitor on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 02:58:11 PM EST

ISTR that Aphex isn't exactly on Warp in the States/Canada; he's on Sire, a major label. This may be the reason why it is copy-protected over your way.

I ripped (my site is currently down) the copy-protected "100th Window" on my laptop; the real, Warp, UK issue of "26 Mixes For Cash" is non-protected, as are all recent EMI UK releases (the Canadians and the Europeans aren't so lucky). I have all three of the albums you mention; my Canadian issue of "100th Window" was the only one so infected, while my UK issues of the Aphex and Radiohead are fine.

Maybe it's just luck, but I doubt it: the only time I see Copy Control stickers are in the grey-importing chains (getting "protected" CDs from Europe), on anything from WEA ("Tubular Bells 2003"/Annie Lennox "Bare"), and on older CDs from the period when Sony was doing copy-protection (it isn't currently).



[ Parent ]
bit more substantial than Britney Spears (none / 0) (#122)
by mcgrew on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 06:38:54 PM EST

That's like saying "a bit more substantial than smoke."

Why do you people continue to spend perfectly good money on garbage like that? Are you so rich that money has no value, or are you just teenagers who have never had to pay rent and utilities?

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

Can anybody help me out here? (5.00 / 2) (#93)
by Fon2d2 on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 10:49:47 AM EST

I'm trying to find the 'CD' trademark listed in the article at the US Patent and Trademark Office's website. I've done a search for "Compact Disc" and "CD". In neither of these lists can I find the original Compact Disc logo. Is or was this logo ever a trademark of Philips, or was the term "Compact Disc", or "CD" a trademark of Philips? The closest I can see is an abandoned trademark on "COMPACT DISC".

it is a silly idea... (none / 0) (#132)
by sbash on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 07:17:05 PM EST

As long as we can still get audio playback from our cd's, we can copy them... They can't stop that from happening, so why even try to begin with... what a waste, just a big freaking waste.

|_
"Eating curry with the boys? You must be British or boring" - Stinky Bottoms
Which CD-ROMs are the best? (none / 0) (#148)
by opusman on Fri Jul 11, 2003 at 09:23:23 PM EST

What are the best CD-ROMs for ripping copy protected CDs these days?

I've read that Plextors are very good. Does anyone know if any manufacturers have actually come out and promoted their CD-ROMs as being able to cope with copy protected CDs?

The last two CDs I bought both had copy protection on them, I was able to rip them with no errors but the ripped audio has clicks and pops in it which I assume are deliberately introduced errors that normal CD players correct automatically.

Why am I ripping CDs? Because I don't own a CD player. All my CDs are converted to MP3s and served via a wireless network to a SliMP3 player in the lounge room. Looks like I will never be able to buy a new CD again (until this copy protection experiment is ended) - great thinking RIAA!

Plextor, hands-down. (5.00 / 1) (#167)
by pla on Sat Jul 12, 2003 at 12:41:43 AM EST

The last two CDs I bought both had copy protection on them, I was able to rip them with no errors but the ripped audio has clicks and pops in it which I assume are deliberately introduced errors that normal CD players correct automatically.

Plextor wins in the all-around category without a doubt. However, for any given disc, you may have better luck with a different brand. In particular, if you an ancient CD-R from the first few generations, like less than 4x, many of those can read some discs correctly that even Plextors can't (I personally have an old Creative 8x that can read just about anything).

However, don't give up yet...

Try ripping the CD using CDRWin or BlindRead (which supports ignoring C2/C3 errors), mount it with Daemon Tools, and rip from the virtual drive. I've personally managed to rip a number of "broken" CDs in that manner, which sounded terrible ripped in "prefectionist" mode with CDCopy.


Why am I ripping CDs?

Don't defend your actions, it weakens our cause. You have a LEGAL RIGHT (in the US) to "format shift" your music collection, regardless of what the **AA may claim. Even the DMCA has an exception for converting a personally-useless format to one you have the ability to play. You rip for convenience. End of story, no justification needed.


And, just for reference, I have personally tested the quality of decent analog feeds (via line-in on an SB32AWE), and it doesn't do all that bad. Aside from a slight slew problem (only an issue for nearly-maxed sound over 11khz), you can get sound that, in the frequency domain (all that matters to MP3 or Ogg), has no more than an LSB difference from a cubically interpolated offset from a digital rip. So the "analog hole" doesn't actually cost you all that much in terms of quality.


[ Parent ]
a $20 discman (none / 0) (#239)
by mmsmatt on Mon Jul 14, 2003 at 09:41:34 PM EST

and a line-in jack on your soundcard. It'll save you much trouble when they improve copy-protection, and a 2003 Plextor falls behind the times. You might also want Audactiy.

[ Parent ]
Tubular Bells 2003 (5.00 / 1) (#173)
by uazu on Sat Jul 12, 2003 at 07:31:03 AM EST

Regarding the recent problems, also see this page on one of the Mike Oldfield discography sites. This guy put us in touch with a number of the people reporting serious problems with their equipment after attempting to play the Tubular Bells 2003 disc. He also has another page here. Note that the Canadian release of this album is reported not to be corrupted.

This isn't the only release causing problems, but it has generated a lot of heated discussion. I've already included the link to these pages at the end of the report on the campaign site (after the individual reports), but I guess I should have made these links a bit more obvious. --Jim

If you rearrange the letters (5.00 / 1) (#233)
by Relinquished on Mon Jul 14, 2003 at 01:52:47 AM EST

In

"I see you have got a copy-protected CD of his from them American stores. Like, bummer. Well, wanna know the easiest method how to rip songs regardless of burner?"

you get

"You will need some adhesive tapes. Don't forget to purchase magic markers. Oh, but they won't work on newer copies. Blame those losers from the recording mafia."


--------------
If you rearrange the letters in "anagram for signature" you get "famous at rearranging".


You forgot the primary reason.. (4.50 / 2) (#234)
by Eivind on Mon Jul 14, 2003 at 04:37:21 AM EST

The biggest problems with these so-called copz-protected formats is that in this case a "almost-working" protection is much worse than no protection at all.

It does not matter if 99% of computers cannot read a certain disc. 1% can. And that percent will sooner or later (mostly sooner !) find its waz to one of the many file-sharing networks.

At this point I have the following choise:

I can go to the record-shop and buy the CD. Itll cost about 15€ and come with the good feeling of having donated maybe 1-2€ to the artist and the lousy feeling of having donated 13-14€ to an immoral industry that sees me as the enemy. I know that the CD is unlikely to be rippable on my drive, thus I cannot listen to it in my ogg-based living-room player. Nor will it work in my car, or at work. Infact, the only way to make it work at all is to physically open the glass-doors on the stereo-cupboard, insert the CD, listen to it, then physicallz change it if I want to listen to something else. Yeah rigth !

Or I could just click on this BitTorrent link here, and in 20 minutes I have the album, in a format that works in all my players with no problem at all. I could even choose to burn a quaint old audio-cd from it if I should fancy a bit of nostalgia.

When faced with the problem that a copy of a CD for most consumers where as good as the original, the industry has responded bz making it so that today a copy of a cd is much BETTER than the original. Way to go boys !

This is so stupid!!! (none / 0) (#242)
by Lelon on Thu Jul 17, 2003 at 07:20:28 PM EST

Ahhhhh! Few things are so stupid that they actually cause frustration, this is one of them. Lets get one thing clear, any CD I can play in my stereo I'm going to be able to copy. I just run a cord into a sound capture card. Is it going to be a 100% perfect digital rip? No. Will you be able to tell the difference? No. Will this cut down on the "home-rippers" just using PCs and a cd-drive? Yes. Will this prevent eminems next album from hitting the internet weeks early, forcing him to move up his release? No. And THAT my friends, is where the RIAA and associated companies loose their money. When that big seller gets leaked, and by the time it hits the stores everyone already knows it only has one good track or has listened to it so much that they can't justify buying it.


----
This sig is a work in progress.
Copy-controlled CDs: Is the end in sight? | 243 comments (229 topical, 14 editorial, 0 hidden)
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