Record labels continue to sucker punch music consumers. Newest copy protected CDs: no MP3s, no Macs, some PCs, some CD/DVD players, some car stereos

Posted by: admin In: Blogs|Music|Popular

I am a consumer of music. Always have been. But record labels don’t want my money anymore.

Lita Ford nude with Guitar

I bought music with the first greenbacks that ever touched my little blue velcro wallet. My first album…Quiet Riot – Metal Health (hell yeah). My second…Cyndi Lauper – She’s So Unusual (cause girls just wanna have fun & it’s important for boys to understand that at a very young age!) . My collection includes vinyl, tapes, CDs, DVDs, with most of it stored to MP3s for easy access & portability. Over the years, I’ve spent tens of thousands of dollars on music: buying the latest releases, amassing a collection of classic albums , attending hundreds of concerts, buying posters (I still love you Lita Ford if you’re out there), concert DVDs, limited vinyl releases, tons of logo-sporting black t-shirts/hats (to my wife’s dismay); as well as the home, auto, and personal audio gear needed to enjoy it all (and of course, upgrading with every format change). A terrible habit, I tend to overlook because of my torrid love affair with music.

But the latest releases from Sony BMG have incorporated some of the most poorly executed copy protection ever seen . Oh don’t worry…it’s just a little software tool that allows hackers to gain and maintain access to your computer system without your consent or knowledge.

Sony's DRM Copy Protection Insert

To twist the dagger even further, there’s this:
pic via…bad bad coldplay

The Coldplay CD X&Y has a sneaky little insert (that can’t be seen until after the purchase) with a laundry list of devices the CD won’t play on related to the copy protection. And I quote…”This CD cannot be burnt onto a CD-R or hard disc, nor can it be converted to an MP3 for file sharing.” This CD may not play in some CD players, DVD players, car stereos, portable players, game players, all PCs and Macintosh PCs. And the kicker…”Except for manufacturing problems, we do not accept product exchange, return or refund…”

Another reason to not buy whiny English downer pop, but this isn’t about Coldplay. It’s about the frivolous ideology behind (and the piss-poor implementation of) the copy protection. Think about it…I can download the entire album for free (illegally, but free none the less), rootkit free, while I eat breakfast, and have it readily available to every audio device I own. Or…I can goto the store, deal with some floor salesman who doesn’t know what band/album I’m talking about while trying to sell me an extended warranty on a CD, stand in line for 20 minutes, and pay $20 for Sony to install some virus-ware unknowingly on my computer that I can’t remove, and hopefully it will play on one of my CD players.

There’s no decision here folks. Therein lies the problem. I don’t need record labels making it hard for me to enjoy the music. And even harder for me to buy it.

Just like the dubbing tape deck, VCR, and DAT recorder; MP3s are set to ruin sales (wink, wink), despite the fact that the history of these devices has significantly proven otherwise. P2P internet file sharing, perfect audio copies, and cheap hard drive space is a bigger pond than your little circle of friends tape dubbing crew in the 80’s. And as a musician, I understand the problem with global music sharing. Simply…record companies don’t get paid under their current business model. A slump in record sales equals job insecurity (execs and artists alike). The lawsuit-happy RIAA wants to squarely place the focus on the starving musicians. The record label/artist relationship, however, is a little more delicate and complex. (see The Truth About Record Labels, George Michael goes back to Sony, Prince signs deal for new album). And yes, I understand…there is a reason they call it the music business. Quite literally, you would never hear or see artists without the work that goes into the recording and promotion thereof. That’s how it works. Bands need the big push & record labels need to make money. The days of artist development and multi-album deals are long gone. We’ve come full circle back to the singularity of “the hit.” Think Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, Buddy Holly…name any of their 1st albums…I can’t. Name their hit songs (or record A-sides)….easy…exactly. It’s all about the hit. The one song that sells a million, makes the girls scream on MTV, spurs concert attendance ($50-$80+ a ticket now a days…ouch), and band merchandise/figurine sales. You don’t need solid albums anymore. I would dare say, you’re iPod is full of hits, not albums.

So wake up record labels, embrace the future, and smell the half-caf. low-fat hazelnut latte. Put it on the web, at a fair price, tack on a B-side, and at least let me rip it to my stuff. I’ve got enough trouble reading the poorly translated instruction manuals for all of the gear I need just to play it.

Oh…and thanks Sony for F*ing up my computer & the free downloads.

Copy protection, smoppy protection…VIVA LA MIXTAPE / CD / PLAYLIST!!!
rock, fff

If you’re out buying music, steer clear of the copy protected versions of these titles:

1. Afrocelts, Seed
2. Air, Talkie Walkie
3. Angel City, “Love Me Right” single
4. The Animals, A’s B’s & EP’s
5. Asian Dub Foundation, Enemy of the State
6. Athlete, Vehicles and Animals
7. Atomic Kitten, Feels So Good
8. Atomic Kitten, Ladies Night
9. Atomic Kitten, “If You Come To Me” single
10. Audio Bullys, Ego War
11. Melissa Auf Der Maur
12. Kevin Ayers, Joy of a Toy
13. Kevin Ayers, Whatevershebringswesing
14. Kevin Ayers and The Whole World, Shooting At The Moon
15. Michael Ball, A Love Story
16. The Bangles, Doll Revolution
17. Syd Barrett, The Madcap Laughs / Barrett
18. The Beatles, Let It Be… Naked
19. The Be Good Tanyas, Chinatown
20. Benny Benassi presents The Biz, “Able To Live” single
21. Benny Benassi presents The Biz, “Satisfaction” single
22. Bent, “Stay the Same” single
23. Dierks Bentley
24. Cilla Black, Beginnings
25. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Take Them On, On Your Own
26. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, “Stop” single
27. Blindspott
28. Blue, “Guilty” single
29. Blue feat. Elton John, “Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word” single
30. Blur, Think Tank
31. Bodyjar, Jarchives
32. Bodyjar, “Too Drunk To Drive” single
33. Boogie Pimps, “Somebody To Love” single
34. David Bowie, Ziggy Stardust film soundtrack (2CD reissue version)**
35. David Bowie, Aladdin Sane (2CD reissue version)
36. Michelle Branch, Hotel Paper
37. Michelle Branch, “Are You Happy Now” single
38. David Bridie, Hotel Radio
39. David Bridie, “Hotel Radio” single
40. David Bridie, “100 Flowers In Bloom” single
41. Sarah Brightman, Harem
42. Armin van Buuren presents Perpetuous Dreamer, “The Sound of Goodbye” single
43. Lee Cabrera feat. Alex Cartana, “Shake It” single
44. Chris Cagle
45. John Cale, HoboSapiens
46. Glen Campbell, The Essential Glen Campbell
47. Bec Cartwright
48. Bec Cartwright, “A Matter Of Time” single
49. Rosanne Cash, Rules Of Travel
50. Troy Cassar-Daley, Borrowed & Blue
51. The Cat Empire
52. The Cat Empire, “Days Like These” single
53. Kasey Chambers, “True Colours” single
54. Chemical Brothers, Singles 93-03
55. Chingy, Jackpot
56. Chingy, “Right Thurr” single
57. Client
58. Cold Chisel, Ringside
59. Coldplay, “God Put A Smile On Your Face” single
60. The Cooper Temple Clause, Kick Up The Fire, and Let The Flames Break Loose
61. Ferry Corsten, “Rock Your Body Rock” single
62. The Cube, Permanent Scars
63. The Cube, “Cubism” single
64. The Dandy Warhols, Welcome To The Monkey House (unconfirmed)
65. The Dandy Warhols, “Plan A” single
66. The Dandy Warhols, “We Used To Be Friends” single
67. The Dandy Warhols, “You Were The Last High” single
68. The Darkness, Permission To Land (albeit not on all copies I’ve seen)
69. Daughterboy Jao, Fake Blood and the Rest is Unknown EP
70. Miles Davis, Birdland 1951
71. Deepest Blue
72. Deep Purple, Bananas
73. Dirty Vegas, Simple Things EP
74. Dr Hook, The Definitive Collection
75. Placido Domingo, Bravo! Domingo—The Best Of
76. Fats Domino, The Essential Fats Domino
77. Doves, Lost Sides
78. Downsyde, Land of the Giants
79. Anne Dudley, Seriously Chilled
80. Slim Dusty, Columbia Lane
81. The Electric Soft Parade, The American Adventure
82. Enigma, Voyageur
83. Everclear, Slow Motion Daydream
84. Adam Faith, A’s B’s & EP’s
85. Fountains Of Wayne, Welcome Interstate Managers
86. Fountains Of Wayne, “Stacy’s Mom” single
87. Funeral For A Friend, Casually Dressed & Deep In Conversation
88. Futureshock, Phantom Theory
89. Dave Gahan, Paper Monsters
90. Dave Gahan, “Dirty Sticky Floors” single
91. Gelbison, 1704
92. Gelbison, “Good God” single
93. The Givegoods, I Want To Kill A Rich Man***
94. The Givegoods, “I Want To Kill A Rich Man” single
95. Goldfrapp, Black Cherry
96. Goodwill, “Happenis” single
97. Martin Gore, Counterfeit 2
98. Jonny Greenwood, Bodysong
99. GT, “Kid Dynamite” single
100. David Guetta, Just A Little More Love
101. Jennifer Hanson
102. Ed Harcourt, From Every Sphere
103. Ben Harper, Diamonds on the Inside
104. Emmylou Harris, Stumble Into Grace
105. Hell Is For Heroes, The Neon Handshake
106. The Hollies, A’s, B’s & EP’s
107. Hoodoo Gurus, Ampology
108. Hoodoo Gurus, Mach Schau
109. The Human League, The Very Best Of
110. Indigo Girls, All That We Let Be
111. Interpol, Black EP
112. Iron Maiden, Dance Of Death
113. Janet Jackson, Damita Jo
114. Janet Jackson, “Just A Little While” single
115. Jakatta, “One Fine Day” single
116. Jane’s Addiction, Strays
117. Japan, Gentlemen Take Polaroids
118. Jet, Get Born
119. Jet, “Are You Gonna Be My Girl” single
120. Jet, “Rollover DJ” single
121. Jewel, 0304
122. Norah Jones, Come Away With Me
123. Norah Jones, Feels Like Home
124. Mandy Kane, “Stab” single
125. Kelis, Tasty
126. Kelis, “Milkshake” single
127. Paul Kelly, Ways and Means
128. Paul Kelly, “Won’t You Come Around” single
129. Kraftwerk, Tour de France Soundtracks
130. Kraftwerk, “Tour de France 2003” single
131. Lambchop, Aw C’mon (albeit only on a promo copy I saw; I don’t think the proper release is CCed)
132. Annie Lennox, Bare (albeit not on all copies I’ve seen)
133. The Living End, Modern Artillery
134. The Living End, “One Said To The Other” single
135. The Living End, “Tabloid Magazine” single
136. The Living End, “Who’s Gonna Save Us” single
137. Living Loud
138. Alex Lloyd, Watching Angels Mend
139. Alex Lloyd, Distant Light
140. Alex Lloyd, “Beautiful” single
141. Alex Lloyd, “Coming Home” single
142. Julie London, The Essential Julie London
143. Courtney Love, America’s Sweetheart
144. Liam Lynch, Fake Songs
145. Shelby Lynne, Identity Crisis
146. Magazine, Real Life / Secondhand Daylight
147. Maksim, The Piano Player
148. Manfred Mann, A’s B’s & EP’s
149. Lene Marlin, Another Day
150. Wynton Marsalis Quartet, The Magic Hour
151. Dean Martin & Jerry Lewis, s/t (EMI Comedy series)
152. Massive Attack, 100th Window
153. Kylie Minogue, Body Language (Japanese import version; not sure if the regular issue is CCed)
154. Keb’ Mo’, Keep It Simple
155. Gary Moore, The Essential Gary Moore
156. Van Morrison, What’s Wrong With This Picture
157. N.E.R.D., Fly Or Die
158. Les Nubians, One Step Forward
159. Mike Oldfield, Tubular Bells 2003
160. Mike Oldfield, The Complete Tubular Bells
161. OMD, Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark
162. OMD, Architecture and Morality
163. OMD, Organisation
164. Stacie Orrico
165. Beth Orton, The Other Side Of Daybreak
166. Pacifier, Live
167. Panjabi MC, “Beware Of The Boys” single
168. Amanda Perez, Angel
169. A Perfect Circle, Thirteenth Step
170. Lee Perry & Gary Eck, The Hollywood Motel
171. The Persian Rugs, Turkish Delight
172. Pet Shop Boys, Disco 3
173. Placebo, Sleeping With Ghosts
174. Placebo, Sleeping With Ghosts / The Covers
175. Pnau, Again
176. P.O.D., Payable On Death
177. Iggy Pop, Skull Ring
178. Lisa Marie Presley, “Lights Out” single
179. Queen, Live At Wembley ’86
180. Radiohead, Hail To The Thief
181. Radiohead, “Go To Sleep” single
182. Radiohead, “2+2=5” single
183. Red Hot Chili Peppers, Greatest Hits and Videos
184. Resin Dogs, Hi-Fidelity Dirt
185. Cliff Richard, World Tour Live
186. Richard X, X Factor Volume 1
187. Richard X feat. Kelis, “Finest Dreams” single
188. Charlie Rouse, Bossa Nova Bacchanal
189. Rodney Rude, Rude Bastard
190. Room 5, Music & You
191. Room 5, “Music & You” single
192. Salmonella Dub, One Step East
193. Scorpions, The Essential Scorpions
194. Seal, IV
195. Helen Shapiro, A’s B’s & EP’s
196. Silverchair, “Across the Night” single
197. Simple Minds, Early Gold
198. Bob Sinclar, “Kiss My Eyes” single
199. Skin, Fleshwounds
200. The Sleepy Jackson, Lovers
201. The Sleepy Jackson, “Vampire Racecourse” single
202. The Sleepy Jackson, “Good Dancers” single
203. The Sleepy Jackson, “Come To This” single
204. Snap!, “Rhythm Is A Dancer 2003” single
205. Snap! vs Motivo, “The Power of Bhangra” single
206. Snoop Dogg, “Beautiful” single
207. Spiritualized, Complete Works vol. 1
208. Staind, 14 Shades of Grey
209. Starsailor, Silence Is Easy
210. Starsailor, “Silence Is Easy” single
211. Stereopol, “Dancin’ Tonight” single
212. Joss Stone, The Soul Sessions
213. Stylophonic, Man Music Technology
214. Sugar Ray, The Pursuit Of Leisure
215. The Superjesus, Rock Music
216. The Superjesus, “Over And Out” single
217. Talk Talk, The Essential Talk Talk
218. Thalia
219. Thalia, “I Want You” single
220. Third Eye Blind, Out of the Vein
221. The Thrills, So Much For The City
222. Yann Tiersen, Goodbye Lenin soundtrack
223. Peter Tosh, The Best of Peter Tosh 1976-1987
224. Tribalising, “Ja sei namorar” single
225. Tube & Berger ftg. Chrissie Hynde, “Straight Ahead” single
226. Turin Brakes, Ether Song
227. UB40, Homegrown
228. UB40, Labour of Love I, II and III
229. Ultrasun, “We Can Runaway” single
230. Bobby Vee, The Essential Bobby Vee
231. The Vines, Winning Days
232. The Vines, “Ride” single
233. The Vipers, The Very Best of The Vipers Skiffle Group
234. Westside Connection, Terrorist Threats
235. Westside Connection, “Gangsta Nation” single
236. Widelife ftg. Simone Denny, “All Things (Just Keep Getting Better)” single
237. Robbie Williams, Escapology
238. John Williamson, Mates On The Road
239. John Williamson, Old Farts In Caravan Parks
240. John Williamson, True Blue Two
241. Nancy Wilson, Collection
242. Lucy Woodward, While You Can
243. Yanni, Ethnicity
244. Yellowcard, Ocean Avenue
245. Larry Young, Mother Ship
246. Various, Best of Mersey Beat
247. Various, Empirical Records Presents State Of The Art
248. Various, The Greatest Musicals
249. Various, Hello Children Everywhere! Volume Two
250. Various, Heroes
251. Various, Karaoke2003
252. Various, KaraokeAbba
253. Various, Lady Sings The Blues vol. 2
254. Various, Late Night Piano Bar
255. Various, Legends
256. Various, Legends II
257. Various, Minit: The Soul of Minit Records
258. Various, Music from Queer Eye For The Straight Guy
259. Various, NOW Hot 30 Countdown
260. Various, Off The Wall: 10 Years Of Wall Of Sound
261. Various, The Original 60s Summer Album
262. Various, Peace & Unity
263. Various, RnB Version 2.0
264. Various, Toyota Golden Guitar Awards: The Winners 2003
265. Various, West Papua: Sound of the Morning Star
266. Various, Women In Blue
267. Various, World Chill
268. Various, The World’s Absolutely Best Ever Beer Songs vol. 2

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