The Null Device

100th Window

I just got a copy of the US pressing of Massive Attack's 100th Window (thanks, Lisa; I hope you're enjoying the Ninetynine CD). Why the US release? Well, the main thing that distinguishes it from the Australian release is no copy-denial mechanisms; i.e., it's a Red Book CD which plays and rips in any drive.

(Yes, I know that some people have successfully ripped the Australian "Copy Controlled" release. However, it's the principle that's at stake; and I'm sure that if people swallow this imperfect "copy controlled" disc, EMI will attempt to iron the bugs out of future releases (such as, say, the upcoming Morrissey album, and the next Radiohead album). However, if EMI's beancounters (who largely run things at major labels these days) notice that sales are higher in unrestricted territories, that may make them stop treating customers as potential criminals.)

(Does anybody know what the economics of the "copy control" technology are; i.e., how much does EMI pay to cripple a title, and do they pay per CD, per title, or outright? If they pay a percentage of the CD price per disc, then the tide may turn sooner against copy-denial, unless it actually makes people buy more CDs. Of course, the suits in charge would want to hold on despite losses until there are no unencumbered copies available in any territory. Though how long they hold on after people start MP3ing their CDs through the analogue outputs of their CD players is uncertain. Eliminating sound cards without built-in watermark detectors with anything less than a perfectly efficient global police state would be impossible; as far as audio goes, the "analog hole" is here to stay.)

Anyway, back to 100th Window. The album differs from the, umm, prerelease slightly (they've chopped a second or two off the start of Future Proof, and padded the space after the last track with some sort of filtered arpeggio texture). The artwork is also quite nice. Anyway, if you're in Australia and wish to buy an unrestricted copy, places like Amazon will sell you the US release. Or just find a US penpal and offer to trade them something from here. Think of it as globalisation for the people.

There are 1 comments on "100th Window":

Posted by: lisa http:// Wed Feb 26 20:51:31 2003

i *am* really enjoying it! thank you again! :)

i was getting worried. i'm glad that it finally arrived though i can't believe that it took so much less time for the ninetynine cd to get to me... i wonder why? apparently your postal service is more efficent at sending than mine.

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