The Null Device

Direct Action Against Copy Control

Apparently that poxy "copy control" thing EMI are putting on all their CDs isn't confined to Australia: they're doing it in Canada too. And they've made this guy pig-biting mad; so much so that he's starting a campaign against it. He actually went to the EMI offices, threatening to post details of circumvention, and demanding one hundred billion dollars proper Red Book copies of the CDs he bought which won't play in his car stereo. (via Graham)

Hmmm... there are direct-action possibilities there. Anyone up for a die-in outside the local EMI offices? Or perhaps a Ron Rude-esque hunger strike would be more appropriate? What's your best anti-copy-denial protest idea?

There are 20 comments on "Direct Action Against Copy Control":

Posted by: Jillian Thu Apr 3 16:50:10 2003

CD burning outside the offices?

Worked in Texas with the Dixie Chicks CD's...

Posted by: acb Thu Apr 3 17:05:10 2003

Hmmm... People can bring laptops with CD-R burners, make copies of (cracked) EMI CDs and politely give them away to passersby until the cops drag everyone away. Was that what you had in mind?

Posted by: gjw Thu Apr 3 23:34:50 2003

Well my first reaction is to shift from using p2p apps for sampling artists before I buy the CD, to using p2p to download full albums (something I've never really done before). It's not the kind of action the record companies would really notice though. Maybe I can fax them print-outs of my Soulseek log file.

Posted by: gjw Thu Apr 3 23:41:15 2003

Maybe everyone could get a red piece of paper, print RED BOOK on the front, and mail it to them. I doubt they'd get the hint.

Posted by: cnwb Fri Apr 4 00:16:54 2003

My gurlfriend is going to see chick-magnet pop-star Ben Harper tonight, whose latest CD falls into said category. Maybe I should arm her with hundreds of burns of it, to hand out at the gig!

Posted by: acb Fri Apr 4 07:04:00 2003

Is a "gurlfriend" an online/long-distance girlfriend (i.e., one accessed through the net)?

Posted by: Graham Fri Apr 4 07:53:31 2003

The problem is, the Ben Harper CD's been selling like mad, even though 100th Window seems to have tanked, so I doubt EMI will see it as much of a problem.

Posted by: billy http:// Fri Apr 4 08:15:19 2003

Strap a bunch of exlosives to my body, run in thier office building yelling swear words and then detonate the explosives killing me and hopefully a few other people! I bet that'd "ruin" their day!!! Fucking shit!

Posted by: acb Fri Apr 4 08:28:47 2003

100th Window has been near #1 on most of the store charts. In one shop, something like 4 of the top 5 were EMI pseudo-CDs.

I suspect that EMI could quite comfortably afford to write off the entire penguinhead and Mac user demographics. Though if copy-denial fails to stem the tide of MP3 copying (as it doubtlessly will; given how easy it is to rip a DVD, enterprising h4x0rz will be able to easily rip CDs), the question remains of how long they'll keep it up.

Posted by: Ben B Fri Apr 4 11:37:00 2003

Now that they've got their plant in Australia doing it, the marginal cost would be very low.

Posted by: Graham Fri Apr 4 13:08:19 2003

Hmm, well there's not much that can be done with car stereos, but the Mac incompatibility due to the hardware or the software? If the latter, some propellerheads' bound to come up with a driver patch, possibly from Apple themselves?

Posted by: Graham Fri Apr 4 15:02:21 2003

Only just noticed this too...

Posted by: gjw Fri Apr 4 16:11:33 2003

I doubt greatly whether these CDs would work on my car stereo, as it also plays MP3-cds, suggesting it's the CD-ROM type drive the CDs are designed to fool. But then, for obvious reasons, I never bothered buying 100th Window so I've never tested it.

Posted by: acb Sat Apr 5 05:14:44 2003

Hmmm... I have a Digitor MP3-CD player I should probably test these things on.

I don't think I'll be testing them on my PowerBook at work, though; I've had enough service calls for the damned thing to risk having to send it away to surgically extract an EMI drink coaster.

Posted by: Mr. Cat http:// Thu Apr 10 07:22:53 2003

Irate. That's what the Virgin/EMI CDs coming into my radio station make me.

I have two shows (3 - 5 h/wk). I review half a dozen CDs a week for radio airplay here at CHSR ( I own a Sony mp3 CD player. Copy Control discs do not work in it. I review those half dozen CDs in my Sony.

Uh oh. I CAN'T review those CDs in my Sony. I'd have to use stationary players at the radio station, or in my apartment (which might bug the neighbours.) Well, not to sound snotty, but I will not go out of MY way to cater to their paranoia.

Guess what? Tough luck EMI. I'm boycotting anything Copy Controlled. I will not review or spin CDs that won't work in my CD player. You know, my Sony.

I pretty much flamed the contact guy for EMI Music Canada on the sticker stuck to the back of the CD. I've emailed G-stone about it. (Unrelated to the EMI/Virgin Cthulhu beast) I mentioned my supreme displeasure in my last email to Astralwerks (requesting The Faint - Dance Macabre Remixes).

I'm also t

Posted by: Mr. Cat Thu Apr 10 07:26:42 2003

[sorry for posting something so large. hope you don't mind too much i'm dodging the size limit by posting the rest separate]

I'm going to start emailing each subtentacle of EMI/Virgin that puts out albums I WANT to play... (ie Narada, Narada World, Astralwerks, etc)

Anyway, I'm ranting. Sorry :)

The FUNNY part...

I didn't have to do SQUAT to rip the CDs. I've copied Massive Attack, Asian Dub Foundation, Placebo and others. Ahead Nero and CD Rip both work. I don't have to install the software on the CD. Winamp, cdplayer.exe and other CD-reading audio programs do it just fine.

Something about my poor outdated computer running Win98 makes the copy control useless. (Or it is useless to begin with) I copy the CDs out of spite.

(The only software wierdness I have is a Winamp plugin, called cda2wav that allows me to drag WAV files from the CD directory instead of requiring a ripping program... but that doesn't work any time there is data... so I'm dismissing that as a potential re

Posted by: acb Thu Apr 10 08:28:55 2003

I believe it's a hardware rather than a software issue. If you have an ancient Matsushita CR-585 CD-ROM drive (of which billions were made and ended up in everything from generic beige boxes to Apple Macintoshes), that rips them with no problems. Ditto for various other cheap CD-ROM-only drives.

My Sony CDRW and Pioneer DVD-ROM both choke on the discs though.

Posted by: Ben Fri Aug 8 03:48:58 2003

Thank Bob for the low-tech solutions!

Posted by: Graham Fri Aug 8 10:34:20 2003

Try the more recent LiteOn CD-RW's, too.

Posted by: Golly http:// Thu Aug 28 00:04:59 2003

You can also try complaining to the Better Business Bureau nearest the record company in question. Every complaint goes on record, so when someone -- say investors -- look into the company, they can cough up all these complaints about EMI.

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