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Crippled CD Deemed Defective In France 388

Posted by timothy
from the aongh-haw-haw dept.
Noryungi writes "The daily newspaper Liberation reports that at least one person got her money back, by suing EMI, no less. She was able to do that with the help of the largest consumer organization in France, which has its own list of articles on this subject. So, French people who cannot read their copy-protected CDs can get their money back, but copy protection is not made illegal by the court decision... It's certainly a step in the right direction, though..." For the French-impaired, an anonymous reader adds "The Register has a good article on EMI being forced to refund the cost of a copy-protected CD, because it was found to have a 'hidden defect' -- it wouldn't work on a car's CD player ... Is the tide changing?"
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Crippled CD Deemed Defective In France

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  • Rimshot (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 03, 2003 @02:03PM (#6860865)
    EMI surrenders to France?!
    • Re:Rimshot (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Zeinfeld (263942) on Wednesday September 03, 2003 @02:38PM (#6861255) Homepage
      EMI surrenders to France?!

      I find it somewhat bizare that EMI would even littigate the case. The product was clearly defective as manufactured and so under EU law the consumer has an absolute right to a full refund. No pissy-US '90 day' guarantees here. If you sell something that is broke the consumer gets a refund, period.

      As for the wider political context, don't forget what the French Ambassador to the UN said on the subject of Iraq, basically that France belives it is not opposing US interests, just that it believes it has a better idea of what those interests are. The US came to regret not taking French advice in Vietnam and according to Paris will come to regret not taking their advice on the subject of invading Iraq.

      From this we can deduce two things, first that the French can be insufferably arrogant for such a small country whose military success under Napoleon turned out to be what the music industry would call a 'one hit wonder', being followed by flop after flop. The only recent successes being in the consolation prize category of 'quickest surrender'. And no Jaques, the magnificent conquest of the Sahara desert does not qualify a country as an empire. The test of an empire is not merely the acreage under occupation, the locals have to actually be at least aware of the occupation.

      The other thing we may deduce is that despite the fact they are frequently arrogant and obnoxious the French are frequently right, particularly when it comes to the 'stop the US from pig-headed self defeating policy blunder' category.

      • Re:Rimshot (Score:2, Insightful)

        by zangdesign (462534)
        Please don't let France know your opinion - they'll become insufferable.

        Oh, yeah, and don't let the Department of Homeland Security or the Justice Department know either.

        For obvious reasons.

      • Re:Rimshot (Score:2, Insightful)

        by ajnlth (702063)
        Arrogance is thinking that one needs to have military succes behind one self to say what one believes.

        To have military victories is not an achievement, it's merely a proof of the failure that lead up to the armed conflict.

        • Re:Rimshot (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward
          That is so true. After all, look at France's diplomacy in the late 1930s.
      • You make me sad (Score:3, Insightful)

        On the one hand, you link to a (very accurate) anti-Bush site in your sig. On the other, you've bought into the anti-French propaganda pushed by the same right-wing idiots that site criticizes. The fact is that the French military record overall is no better or worse than the record of most of the other great powers. Win a few, lose a few; that's the way it goes.
  • Hmm (Score:5, Funny)

    by blitzoid (618964) on Wednesday September 03, 2003 @02:04PM (#6860870) Homepage
    Wow, I really don't blame EMI. I mean, who could have known beforehand that they wouldn't work in some extremely common devices? Come on, guys. Testing can only go so far before they have to release it into the real world. And I'm sure that for the tuesday afternoon that they DID test compatability, they were very thorough.
    • Yeah, I keep forgetting to test my burned CDs in my wife's car. When I get ready to go on a trip, I find that none of my CDs work in her car. I have only myself to blame.

      At least this lady has someone to sue.
    • Re:Hmm (Score:5, Funny)

      by Matrix272 (581458) on Wednesday September 03, 2003 @02:19PM (#6861067)
      And I'm sure that for the tuesday afternoon that they DID test compatability, they were very thorough.

      You give them too much credit to say Tuesday Afternoon... I would have said between 12:15pm and 1:45pm on Tuesday afternoon... with lunch in there too. And, since pirates are taking away so much money for research and development of the anti-piracy schemes, they didn't even have a CD Player to test on... so I suspect they looked at a drawing of a CD Player on a chalkboard, and if when they closed their eyes and concentrated really hard, they heard the music playing, they declared it safe to sell.
      • Re:Hmm (Score:5, Funny)

        by blitzoid (618964) on Wednesday September 03, 2003 @02:23PM (#6861103) Homepage
        Oh please, that 'piracy is bad' excuse is just pissing me off to no end.

        Look, if it weren't for filthy pirates like me constantly ripping music and software, the copyprotection industry would STAGNATE. Millions of jobs would be lost, and the economy would start to collapse. The fact is, pirates and mp3 traders are keeping the industry alive. It's anti-economy types like YOU GUYS that are causing the downfall of everything we hold dear!
        • The fact is, pirates and mp3 traders are keeping the industry alive.

          Exactly! My point exactly! They should be paying us, not suing us! Those filthy, greedy, dirty bastards...
  • by FileNotFound (85933) on Wednesday September 03, 2003 @02:04PM (#6860876) Homepage Journal
    There is an Act that if passed will require clear lables on all copy protected CDs. From EFF:

    Senator Ron Wyden recently introduced the Digital Consumer Right-to-Know Act (DCRKA), a bill that would require entertainment companies to label products with copy-protections that limit consumer use. Support the DCRKA if you think the content industry should be ordered to clearly label media that restricts your rights!

    http://action.eff.org/action/index.asp?step=2&it em =2664
    • by samsmithnz (702471) on Wednesday September 03, 2003 @02:07PM (#6860905) Homepage
      This act is hardly going to help though. If you buy a CD that is labeled, and then it doesn't work, you're not going to be able to return it, because you were warned before you purchased!!!
      • by FileNotFound (85933) on Wednesday September 03, 2003 @02:08PM (#6860925) Homepage Journal
        Needless to say (but I'll say it anyway) the clear answer to that is:

        "DON'T BUY COPY PROTECTED DISKS"

        It's called boycotting and it works.
        • No, then the RIAA will just blame piracy for the drop in sales, like always, and press Congress/law enforcement agenecies to track down these horrible pirates to protect their old and failing business model. They've done it before, they'll do it again. And again. And again. And again. And...
        • "It's called boycotting and it works."

          No it won't. Every CD not sold will be accounted for by piracy. Buy the CD and take it back, that'll perk their ears up.
        • It's called boycotting and it works.

          Not if you don't let them know you're boycotting. As another poster said, they'll blame the lost sales on other things. It might be better to buy copy protected CD's and then return them for a refund with an explanation that it didn't work, or that you didn't realize it was copy protected and you don't buy copy protected CD's (to ensure compatibility with future hardware purchases).
      • This act is hardly going to help though. If you buy a CD that is labeled, and then it doesn't work, you're not going to be able to return it, because you were warned before you purchased!!!

        Are you trolling, or on crack? If it's labeled, and you're literate, you wouldn't have bought it at all!

    • As far as I know it's already so that Copyprotected CD's aren't allowed to use the "Compact Disc" symbol since they don't follow the CD standard.

      Might just be fun to go into a record store and ask why they put a disc that clearly isn't a CD (no label) in the CD-section.

    • DORKA (Score:2, Funny)

      by tds67 (670584)
      Senator Ron Wyden recently introduced the Digital Consumer Right-to-Know Act (DCRKA), a bill that would require entertainment companies to label products with copy-protections that limit consumer use.

      Contrast this with the Digital Online Right-to-Know Act (DORKA), which would let us geeks know when the RIAA is spying on our P2P activity in an attempt to limit consumer use.

    • The only way this would work is thus:

      1) All playback media that _looked_ like a CD but wasn't would have to have a label on the front in large letters saying, "THIS IS NOT A CD. IT MAY NOT PLAY IN YOUR CD PLAYER."

      2) All such media would have to be shelved separately in the stores. There would be a CD section, and an "other" section.

      What I don't understand is why Phillips can't sue for the misuse of their physical format, even if it's not labelled as a CD. It's pretty clear that these things are intended
  • by trompete (651953) on Wednesday September 03, 2003 @02:05PM (#6860878) Homepage Journal
    that they got their money back, considering that most of those CDs have warning labels on them like a PC with an 'X' through it.
    I guess that if a woman can get millions of dollars for spilling hot coffee on herself, someone else can get a refund for a CD that they couldn't play in their computer.
    I hope this encourages record labels to stop making that type of CD!!
    • by Pius II. (525191) <PiusIINO@SPAMgmx.de> on Wednesday September 03, 2003 @02:11PM (#6860958)
      "Achete par une consommatrice, Francoise Marc, dans un hypermarche Auchan, le CD d'Alain Souchon etait illisible sur l'autoradio de sa Clio."

      A PC with an X through it doesn't really help to show that the CD doesn't play in your car. If that isn't enough, most DVD players don't play these, either. This policy is starting to really piss consumers off. As far as I know, most retailers around here (Germany, that is) just take all the CDs back, if you give them "it doesn't play on my DVD/car stereo/discman" as the reason.
      • That's where I saw the CDs in the first place: I was studying in Heidenheim, BW two summers ago. I can't read French, but I can read German :)

        Do many consumers just not buy those CDs?

        Is there a way for them to rip them and burn them to a safer disc format?
        • > Do many consumers just not buy those CDs? Well, the typical scenario is that they buy the CD, then find it doesn't play in their living room stereo (CD player replaced by DVD player), and then either ask me to make a copy that works, or they just take it back.
          Personally, I almost always buy at cheap CD stores (2001 [zweitausendeins.de] comes to mind), where they have CDs so cheap that the costs for copy protection would cut the publishers profits too much. Noone protects CDs for less than 10 Euros.
          I wouldn't guess that mo
    • Re:I'm surprised... (Score:3, Informative)

      by SydShamino (547793)
      Obligatory links to TRUTH about McDonald's case whenever a person speaks of it based on IGNORANCE:

      http://www.centerjd.org/free/mythbusters-free/MB_m cdonalds.htm [centerjd.org]
      • by Qzukk (229616)
        Obligatory pointing out the OBVIOUS about the McDonald's case:

        The woman was still stupid and should have been at greater fault (she was found to be partially at fault and the reward was reduced proportionally) because opening hot coffee in your lap is stupid regardless of the temperature.

        The fact that the coffee was hot enough to give third degree burns doesn't make this any less stupid. Do you think she would have cared what temperature the coffee was at when she did this? If the sign had said "Warning
        • actually, McDonalds was held accountable because they were told to lower the temerature of there coffee, and ignored it.

          No one is expected to be served coffee so hot it will put you in the hospital for 3 weeks.

          Lets not forget that McDonalds is selling this coffee to people in there car, with lids that can be difficult to open up.

          the issue is not that she spilled coffee. it is that she was purchased a product that was dangerous, and the company she bought it from knew it was dangerous.

          Is opening up a cup
          • by squarooticus (5092) on Wednesday September 03, 2003 @02:56PM (#6861428) Homepage
            : Is opening up a cup of coffee over your lap the
            : smartest thing? perhaps not. But why would you sell
            : something at a drive thru-window that people would
            : have to get out of there car to open?

            Because if you are able to accomplish this feat of legerdemain without burning yourself (as 99.9% of people seem able to do), then you should have right to buy your coffee piping hot. Stupid and/or clumsy people have the choice to buy their coffee from restaurants that don't make it so hot. Don't take away the rights of the vast, vast majority to get their coffee hot, the way they like it.

            It's attitudes like this ("Everything that's gone wrong in my life is someone else's fault") that makes life in the US so stressful and expensive for those of us who think it isn't right to blame someone else for everything.

            Things are seriously at the point now that I can't even leave a hedge trimmer sitting on the floor near a window for fear that someone I didn't invite into my home (i.e., a burglar) would accidentally cut off his fingers and successfully sue me for damages encountered in the process of his performing an illegal act. The stress of having to worry about every little thing that I could possibly be sued for is the clearest argument (IMO) for tort reform.
            • Don't take away the rights of the vast, vast majority to get their coffee hot, the way they like it.

              The point was it was so hot no human being could consume it safely. That woman had third degree burns on the insides of her legs. Do you have an asbestos mouth?

          • Have you ever heard of a cupholder? You know, that thing you can stick drinks in to?

        • by sholden (12227) on Wednesday September 03, 2003 @03:33PM (#6861832) Homepage
          Do you think she would have cared what temperature the coffee was at when she did this?

          Yes.

          If the sign had said "Warning: Coffee causes third degree burns" do you think she would have acted differently?

          Yes. Though that would still be stupid, a cup which has enough structural rigidity to not collapse without the lid would be a better solution.

          Assuming she's mentally stable she doesn't go around her daily life deciding whether to do things or not based on how bad a burn she gets ("Gee, I should touch the hot stove, I only get a second degree burn this way!") so why was this important for her coffee?

          That's exactly what everyone does.

          I don't put on safety gloves when I get a can of coke from a vending machine. I assume it will be cold but not so cold as to hurt me. If the vending machine operator decided that keeping the cans in liquid nitrogen made them last longer I would expect some warning about the unexpected temperature the cans would be.

          When I buy a coffee I expect it to be reasonably hot and I take suitable care. I don't tip it over my head, for example. However, I don't put on safety gear before buying my morning coffee. I don't make sure everybody around me keeps at least a meter away. Since I know if someone bumps into me and my coffee splashes onto my chest it won't do serious damage - it'll just wet my shirt. If the coffee vendor decided that the coffee would be better if it was acidic enough to eat through clothing and skin, then I would expect some warning - and I would take more precautions...

          When I buy a slice of pizza I don't test the temperature with a thermometer. I assume it is at a suitable temperature for eating, though the first bite might be a bit careful in case the cheese is too hot. I assume it isn't hot enough to burn my hand through the plate as I hold it though.

          Everyone I see does numerous things everyday that are slightly risky because the potential damage is small enough to not be worth taking more care.

          If the potential damage of those actions suddenly increased they would want some warning.

          I've spilt coffee on myself before. All it did was make my clothes a bit wet. I've never spilt any potent acids on myself (even though I used them way back when I was doing chem. eng.). I must have been more careful with the acid than with the coffee. I did exactly what you seem to think is abnormal. I figured wearing safety gear and being very precise about my movements wasn't necessary when I was carrying the cup of coffee down the hall, because the damage it could do (making me wet) wasn't worth the hassle.

          Then again, maybe you walk around in a plastic bubble (after all you could catch a virus and die - that's a pretty serious thing) and handle your hot coffee and cold coke with tongs.

        • by lawpoop (604919)
          Nobody should be distributing 180 - 190 F liquids to the public FOR ANY REASON, ESPECIALLY AS A FOOD PRODUCT! This is not just 'hot coffee', this is scalding liquids which caused 3rd degree burns. If you had to work with 180 liquids as a part of your job, you would have protective gear and OSHAA regulations all over the place. Why do people think McDonalds should get away with handing this stuff out to people in the drive through?
    • by Anonymous Coward
      So a symbol with a PC with an "X" through it is supposed to communicate clearly to consumers that the CD won't work IN A CAR STEREO?

      Unless the CD said is was designed to fail in the type of equipment she tried to use it in, I think there is definitely a reasonable consumer expectation that a CD will produce music if placed in a CD player, unless otherwise notified. Call me kooky.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    don't worry, next week the riaa will send to france a man wielding a sharp stick and german accent to sort this mess out.
  • by Jason1729 (561790) on Wednesday September 03, 2003 @02:06PM (#6860895)
    It's good to see not all countries have turned themselves over to corporate interests, but a victory in France (which doesn't exactly have a history of putting foreign corporate interests ahead of their own citizens) doesn't say much about the tide in the US.

    Jason
    ProfQuotes [profquotes.com]
    • My understanding was that in the US, stores will routinely give you a refund for CDs that don't work in your system. I don't know at what level that policy was implemented (by the RIAA or by the big chains) but Mac sites have been dealing with this issue for a while, as Apple CD-Rs seem to have a lot of problems with the new discs, and there doesn't seem to be any issue getting refunds.
    • doh ? And who says the tide in the US is to anyones interest ouside the US ? For all I care, DRM can be enforced on everything in the US, as long as Europe sticks to its senses. In fact, that's what it's going to with US vs Asia. No way that Asia is ever going to DRM stuff that's intenede for bigbucks flowing to the US.
      And just maybe, that's where your only hope lies : Europe & Asia NOT DRMing and exporting to a black US market. Remember that US alcohol fiasco some 80-70 years ago ? You guys are geniu
  • by macshune (628296) on Wednesday September 03, 2003 @02:06PM (#6860897) Journal
    Hey, we got the bomb now! We'll never surrender! Screw you EMI!
  • by machinecraig (657304) on Wednesday September 03, 2003 @02:08PM (#6860918)
    Seems like they've proved that EMI made defective disks, shouldn't a recall be necessary?
  • EMI response (Score:5, Informative)

    by MCS (202073) <scherem@ g m ail.com> on Wednesday September 03, 2003 @02:08PM (#6860923) Homepage
    I actually e-mailed EMI about the copy protection on the new Jane's addiction CD. Here is the reply I have recieved:

    "We are in receipt of your email and regret you have experienced a problem with one of our products.

    The technology we are using is designed to ensure that the disc plays on multiple devices. There have been playability problems with a very small number of players, but the vast majority of these problems have been fixable by our technology suppliers as they are constantly updating and improving the technology that is included in the copy controlled discs.

    As long as consumers alert us to the problem we will endeavor to adapt the copy control technology.

    Please forward your address as we search for a replacement from another territory. Thank you.

    Regards,

    Emi Music Canada
    Quality Control Dept
    1 (866) 553-0220"
    • Re:EMI response (Score:4, Informative)

      by mopslik (688435) on Wednesday September 03, 2003 @02:12PM (#6860986)

      You're luckier than I was. I contacted EMI Canada about several of their defective discs, only to receive several suggestions to upgrade my CD players and/or operating system. Sorry, no sale there.

      • Re:EMI response (Score:3, Informative)

        by MCS (202073)
        If it helps any, here is the letter I sent:
        ---
        To: qc@emimusic.ca
        Subject: A message from CapitolMusic.ca

        Sent to Department: manufacturing

        To whom it may concern:

        I recently purchased the CD Jane's Addiction: Strays at my local Best Buy. This CD was released in Canada through EMI Canada. While the music on the CD is stunning, I cannot help but feel angered/frustrated by the lengths I have had to go through in order to hear it. The physical CD itself does not allow it to be read on my Rio Volt CD player, wh
    • When you tell them your CD didn't play, don't tell them what device it didn't play in. Let them figure it out for themselves.

      Telling them makes you an unpaid beta tester!

    • nice.. though there is a way to ensure that it runs on every cd player, just make the product as cd's are meant to be!

      though, eventually (and already) the 'copy protection' just prevents normal listening and copying on few devices while the cd continues to be copyable on other drives(my sister needed to backup one cd once, apparently the cd did have copy protection but it didn't interfere at all with raw copy of it, i did leave the data track out though that was at the end of the disc). the copyprotection
  • CDs Death March (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Sophrosyne (630428) on Wednesday September 03, 2003 @02:09PM (#6860934) Homepage
    Once (and if) Apple gets their iTunes music store over to windows, and into international markets we will slowly begin to see the CD market go the way of the horse and buggy.
    The market has been declining for years due to high prices, and formulaic content... there is still a possibility record labels may become more innovative and profitable with newer technologies.
    I think that it's about time these huge record labels had some sense knocked into them (even if it is by the french government).
    • Once (and if) Apple gets their iTunes music store over to windows, and into international markets...

      If? Has there actually been any doubt about the Windows port being available within the next 4 months as promised? As for international markets, I wouldn't be surprised if they're unable to enter some markets due to licensing issues, but I'm pretty sure they'll figure something out in most places. Has anyone heard suggestions to the contrary?
  • by FreeLinux (555387) on Wednesday September 03, 2003 @02:10PM (#6860939)
    You are kidding, right? Do you honestly believe that EMI, let alone the record industry as a whole, is going to change their practices because of a single insignificant law suite that cost them a single CD and court costs? Here comes the clue train.

    This will have no impact on them whatever. They will continue with business as usual and for each returned CD that they get, they will sell millions.

    The only way for there to be a "changing tide" is if they are seriously affected monetarily, as in a major drop in sales, or if they are legally bound by a class action suite or something similar.
    • Quoth the poster:

      The only way for there to be a "changing tide" is if they are seriously affected monetarily, as in a major drop in sales . . .

      Of course, a major drop in sales will be used as evidence that the pirates (Drink up, me harties, yo ho!) are the cause, thus providing the motivation for still more litigation, legislation, and copy protection measures that are most certainly not in the consumer's best interest.

      That said, I agree with your post. This is not the beginning of a revolution, no

    • The only way for there to be a "changing tide" is if they are seriously affected monetarily, as in a major drop in sales, or if they are legally bound by a

      class action suite or something similar.

      Given that it is not realistic that most people will go to the trouble (i.e. hundreds of $ worth of wasted time and/or cash) necessary to collect $10-$20 on a "defective" CD, I see a class action as the only viable legal option. IAAL's chime in: Is there any realistic hope of getting one started? I have been burn

    • Here's a little clue train action for you.

      Yes, it's only one person, but what happens when it becomes cost prohibitve to sell crippled cd's in france because everybody starts getting refunds? hell, someone could go to the store, take it home, copy it, and return it a defective. now that would be far more costly then if someone just downloaded the cd for free.
      The company has to decide 'do we loose more money from the individual making mp3s', or 'do we loose more money from the refund process?',which cost th
  • by Doesn't_Comment_Code (692510) on Wednesday September 03, 2003 @02:11PM (#6860948)
    EMI being forced to refund the cost of a copy-protected CD, because it was found to have a 'hidden defect'

    What beautiful wording. And absolutely true. If you purchase data, it should be that, data, plain and simple, with no extras or hitches.

    Theory and Philsophy lesson 1 for Copy protection companies:
    If you can read it, you can copy it.

    I think they already know that deep down. So their idea is to make the data harder and harder to read... to the point where it becomes defective.

    ...morons
  • Moot (Score:4, Informative)

    by doctechniqal (516085) * on Wednesday September 03, 2003 @02:12PM (#6860964)
    If you believe
    the study referenced in this article [com.com], then the whole issue of copy protecting audio CDs is pretty much dead in the water anyway.
  • Defective CDs (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Fareq (688769) on Wednesday September 03, 2003 @02:12PM (#6860978)
    This is very interesting, and was probably the right thing to do.

    After all, when one sells a disc that looks like a standard CD in a store that sells standard CDs, especially on the same racks as standard CDs, it is a reasonable assumption for the consumer to believe that the product is a standard CD.

    If there were significant visible markings on the disc that said something to the effect of "This disc does not meet the red-book standard for Compact Disc Digital Audio" then it would be reasonable to allow the sale of the crippled CD -- after all, the manufacturer has made it apparent that this disc is not a Compact Disc, but that it *might* support some of the same functionality. If you are concerned, don't buy, if you buy, well, you were warned.

    This is how I feel the "broken CD game" should be played. I have no problem with companies trying to peddle "broken" CDs, just so long as every consumer knows that it is "broken"

    As for the CDs/DVDs that become opaque after a certain time? I'm not sure what to do there. You see, the trouble stems from the fact that, until it becomes opaque, the disc conforms to the standard. Still, I am certain that an appropriate "warning label" can be determined.

    In the end, it ought to be up to an informed market to decide whether "broken" or "sudden-death" media are acceptable -- not the government to mandate.

    That said, I applaud the decision made, and will continue to support these kinds of decisions until it is made blindingly obvious which disks are crippled
    • Re:Defective CDs (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ruiner13 (527499)
      "If there were significant visible markings on the disc that said something to the effect of "This disc does not meet the red-book standard for Compact Disc Digital Audio" then it would be reasonable to allow the sale of the crippled CD -- after all, the manufacturer has made it apparent that this disc is not a Compact Disc, but that it *might* support some of the same functionality."

      Knowing the technical knowledge of most consumers, when you refer to "red book" they'll probably think the magazine and wond

    • Re:Defective CDs (Score:3, Insightful)

      by geekoid (135745)
      the consumer does not now what 'red book' means.
      they should have to put on the from cover, in at least 10pt font:
      "This cd will not play in some home stereo equipment, most computers, and some cars."
      Becasue thats the truth, and they no it.

      for the other case, it should say "This cd will be unplayable X days after the package is opened."

      the goverment should stepmin and force these kind of clear labels. If the market bears it, then fine.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 03, 2003 @02:13PM (#6860997)
    Should read:

    Differently-Abled CD Deemed Special In France
  • by Rinikusu (28164) on Wednesday September 03, 2003 @02:15PM (#6861011)
    I doubt that this means much. Just like the guy who was able to get $200 back from some major OEM for Windows XP by taking it to small claims, it's not going to change "business". It will take hundreds of those kind of lawsuits and the accompanying legal bills to make a difference. I mean, if you're spending $1 million in attorney's fees to represent a company for $100k in refunds, what do you think you're going to do? Look at how effective "our" /. boycott on the RIAA, Sony, Disney, et al is. A few loud mouth geeks don't mean anything in the real world. Remember high school? Remember how nobody listened to you because you were just a nerd and were "uncool"? What makes you think things have changed just because you're an adult? We can raise a stink, but no one cares. They're still writing the checks, consuming like mindless idiots, and the vocal minority still doesn't get what we want. You have to think to yourself that most of the Joe Consumer's out there will buy a defective product and if it doesn't work, are still too lazy to take it back (see Radar Jammers).
  • Good step... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by KinkyClown (574788)
    At my work we don't have a CD player and a audio set. We all have computers, CD-ROM players and a set of speakers. I can not listen at my work to some CD's I have bought. I am not doing anything illegal and I can not listen to my own bought CD's.
    I hope that a similar case will hit the courts as well. I don't want to rip my CD's and make MP3's, I just want to listen to the music. Why do I have to be punished for something I did not do? Getting my money back is no option, I can play my CD's back home on my n
  • I have to applaud their Court's decision on this matter.

    If the CD doesn't play in certain devices, it's defective. Period.

    When is the RIAA going to realize that they're eroding their own customer base with lawsuits, faulty products and such. Especially when the end product costs almost $20 a pop.

    I've bought precious little music since the advent of copy-protection, though it doens't help that theoverall quality of music lately has declined. Until such defects are corrected, I'll simply continue my sta
  • Think of the future (Score:5, Informative)

    by OMG (669971) on Wednesday September 03, 2003 @02:22PM (#6861097)
    The copy protected CD you buy today may run on your current CD player. But what about your next CD player? How much percent of your CD collection will not run on the new player?

    heise.de has setup a register for copy protected CDs and on which drives/players they are playable. The results so far show, that the copy protection is not PC drive specific. Some CD players do play some copy protected CDs, some players don't. The same goes for CD-ROM drives. Depends on the copy protection system also. Thus you can't tell which copy protection system will stop your next CD player from playing the CD.

    Thus the record companies are FORCING music fans to make a digital copy (which is a crime in Germany now if you have to circumvent a copy protection mechansim).
  • CD Spec? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Cynicx (96073)
    Possibly a stupid question: Does a copy-protected CD actually follow the CD specification from Philips et al.?
    • Possibly a stupid question: Does a copy-protected CD actually follow the CD specification from Philips et al.?

      No, it doesn't. And that's what has caused all the headache and 'broken' computers. Copy protected 'CDs' aren't REALLY CDs at all.
    • Re:CD Spec? (Score:3, Informative)

      Possibly a stupid question: Does a copy-protected CD actually follow the CD specification from Philips et al.?

      Depends on the copy protection the record company used. Some copy protection schemes do in fact mess up the CD data in a way that computer CD drives can't read, and such CDs typically don't have the official CD logo on them. They did at one time, but Philips got upset about it and now they don't.

      One recent purchase of mine (Doll Revolution by The Bangles) says it's copy protected, and doesn't

  • It is understandable that the music industry would want to have copy-protection on the CDs they distribute to curb piracy. However, their current piecemeal approach leads to situations such as these - where some CDs can be read only in some readers.

    Secondly, this type of copy-protection is a clear violation of the rights of any person who buys such a CD. Under U.S. and Canadian copyright laws (I don't know the European equivalents), a person has the right to make one copy of a legally purchased CD for bac
    • "Secondly, this type of copy-protection is a clear violation of the rights of any person who buys such a CD."

      Here's where that argument breaks down. You have no rights. Rights in this country are granted by congress. You can't afford to outbribe industry lobbyists, so the laws are being made in their favor.

      Many of the new laws go against the fundamental concepts of American freedom that we had drilled into our heads in public school. We want to believe that the government is "for the people", but what
  • Je parle francais, but I wasn't able (ok, I wasn't willing) to get past the Flash opening at the link listed in the Register article:

    Also in the Nanterre dock was Auchon, the giant department store chain, which sold the offending (and to non-French ears, offensive [alainsouchon.net]) CD. It escaped punishment for its offence of failing to inform the Alain Souchon fan that the CD was copy protected.

    What's the part that's "offending to non-French ears"? Since the Register is a .UK outfit, it can't be simple Bush-bashing [cafeshops.com].
  • by bodrell (665409) on Wednesday September 03, 2003 @02:38PM (#6861254) Journal
    I knew this article seemed familiar . . . At the end of June, there was another article [slashdot.org] about a consumer in Brazil who sued for the same reason. And won. In contrast to this French case, the guy won about $340. Whether that is in addition to legal fees, I don't know. The original Brazilian article referenced is here [uol.com.br].

    Interestingly, the Brazilian CD which was defective (Tribalistas, featuring Marisa Monte, Arnaldo Antunes, and Carlinhos Brown) was not copy-protected in the US (I was worried after reading this article, but I bought a copy and had no problems reading it on my Mac).

  • Way to go Europe (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Doesn't_Comment_Code (692510) on Wednesday September 03, 2003 @02:38PM (#6861257)
    I normally consider myself a die-hard american. I tend to support our government through thick and thin. But as of late, it seems like European government (courts especially) are the only ones that care to protect their citizens. Look back through Slashdot articles for the past week or two. You'll see what I mean.

    I had never considered moving to another country. But the more European governments step up to this crap while our own government takes the DMCA attitude, the better my chances of visiting the EU for an extended stay.
  • Good work France! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by EvilTwinSkippy (112490) <yoda@etoyEULERoc.com minus math_god> on Wednesday September 03, 2003 @02:43PM (#6861306) Homepage Journal
    I for one am sick of non-standard standards. Can you picture how backwards civilization would be if every book every published required a secret-decoder ring to read?

    What if you needed special glasses to see the great works of art from the Renasance?

    Copyright law is about giving companies a way to profit from selling their works for a limited time before said works become part of our collective culture. Just because computers enter into the picture does not make it okay to take a jackhammer to tradition.

  • by Brahmastra (685988) on Wednesday September 03, 2003 @02:44PM (#6861316)
    A while ago, I heard that philips wasn't going to allow the crippled CDs to be called Compact Discs because it doesn't follow the Compact Disc Spec. Is that true or does anymore have more information about that?
    • It's not a compact disc. Phillips did, in fact, vigorously defend their legal rights to the name, won a small court victory, and convinced the manufacturers of these things to comply. If you look at any of these copy-protected things, you'll notice that they don't say "Compact Disc," "Compact Disc digital audio," "CDDA," or have the CD logo anywhere on them.

      However, who knows how valid that is in France? It looks like the courts considered a copy protected thingy to be a broken CD, so maybe the above doesn
  • I think that the main problem for the RIAA is that they are shipping music on a medium easily readable by every computer in the world. If they are serious about preventing copying, they ought to create and move to a media that they have total control of and make it unavailable for PC use.
    • if the new media can be plugged into anything that can be programmed, the game is over. Even if it's not, you can still re-capture the (analog) audio with a sound card and make a pretty good copy. it's not perfect but but people will still do it. I don't think there's anything the RIAA can do at this point. And this is the tale of what's to come for the movie industry with DVD ripping/burning.
      • I would even think, at this point, that you'd be able to do a bit-for-bit copy as well.

        For instance, many people have DVD players. Well, on the digital outs on these DVD players, I've noticed that you get a 44.1k stream (well, 88.2 to be more correct) of audio directly to the receiver.

        *voila* plugs into digital input on sound card. A little more time consuming than most, but you are correct -- if you want it and you can enjoy it even crippled, there will be a way to uncripple it...
  • Why don't some people get together and help settle this now with a class-action lawsuit against one of these companies? Does anyone know of any reason why (in the USA) this would be stopped dead in its tracks?

    I feel like we need a win against these idio-- I mean, corporations.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 03, 2003 @03:39PM (#6861883)

    There is actually a group of standards that apply to CDs. The trick is figuring out what exactly is happening on any particular disc. For example, in the official Compact Disc Logo Guide published by Philips, there are different logos to show discs compliant to the following standards:

    • CD-DA for Compact Disc Digital Audio
    • CD-G for Compact Disc Graphics
    • CD-EG for Compact Disc Extended Graphics
    • CD-MIDI for Compact Disc MIDI
    • CD TEXT for Compact Disc TEXT
    • CD EXTRA for Enhanced Music Compact Disc
    • CD-ROM for Compact Disc Read Only Memory
    • CD-i for Compact Disc Interactive
    • CD-V for Compact Disc Video
    • Video CD or VCD for Video Compact Disc
    • Photo CD or PCD for Photo Compact Disc
    • CD-R for Compact Disc Recordable
    • CD-RW for Compact Disc ReWritable
    • SVCD, Super VCD or Super Video CD for Super Video Compact Disc
    • High Speed CD-RW for HIgh Speed Compact Disc ReWritable
    • DD-ROM for Double Density Compact Disc Read-Only Memory
    • DD-R for Double Density Compact Disc Recordable
    • DD-RW for Double Density Compact Disc ReWritable

    There is actually a specification for each one of these logos. Also, there is no guarantee that a CD-ROM drive will be able to play a CD-DA disc (per the spec, though the spec says that it would be easy, and it is).

    There is an effort underway to understand all of this stuff and to figure out how these things work together, and with various types of hardware. The project has an Open Source (BSD-style license) package called CD Verity that performs some testing of discs. The software is part of Interhack's Digital Media Project [interhack.net] and might be of interest.

  • CDDA Vs CCCD (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 03, 2003 @03:41PM (#6861903)
    My CD-players say "Compact Disc Digital Audio" and not "Copy-Controlled CD", therefore, my CD-players are not compatible with these CDs and must be returned. Period.

    BTW: Have any of you seen the Copy-Controlled labels on these CDs? It's always on a TRANSPARENT sticker, making it as hard as possible to spot, but just enough to hold in court. Slick! I sure as hell didn't know until I put it in my CD-player on the computer at home, finding it wouldn't play. The CD (Radiohead) was returned. :( The store didn't even make me aware of this, naturally, they just want to sell whatever they have blindly.

    As for these Midbar/Macrovision guys (the guys who made these "protections" (*cough* programmers with screw-drivers *cough*)), they must be wizards in the field of business. I mean, managing to fool the music industry giving them false hopes like this.

    Midbar/Macrovision [macrovision.com]

    Why the protection is completely useless: if you can play it, you can copy it. I don't see how it matters with copy-controlled CDs in that respect. Especially in the Internet world, where it's enough with one person sharing it, and given the fact that audio compressions are lossy means that it doesn't matter much what the heck your source was when recording it quality-wise.

    Geez. Wake up!

    Yeah, whatever. But this article really made my day. At least someone pays attention to this open injustice.
  • by djaj (704060) on Wednesday September 03, 2003 @03:47PM (#6861971)
    I buy a lot of CDs (yeah, I'm a sucker, what can I say?), and I still haven't seen a US-based copy-protected CD, but I've recently purchased three imports (one each from Australia, Germany and France) which were very clearly labelled as such. (I didn't know they would be copy-protected when I plunked down money for them, and I've been able to make perfectly good MP3s of the contents from the analog source.)

    Neither disc has the CD logo on it, and both had very large stickers on the shrink-wrap with this logo [ifpi.org] on it and descriptions of what it meant, and what systems you should be able to play it on. (Since I refused to install the software necessary to actually play these on a computer, I have no idea how well they work in that respect.) I'm certainly going to avoid these from here on out if I can. I've noticed that amazon.co.uk, amazon.fr and amazon.de will occasionally note that a disc is copy-protected, so I'm going to check there first before buying from here on out.

  • by LadyLucky (546115) on Wednesday September 03, 2003 @03:51PM (#6861995) Homepage
    Dear [name removed]

    Thanks for your e-mail and we are sorry you have experienced playability issues with the new [CD removed] and your PC.

    It would help us a lot if we could get the model details of your PC so that we can make sure that the compatibility issue will be resolved as we continue to evolve this technology.

    If you could attempt the following and send the resulting file to us, it would help a lot. Go to START -->Programs-->Accessories-->System Tools-->System Information. Please save this information as a text or nfo file and send that back to us.

    Please note that you will require at least "Power Users" access or higher to install the application on Microsoft Windows NT operating systems and above.

    With these details we can forward your query onto our European technology partner.

    Please be aware that, if you prefer, you can return the copy controlled CD to the place of purchase to obtain a refund. (my emphasis)

    sincerely
    [name removed]
    IT & New Media Director

    > Hi

    > I recently bought [CD removed], with your copy control stuff on it. When I try and play it on my computer, it uses 100% CPU, and also sounds terrible. There is a lot of high pitched screeching, and it cracks and sounds scratchy. All normal CDs sound fine. >

    > What should I do? I play most music on my computer, and your label says it works fine, but it doesn't at all.

    > Regards, [name removed]

  • by mattr (78516) <mattr AT telebody DOT com> on Thursday September 04, 2003 @03:39AM (#6866689) Homepage Journal
    Well I'm not going to stick my neck out but their copy protection can be easily broken by a popular unix tool that I found after ten minutes of searching the net for it. Starts with "cdp" if that helps..

    I had been presented with an EMI audio cd with their lousy Copy Control CD protection scheme, actually this is I think Macrovision/Cactus Data Shield's thing which Avex proceeded to dump all over Japan. There's windows stuff which does it too it seems.

    Well I had just seen this concert as a guest of the producer and I got the CD for free. I get back for a long coding session over the weekend and want to play it on my linux laptop of course..

    Well after some swearing and wasted a lot of time I solved my personal problem and no, I'm not sharing it to the masses. Even though I suspect EMI has either done a bad job of the production, or has suffered reduced quality due to this scheme (I don't know if it is true but I read somewhere that these are really just 46 kbps wmf files.. if so that is robbery).

    I told the producer that they should stop using that protection which in addition to making the cd not work on my laptop or in car stereos, also is quite easy to break, plus the recording either sucks or it is made worse by the protection scheme. I certainly wouldn't buy a cd with that protection on it normally.

    I don't know if this is going to make a difference but I hope these organizations get as many complaints as possible from people who are seriously pissed about this situation. The artist of course knows nothing about the issue, it is not really considered by most people in the business either yet, the protection scheme just gets steamrolled everywhere as a matter of policy I'm sure. If you have a similar situation (especially if you've actually paid for the cd, since I got mine free) please tell them.

C'est magnifique, mais ce n'est pas l'Informatique. -- Bosquet [on seeing the IBM 4341]

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