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Sony Adds New Copyright Method to CDs in 2003 630

Natoi writes "Sony is leaving Mac and **nix users out in the cold with their new copyright method called Label Gate CD copyright system. You'd have to be running Windows and use a Sony developed proprietary software to listen to CD's published by Sony starting next year." This seems a little extreme to me, since sitting at the computer just to listen to music is stupid. What about car stereos and high-fidelity CD players?
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Sony Adds New Copyright Method to CDs in 2003

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  • Not CDs (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    No, dude, they are _not_ CDs.
    • Re:Not CDs (Score:3, Insightful)

      Besides geeks and Phillips, who cares? These things are circular and work in (most) CD-Players, therefore for most people they qualify as CDs. Only geeks care about rights and freedoms. Ordinary people will only care if a gun is pointed to their heads.
      • by CrudPuppy ( 33870 ) on Saturday November 23, 2002 @11:30AM (#4738463) Homepage
        prior attempts by th music industry have left people who primarily listen on PC's and high-end cd players out in the cold, because they have relied on garbage parity data to stop copying (which stops playing also)

        now this allows the cd to be played in normal dumb cd "players" as well as on a PC while still accomplishing their goal of making it tougher than a normal cd to rip to mp3 and trade.

        so, except for the fact that most people actually like trading music for free, it sounds like a pretty good plan.

        as an addendum, I will add that I wrote a couple really nasty letters about prior anti-pirating technology because of the 6 players I own, only 1 was capable of playing those protected disks because all others are either in my PC's or are $500+ head units in cars!
        • by bsane ( 148894 ) on Saturday November 23, 2002 @11:44AM (#4738507)
          If this sounds reasonable to you its probably because you've lowered your expectations too much.

          I own a mac which has the perfect music listening/organizing software. Even if (and they won't!!) Sony ports their app to OSX I would still have to switch between iTunes and Sony's app to listen to my music. This doesn't even cover my other legitimate uses that involve iTunes and a CD burner...

          On the other hand I haven't bought anything made or published by Sony in over two years, so this won't affect me, yet.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 23, 2002 @10:24AM (#4738184)
    SME's new Label Gate CD consists of two kinds of music data -- one is data for audio devices to replay and the other is encoded compressed data for PCs to replay.

    If you read the article, you might see your questions answered.

    • by mobilityguy ( 627368 ) on Saturday November 23, 2002 @11:59AM (#4738560)

      I read the article. Like all the DRM schemes I've seen to date, it still doesn't deal with my biggest question: What happens when my computer gets old?

      A computer, over its useful life, can accumulate thousands of dollars worth of digital rights. Bought at $1 or even $20 apiece they don't seem like much, but it all adds up. When my computer gets old (or eats its hard drive), and I buy a new one, how do I transfer those rights which are specifically designed to be non-transferable? Am I violating the DMCA by even trying?

      Do DRM keys survive a backup/restore? How about a disk-to-disk sector copy?

      Think of it in today's terms: You go out tomorrow and buy a new computer. Before you can boot it for the first time, you must call the RIAA. They send a truck around that picks up your entire CD collection and takes it away to be crushed.

      And if the stuff you like isn't popular enough, and the record companies haven't decided to keep it in print, forget about ever getting your hands on it again. Oh well, you'll always have your memories.

      DRM is new now, but we should be discussing what happens when it matures. Until someone invents a key ring technology for digital rights, I'm buying nothing with copy protection.

      • Immature (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Dogtanian ( 588974 ) on Saturday November 23, 2002 @01:12PM (#4738855) Homepage
        DRM is new now, but we should be discussing what happens when it matures.

        Depends on what you mean by matures; attitudes towards DRM don't seem particularly "mature" to me. Short of turning every western country into a draconian state with no freedom to do anything `unapproved' with a computer (including all those embedded ones) - a lot of hard work if you ask me - the music and film industries will *never* be able to change things back to how they were before.
        'Mature' DRM would exploit new media, not attempt to suffocate it (current DRM technology just reflects these attitudes). But I think there are too many vested interests in the old way of doing things...

        Until someone invents a key ring technology for digital rights, I'm buying nothing with copy protection.

        I'm not doing that either. I'll just wait until someone cracks the protection and get a copy of that instead. More useful for me, but no money in that for Mr.Sony (*sob*! Just picture the faces of his ickle kiddies when there's no food on the table- remember, MP3 KILLS CHILDREN. JUST SAY NO.)

        Sony can go to hell until they stop trying to charge me 10 times to listen to 1 CD where *they* want me to listen to it.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      I don't think you really read the article. The article later details which 'audio devices' will be able to play the music ...

      "Copied music on a hard disk drive can be transferred to audio devices that comply with SME's OpenMG digital rights management (DRM) technology for a number of times set by the music company."

      So this means that only 'audio devices' that use SME's OpenMG DRM tech will be able to play the music, which was downloaded to them from a PC.

      Sounds like a PITA to me.

      I hope the technocrazed Japanese find this too much of a PITA as well and that sales of the CD like things are bad so that Sony decides not to continue using this technology.
  • whatever. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jeffehobbs ( 419930 ) on Saturday November 23, 2002 @10:24AM (#4738185) Homepage
    Dear Sony,

    We're just going to hack it.


    The Mac and *nix Community
    • Re:whatever. (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      If you use a product such a vmware, it's a simple matter to start up windows in a virtual machine with a virtual sound card i.e. vsound. I've used this method in the past to rip and burn music directly from rhapsody. You don't even have to go the analog route.
      • VMware won't work (Score:5, Interesting)

        by yerricde ( 125198 ) on Saturday November 23, 2002 @04:19PM (#4739624) Homepage Journal

        If you use a product such a vmware, it's a simple matter to start up windows in a virtual machine with a virtual sound card i.e. vsound.

        Recent versions of Windows Media running on Windows ME and Windows XP will not play copy-restricted audio over unsigned drivers [pineight.com]. The driver for VMware audio is not signed.

        "So apply to get the driver signed." Microsoft won't sign a driver unless it turns off all cleartext digital outputs when playing copy-restricted audio, which means that the virtualizer would have to open a Secure Audio Path on the host operating system.

        "Then just use an older Windows OS." And risk newer versions of WiMP not installing.

        "Then just use an older WiMP." And lose support for new proprietary codecs such as Sony's, which is (knowing Sony) probably based on MiniDisc ATRAC3.

        "Then try something else." And risk doing several years of hard time in prison the next time you step into the UK or the USA, both of which have banned circumvention of access restrictions.

    • Re:whatever. (Score:3, Insightful)

      by analog_line ( 465182 )
      More like:

      We're just not going to buy your shit at all.

      Limiting who can use your stuff = recuding sales by definition. If they make it impossible to use it, people aren't going to buy it. Music piracy has nothing to do with it.
  • everyone loses (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 23, 2002 @10:24AM (#4738186)
    More important than Mac and *nix users being left out in the cold are the millions who've bought MP3 players to listen to their music collection.

    This will just encourage people to go find an analogue->Digital MP3 conversion of the CD on the internet; everyone loses.

    I guess I'll never be buying another Sony CD if this goes through.
    • by Technician ( 215283 ) on Saturday November 23, 2002 @11:32AM (#4738472)
      Remember to vote. In a world market, everyone has a vote. The vote at the register can be just as strong as the one in the polls. Remember how few voted for Circuit City's new better DVD format. Remember the new tiny DataPlay optical CDR. Both of these were voted down at the register. Your vote counts. Don't forget it.
      I have simply stopped buying ANY CD until the corrupt CD are all properly labled and not sold on the same shelf as red book CD's. Then I may go back to buying red book CD's. If I can't put them in by MP3 jukebox, I can't use them. I'll just be forced to use alternitive sources for MP3's.
      • and don't forget... (Score:4, Informative)

        by zogger ( 617870 ) on Saturday November 23, 2002 @02:15PM (#4739111) Homepage Journal
        ...and don't forget to complain at the music store, or even walmart whatever. Don't complain to the poor checkout clerk! they got no control and nothing to do with it. You want the department manager at a minimum. Take a few crippled disks you might have had an interest in. Get that manager, hand them to him with the total added up rough ball park. Tell him "normally I would buy these but ya know what? These AREN'T CD's, they WON'T play in my home theater based around my computer system and they won't play in my car, so they are useless to me. I can't even make a lawful legitimate backup copy and keep the master protected, as is LEGAL and practical. You just lost a sale and I'm warning all my friends to avoid this place because this is tantamount to consumer fraud." something like that anyway.

        And don't forget radio talk shows, several areas have dj's who discuss consumer/and/or tech issues (clark howard, kim kommando,motley fools, etc), call up, state position. Play the word twisting propoganda game right back at them state you dislike being called and demonized as a "pirate' and to you it's the same as calling someone in public The N word or whatecver as it's inaccurate and demeaning. Enough stock market "investors"and store managers and whatnot hear these complaints on the radio, and they WILL hear it, it WILL get back to sony and hollyweird, and stick to your guns, don't buy any of the riaa stuff, ever.

        I've been doing it for years, I just flat refuse to buy any of those overpriced pieces of "entertainment" whether audio or video. i got whizzed over the blatant zillion percent markups, because I know that moneyis pure greed profits well above any sort of normal rational level, and i won't support greed. I'll support some osrt of reasonable profit, but not making these bozos mega rich, "rich" should be good enough for anyone, IMO. I buy already purchased/used or independent and that's it.

        As an aside,if you want a source of a good set of political/freedom/human-civil rights, etc. issues videos that you are encouraged to copy and redistribute, goto infowars.com, get any of alex jones videos, he has them on dvd or vhs, buy one, make 100 or 1000 copies, give them away or charge just for the media, exactly like linux distros, he don't care. He only asks you use a first gen copy you get from him for the copying efforts, very reasonable, IMO.
      • Remember how few voted for Circuit City's new better DVD format. Remember the new tiny DataPlay optical CDR.

        And Digital Audio Tape (DAT). DAT was a perfectly good technology that is 100% dead because it had LEGALLY MANDATED DRM built in.

        And to those of you who are pro-DRM, DAT prooves the horror stories about DRM are absolutely valid. People who bought DAT and recorded their own band discovered that they could not make copies.


        Situations like that will become common if DRM catches on.

    • Dot Mac, perhaps? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by wirefarm ( 18470 ) <jim@@@mmdc...net> on Saturday November 23, 2002 @01:50PM (#4739008) Homepage
      Maybe Compact Discs as a distribution medium are obsolete.

      I've been wondering when the price of a .Mac subscription is going to include access to real music, downloadable into iTunes and iPods.
      After all, they have a good deal of the music producing community's loyalty. Maybe they'll team up with a few open-minded artists and do the promotion and distribution that way. Maybe they'll find new artists - who knows?

      I use a Mac almost exclusively now, having just given away the last of my Sony laptops. Yet, I don't think I'll be lacking for music any time soon.
      I'm certainly not going to buy any more Sony equipment so that I can listen to Sony 'artists' on some POS Sony software. I mean, have you ever *used* Sony-produced software? Utter crap, every program I've ever used of theirs. They do make really nice hardware, though, once you get Linux installed...

      Apple has shown that MP3 is a format that is viable for their users though while not totally secure, at least inconvenient to pass around. Sure, there are hacks to let you copy music from a friend's iPod onto your Mac, but few people really do that, IMHO. The thing is, Apple hasn't alienated their customers by making what you buy less accessible, instead, you get a gentle reminder - 'Don't steal music.' It's subtle, but I think it has an effect that reduces theft without making honest people feel like criminals.

      How many CDs worth of music a year would it take to justify paying $99 a year for .Mac? 10? What if there were 10 a week? I'd be on it in a heartbeat.
      Imagine the .Mac subscription lets you access the album for as long as it's 'featured' on .Mac - if you really like it, you pay a bit more and have it in your 'permanent collection' on their servers.
      What if Janis Ian or someone put an album of MP3s and Quicktime clips on Apple's servers and you could play them as much as you wanted, forever for $8? You could copy it down to your iTunes library and listen as you like off-line. Would you even bother to burn it to CD? Well, maybe if you want to listen in your car...

      Think what a boon it would be to emerging or forgotten artists. There's a lot more talent out there than just Lil Kim or N'Sync or Aerosmith - a lot of real musicians who actually make their own music and do it on Macs - I bet more than a couple would jump at the chance to sell directly to Mac users. I'm sure they'd be making a lot more money.

      Of course, this is all just speculation and wishful thinking...
      (Either that, or Steve Jobs needs to change his email password to something other than 'sN@pple'...) ;-)


      Oh, and if you read my site, I have a short bit about returning a copy-protected CD to Tower Records. Please add your thoughts...
  • by DevilJeff ( 243585 ) on Saturday November 23, 2002 @10:24AM (#4738187)
    You have the wrong idea here. Rather than making the CD not play in a computer, they're adding a bit of software to the CD that'll allow it to be played in a computer. The CD will still be playable in audio devices.

    SME's new Label Gate CD consists of two kinds of music data -- one is data for audio devices to replay and the other is encoded compressed data for PCs to replay.
    • What stops me getting one expensive cd player with optical out, and one expensive sound card with optical in and copying it like that? Its digital so no big problems with converting to analouge and back to digital again, and its perfectly do-able as far as I can see.
      • S/PDIF (the optical and copper digital protocol) does have a bit in it which says if the content is allowed to be copied. Do the expensive soundcards pay any attention to this bit? I don't know. Can the bit be forced to '0' by a small CPLD? Yes.
        • by Jens ( 85040 ) <jens-slashdot@NOSpam.spamfreemail.de> on Saturday November 23, 2002 @11:17AM (#4738404) Homepage
          Buy the above card. Its Windows drivers seem to be in Chinese (or so I think, I couldn't figure out the installation program), enlarge the standard mixer appliation by so many inputs and outputs that it doesn't fit on a 1280x1024 screen any more (good thing that *gamix* has a scroll bar at the bottom), and the card takes up three PCI outlets if you want to use all connectors.

          And, oh yes, the Linux drivers (ymf744 IIRC, or ALSA) ignore the SMCS bit. I can copy from MD or CD to PC and vice versa as much as I want. Under Windows, the Toslink (optical) stuff seems to be disabled as soon as you playback stuff.

          I bought this card precisely for this reason. I don't want no stupid bit telling me I cannot copy my own live recordings (from my own music I myself, and the rest of our big band, make). Seriously.
          • by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Saturday November 23, 2002 @01:40PM (#4738964)
            Basically any professional audio card will either ignore, or allow you to control SCMS. The law allwos professional devices to get away with it since that's what studios use to make their music. I dunno what qualifies something as professional, but even the cheap pro cards from places like M-Audio qualify.

            I recommend them over what you have discribed since having chinese-only drivers does not really do well for my confidence of the product.
      • by mistered ( 28404 ) on Saturday November 23, 2002 @12:02PM (#4738570)
        warmcat above posted about the copybit and hinted that it's easy to defeat. I just thought I'd provide a little more info.

        SCMS is the Serial Copy Management System. There's more info [minidisc.org] on it from minidisc.org. There's a more technical description [epanorama.net] of the whole S/PDIF protocol at epanorama.net.

        Elektor Electronics is an electronics hobbyist magazine from the UK which featured an SCMS remover in their July/August 1998 issue. There's a page (not affiliated with Elektor) with some more information [sketchy.net]. That page includes links to on-line ordering of the kit, a parts list for the kit, and some notes to help you if you're trying to build it.

        The Elektor kit got things started, but was produced before CPLDs were accessable to the general electronics hobbyist. I agree with warmcat that it wouldn't take much work to implement an SCMS remover in some CPLD, although I haven't yet come across published plans for one.

        I am also unsure if soundcards with S/PDIF inputs honour the copybit or not. However, a cheapo AudioPCI can easily have an S/PDIF input added on [www.uta.fi], which won't care about the copybit. This is the way I'm going since I already had an AudioPCI lying around.

        Of course, you don't need to build anything. You can get an SCMS copybit remover [minidisc.org] brand new from Behringer [behringer.com].

        (btw - warmcat, dude, you rock!)

    • The point was that cars and high-end players often use computer CD drives and do digital audio extraction every time they play. The ONLY way to make them work is to allow digital audio extraction, which would defeat the whole point of copy-protected CDs (not that there is much of a point anyway...).
  • So what? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nutznboltz ( 473437 ) on Saturday November 23, 2002 @10:24AM (#4738189) Homepage Journal
    This just means the tracks will be ripped via the headphone jack.
    • Re:So what? (Score:5, Funny)

      by Bowie J. Poag ( 16898 ) on Saturday November 23, 2002 @11:01AM (#4738346) Homepage

      Dont give them any ideas. Before you know it, they'll take that out too.

      Perhaps they should just cut to the chase and start making CD players without any external connectors whatsoever. No headphone jack, no speaker connectors, no nothing. I actually already have one of these -- I call it a "trashcan". It sits next to my desk... I put unplayable CDs into it all the time.

  • Correction: (Score:5, Insightful)

    by vreeker ( 264162 ) <slashdot@opid.ca> on Saturday November 23, 2002 @10:24AM (#4738193) Homepage
    "Sony ... will add a new function to music CDs early next year "

    Uh... Shouldn't that read "Sony will be removing functions from music CDs?"
  • by lexcyber ( 133454 ) on Saturday November 23, 2002 @10:25AM (#4738194) Homepage
    Is the recordcompanies last breath before the whole industry dies. They are scared shitless and they dont know what they are going to do. But I dont feel hurt about it. Since record companies can continue their work. But they have to accept that the golden days are over, where they dictate the prices and have multi-thusand percent profitmargins. Record companies, its time to face the real world. With real competition etc.

    It's time to get the power of the music back to the artists and the listeners, from profitering bastards!


    • by Kragg ( 300602 ) on Saturday November 23, 2002 @10:45AM (#4738294) Journal
      You're wrong. Picture this:

      1) Sony [sony.com] develops copy protection that largely works (yes, yes, I know.)
      2) Sony develop hardware [mp3daze.com] and software [pcmag.com] (for their other hardware)that supports it.
      3) Artists start getting less money because recording labels [sonymusic.com] give them less royalties due to bad sales.
      4) ???*
      5) Profit. Massively.

      Can you guess the blank? Horizontal markets are the way to go. Microsoft supports everything off of Windows sales. Conglomo's [title14.com] time has come. And its name is Sony. or microsoft. or nokia. or maybe samsung at a push.

      *A Record label [sonymusic.com] offers them more, because it a) sells more due to hassle factor, and b) can partially support it from hardware revenues.
      • I know the original saying is "Extraordinary Claims Requires Extraordinary Evidendence", but in your case, you're leaving the rest of us scratching our heads. You're assuming we know too much, so I've listed some questions to help you elaborate.

        1. Are you partly saying because Sony manufactures hardware and the copy protection, it will be picked up and implemented?

        2. Which SPECIFIC horizontal markets are you talking about, and WHY are they the way to go?

        3. If Microsoft supports everything off of Windows sales, are you saying Sony will support everything off thier CD sales???

        4. What does your Conglomo link mean? It looks like a fan website. HOW does this tie into Sony?

        5. A Record label offers them more? What's them?

        6. What's the blank before "Profit. Massively."?

        • I know the original saying is "Extraordinary Claims Requires Extraordinary Evidendence", but in your case, you're leaving the rest of us scratching our heads. You're assuming we know too much, so I've listed some questions to help you elaborate.

          1. Are you partly saying because Sony manufactures hardware and the copy protection, it will be picked up and implemented?

          No, the other way round. I'm saying that hardware sells anyway, and Sony, due to their presence in both the music media and music device industries can use influence in one to help out the other.

          2. Which SPECIFIC horizontal markets are you talking about, and WHY are they the way to go?

          Music. From distribution, through music hardware to normal pc hardware to copy protection software.

          3. If Microsoft supports everything off of Windows sales, are you saying Sony will support everything off thier CD sales???

          No, the other way round. CD sales are the endangered market at the moment, with sales dropping off. Artists are going to start losing money, and they don't want that at all. So if Sony can offer then better royalties by signing the to record on Sony copy-protected media, they will be happy. And to listen to the music we will have to buy the Sony hardware, making Sony a profic on both sides of the fence, and helping to keep the CD sales afloat.

          4. What does your Conglomo link mean? It looks like a fan website. HOW does this tie into Sony?

          Never saw Rocko's Modern Life then? :) Ah well. It's a big company in a kid's cartoon. In fact, it's the only company in the kid's cartoon and it makes and sells everything. Name from conglomeration [reference.com].

          5. A Record label offers them more? What's them?

          artists. more money.

          6. What's the blank before "Profit. Massively."?

          I included spoilers in the original post... that bit with the '*' on it..?

          Basically, I am trying to point out how Sony is aligning itself to play the music market, both in terms of media and electronics, by the prodution of this closed copy protection mechanism, and how throwaway comments like 'the recording industry is scared shitless' are shortsighted and naive. Large companies have clever people in them that devote all day every day to planning a successful future for their company, and people shouldn't throw out their 5-minute's-worth-of-thought opinion like it's God's Own Truth.

          Does that help?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 23, 2002 @10:25AM (#4738197)
    You guys did it to yourselves, by downloading all those mp3s from Napster/Kazaa/Gnutella, etc., you've given Sony the impression that you only listen to music in front of your computer.

    You got what you wanted, sorry.
    • Re:Just Desserts (Score:3, Interesting)

      by bgfay ( 5362 )
      Nonsense. This isn't the end of the chain of events, more like the middle. To say that the end result of sharing/stealing music is that the users will not be able to play music on their computers is short-sighted. Of course DIGITAL music will be played on DIGITAL computers. Bits are bits even if they are encrypted, masked, or otherwise blocked by some system. Every encryption system is, to put it in overly simplified terms, a puzzle to be solved. There are those among us who love good puzzles and some of theose same folks like to listen to music while they solve those problems. the system will be broken. Music will continue to be sold for profit and shared/stolen for some time. I can't imagine just yet how the whole thing will end, but I know that it will not end with music being banned from computers. That doesn't fit with my idea of how the world works.
  • Another Excuse (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ELCarlsson ( 570500 ) on Saturday November 23, 2002 @10:26AM (#4738199)
    I can see it now. And then when the sales of Sony's CD's starts to drop off more they'll use it as another excuse to go after P2P and file sharing. It's beginning to seem like a lose/lose situation with these people.
  • sitting at the computer just to listen to music is stupid

    I use my computer to create .ogg [xiph.org] files of the CD's I have here. When I start my computer, XMMS starts playing, and I like having constant music.

    Another thing I do, is create backups from my CD's (after a tip from another Slashdot reader). That way, I don't have to be afraid of scratches, since I always have my original CD.

    These are examples of fair use - if a company limits our rights to fair use, can we sue them then? IANAL, bue maybe one of you is (poor you, of course...)

  • by ihowson ( 601821 ) <.ian. .at. .mouldy.org.> on Saturday November 23, 2002 @10:27AM (#4738207) Homepage
    What about car stereos and high-fidelity CD players?

    What about low fidelity CD players? And all of those middle-range ones? Cheapskates have a right to music, too!

    (I'm being an idiot, please move along)

    • Heh.... actually
      The CD format was developed as a medium-fidelity format... cheap, easy to mass produce, and good enough quality for the home user.

      Only in later years after mass market acceptance did they start calling it "high fidelity"
      • human ears (Score:3, Interesting)

        by yerricde ( 125198 )

        Only in later years after mass market acceptance did they start calling it "high fidelity"

        However, mass market acceptance wasn't the only factor in calling 16-bit 44.1 kHz stereo "high fidelity". The field of psychoacoustics advanced greatly at that time, and it became apparent that DC-22 kHz frequency response with 110 dB dynamic range and 90 dB signal-to-noise ratio (the difference is due to noise-shaped dithering, which was also developed around that time) was enough to fool the best of human ears.

  • by Vlad_the_Inhaler ( 32958 ) on Saturday November 23, 2002 @10:28AM (#4738211) Homepage
    SME's new Label Gate CD consists of two kinds of music data -- one is data for audio devices to replay and the other is encoded compressed data for PCs to replay.
    Of course, since some car CD players work on the same principle as PC CD players, they would be unusable.
    I normally play my CDs in the car. I have more or less stopped buying CDs altogether. Go Figure.
  • by warmcat ( 3545 ) on Saturday November 23, 2002 @10:28AM (#4738212)

    This is an active campaign to try to stop this kind of evil action by corporations who insist they are the injured party when charging ripoff pricing for their goods and using graft to stop anything at all ever falling out of copyright and into the public domain where all works finally belong.

    Take a look at their site at least, consider joining the mailing list.
  • urgh! (Score:5, Funny)

    by RestiffBard ( 110729 ) on Saturday November 23, 2002 @10:28AM (#4738213) Homepage
    screw this.

    bring back the 8-track.

  • by smartin ( 942 )
    By removing the ability to play CD's on normal CD players they are just giving people incentive to abandon buying them altogether. Stoooopid.
  • decss part two? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by IshanCaspian ( 625325 ) on Saturday November 23, 2002 @10:29AM (#4738217) Homepage
    I can't believe they would be this clueless...don't they realize that if Linux could play DVD's there wouldn't be as much of an argument (or need) for decss? If they just took our fair use rights into account (play it under linux, play it on the computer, on my mp3 player, on my car stereo and so on) nobody would ever need to break their damn encryption.

    If you argue that it makes it too easy to copy their work, well, then what they have is an unworkable business model. It's like sheet music. For the really big orchestras who are playing the works of composers who are under copyright protection, they have to buy expensive scores. High-visibility = doing it the right way. This would be equivalent to using music in movies and games and such. On the other hand, if you're going for private lessons, and you need a copy of the blue bells of scotland, the prices of the real thing are going to be cheap enough to make it not worth the trouble of copying it from someone else. This is equivalent to consumers and cd's.

    Believe me, I'm all for protection of intellectual property. However, when protection just isn't possible without harassing researchers, threatening consumers, and forcing us to get our songs in a crippled format, it's time for our government to say: "Good luck with that whole music industry thing, you're on your own."
  • "Free world" (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 23, 2002 @10:30AM (#4738224)
    SME plans to charge about A5200 (US$1.64) per song for the second time onwards ... so in other words, they are charging for you to be able to store your song on your computer. You have to pay $20 per CD. Nobody is going to use this service, I hope they realize. With that effort, they might as well just take a CD player and put it next to their computer. Voila, free music!

    Oh, and this will be hacked within a week of its' release. The data can probably be intercepted somewhere in the soundcard on the way to the speaker...
  • I Give Up (Score:4, Insightful)

    by aiabx ( 36440 ) on Saturday November 23, 2002 @10:31AM (#4738231)
    I can't remember whose CD's are playable on my equipment and which manufacturers use which copy protection, so I'm not going to buy anything. It just isn't worth the trouble.
  • by psyconaut ( 228947 ) on Saturday November 23, 2002 @10:32AM (#4738232)

    If they start doing per-use billing, will they have a brand "BillGate" and will those "BillGates" then cause a huge lawsuit to be launched by our favourite WA resident? ;-)

    • by InfoVore ( 98438 ) on Saturday November 23, 2002 @10:48AM (#4738304) Homepage
      If they start doing per-use billing...

      Started? That's the heart of the plan:

      The first download of the electronic key that goes with a CD is free. SME plans to charge about A5200 (US$1.64) per song for the second time onwards, Ide said. Users cannot opt to just decode one song from a CD, but have to purchase the key for the entire CD, he said.

      Copy protection on CDs isn't about stopping file sharing, its about creating new per-play revenue streams WHILE ALSO preserving obscenely high hard-media profits.


  • by bgfay ( 5362 ) on Saturday November 23, 2002 @10:34AM (#4738243) Homepage
    Wow, I sure do want to buy some Sony discs now.

    I can't wait for the music industry to implode. An abusive power (whether in goverment (old school) or coporate (new school)) must be subverted. Funny thing. I just went to the library yesterday from which I had ordered eight discs I've been wanting. Spent an hour or so last night ripping copies of them to give to myself as a holiday present.

    Am I stealing? Yes, yes I am.
    Do I feel badly about it? No, no I don't.
    How come? Because the media companies have so far overstepped the boundaries of decency, that I have lost the ability to feel their pain.

    Isn't there one executive at one of these companies who has the slightest idea or vision of how this is going to work out?

    Finally, I agree with the poster who said simply that this will be hacked. It will indeed be hacked and it's likely that it will be hacked before the discs are widely available. Then the music will be on p2p and the system will continue to dissolve and fade away.
    • Yes, it will be hacked, but the system will not dissolve and fade away. It will continue to get worse and worse and more draconian until the CD as we know it is replaced by something that simply cannot be read by a CD-ROM drive, and cannot be opened in a computer. Then, we would not be able to hack it, and we would all have to purchase new stereos. It would work, because people have been raised to believe that they have to buy new things. As a whole, we are a very small percentage of the market, and they simply do not care about us. Which, of course, makes it interesting that they are spending so much money trying to thwart us, when so many of us wouldn't spend our money on them anyway. Maybe they just need to up their expenses on something they know they won't make money on so they can "prove" to Congress that we the geeks are costing them billions.

      +1 Paranoid, -1 Conspiratorial.
    • by Gumshoe ( 191490 ) on Saturday November 23, 2002 @01:21PM (#4738896) Journal
      Am I stealing? Yes, yes I am

      No, no you're not. However, you areviolating copyright law. Big, big difference.
  • Outrageous (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Nexum ( 516661 ) on Saturday November 23, 2002 @10:35AM (#4738244)
    If we had not become so used to being walked all over little by little by the record companies, this would be strongly and outrageously objected to by the affected communities. Imagine if we had not been introduced to the so far lame and piecemeal anti-copying/playing tech that exists at the moment, and Sony comes up with an announcement like this - there would be wide real-world public outrage!

    To ostracise computing communities in this way is nothing short of disgusting - and it should be corporate responsibility to bring all under the same umbrella. Will this be a good thing or a bad thing for Sony? I do't know, but what I do know is that from the moment this technology is used Sony will have lost one CD-purchasing consumer (me) simply becasue of my choice of computing platform (Macintosh). Does this affect me? Well, slightly yes it does, but I am sure that if I want a song bad enough there will be a way for me to get it, but on the whole I'm hoping it affects Sony more than anyone else.

    Mac users (and possible Linux users?) are a very media-based group of people, there are so many Mac-based graphic designers, film editors, 3d artists, animators etc. These creative people love music! The two go hand in hand! So what are these people going to do in the CD-store? Are they going to change their computing platform so they can listen to music on their machines, or simply not buy the (Sony) CD?

    I simply don't get how this could be a *benefit* to Sony.

    We should speak out about restrictive technologies such as these - is there a consolidated action group for such things? If so, where can I join?

  • Incomprehensible (Score:5, Informative)

    by the eric conspiracy ( 20178 ) on Saturday November 23, 2002 @10:36AM (#4738253)
    Didn't anyone even read the posting or article that it referred to before putting thisstuff up on slashdot???

    1. This is not a copyright system, it's a copy protection system.

    2. It doesn't prevent people from playing CD's in analog players altogether. The music available in two forms on the CD, one inteneded for traditional CD players in a copy protected format, and one for PC's, also copy protected.

    3. This only applies to 12 cm CD singles produced in Japan.

    • Re:Incomprehensible (Score:5, Informative)

      by jackbang ( 572339 ) on Saturday November 23, 2002 @11:13AM (#4738386)

      And a few other points no one seems to be making (probably because they don't RTFA):

      4) If there truly are two copies of the data, redbook and protected, not shared data, then the capacity will effectively be cut in half, meaning this approach could never be applied across the board to Sony's whole catalog since the average album is too long to fit twice on the same CD. Which raises two interesting questions - is the data duplicated or shared? And is the protected data uncompressed, or are you getting a lossy version?

      5) You only get one free key to listen to your music. Subsequent keys must be purchased. So if your hard drive fails, or you wipe your drive and forget to backup your keys, you get to buy your music all over again. Not to mention that if you want to listen to your new "CD" in your home office and your computer at work, you will have to pay for two keys.

      6) The copy protection system requires an Internet connection, making it even more burdensome than it already is

      7) You have to use Sony's proprietary player, like it or not.

      All around it sounds like a a great system that is exactly what consumers are asking for. Way to go Sony!

  • by iiioxx ( 610652 ) <iiioxx@gmail.com> on Saturday November 23, 2002 @10:41AM (#4738270)
    I wonder if the new Sony CD's will be playable in Sony's PS or PS2? Being a CD and DVD player in addition to being a game station has always been a draw of the PS2 (at least, to budget-conscious consumers, like college students). If not, they just removed one of the PS2's selling points. Seems kind of cannibalistic.
  • by javilon ( 99157 ) on Saturday November 23, 2002 @10:42AM (#4738278) Homepage
    This days i trust the printed (legal) cd's better than the copies. They are usually better material quality and they play everywhere.
    But with all this crap they are pushing into the printed cd's, it is going to be a good policy to just avoid them and trust the copies.
    If you come across a copy of a music cd, you know that the person who copied it made the effort to remove the restrictions placed on it.
    Therefore in the future, there will be less trouble with copies than with original discs!

    Also, an album downloaded from the internet will have more value that a original one because it will play everywhere once you burn it!

    I think this is gonna backfire on them.
    • "This days i trust the printed (legal) cd's better than the copies. They are usually better material quality and they play everywhere. But with all this crap they are pushing into the printed cd's, it is going to be a good policy to just avoid them and trust the copies. If you come across a copy of a music cd, you know that the person who copied it made the effort to remove the restrictions placed on it. Therefore in the future, there will be less trouble with copies than with original discs!"

      That is abolsutely right. My mom just bought a Univeral disc and lo and behold it was copy-protected. (All universal discs have been like this for some time.) The first track had a bunch of static at the start. I knew she would bring one home sooner or later.

      What do I do? I put the CD into the stereo, play the thing, and pipe the output into my machine and record a clean copy.

      Now how often do you think we listen to the original?

  • by Jafafa Hots ( 580169 ) on Saturday November 23, 2002 @10:44AM (#4738281) Homepage Journal
    A new copy PROTECTION method. The only way there can be a new COPYRIGHT method is via legislation.
  • by Flamesplash ( 469287 ) on Saturday November 23, 2002 @10:44AM (#4738288) Homepage Journal
    So from what I can tell, if each of the Big 5 use a similar scheme that means that if I want to play an album from each of them I would need _5_ players, since they aren't going to use an open standard or at least a closed shared one. I think this, more than anything, will turn people off. I do not use anything other than winamp to listen to my mp3's and I don't want to have to install 5 applications and also switch between those 5 to listen to my music.
  • by dmaxwell ( 43234 ) on Saturday November 23, 2002 @11:13AM (#4738381)
    What we need are utterly stupid CD data drives. The board on the drive will do nothing more than spin the cd, move the heads, and read and write data at the lowest possible level. Absolutely all functions of the drive should be implemented in software. If cdparanoia can control the every tiny thing that goes on in the drive then this sort of scheme is done. It will only take a few days for a new driver to be written every time another one of these schemes comes out. I wouldn't be surprised if EE students don't start hacking existing drives to behave in just this way. Saaaay, that's even better. Hack in an "utterly stupid" mode for direct ripper control.
  • by David Wong ( 199703 ) on Saturday November 23, 2002 @11:16AM (#4738402) Homepage
    Guys, corporations do a perfectly good job of screwing us without all your weird-assed exaggerations.

    They're putting restrictions on their product, we find it inconvenient. 1) don't go flying off the handle and claiming we can't play their CD's on anything but our PC's, and 2) don't act like some fundamental God-given right has been raped away from you.

    It's a product inconvenience, making the product less desirable. The free market always solves these problems in the end. If loss of sales due to these features offsets the sales they're allegedly losing due to P2P, they'll drop it. That's all.

    Calm down. You don't have some basic humanitarian right to listen to popular music.
    • It's a product inconvenience, making the product less desirable. The free market always solves these problems in the end.

      What free market?

      You seem to be under the illusion that music is an undifferentiated market where all the products are interchangeable like wheat or crude oil. This is known in economics as perfect competition. Sadly, it doesn't happen in most real-world products people buy. The market for music is an imperfect competition, and it's hardly an open market right now.

      Instead there is an oligopoly controlling music currently. All it takes is for the major members of the RIAA to band up together to introduce a scheme like this (which they are all in the process of doing) and 99% of the music you hear on the radio will only be accessible via this format.

      Then what? Where does your average consumer get their Christina Aguilera, their Faith Hill, their Enimem, etc.? What competing publisher publishes the particular artists and even whole genres that they like? No one does. There isn't a wide variety of sources from which to get an artist's song that you like. Oh, if you're "indy," you can go underground to the local artist from your city, but 90%+ of the population likes what they hear on the radio, and what they hear on the radio is what the RIAA pays independent promoters to have them play.

      So what if people buy less CDs because the TCO is higher? As long as they pay the same total amount of money, the RIAA is doing well. Heck, it even saves them money because they don't have to promote nearly as many artists if fewer CDs will make them more money through pay-for-play arrangements. The masses will continue to "vote with their dollars" to pay for these schemes when they're the only source of music that they like. The "free market" will decide this one for us because that market isn't truly free.

      You're right on one point. It's not a basic humanitarian right to listen to popular music. That doesn't mean that we shouldn't be upset about being forced to pay more for goods while their utility decreases. It may not be "some fundamental God-given right," but it's certainly not fair and just treatment. It's someone making like a tinge less enjoyable for millions of people to greatly profit a few. It's like spam that way. The level of inconvenience that one person suffers is inconsequential, but the level of inconvenience that the total mass of affected people suffers is inexcusable -- especially when it's all done just to pump money out of people with providing them any benefit.
  • by Snork Asaurus ( 595692 ) on Saturday November 23, 2002 @11:40AM (#4738491) Journal
    Another example of how the music industry seems bent on winning the battle at the expense of losing the war. One has to wonder exactly when they lost touch with reality. It must be the years of drug abuse. While they could provide open technology and profit, they would rather resist. I've been holding off for years, waiting for them to provide open flexible offerings so that I can satisfy my pent-up demand for music. I'm getting tired of waiting and although I continue to speak out (here and elsewhere) against violating copyright, the fools make it harder every day for me to do that.

    Here's yet another example. (I submitted this various forms to the /. editor gods 3 times in the last two days, but they don't seem to think it worthy of your attention) :

    According to this article [electricnews.net] , Universal Vivendi will be making 43,000 tracks available for sale, at $0.99/track, on 28 different web sites (that will get commissions for the sales). In what can best be described as a monumental example of still not getting it, UMG will be selling the tracks in the proprietary DRM hobbled Liquid Audio format [lycos.com] . A quote in the article from a UMG unit president demonstrates that years of listening to the kind of stuff big labels sell does indeed damage the hearing (and possibly the corporate brain) when he said (please try not to laugh too hard, folks) "We have listened to the public, and we are offering the music that people want at a reasonable price that fairly compensates the artists, songwriters and [other] individuals who make their living in the music industry". Apparently UMG thinks that a restricted format is what the public wants. As to "fairly compensating artists (and) songwriters", I have yet to hear any UMG artists announce that their contracts have been ripped up. Just to double check that last point, I looked outside - there is still only one moon in the sky.

    Finally, for the 3 of you that don't also peruse the Register, here's an interesting item that the music industry should pay attention to: File swap nets will win, DRM and lawyers lose, say MS researchers [theregister.co.uk]

    It seems that the harder the music industry tries to resist, the more likely it is that they're writing their own epitaphs.

  • by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Saturday November 23, 2002 @11:49AM (#4738526) Homepage
    ...as more and more people grow tired of problems, lack of choice in players and incompatibilities. It'll go something like this:

    1. Shell out $$$ for protected CD, run into trouble.
    2. Store refuses to take it back, claims it's not broken
    3. Find mp3 (or ogg or whatever, let's not get int that) on internet, burn a 100% plain vanilla RedBook-compliant Audio CD.
    4. Enjoy music.
    5. Lesson learned: Next time, skip steps 1 and 2.
    6. Record companies complain about increased piracy.
    7. Even more protected CDs come out
    8. Goto 1 (Basic anyone?)

    And, unlike CSS, this isn't really a copy protection. This is just a crude hack to use different ways of interpretating a CD to make life difficult. Sometimes I wish CD-manufacturers would just give us the raw output of the CD, complete with lead-ins, lead-outs, only providing the error data but doing no error calculation of its own. With all the data, and a software ripper that could fix whatever tricks they pull, maybe they would realize just how pointless this is.

  • by alfredo ( 18243 ) on Saturday November 23, 2002 @11:54AM (#4738547)
    Fuck them, make your own music.

    You may even score with a real woman, not some digital recreation.
  • I miss the old Sony (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Ldir ( 411548 ) on Saturday November 23, 2002 @12:01PM (#4738567)
    Sony used to be such an innovative engineering company. They made exceptional products of the highest quality with all the cool features that customers craved. Sadly, they've lost their drive for excellence, becoming just another marketing-driven company churning out me-too equipment.

    Their remaining innovation seems mostly directed at dumping crippled products on their customers. They push proprietary "standards" like SDMI and invent new ways to lock up the tripe they press on CDs. And, just like Microsoft, if there's an industry standard, it's a good bet Sony is pushing a competing technology.

    Sony still lets the engineers out once in a while, to create products like the Aibo. It has little commercial significance, but it keeps their image polished. In their profit-making lines, they're coasting on their reputation. They still command premium prices, but the value behind the logo is gone. Substance and performance have been replaced with frills and flash.

    Like most companies, some Sony products are very good, some are junk, most are so-so. Unfortunately, even the decent stuff may have proprietary bells and whistles that increase costs or limit compatibility. The Sony brand used to top shoppers' buying lists. Now, unless you know a product well, the Sony brand is best avoided.

    IMHO, YMMV, etc.

  • by blowdart ( 31458 ) on Saturday November 23, 2002 @12:57PM (#4738779) Homepage

    First let me state I bought it for the girlfriend :)

    Anyway, like the acticle description of Sony's technique, the CD plays in a normal CD player, or a DVD player, however when put into a PC it autoruns and starts a little, quite good looking player, and plays the CD using this player.

    Now if I use Media Player, or Real to play the CD, it still works, but if I try to rip the CD, each track errors about 5 seconds in.

    By the looks of things, the CD based player software has digital versions of the songs embedded in it. According to the player the tracks are encoded at 47kps.

    It's clearly labelled as "Copy Controlled" on the front and back of the CD. It is not described anywhere on the media as a "CD", nor does the Phillip's logo appear. Minimum listed specs are Windows 95, Pentium II, 4Mb RAM. But as you can still play it using your normal computer, I guess those specs are for their little specific player.

    The point of all this? None really, it does stop you ripping the music, but it's still playable from everywhere else, your CD player, your DVD, or your own player software. Almost seems reasonable when you think about it.

  • by defile ( 1059 ) on Saturday November 23, 2002 @01:19PM (#4738892) Homepage Journal

    The first download of the electronic key that goes with a CD is free. SME plans to charge about A5200 (US$1.64) per song for the second time onwards, Ide said. Users cannot opt to just decode one song from a CD, but have to purchase the key for the entire CD, he said.

    Why are they even trying? Off the top of my head I can get at this data by using...

    • LD_PRELOAD: Load a wrapper for write(). If the file descriptor is the audio device, record the data to a file. By far the simplest and most effective approach.
    • ptrace(): Attach to the player, capture write() calls to the audio device, saving the raw data to a file instead. Trickier but cooler, I think.
    • Load a kernel module which intercepts the write() system call against the audio device. Some of these may already exist for dealing with realplayer, etc.
    • Write a bogus audio driver that saves to a file instead of communicating with a sound card. Tutorials on doing this exist and are pretty simple to achieve even for novice C programmers.
    • Wait for some h4x0rs to discover how the content is encoded, capture the key as it's sent over the network (I doubt they're sophisticated enough to guard for man-in-the-middle attack, and if so, see above for ways to get at data). Use the key to decrypt the content at your leisure.
    • Since smart people aren't working for this cause, their peon programmers likely developed an in-house cipher which sucks ass. Wait for a teenager to crack the cipher and post his/her results.

    Oh, what's that? The player is Windows only? That's OK, use WINE to translate the Windows API calls into easy-to-tinker with UNIX calls. Same steps above apply under WINE you know (and why stop there? Think about Counter-Strike cheats)

    Hmm, it doesn't run under WINE? No problem, VMWare to the rescue!

    Oh, you're not a programmer you say? That's alright. Just hook your sound card output to a recorder instead.

    Or put a tape recorder up to your speakers for that retro teenage 80s style pirate action.

    Basically, it has been cracked before it has even been released. It is hopeless and will just inconvenience casual users at best. If anything, casual users will now start seeking ways to rip the content, causing them to become better acquainted with how to break copy control.

  • by Monofilament ( 512421 ) on Saturday November 23, 2002 @02:56PM (#4739284) Homepage Journal
    Well if everybody is really concerned about making a copy of a CD.. I know its a damn pain.. but how about a little thing called ANALOG OUT and ANALOG IN on most sound cards... I mean there really is no way that the CD can tell that your analog out is not going to a set of speakers... Thus you just port it into another record.. record the songs through analog and some good sound cables and save it as a wav file.. then make your own CD.. all this technology is readily available... I know it sucks to do it this way .. and it sucks even more that stupid music companies think ill thought ideas like this will solve their piracy problems. But really people.. it sounds like a lot of people think these schemes really bring an end to the copying of their CD's of making of MP3's onto their computers from the CD's they buy..
  • by NewtonsLaw ( 409638 ) on Saturday November 23, 2002 @04:07PM (#4739567)
    I have a rather nice collection of music tracks (on MP3) and music videos (in MPEG) that I've collected over the past couple of years.

    I have all the latest top-10 tracks (that interest me) and lots of other less mainstream stuff as well.

    And guess what -- I haven't bought a music CD for years.

    Nor have I ever used a P2P network for getting this stuff.

    Nor have burned copies of someone else's CDs

    Just how did I accumulate this wonderful collection of music and videos?

    I recorded them from free-to-air broadcasts, that's how.

    Given the fidelity limitations of MP3, an FM stereo or stereo TV broadcast is more than the equal of most CD rips.

    Now, if the recording industry want to sell public performance rights to broadcasters, and if the likes of Sony want to sell me the gear I need to record from these radio and TV broadcasts -- how on earth can they complain later that I don't buy their CDs?

    Just throw a TV/radio tuner card in your PC and you too can quickly accumulate a great music collection at no cost -- and without the hassles of circumventing CD copy-protection or getting caught file-swapping over the Net.

    So what's the recording industry going to do about it? Make recording radio/TV transmissions illegal?

    I don't think so.

    Let's face it -- people have been recording music (and movies) from FTA broadcasts for years. Maybe they're just starting to realise that any business model which relies on selling something people are already getting for free might be fatally flawed.
    • "Given the fidelity limitations of MP3, an FM stereo or stereo TV broadcast is more than the equal of most CD rips."

      As far as the 128kb MP3s that are typically shared around on p2p networks go, I agree with you. However, cd audio ripped on a Plextor with cdparanoia and then encoded with a LAME preset like --r3mix is another kettle of fish altogether. I doubt most people could tell difference between those and the original. That is as long as things aren't the way so-called Golden Ears like them. They don't things that contribute to objectivity like double blinded testing. They have to absolutely see the hand built tube amp to KNOW they have quality.

      NewtonsLaw is right, most mp3s that are traded around sound like FM radio taped onto a cassette. I did it when I teenager. What are they getting excited about? Oh yeah, that's right. They tried to kill cassettes too.
  • by supabeast! ( 84658 ) on Saturday November 23, 2002 @04:37PM (#4739704)
    Sony is not leaving *NIX and Mac users out in the cold, because they know that their copy-protection scheme WILL be broken by *NIX/Mac geeks who are already used to taking the road less traveled.

    What this scheme will do is make it harder for computer-illiterate young girls (Teenage guys can figure out anything on a computer, so I stick this on the girls.) to rip the latest top 40 hits and share them on P2P networks with all of the other file swappers. This will leave the music being shared on the systems of clueful users, making obvious supernodes that the record companies will be able to hack once they are given vigilante privileges by the US government.
  • by FuzzyBad-Mofo ( 184327 ) <fuzzybad.gmail@com> on Saturday November 23, 2002 @05:47PM (#4739990)

    I'm suprised this mistake was not caught. The article has nothing to do with a new copyright system, which is a legal fiction. The article is about a new copy protection/restriction system.

    This appears to actually be part of the copyright cartel's plan. First they twist the meaning of Pirate to include bootlegging, now copy protection becomes copyright, giving it a whole new outlook.

  • by ShadowDrake ( 588020 ) on Saturday November 23, 2002 @05:54PM (#4740022)
    The attempt to "slip it under the door."

    For a comparison, look at say, a VideoDisc (them big old record-like things). There's no way you'd ever confuse it with a VHS casette, and as such, not really expect it to work similarly. This, it looks like a CD, is marketed similarly to a CD, fills a similar niche to a CD, yet strangely isn't a CD.

    If you want to do a DRM format, make it very different. How about the size and shape of a British two-pound coin? This benefits you in several ways:

    1. Completely new and potentially propriatery player base, no need to worry about some old equipment designed in a way that can look through your attempts to maintain compatibility and DRM in one disc. I can easily see them giving away free DRM-disc players, perhaps with the purchase of some number of discs, to buy market share.

    2. No problems with people returning "broken" discs because they thought they were CDs that work properly.

    Consumers also win because they can make intelligent purchasing decisions, and not have to guess if a disc will work or not; it also allows them to see the true effect for them of DRM (because market penetration will probably never be 1000%, you'll probably see both CD and DRM-D releases together, and be able to compare sound quality and price.
  • by gelfling ( 6534 ) on Saturday November 23, 2002 @06:09PM (#4740070) Homepage Journal
    That's it. 30. Imagine that not only is there only bubblegum/R+B/chick/pop/girl-boy band/white rap hybrid muzak sludge but you have to pay to listen to it. You have to pay to not listen to it. You have to pay to complain about it.

    They future's so bright I need a welding mask.

It's fabulous! We haven't seen anything like it in the last half an hour! -- Macy's