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« November 12, 2005 | Main | November 29, 2005 »

November 16, 2005

Sorry Neil, I Didn't Buy Your CD Today.

By: The Dude on the Right
I was faced with my first ever CD purchasing dilemma today.  I had heard of the dilemma before, the fact that Sony music has been putting copy protection on some of their CD's, but today it stared me right in the face, at the f.y.e. store in my local mall, as I contemplated purchasing the latest CD from Neil Diamond called "12 Songs."

It seems, unbeknownst to most of the music purchasing public, you know, those who actually go to a store and buy the CD with the sole intent of just listening to it on their CD player, computer, or maybe iPod or other portable device, Sony has been encoding some releases with a form of copy protection.  Pretty much if you put the CD in your computer to play, the Sony player opens up, you accept their agreement without reading it because that's what you do, and in the background the CD installs a copy-protection scheme on your computer so you can only rip the music to the Windows protection scheme (sorry, no iPod installing for you), but even worse, installs this copy protection scheme in what is known in the hacking world as a rootkit on your computer.  Suddenly your computer is actually more prone to getting a trojan horse virus, and you didn't even plan on it.  That's the easiest way I can explain this issue, but for more, head to your favorite search engine and type in the phrase "Sony rootkit" and you can research it to your hearts content.

So, there I was, seeing that there were actually two versions of the CD, one with 12 songs, and another with two bonus songs, and just as I was ready to shell out the extra bucks for the two bonus songs, I turned the CD over, and low and behold, in what really just looks like your standard "To run the extra features on your computer you need" box, it vaguely referenced the fact it would load this crap on my computer.  I knew some work-arounds to this issue, but really, is it worth my time and frustration to get Neil's new music on my iPod?  And yes, I know I could actually save money by just downloading it from the iTunes store, even with the two bonus tracks, but  for me, there is something permanent about actually owning the physical CD, a fact I realized after downloading the latest Bon Jovi CD from iTunes rather than buying it.  I was torn, because I really wanted the CD, but it really pissed me off with the Sony folks trying to force copy protection on me, and not even in what was really a secure way.

So I didn't buy the new Neil Diamond CD.  I took a stand, and Neil, as much as I love ya, until Sony gets rid of this copy protection crap (and supposedly from the latest news the Sony folks are pulling the CD's from the stores and re-issuing them without the protection, but we'll see), and will let me put it on my iPod, I've got to take that stand, although it probably won't matter much, and in the end, I'll probably just download the songs from iTunes and save a few bucks.

The record companies, still, just don't seem to get it.  They didn't get it when file sharing started, they didn't get it when Napster exploded, and they sure as hell don't seem to be getting it now, especially by installing hidden software on your computer that can actually make it more vulnerable to getting a Trojan virus, or if you try to get rid of it, you actually f-up your computer.  Maybe instead of just someone who is a great business person, the record folks might actually try to put someone in authority who has a clue to the buying public, and how technology is affecting them.  "Don't steal our music," and "Dammit, we want more money from Apple" seem to be the music company's current mantras, and all those mantras do is make the music buying public seek out the same ways to get music they have been continually been fighting, by downloading it free from someone who has figured out how to get around the copy protection scheme, or at least from their friend next door.  Really, until the record company folks actually figure out a way to stop someone, in the most simplest terms of copying songs, from A:  Purchasing a legal version of a CD.  2:  Playing that CD on their stereo.  III:  Having microphones in front of their speakers, plugged into the "Mic In" on their computer sound card and using any generic sound recording software to record each track.  Quatro:  Making sure that the individual songs are in an mp3 format.  5:  Sending those songs to two of their friends, who then send them to two of their friends, who then send them to two of their friends, and so on, and so on, and so on, the record companies have no shot at really controlling music piracy.  But if they want my ten to twenty dollars to buy it, and I will, all I really ask is that they don't fuck up my computer, and they let me put it, easily, on my iPod.

I'm stepping off of my soapbox now.  My next Blog will be about the proposed size of Garth Brooks' unit, not by my recollection, but by something our crack reporter Trash witnessed at a press conference, and our dudette, Whammy, who really loves Prince, especially since he's back to using his real name, that being, of course, Prince, and her scientific study on how to figure out the size of a dude's unit.  I'll bet you will all be waiting for that.

That's it for this one!  I'm The Dude on the Right!!  L8R!!!

Posted by Rightdude at 7:19 PM | Comments (0)


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