Piracy my ass, it's an attack on the iPod

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If I purchase a new CD, and cannot listen to it on my iPod (or on iTunes for that matter), the CD is a useless piece of plastic to me, as I haven't placed a CD in a CD player in years. What a bunch of crap.

Wired News: BMG Cracks Piracy Whip:
As part of its mounting U.S. rollout of content-enhanced and copy-protected CDs, Sony BMG Music Entertainment is testing technology solutions that bar consumers from making additional copies of burned CD-R discs.

Since March the company has released at least 10 commercial titles -- more than 1 million discs in total -- featuring technology from U.K. anti-piracy specialist First4Internet that allows consumers to make limited copies of protected discs, but blocks users from making copies of the copies.
Under the new solution, tracks ripped and burned from a copy-protected disc are copied to a blank CD in Microsoft's Windows Media Audio format. The DRM embedded on the discs bars the burned CD from being copied. ... A key concern with copy-protection efforts remains compatibility. It is a sticking point at Sony BMG and other labels as they look to increase the number of copy-protected CDs they push into the market.

Among the biggest headaches: Secure burning means that iPod users do not have any means of transferring tracks to their device, because Apple Computer has yet to license its FairPlay DRM for use on copy-protected discs.
First4Internet's other clients -- which include Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group and EMI -- are using XCP for prerelease material.
Sony BMG expects that by year's end a substantial number of its U.S. releases will employ either MediaMax or XCP

I wrote Amazon just now, once I jumped through a mind-numbing array of electronic hurdles, and asked:

In response to this Wired article (http://www.wired.com/news/print/0,1294,67696,00.html) about new copy protection schemes by Sony and other music labels, does Amazon plan to have such CDs clearly labeled in the Amazon store? I only listen to music via my iPod, and if I purchase a new CD and cannot play it, I will want to return it for a full refund.
What is Amazon's policy in regard to unplayable CDs?

Seth Anderson

p.s., I don't really want to return the above order, but your email bot insisted I return something in order to ask a question.

Amazon claims they will usually respond within 24 hours, we'll see

(We will reply as soon as possible, usually within 24 hours.)

if they are as good as companies tested by the WSJ's cranky consumer
We decided to email companies in five different industries to see how quickly they responded to our queries -- and how relevant and helpful the responses were. We wrote to industries that consultants like the Customer Respect Group said are above average, such as telecommunications, along with those that have been ranked as less attentive, like consumer products.

update 9:46 pm: Amazon does respond rather quickly

As a retailer, our goal is to provide customers with the broadest
selection possible, and this selection may include copy-protected
materials. Please note that Amazon.com does not endorse any opinions
or policies expressed by individual publishers, music labels, or
movie studios.

At this time, we list only a small number of copy-protected CDs on our
web site, and they are clearly marked as such.

For CDs purchased from our web site which are defective, we will be
happy to replace them or issue full refunds for them, as per your

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1 Comment

When I buy a CD I almost never listen to it - I rip it into iTunes and put it on my iPod. After that I never use the original CD again.

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This page contains a single entry by Seth A. published on May 31, 2005 5:42 PM.

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