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limit CD burning: Give me more excuses not to buy CDs

Posted By Barry Ritholtz On June 7, 2005 @ 9:20 am In Music | Comments Disabled

Here’s a brilliant idea: Give people even less reasons to buy CDs.

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.

The concept is known as "sterile burning." And in the eyes of Sony BMG
executives, the initiative is central to the industry’s efforts to curb casual
CD burning.

Here’s the problem:  I make a backup copy of a CD I purchased. The original gets scratched, lost, etc. No worries, I have a back up! But now I have no back up — and cannot make one because the original is damaged. So much for "secure burning."  (No, I have no interest in making 3 backups of every CD I purchase).

That would be annoying enough as a consumer. But as they say on the infomercials, "But wait! There’s more!"

Its not iPod compatible:

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.

The companies involved include First4Internet, Sony BMG, and the notorious SunnComm and its MediaMax technology. First4Internet’s clients include Universal Music Group, Warner
Music Group and EMI. Billboard reports that "Sony BMG expects by year’s end a substantial number of its U.S. releases
will employ either MediaMax or XCP.

Terrific. One less reason to buy a physical CD.


Sony BMG tests technology to limit CD

Brian Garrity
Reuters/Billboard, Sun May 29, 2005 10:11 PM ET


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