More on copy protected CDs and unintended consequences for radio

ZDNet has an article that also references FatChuck’s site, and those wacky Brits at the BBC proclaim with alliterative style, “Pirate-proof pop goes public.” The Beeb’s article notes at the end that one of the new copy protected CDs, Natalie Imbruglia’s new album, showed up on file-sharing networks before it was available in stores.

That’s the problem with these types of anti-piracy efforts is that they up the ante and force folks who are going to fileshare regardless of protections to find different techniques. My experience on P2P networks is that a lot of the new songs and albums available have come from pre-release CDs sent to radio stations, record stores and other people on promotion lists. I wonder if the record industry is copy protecting those. If so, then they’re causing a lot of problems for radio stations.

One snag in this plan is that most commercial radio stations now run under some kind of automation and store most of their music on hard drives. Although they have the physical CDs, most of them are ripped to the automation system’s drive (usually at full uncompressed quality). If copy protected CDs prevent this, then it’s like telling radio stations “please don’t play this CD.” But then if the industry sends unprotected CDs as promos, those CDs will make their way into the hands of file-sharers, some by way of underpaid station employees, and some by way of used CDs stores, which are usually stuffed to the gills with liberated “promotion only” CDs. I’d be curious to hear from commercial stations if there have been any problems or if they anticipate any as a result of copy protected CDs (at WEFT, the community station where I do a show, we don’t use automation at all).






Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *