You Read It Here First… Radio Stations Can’t Use Copy Protected CDs

The Age reports that at least one radio station is unable to play the copy-protected promotional CDs they received from EMI because they use computers and automated systems to play CDs, not regular CD players, which are supposed to be unaffected by copy protection schemes.

I predicted this might happen back in November 2001 when the notion of copy-protecting CDs to keep them from being ripped to mp3 or copied first bubbled up:

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.






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