First of new wave of anti-rip music CDs hit store shelves.

Now this might be a decent compromise. New music CDs protected by SunnComm’s new anti-piracy technology attempts to stop folks from ripping and sharing tracks over the net and yet still allow legitimate consumers to move tracks to their MP3 devices as well as to send limited-play tracks to their friends via email. – Anti-swap CD hits the racks

The disc has two sets of music tracks: one set of “encrypted” songs that can be handled by CD players but cannot be ripped on computers, and a duplicate set of tracks in the Windows Media format. These can be downloaded from the CD to a computer and then transferred to portable devices or recorded to home CDs.

But these “secure digital” tracks cannot be played on another computer should they be uploaded to the Net. “The whole concept was to create a legally licensed structure” for computer use of recorded music, says William Whitmore of SunnComm (, which designed the anti-copy technology.

Record labels are hoping this CD will prove more acceptable because it lets fans use music with their own devices and share with friends, but not with millions of others, says Nathaniel Brown of BMG, which distributes albums on the Arista label. “This is the first generation that allows the kind of personal use that we have deemed appropriate,” he says.

In CD players, the disc plays normally. When put into a Macintosh or Windows PC, the disc installs software to keep the music secure, and an interactive menu pops up with several links, including one to copy some or all of the Windows Media tracks to your hard drive.

Another link allows you to send e-mail to friends so they can download a copy of the song playable for 10 days. “You’re sharing music, but you are not giving it away forever,” Whitmore says.

While this won’t make the folks who think they should be able to get all their music for free very happy, it is a step in the right direction for folks that do buy CDs and still want to be able to put tracks on their portable MP3 players. Now the question becomes how robust is the encryption and will hackers find a way around it?

8 thoughts on “First of new wave of anti-rip music CDs hit store shelves.

  1. This part I found interesting,

    When put into a Macintosh or Windows PC, the disc installs software to keep the music secure,

    Let’s hope they resisted the urge to add spyware to the copy software, somehow I doubt they would pass up a prime chance to. I even found spyware on my blooming mouse driver recently!!!

  2. Sounds like a fine comprimise to me. I never felt like the music should be free, just available in the user’s preferred format (in my case, digital and portable).

    But these

  3. It’ll be hacked.  There’s already software out there that will digitize streaming music, or anything else that is processed by your sound card.  It’ll discourage the casual distributor, which is most people, but it won’t stop people who have an ideological bone to pick with the RIAA.

  4. Oh I’m sure it will be hacked.

    Although I don’t condone copyright infrigement (my livelihood partially depends on it) and I think anyone who truly believes the music should be free is an idiot…the recording industry did this to themselves.

    It’s my opinion that if they’d gotten their heads out of their asses years ago and started offering up their collections online and per-track, for a reasonable fee, they could have avoided most of this. But they didn’t want to invest in the infrastructure. And they wanted to continue shoving their current entire-album-with-expensive-packaging format down people’s throats. Even though “people” made it abundantly clear they no longer wanted to be limited to buying their music that way.

    There will always be people determined to get something for nothing. But personally, that was never, ever my motivation. I think the attraction was in large part the ease of grabbing any song you want at 1am, as well as the gigantic selection available. If you wanted it, no matter how obscure, I bet it was out there.

    I know there’s alot of places to buy one track on the net now (generally under $1), but from what I’ve seen, the collections are still lacking. If the recording industry wants this to end, they need to head on down to their basements and start pulling out everything they’ve ever recorded/sold and get it encoded and available.

    Granted, some have made good strides, but maybe the track I’m looking for doesn’t happen to be the latest Britney Spears, y’know?

  5. Wow, I apologize for the length of my reply, and my tendency to digress, but I hoped I answered a few of your question

    No problem! Good job.

    I suppose my point was that it is technologically possible to implement a system paletable to the honest music consumer. And it doesn’t seem like it needs to be terribly complicated. (More on this if you’d like)

    But for the consumer who feels it should be free, or they should be able to freely distribute it…well that’s an entirely different ball of wax. I suppose you combat it with more technology until you can change the mindset. I would say in most cases, these are not people who whould steal something from a store and claim it’s their right to take to for free. But they don’t seem to be applying the same logic to music, and worse, deem musicians and their “supporting staff” greedy for actually wanting to get paid.

    Alot of copyright issues are difficult for even educated people to grasp. I deal with it everyday. And I’ve never found quite the perfect answer or analogy to explain my copyrights to clients (who sometimes feel I’m trying to “cheat” them). Although I’m clearly in the right and well in line with industry standards. My explainations get better and more effective as time goes on, but I haven’t found the magic shpiel yet.

    So all I can say on the education front is…best of luck to you! I do what I can on my end (really, I do) when I encounter that “it oughta be free, it’s my right” mentality regarding music.

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