Thursday, June 16, 2005


The increasing removal of rights you used to have to do with you choose as music you've bought sees EMI planning to sell broken CDs which limit you to copying tracks just three times. Now, with most of EMI's catalogue, it's obviously not a major problem - nothing much they do is that good you'd want to include it on more than three personal mixes, but the principle here is the thing. If your favourite band is on EMI, and you want to put a track from their album onto every personal use CD you make, right now, you can. In the future, you'll find your system gums up when you try to make a fourth mix. In other words, you're getting a hell of a lot less for your money; you're getting a product with an arbitrary limit imposed on it - and how much less will these broken CDs cost? Same price as the one you'd have bought last week with all your rights intact.

Of course, there are compatability problems, too, and CDs with the full DRM EMI want to use on it won't work with iPods. Now, recognising that closing off such a large and cash-rich market might be a bit stupid, EMI (and Sony-BMG, who are adopting the same reverse technology) have a plan:

“Both EMI and Sony BMG plan to let buyers get around the CDs' restrictions so they can get tracks onto iPods. Executives said they were willing to sacrifice security in the name of playability.”

So... they're introducing technology which makes the CDs vauleless junk, and then add in a process by which the DRM can be cirumvented anyway. It's like putting a massive alarm system in a house which means you have to knock half the walls down anyway, and then leaving the back door open for anyone who's forgotten their keys...